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Vol. 5, Issue 13 $2.00

Jan. 7, 2008

The Tri-State’s ONLY Weekly Football Preview OFFICIAL

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LSU vs OSU SEC vs Big Ten South vs North Les vs More

Time for Redemption


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This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3


Eye of the

r e g Ti

Bearcats & Buckeyes Bowl ‘Em over From the Lapham family, I’d like to wish you Happy Holidays. Here are my predictions for Cincinnati’s bowl game and the BCS bowls. Just be sure not to hold me accountable afterward!

CINCINNATI vS. SOUTHERN MISS Congrats to the Bearcats for posting their biggest win total in over 50 years. First-year Coach Brian Kelly has done a marvelous job, to say the least. However, the Bearcats better be careful against Southern Miss, which will be emotionally charged in wanting to send resigned/fired Coach Jeff Bower out on a winning note. The Bearcat defense is fast and pursues well, and that will be key in slowing down Golden Eagle running back Damion Fletcher. Stop Fletcher and the ‘Cats will be in great shape. Prediction: Cincinnati 31-21

OHIO STATE vS. LSU Rest assured, Ohio State won’t get blown out in this game again. Ohio State’s defense is as fast as any defense in the SEC, and that will likely surprise the Tigers who probably shouldn’t watch film of last year’s OSU loss to Florida. The Tigers always find a way to keep games close, even when they should be blowing out the opposition. For sure, you never know what Tiger Coach Les Miles will do, for better or worse. Look for Ohio State to have success running the ball, even if LSU tackle Glenn Dorsey is completely healthy. This one’s coming down to a field goal. Prediction: Ohio State 20-17

ILLINOIS vS. USC Illinois got a lot of mileage out of the win at Ohio State, but now

With Dave Lapham

they’re going to get spanked by a vastly superior USC team. The Trojans are playing their best ball of the season right now. Prediction: USC 31-14

Dave Lapham is in his 22nd season as color analyst on the Cincinnati Bengals Radio Network and co-hosts Bengals Breakdown on WLWT Channel 5 during the NFL season. The former Bengal standout guard (1974-83) also provides color commentary for the Big 12 National Game of the Week on Fox Sports Net.

WEST vIRGINIA vS. OKLAHOMA If WVU gets off to a slow start, it’s game over. I do think the ‘Eers will move the ball and score points. OU will counter with a balanced offense that will also score nearly at will. This will be a shootout. Prediction: Oklahoma 31-30

GEORGIA vS. HAWAII Georgia’s outstanding defense will struggle to slow down Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan and his run-

This Week in FooTball • Tri-sTaTe ediTion • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

and-shoot offense. The key for the Dawgs will be to keep Brennan off the field with their own ball-control offense. They’ll succeed. Prediction: Georgia 31-17

vIRGINIA TECH vS. KANSAS If you like defensedominated, low-scoring games, then tune into this one. The team that makes fewer turnovers and has better special teams play will pull this one out. Va. Tech’s Frank Beamer wrote the book on both. Prediction: Virginia Tech 17-14

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This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3


2007 BCS Rankings: Eighth Week

BCS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Championship Chase! DAVE LAPHAM’s

IS FREE! Pick up your FREE COPY weekly during football season at all area:

School ohio state lsu virginia tech oklahoma Georgia Missouri usC Kansas West virginia hawaii Arizona state Florida illinois Boston Coll. Clemson tennessee BYu Wisconsin texas virginia south Florida Cincinnati Auburn Boise state uConn

AP Top 25 Poll

# 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

Week 14 TEAM RECORD ohio state (50) 11-1 lsu (11) 11-2 oklahoma (1) 11-2 Georgia (1) 10-2 virginia tech (1) 11-2 usC 10-2 Missouri 11-2 Kansas 11-1 Florida 9-3 hawaii (1) 12-0 West virginia 10-2 Arizona state 10-2 illinois 9-3 Boston College 10-3 Clemson 9-3 tennessee 9-4 texas 9-3 Wisconsin 9-3 Brigham Young 10-2 Cincinnati 9-3 virginia 9-3 Auburn 8-4 south Florida 9-3 Boise state 10-2 Arkansas 8-4

PTS PVS 1578 3 1519 5 1423 9 1421 4 1380 6 1346 8 1195 1 1164 7 1071 10 1050 11 1040 2 939 13 797 15 668 12 614 16 554 14 517 17 447 19 439 21 394 20 344 22 264 23 246 25 221 24 173 nR

others Receiving votes texas tech 137, uCF 35, Connecticut 31, oregon 30, oregon state 30, Michigan 26, Air Force 17, Kentucky 13, Penn state 1, Wake Forest 1.

