Weekend Rundown – Week 13

Quick post today as I’ve had a very busy week in NY, and will be spending the weekend and Thanksgiving week in Kansas for Thanksgiving. If you haven’t already, read the new review I just wrote for Stadium Journey about Citadel Football. Tomorrow, I will be at the Kansas State-Oklahoma game in the Little Apple. As always, here’s my plug to follow me on Twitter and Instagram for pics from the game. I got hooked up with luxury seats and a press pass, so I’ll be posting pics from the new club level at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, as well as the press box.

Most of the SEC takes this weekend off, because of their smart scheduling strategy to play some big league games early, and save a cupcake weekend for later in the season. This not only ensures that the league is must-watch television each weekend of the season, but also gives the teams a virtual week off before major rivalry games the weekend of Thanksgiving.

The SEC’s week off means that all eyes will be on the Big 12. Most conference races have been decided, with the biggest games in the rearview mirror, but that is not true for the league on the plains. Saturday night, #4 Baylor will take its undefeated record to Stillwater to play one-loss #10 Oklahoma State. The Cowboys were the hot preseason pick to win this conference, but that talk ended quickly with a puzzling September loss at West Virginia (yes, the same Mountaineers team that my Jayhawks beat by two scores). Still, with only one loss, Oklahoma State has a chance to win the league if they beat Baylor at home, and then win the Bedlam game vs. Oklahoma next weekend. You may remember two seasons ago the Cowboys looked like a sure national title contender before losing a late November game to Kansas State. Baylor then did the same to KSU last year. Things will come full circle if the Pokes can do the same to undefeated Baylor tomorrow night in the not-so-friendly Boone Pickens Stadium. This writer hopes they do.

I mentioned before that I’ll be spending the next week and more back in my home state of Kansas. Growing up just down the road from Mount Oread, I was raised on Jayhawk basketball, then fell in love with college football when I started attending the Hawks’ home games in college. I’m feeling pretty good about being home for so long, and it’s been making me think back to growing up in the Heartland. So, for my song of the week I have to go with “Raised On It” by country newcomer Sam Hunt.

 

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Weekend Rundown – Week 12

I implied in last week’s Weekend Rundown that with the Ducks loss to Stanford, and the Jayhawks general suckiness, that I was done with college football, but I think you all new how toothless that threat was. As much as I enjoyed #kubball beating down Duke on Tuesday, Saturdays are still for pigskin. College football, even though you treat me bad, I just cant quit you, dammit! Tomorrow, all top five teams are in action, and four of them hope to remain undefeated. Somehow, lameass Stanford remains a spot ahead of undefeated #5 Baylor.

Finally, some of the TV executives wised up and decided to space out the top games across the whole day, instead of playing all the good games in primetime. At noon (ESPN), #3 Ohio State looks to continue it’s brutal destruction of the inferior B1G conference as they take on Illinois, who are 0-5 in conference play. The Illini’s three victories are against Southern  Illinois, Cincinnati and 0-10 Miami (OH). So, terrible Illinois has two wins against Ohio schools. Hmm, could they get a third this Saturday? The guys behind OhioStateSucks.org sure hope so.

That game will be a beatdown, so you’ll have no trouble flipping over to ABC at 3:30 to watch #2 Florida State destroy Syracuse. The Ducks loss not only legitimized the Seminoles spot at #2 in the BCS, but also moved Jameis Winston into the lead for the Heisman trophy. At this point, only a loss could keep him from being the second straight freshman to win the award. Coincidentally, the first freshman to do so, Johnny Manziel, is presumed to be the runner-up for the award, but two Texas A&M losses are too much to overcome when FSU is just mauling everyone. This was supposed to be the year a defensive player could finally break through and win the nation’s most important college football award, but Jadeveon Clowney (whose name I still have to google for spelling accuracy) removed himself from contention when he removed himself from a South Carolina game early in the season. No other defensive player, no matter his amazing accomplishment, has the fame to have a chance.

eat fist baylor
eat fist baylor

At 7:00 on Fox, #5 Baylor will host now unranked Texas Tech, presumably with the tarp reinstalled in the bowl seats. Stupid Baylor, which in the past couple years has had a Heisman trophy winner, multiple bowl wins, and is now undefeated through eight games, still can’t fill its 50,000 capacity stadium. Say what you want about Kansas fans, but in the wake of the Orange bowl win, we set an attendance record of more than 53,000 for a non-conference game against Northern Colorado. Yeah, those menacing bears from the Big Sky Conference. Baylor fans have certainly earned this awesome new stadium that opens next season. I’m so bitter. I hope Ryan Gosling’s team beats Baylor by 100.

