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Posts Tagged ‘AUTHOR:BALLER’

The College Football Weekend That Was…

Posted by Baller on October 14, 2008

College Football’s Cinderella, Vanderbilt, toppled by lowly Mississippi State.

Auburn upended by a horrible Arkansas.

LSU humiliated by Florida.

Kentucky beaten by South Carolina (Yes, this is considered an upset.).

Michigan beaten for the first time by a MAC team in 25 attempts.

Now lets get into the Top 5: Oklahoma was beaten by rival Texas by ten points. Missouri was beaten by Oklahoma State. And aforementioned LSU was romped by Florida. So why is this happening two years in a row?

Why, for one hundred years were ranked teams mostly safe from upsets, especially when ranked in the Top 5, but now upsets seem to be happening over and over? Personally I enjoy seeing good teams get beat. I am a South Carolina fan and we are never good so we don’t have to worry about being “upset”. We just lose.

But ever since the scholarships were cut down to 85 the playing field from the big schools to the lower tier schools has become more and more even. Add in better equipped high school programs and better weight training at a younger age and you have more and more athletes around the country. There are also more athletes playing football now than any other sport and at any other time. No more sharing with baseball, only with basketball, mostly. Now in order to be a good program and a good team you have to recruit well but also you have to coach well and prepare your team well. No longer can you rely solely on speed and talent to win.

Just ask all the teams that have been beaten this year and last.

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Posted in NCAA Football | Tagged: | Comments Off on The College Football Weekend That Was…

Entitlement…

Posted by Baller on September 26, 2008

Entitlement. An amazing word. What do we as fans do that makes us believe we deserve something from complete strangers? We expect kids, 17-21 year olds, to live out what we could not accomplish ourselves. If a coach, who has years more experience attacking a certain situation goes against what we think is right, then we rip that coach apart and say he needs to be fired.

Am I aside from this?

No, I get caught up in the heat of the moment as some of you have seen. I have also been on the coaching side of things as well and understand what coaches go through. Now to be specific I am a South Carolina Gamecock, through and through. But there is one thing I am beginning to get sick of though: The lack of loyalty since Spurrier’s arrival.

It seems to me since Spurrier’s hire that fans have begun to assume or expect more out of our team; but what of our 100+ year history has you expecting more? Building a program takes time and we spent way too long not building one. Lou began building us the right way, like it or not, and Spurrier is continuing. I am a student at USC and I’m sick of reading articles in “The Gamecock” bashing our team. First, they don’t double check their stats and get facts wrong and second, they have not been fans of USC long enough to really care.

My second gripe with USC fans is the booing. How can you boo someone in a Gamecock jersey? Are you serious? Since when do we do that? Are we in Philly? Are we Clemson? Have some loyalty. NO! Have some class. We are known for having the best fans in the country; we need to start showing it. We do not have a top tier program so I am not sure what you are expecting when you step into Williams-Brice. If you are expecting Spurrier’s teams from the 90s, well defenses have caught up and athletes are way more abundant. So how about you cheer for your Gamecocks, rain or shine, because when we finally do shine… it is going feel so amazing.

Posted in NCAA Football | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Entitlement…

South Carolina Dropped the Ball… Again…

Posted by Baller on September 8, 2008

The Gamecocks messed up when Lou Holtz retired by hiring Coach Steve Spurrier.

Now, before you jump all over me, I praised the university for this hire at the time, but as the saying goes hindsight is always 20/20. No coach in the 1990s could outscore or outwit the “Ol’ Ball Coach”, but that was then and this is now. Ever since Steve made the jump to the National Football League he has not been able to catch back up to the college game.

“He doesnt have the athletes he had at Florida though at South Carolina.”  Are you kidding? We had the #2 WR class in the country two years ago and the year before that we had the most kids out of the state of Florida. This is Spurrier’s 4th year and his offense is still not working.   Has the Run ‘N’ Gun ran it’s course? No, the ‘Run N Gun’ is still used across the country with success, even in Division 1A. So we can not use the excuse that his offense doesnt even work.