Harris Rnk Pts 1 2813 2 2630 6 2345 3 2520 4 2469 7 2117 5 2346 8 2092 9 1924 10 1903 12 1628 11 1786 13 1400 14 1124 16 1041 19 870 18 912 15 1079 17 983 21 551 24 362 20 580 23 448 22 541 29 52

USA Today Computer Pct. Rnk Pts Pct. A&H RB CM KM JS .9870 1 1469 .9793 25 25 21 23 22 .9228 2 1418 .9453 21 24 25 24 24 .8228 5 1242 .8280 22 22 24 25 25 .8842 3 1331 .8873 18 21 18 18 23 .8663 4 1277 .8513 20 17 23 22 19 .7428 7 1104 .7360 24 16 22 21 20 .8232 6 1227 .8180 17 23 14 14 17 .7340 8 1099 .7327 23 20 16 20 21 .6751 9 1010 .6733 16 15 20 13 15 .6677 10 994 .6627 14 18 12 16 18 .5712 11 900 .6000 19 19 17 17 13 .6267 12 890 .5933 15 14 19 19 14 .4912 13 747 .4980 13 13 7 9 8 .3944 14 617 .4113 12 12 15 15 16 .3653 16 567 .3780 7 3 11 12 12 .3053 18 480 .3200 11 6 9 11 9 .3200 19 462 .3080 8 7 10 2 3 .3786 15 594 .3960 3 11 0 5 0 .3449 17 498 .3320 5 0 4 0 0 .1933 20 332 .2213 6 2 8 7 10 .1270 25 115 .0767 10 0 13 10 11 .2035 23 215 .1433 1 5 6 4 4 .1572 21 289 .1927 2 0 2 8 7 .1898 22 246 .1640 0 10 0 0 0 .0182 t-28 23 .0153 0 8 3 3 6

# 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

PTS PVS 1469 3 1418 7 1331 8 1277 4 1242 5 1227 9 1104 2 1099 5 1010 1 994 10 900 13 890 11 747 14 617 12 594 16 567 17 498 18 480 15 462 19 332 21 289 21 246 23 215 24 137 25 115 nR

others Receiving votes texas tech 52, uCF 51, Connecticut 23, oregon state 23, Penn state 23, Michigan 22, Air Force 20, oregon 9, utah 6, Wake Forest 4, Michigan state 3, houston 3, tulsa 1.

Pct. .910 .950 .960 .800 .800 .850 .650 .810 .640 .610 .690 .620 .390 .570 .410 .350 .280 .100 .080 .290 .430 .190 .120 .000 .190

Rnk 3 2 1 t-6 t-6 4 9 5 10 12 8 11 16 13 15 17 19 24 25 18 14 t-20 23 nR t-20

Avg. Pvs .9588 3 .9394 7 .8703 6 .8572 9 .8392 4 .7763 1 .7637 8 .7589 5 .6628 2 .6468 12 .6204 13 .6133 10 .4597 15 .4586 11 .3844 16 .3251 14 .3027 19 .2915 18 .2523 20 .2349 22 .2112 21 .1789 23 .1566 24 .1179 25 .0745 nR

Harris Poll

USA Today Coaches Poll Week 14 TEAM RECORD ohio state (46) 11-1 lsu (11) 11-2 oklahoma (2) 11-2 Georgia 10-2 virginia tech 11-2 usC 10-2 Missouri 11-2 Kansas 11-1 West virginia 10-2 hawaii (1) 12-0 Arizona state 10-2 Florida 9-3 illinois 9-3 Boston College 10-3 Wisconsin 9-3 Clemson 9-3 texas 9-3 tennessee 9-4 Brigham Young 10-2 virginia 9-3 Auburn 8-4 Boise state 10-2 Cincinnati 9-3 Arkansas 8-4 south Florida 9-3

PW 21 23 25 24 19 22 17 20 18 13 16 14 9 15 11 5 10 2 4 8 12 6 1 0 7

# 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

Week 14 TEAM RECORD ohio state (98) 11-1 lsu (7) 11-2 oklahoma (6) 11-2 Georgia (1) 10-2 usC 10-2 virginia tech (1) 11-2 Missouri 11-2 Kansas 11-1 West virginia 10-2 hawaii (1) 12-0 Florida 9-3 Arizona state 10-2 illinois 9-3 Boston College 10-3 Wisconsin 9-3 Clemson 9-3 texas 9-3 Brigham Young 10-2 tennessee 9-4 Cincinnati 9-3 virginia 9-3 Boise state 10-2 Auburn 8-4 south Florida 9-3 Arkansas 8-4