Hey you know who needs another championship trophy? Alabama, which is  so good that it’s not even amusing anymore. Saturday (7:45 ESPN) they take on Mississippi State in Starkville, which is such a crappy town that I heard Nick Saban may spend the weekend house hunting in Austin as opposed to traveling with the team. Ok, not really, but I would certainly be entertained if he shot double freedom rockets at the Crimson Tide fans and took his “process” to Texas. Remember last season,when a weak early schedule allowed MSU to jump out to 7-0 before their game against Alabama, and it was all #HailState leading up to the game because the Bulldogs were going to pull the upset? Bama ran them over like a puppy in the street, winning 38-7. Expect nothing different this year. The’re just grease in the tracks of the Alabama machine.

I’m still singing along with Dallas Smith’s Tipping Point, but I have a new song of the week that’s been playing on repeat in my rented Chevy Cruze (ladies love a sensible sedan). Newcomer Thomas Rhett has put out another good single in “Get Me Some of That”, which is a song about the thoughts in guys’ heads when we’re at a bar, but it’s not creepy because it rhymes and he has a good voice

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Weekend Rundown – Week 11

Sad times in the College Visits HQ the last 12 hours. Significant flight troubles led to me missing the first half of last night’s Oregon-Stanford game, and all of the OU-Baylor game. That might have been for the better, as my adopted Ducks fell behind 17-0 in the first half, and later 26-0, before staging a furious comeback that was long on excitement, but short on time. As for my primary team, well, the Kansas Jayhawks are the worst team in the Big 12 (again), and at this point I have little faith that they’ll improve upon that prior to the future day when I move my kid into his fraternity house in Lawrence, 25-35 years from now. The only thing to get me out of bed, besides the promise of a delicious pumpkin cinnamon roll, is that fact that #KUbball begins tonight. With the Ducks shoved out of the BCS Championship picture by those nerds from Stanford for the second year in a row, I am all but done with college football for the 2013 season. Join me in counting down the games until March Swagness by bookmarking the college basketball schedule map I posted earlier this week. With a playoff bracket, our teams may actually have a shot at a hoops title.

Better than any football stadium. Not really, but great none the less
Better than any football stadium. Not really, but great none the less

As dismayed as I am, there’s still a few teams that remain in the championship hunt, and for one, the pursuit continues at high noon tomorrow in Winston-Salem, NC, where the Demon Deacons host the #2 Florida State Seminoles. Nole Nation watched last night’s game with sinister pleasure, pleading to the ancient Indian spirits to meddle with the Ducks coordinated rushing attack. It worked, and now the Seminole Wind sits in prime position to return to the title game for the first time since before I got my driver’s license. At 4-5, the Deacs are frisky, but not so much as to stop Jameis Winston, provided he brings his rec specs to North Carolina.

The #4 Buckeyes take the weekend off, and the following three weeks will play the piddling Illinois Illini (owners of the second longest active conference losing streak; you can guess number 1, although, really, they’re #2), the Indiana Hoosiers, and finally the rivalry game at Michigan. The only speed bump for this team will be a likely Big 10 Championship game against Michigan State, the undisputed best defense in the land.

As Baylor and Oregon played last night, the final possible title team remains the lumbering behemoth, the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide. With all the excitement leading up to last night’s games, #13 LSU’s trip to Bama has all but been ignored (8:00 PM, CBS). This rivalry has lost a little luster now that Nick Saban has got the better of The Hat in the last two meetings, but it was only two years ago that Les Miles’ Tigers toppled the Tide in Tuscaloosa. LSU has had a couple tough games, losing at Georgia, and then surprisingly a few weeks ago at Ole Miss. As a pessimist and a long-time Ohio State hater, I just know that either Florida State or Alabama will drop a game, opening the doors for tOSU to make the last ever BCS title game. Tomorrow’s Tide-Tigers battle has obvious potential for making my morbid fear a reality.

To be honest, the only motivation I had to even write today was the continuance of my song of the week streak. There are many exciting new country artists to have put out songs in 2013, but the debut single from Dallas Smith is likely my favorite. I’ll even forgive the fact that he’s Canadian, but only because that makes him countrymen with new Jayhawk stud Andrew Wiggins. Here’s Dallas Smith with “Tipping Point”.

 

 

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College Basketball Schedule Map

As a relatively passionate fan of Kansas Jayhawks’ football, it pains me to say this, but I am SO ready to move on to college basketball. It is highly annoying to hear Jayhawks people tell the Wildcats, Tigers, and Longhorns of the world “just wait til basketball season”, but I’m almost to that point. Why continue to suffer through a hopeless pigskin season, as the worst team in the conference, when there is so much to look forward to once basketball officially begins this Friday? So, as the leaves change colors outside my window, and the calendar flips to November, it’s time to forget about college football (at least in Lawrence) and take a look at a basketball schedule that has been named the toughest in the country. Oh, I guess other teams play college hoops as well, just not literally AS WELL as the Jayhawks do. You remember my college football schedule map? For basketball, every team from the big 5 conference (Big 12, Big 10, ACC, SEC, Pac 12) is represented, and any other team I deemed relevant at the time, so just click on a logo to see who they play in 2013-2014. I encourage any college basketball fan to bookmark this page for future reference. If I am missing your team, please let me know in the comments. Rock Chalk!