So whats wrong with South Carolina? I am not even going to begin to believe that I know what is wrong, but when I look back at past UF games, the routes his WRs ran are not being run at South Carolina. His OL at South Carolina is not blocking like it did at UF. And why hasn’t he fired John Hunt? There are better coaches out there that would love to coach at South Carolina. But I digress about Coach Spurrier; he will go down as one of the greatest coaches of the 90s, and possibly ever. That’s it though.

What we should have done: In 2004, when Coach Holtz stepped down, we should have hired Skip Holtz as our new Head Coach. Carolina fans never gave Skip a chance when he was at Carolina because when he was “offensive coordinator” his father had full control over his calls and didnt let him open the offense up. I never remember hearing a Carolina fan saying, lets keep Skip Holtz so I dont want anyone posting that in here.

South Carolina’s future:  So why do we need Skip Holtz? ECU went 4-8, 1-11, and 2-9 before he came. Yes his first year they went 5-6. But since then, they have gone 7-6 and lost their bowl game and 8-5 and won their bowl game. Currently they are 2-0 ranked #14 with back to back wins against ranked opponents. He has done this with two stars and three stars. Last year’s class? Ranked 81st by Rivals. That means he is able to get things done without elite talent. Imagine what he could do with SEC talent like he would have at USC. I think he would have us on the right track in no time. His style of play is that of his father’s, not that flashy but it gets the job done. Hard-nosed defense, wrap-up tackling, turnovers, smart QB play and fast RBs.

Please Skip. Come back to South Carolina.

Posted in NCAA Football | Tagged: , | Comments Off on South Carolina Dropped the Ball… Again…

Baller’s Games of the Week…

Posted by Baller on August 29, 2008

LSU-Appalachian State… LSU wins but Appy State plays surprisingly close…

ECU-VT… VT wins, but ECU loses it with a pick at the last minute…

Utah-Michigan… Utah wins it by 10, fans start hating Rich…

Ole Miss-Memphis… Ole Miss wins big; how is Tommy West still coaching?

Florida Atlantic-Texas… Texas wins by three…

Alabama-Clemson… Alabama wins by one due to special teams…

Illinois-Missouri… Illinois exposes Missouri to be the overrated team that they are…

Oregon-Washington… Washington wins by 17… Tyrone has his program turned around…

Kentucky-Louisville… Who cares about the game? The fans lose on this game. No returning players from either team equals a boring game.

Fresno St.-Rutgers… Fresno St. by 13…

UCLA-Tennessee… Vols win huge… 44-13

Posted in NCAA Football | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Baller’s Official SEC Preview: LSU Edition

Posted by Baller on July 24, 2008

2007 Record- 12-2 (6-2)

Returning Starters- 13 (7-Offense, 5-Defense, K)

Players to Watch out for: Charles Scott, Keiland Williams, and Demetrius Byrd

Key Losses: Matt Flynn, Jacob Hester, Early Doucet, Glenn Dorsey, Craig Steltz

2008 Strengths: OL and DL should hold this team together and should allow them to win 9-10 wins easily.

2008 Weaknesses: No QB experience, huge losses on offense and defense. LSU should be able to fill these gaps but will lose a couple of games due to this lack of leadership and experience.

2008 Overview: LSU has the athletes to compete for the SEC once again, but with all the losses they sustained it will be difficult. At UF, at Auburn, and at USC does not help these losses. LSU should win at least 8 or 9 though. Also they play App St. Lets hope they dont look past the national champs.

Posted in NCAA Football, The Nasty Boys | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Georgia Will Win The National Championship

Posted by Baller on July 14, 2008

A bold statement? Maybe so, but if you have been following UGA football since Mark Richt arrived you will agree this is the year. With a favorable first four games, Georgia should be able to work out the kinks before the tough games begin. Usually, in years past, Georgia tends to start off slow and then gain momentum. But starting out with Georgia Southern and Central Michigan, Stafford and Knowshon should be able to get the ball rolling.

