Posts Tagged ‘College Football’

Are The Pittsburgh Steelers For Real?

With week 3 in the books, there are some movers and shakers in the collective power ranking pool. The Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers have soared to the top, while pre-season analysis said the Bears were laden with trouble, and the Steelers would be lucky to go 2-2 without Big Ben for the first four games.  The New York Jets had – hands down – the best defense in the NFL.

What we find most interesting, though, is the way the Pittsburgh Steelers have rallied around adversity, touted as a team that is too old, and riddled with problems.  Not even making the post-season last year, the Steelers were – and are – determined to prove everyone wrong.  So far undefeated without their two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, the Steelers defense has done an amazing job.  And the offense has allowed Charlie Batch to make plays. Entering week 4 of the 2010 NFL season, the Steelers have defeated the Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Not too long ago, Sports Illustrated columnist, Peter King, chose the Steelers to beat the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. People joked.  They laughed.  They wanted to know what King was smoking when he made that prediction…  But the actions on the field do speak for themselves, don’t they?

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Impacts On Week 2

So early in the season, but so much happening. When you have your studs — and duds — picked, the NFL throws you for a loop. Maybe that is why we love it so much. In week two, we saw…

The Super Bowl defending New Orleans Saints lose Reggie Bush to a broken leg. Ouch. Many forecast that one Bush does not make a team. Others say that his loss wll be the team’s detriment. In fantasy world, people are dropping Bush faster than you can say spit. The StubPass folks are divided on whether or not the Saints can pull off a playoff run, without Bush in the mix for the time being…

In a “Leggo my Eggo” moment, Philadelphia Eagles‘ Michael Vick is the starter. There are none more waffly than Andy Reid, who can’t decide from one week to the next , who the starting QB spot belongs to. Initially, he was steadfast that the start belonged to Kevin Kolb. But wait. No. Now it’s Michael Vick. Granted, Vick did quite well for the Eagles. But the team needs to know who the leader is, more than the media does. Lordy.

Charlie Batch, of the Pittsburgh Steelers, was all but released just a few short weeks ago. In the absence of the 102 million dollar QB Ben Roethlisberger, the decision was made. Byron Leftwich was the starter, with Dennis Dixon as 2 string.

And then, Boom Boom Pow. The Steelers’ Leftwich is out with a knee injury and Dixon is the #1 — yet struggling — starter. But no, there’s more. Dixon finds himself in a jam with a knee injury requiring surgery, and now a Steelers (essentially) 4th string veteran QB, Charlie Batch, is at the helm in week three. Backup? Antwan Randle El (who could, potentially, do quite well if need be). The Steelers defense needs to maintain…

You have got to love the NFL. Predictions mean nothing, when one has no idea what will happen from week to week.

So who is going to be in the “impact player”? What team will suffer more, because of those that cannot play? Will the Saints flounder — or be mediocre at best — without Reggie Bush? Will Michael Vick step up for the Eagles, and show he still has what it takes to be an elite NFL quarterback? Will the Steelers find success with Charlie Batch, and manage to squeak out one (or two) more wins, to take the Steelers to 4-0 upon Roethlisbergers return? Oh yeah — will Brett Favre retire, again, from the Minnesota Vikings? Talk to us.

Pre-Season Week One Round-Up

New York Giants | Eli Manning received 12 stitches in his head, after being lambasted by Jets’ linebacker Calvin Pace, losing his helmet, and having his head get a personal introduction to Jim Leonhard’s facemask.  A concussion was ruled out, but the Giants may be playing the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend without Manning.

Undrafted rookie free agent, Victor Cruz, made his Monday night football debut with significantly better results.  In addition the Giants’ unknown, undrafted wide receiver caught three touchdowns, with one of them being a literal one-handed grab resulting in a 64-yard run for the TD.

Pittsburgh Steelers | With Roethlisberger likely to start for the Steelers against the New York Giants at the New Meadowlands Stadium, there are still several questions regarding who the starting QB will be during Roethlisberger’s four to six game suspension.  It appeared as though Byron Leftwich had the job, but Dennis Dixon played well enough to keep the final decision under wraps.

Additionally, first-round draft pick, Maurkice Pouncey, was all but relegated to playing his first year as a guard now has Tomlin considering throwing him in the mix for the starting (if not rotating) position of center for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Having six seemingly good receivers has also put the future of Stefan Logan in jeopardy, and his performance against the Giants this weekend – or lack thereof – could be a determining factor in the Steelers’ decision.

San Francisco 49ers | Free agent running back, Brian Westbrook, signed a one-year contract with the  49ers.  Westbrook played with the Philadelphia Eagles for eight seasons.

Stay tuned for more information, and get your NFL tickets early!

Who Will Your Favorite College Team Be Watching Out For This Week?

The Big Ten are in for yet another enormously important November. As with each and every season that has come to pass, the games played during this month are pivotal, difficult, gut-wrenching, and they tend to determine who is destined for greatness. Division champions will be decided, with conference play turning things up to a whole other degree or fierce. By the time the Rose Bowl rolls around, anything and everything could change.

We’ve got a Penn State team this year who is currently at an 8-1 record, but there seems to be some questions as to whether they have even been challenged properly thus far. One loss after 9 games is usually considered a pretty great start, but critics and experts seem to be under the impression that Penn State may crumble under the pressure and weight of a real challenge. We shall see soon enough, as the Ohio State Buckeyes take them on for game ten next week.

Can anybody say Duke? Well, you might want to get used to that name, and seeing these guys for a while, because they have become the ACC Coastal team to beat this season thus far, showing complete control and an utter drive which guarantees them a running toward conference finals. Georgia Tech is also pretty pumped up and raring to go this year, with one more game standing between them and Duke. Funny world.

The Iowa Hawkeyes made a huge impression on everybody Halloween day, as they were pummeled up until the end of the third quarter and looked to be falling quickly from grace. Enter: Ricky Stanzi. Never during this generation has a fourth quarter been so exhilarating, so dynamic, so inspirational, and so victorious as the one that these guys rallied for. Here’s to hoping for a little bit more of that heart and determination in the coming month.

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The Thrill of Competition and Old Vendettas

College football, even more so than any of the other college sports, and probably any American sport played in the public eye, is famous for its rivalries. There are two things that make the ideal rivalry come to light, the first of which is the acknowledgement of both parties. One team can fear, respect, detest, or wish to gain revenge against another, but if the feeling is not mutual, there is no rivalry, merely a one sided battle to prove moxie. The true rivalry is born of a solid, mutual tradition of head-butting, tooth-grinding, sod-chewing, sweat-inducing, painstaking Competition. Yeah, that’s what we love.

The next determining factor in the true college football rivalry has to do with past situations, events, catastrophic miracles, and, of course, myths and superstitions. Any or all of these factors spark a certain long-lived and increasingly heated battle cry from one party to the next, only to be returned just as fiercely by the intended opponent. We really love this, too. One with something to prove, one with something to protect, no matter the current record, standings, stats, or odds. This is truly something to see.

In these ways, rivalry games tend to have little or nothing to do with how well a team is playing during that, or any season. An 0-6 team who never fills one side of their home stadium can easily pack the stands when game 7 is against the detested rival. Some of the famous rivalry games yet to play out this season in college football include:

Texas vs Oklahoma
Michigan vs Ohio State
Florida vs Georgia

Texas vs Texas A&M
USC vs Notre Dame
LSU vs Florida
Oklahoma vs OK State
Alabama vs Auburn
Oklahoma vs Nebraska is your ticket to seeing it all for yourself. Get your college football tickets today!

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