cincinnati bearcats uconn huskies louisville cardinals memphis tigers villanova wildcats boston college eagles clemson tigers duke blue devils florida state seminoles georgia tech yellow jackets maryland terrapins miami hurricanes unc tar heels nc state wolfpack notre dame fighting irish pitt panthers syracuse orange virginia cavaliers wake forest demon deacons slu billikens vcu rams virginia tech hokies baylor bears iowa state cyclones KANSAS JAYHAWKS!! kansas state wildcats oklahoma sooners oklahoma state cowboys tcu horned frogs texas longhorns texas tech red raiders west virginia mountaineers butler bulldogs creighton bluejays georgetown hoyas marquette golden eagles illinois illini indiana hoosiers iowa hawkeyes michigan wolverines michigan state spartans minnesota golden gophers nebraska cornhuskers northwestern wildcats ohio state buckeyes xavier musketeers penn state nittany lions purdue boilermakers wisconsin badgers wichita state shockers new mexico lobos san diego state aztecs unlv rebels arizona wildcats arizona state sun devils cal golden bears colorado bufaloes oregon ducks oregon state beavers stanford cardinal ucla bruins usc trojans utah utes washington huskies washington state cougars alabama crimson tide arkansas razorbacks auburn tigers florida gators georgia bulldogs kentucky wildcats lsu tigers mississippi state bulldogs missouri tigers ole miss rebels south carolina gamecocks tennessee volunteers texas a&m aggies vanderbilt commodores BYU Cougars Gonzaga Bulldogs Image Map

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Weekend Rundown – Quick Picks Edition (Week 9)

Heading to a wedding in Florida this weekend, and an 8.5 hour drive will keep me from doing my normal Weekend Rundown column. Instead, I’ll give my quick picks for this weekend’s top games, with a couple lines of sarcastic analysis.

No good noon games this Saturday, so let’s jump straight to the 3:30 games.

Bryant-denney stadium in Tuscaloosa
Bryant-denney stadium in Tuscaloosa

Tennessee @ #1 Alabama - People are high on the Vols after their last second victory at home at South Carolina, but this is a different team on the road (losing by 45 at Oregon, and 14 at Florida). I predict the big Crimson machine to keep rolling for at least two more weeks, until they host LSU on 11/9. Bama wins 31-14.

NC State @ #2 Florida State - Will there be a hangover following the Seminoles’ blowout win last Saturday at Clemson? Nah. Will I have a hangover tomorrow morning after tonight’s wedding? Jeah. Anyway, the Wolfpack are not very good, and Florida State might have the best player in the country in Freshman Jameis Winston. Seminoles 42-10.

#10 Texas Tech @ #15 Oklahoma - The first test for Kliff Kingsbury’s undefeated Red Raiders, and it’s a tough road trip to Norman. The Red Raiders have the number two passing offense in the country, and the Sooners just held Kansas’ starter to 16 passing yards in the first quart… no nevermind, the Jayhawks passed for 16 yards the WHOLE GAME. Kansas football is the reason I drink. Anyways, I like Kliff’s team and I’m picking them to win on the road, 30-27.

Now for the evening and night games.

Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR
Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR

#12 UCLA @ #3 Oregon -Oregon hasn’t won a game by less than three touchdowns, and UCLA just suffered their first loss last weekend at Stanford. For the first time this season, UCLA’s QB, Brett Hundley, played poorly, tossing two interceptions. He’ll need to lead the Bruins’ offense to at least 45 points to win (Ducks average 58 per game), and I just don’t believe he can get it done. Marcus Mariota continues his Heisman run as the Ducks win 49-20.

#21 South Carolina @ #5 Missouri - Am I bitter that Kansas hasn’t won a conference game in more than three seasons, and Mizzou debuts as the fifth best team in the initial BCS standings? Do I stay up late, furious that Miz has gone undefeated for seven weeks, including a back-up QB led win over a top-15 team? Does it make me sick that I picked Mizzou to finish LAST in the vaunted SEC, and instead they’ve knocked my SEC East pick UGA out of the championship race, and have are favored to remove my adopted Gamecocks out of conference title contention as well? If I keep picking against the Tigers, will the eventually lose? The answer to all of these questions is yes, which is why I am picking Carolina to win this battle of second string QBs, 28-17.

#6 Stanford @ #25 Oregon State (10:30) - If the previously mentioned Red Raiders are second in passing offense, who does that leave for first? Would you believe it’s the Beavers? You best, because after an inexcusable home loss to FCS Eastern Washington, the Beavs have found their groove, and QB Sean Mannion is a dark horse Heisman candidate. Anyone who’s read this site knows I have no respect for Stanford, and in particular its “fans”, so I gotta picks Oregon State in this contest between an unstoppable force (OSU averages 44 points a game) and an immovable object (Cardinal allow just 20). Upset pick, Beavers, 34-24.

I don’t know why this song is just now being released as a single in October, but I am up for a good country Summer song any month of the year. Here’s Jake Owen with my song of the week, “Days of Gold”.

 

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