With 17 starters returning, Coach Mark Richt should have no trouble at all getting the new guys acquainted with playing in the SEC. Georgia finished last season with a sour taste in their mouth when UT represented the east in the SEC Championship game and not them. But, the powers that be in the BCS gave UGA a slot with Hawaii and the Dawgs showed the world what it means to be #3 in the SEC.

So, can UGA have an amazing season this year and take home a title? Yes, they surely have the talent to do so. The only thing I can see stopping Georgia is the tail-end of their season. Home games with Alabama and UT, but with away games at LSU, at UF, and at Auburn; the Dawgs can easily slip up if they are not careful.

Posted in NCAA Football | Tagged: | Comments Off on Georgia Will Win The National Championship

Baller’s Official SEC Preview: Kentucky Edition

Posted by Bob Swerski on July 7, 2008

Editor’s Note: Discuss this article NOW over at ACC vs. SEC! – Baller’s AVS Official 2008 SEC Preview: Kentucky Edition

2007 Record- 8-5 (3-5)
Returning Starters- 15 (5-Offense, 8-Defense, K, P)

Players To Watch Out For: Dicky Lyons, Tony Dixon

Key Losses: Andre Woodson, Rafael Little, Keenan Burton, Steve Johnson, Wesley Woodyard

2008 Strengths: Run game on offense should be OK with a veteran OL returning and many decent RBs. Also, the defense should finally be respectable this year after being a joke the past few years.

2008 Weaknesses: QBs have no experience, WRs have no experience. Offensively, its going to be a rough year.

2008 Overview: If Coach Brooks can find a decent QB to replace Woodson, the Cats can have another good year to build upon. But if not, don’t be shocked to see the Cats having just 4 wins again.

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Football | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Baller’s Official SEC Preview: Georgia Edition

Posted by Baller on July 3, 2008

Editor’s Note: Discuss this article NOW over at ACC vs. SEC! – Baller’s AVS Official 2008 SEC Preview: Georgia Edition

2007 Record- 11-2 (6-2)
Returning Starters- 17 (7-Offense, 9-Defense, P)

Players To Watch Out For: Knowshon Moreno, Mohamed Massaquoi, Asher Allen, AJ Green

Key Losses: Brandon Coutu, Sean Bailey, and Kelin Johnson

2008 Strengths: Stafford and Moreno. Enough said there. Also the defense returns almost everyone but even the backups have plenty of experience to carry this team to the NC.

2008 Weaknesses: Stafford makes mistakes and needs to make more right decisions. Coutu is gone, so the kicking game isnt going to be a strength anymore. Also the LB and WR corps have hardly no experience.

2008 Overview: UGA is the easy pick to win the east and the SEC, but with away games at USC, at LSU, and at Auburn, its not gonna be an easy road. If UGA comes out clicking on all cylinders then they will win the SEC, but if they stumble at USC, look out for another disappointing year dawgs.

Posted in NCAA Football | Tagged: | Comments Off on Baller’s Official SEC Preview: Georgia Edition

Baller’s Official SEC Preview: Florida Edition

Posted by Baller on June 18, 2008

Editor’s Note: Discuss this article NOW over at ACC vs. SEC! – Baller’s AVS Official 2008 SEC Preview: Florida Edition

2007 Record- 9-4 (5-3)
Returning Starters- 17 (9-Offense, 7-Defense, P)

Players To Watch Out For: Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, Brandon James, Brandon Spikes, Carlos Dunlap

Key Losses: Andre Caldwell, Derrick Harvey

2008 Strengths: Anything and everything on the offensive side of the ball. Starters returning at almost every position on the offense and plenty of playmakers returning. The gators will not have an issue with finding the red zone.

2008 Weaknesses: Defense. Enough said.

2008 Overview: UF will once again excel on the offensive side of the ball, but the defense needs to shore up if UF wants to be in the running for the NC title. All in all, if UF can beat UGA, which they can, then UF can run the tables and win the National Championship.

Posted in NCAA Football | Tagged: | Comments Off on Baller’s Official SEC Preview: Florida Edition

Baller’s 2008 SEC Preview: Auburn Edition

Posted by Baller on June 13, 2008

Editor’s Note: Discuss this article NOW over at ACC vs. SEC! – Baller’s AVS Official 2008 SEC Preview: Auburn Edition

2007 Record- 9-4 (5-3)
Returning Starters- 17 (8-Offense, 7-Defense, K, P)

Players To Watch Out For: Brad Lester, Ben Tate, Kodi Burns, Tray Blackmon, Jerraud Powers, and Aairon Savage

Key Losses: Patrick Lee, Quinten Groves, Josh Thompson, and NOT Brandon Cox

2008 Strengths: Auburn has all five starters back on the OL and plenty of experience behind those five just in case. Auburn also returns the top three rushers from 2007.

2008 Weaknesses: Brand new offensive system needs to be implemented and perfected in order for Auburn to win. Question marks at QB and WR do not help this problem. Also, lack of experience on DL might give up alittle more rushing yards than Auburn is used to.

2008 Overview: Auburn has plenty of experience back to compete for the western title, but with two new coordinators it will not be an easy road. To help this, Auburn has a great home schedule with only two tough road games in WVU and Bama. Tommy should be ok.

Posted in NCAA Football | Tagged: | Comments Off on Baller’s 2008 SEC Preview: Auburn Edition

Baller’s 2008 SEC Football Preview: Arkansas Edition

Posted by Baller on June 11, 2008

Editor’s Note: Discuss this article NOW over at ACC vs. SEC! – Baller’s AVS Official 2008 SEC Preview: Arkansas Edition

2007 Record- 8-5 (4-4)
Returning Starters- 12 (5-Offense, 5-Defense, K, P)

Players To Watch Out For: Jonathan Luigs, DJ Williams, Casey Dick, Adrian Davis, and Michael Smith

Key Losses: Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, Marcus Monk, Michael Grant, and Matteral Richardson

2008 Strengths: The Hogs lost anybody and everybody from their 2007 squad. But two areas Bobby Petrino will not have to worry about are the two most important spots on the field, offensive line and defensive line. The hogs return skill, speed, and experience at these two spots.

2008 Weaknesses: The running back position is obviously going to be a weak spot for the 2008 squad. Also the wide-receiver position lacks experience and the offense will surely falter very quickly if Casey d**k does not learn the playbook fast. On defense, Arkansas lost its entire secondary, so look for them to give up more than the 205ypg they averaged in 2007.

2008 Overview: Arkansas has a favorable home schedule with UF, Bama, Ole Miss, and LSU all coming to play in Arkansas. But add in their road schedule, Texas, Auburn, UK, SCar, and MSU, and the Hogs will be lucky to come away with 5 wins in 2008. Good luck Bobby, you are gonna need it.

Posted in NCAA Football | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Baller’s 2008 SEC Football Preview: Alabama Edition

Posted by Baller on June 9, 2008

Editor’s Note: Discuss this article NOW over at ACC vs. SEC! – Baller’s AVS Official 2008 SEC Preview: Alabama Edition

2007 Record- 7-6 (4-4)
Returning Starters- 17 (9-Offense, 6-Defense, K, P)

Players To Watch Out For: JPW, Terry Grant, Andre Smith, Antoine Caldwell, Rashad Johnson, and Rolando McClain

Key Losses: DJ Hall, Keith Brown, Simeon Castille

2008 Strengths: The offensive line is a veteran unit and should open many lanes for Terry Grant and hold the protection for 3 year starter JPW.

2008 Weaknesses: The defense lost many of its play-makers and will take some lickings during the early part of the season, but should hold up nicely due to plenty of stars in the past few recruiting classes. WR is also a huge concern as no substantial experience returns, but this concern is quickly thrown out the window once Julio Jones steps on the field.

2008 Overview: Due to a hard SEC road schedule and neutral site game with Clemson, the tide might see a regular season at 6-6 again. But with the core of players Saban is going to be returning in 2009, the Tide will not see 6-6 after 2008 for a long time.

Posted in NCAA Football | Tagged: | 4 Comments »