PTS PVS 2813 3 2630 5 2520 8 2469 4 2346 9 2345 7 2117 1 2092 6 1924 2 1903 10 1786 11 1628 13 1400 14 1124 12 1079 16 1041 18 983 17 912 20 870 15 580 21 551 23 541 22 448 24 362 25 129 nR

others Receiving votes oregon 125, Air Force 75, texas tech 72, Connecticut 52, oregon state 39, uCF 38, Michigan 35, Penn state 11, Kentucky 3, navy 3, Wake Forest 2, Bowling Green 1, Pittsburgh 1.

this week in football TRI-STATE

Also available at other select establishments.

A publication of FSM Group, LTD., President John Fahlgren PO Box 83, Dublin, Ohio 43017 (614) 580-9690 This Week In Football, with Vice President/ editions in Central Ohio, Publisher Southwest Ohio/Northern Ken Halloy Kentucky, and Northeast Ohio (614) 394-2282 is published 13 times annually, primarily weekly from late August Editor Ed Mauler through early December. (614) 222-2642

Advertising Sales John Fahlgren Ken Halloy Associate Editors Danielle Presley Lindsey Wright

Contributors John Cooper Gregg Doyel Doug Dieken Mo Egger Bob Frantz Geoff Hobson Andre Knott Dave Lapham Graphic Designer Gary Hoffman

Photography Sonny Brockway Scott Terna Ohio State University Archives Ohio State Dept. of Athletics JJ Huddle Rivals.com

© Copyright, FSM, Ltd. 2007. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use in whole or in part, without permission, of editorial or graphical content in any manner is strictly prohibited.

This Week in FooTball • Tri-sTaTe ediTion • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

5


Introducing the...

Master Coaches Survey College Preview T

hey own among themselves nearly 3,000 career victories. They have coached in every major Division I-A conference. They’ve won dozens of bowl games and five national championships. They’ve coached with, and against, all the legends. And now they’re sharing the expertise with the readers of This Week In Football! Sixteen coaches with Hall of Fame resumes comprise the Master Coaches

John Cooper

Ohio State, Arizona State, Tulsa • 192-84-6 (24 seasons)

• With 111 victories in 13 seasons, Cooper ranks as the second-winningest coach in Ohio State history. • Has coached nine teams to conference championships (and another five to second-place finishes), including the 1998, 1996 and 1993 Ohio State teams that shared Big Ten titles. • Became the first head coach to lead teams from both the Big Ten and the Pac-10 to victories in the Rose Bowl (he coached ASU to a 22-15 win over Michigan at the end of the 1986 season).

Terry Donahue UCLA • 151-74-8 (20 seasons)

• Of his 151 victories (.665 winning percentage), 98 were in Pac-10 conference games. He was the all-time conference leader, topping Master Coach Don James of Washington (97) and John McKay of USC (70). • Won five Pac-10 Championships, his UCLA-coached teams were ranked in the top 10 nationally five times and he led the Bruins to four appearances in the Rose Bowl.

Vince Dooley

Georgia • 201-77-10 (25 seasons)

• Guided Georgia to an undefeated season and the national championship in 1980. • Led the Bulldogs to 20 bowl games, including a 17-10 victory over Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl that clinched Georgia’s first national title since 1942. • Won 201 games and six SEC championships during his 25-year tenure (1964-88) as head coach at UGA, suffering only one losing season during that time frame.

Pat Dye

Auburn, Wyoming, East Carolina • 153-62-5 (19 seasons)

• Led Auburn to four SEC titles, including three straight from 1987-89, during his 12-year tenure (1981-1992) with the Tigers. • Was a three-time SEC Coach of the Year honoree. • Was named National Coach of the Year in 1983 after leading Auburn to 6

Survey (MCS), a revolutionary approach to ranking the nation’s top teams. The group, which includes former Ohio State Coach and This Week In Football columnist John Cooper, was created during the 2005 college football season. Former Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler was also part of the MCS prior to his passing in November, 2006. “The Master Coaches Survey features the most experienced coaches who not only watch all the games, but they also

discuss and deliberate before they cast their weekly votes,” says Andy Curtin, executive director of MCS. “No other system has these components.” Each week during the season, the MCS staff tapes games and gathers vital statistics for the coaches to review. The coaches evaluate the information and then have a group teleconference before casting their ballots. In that conference call, they give their reports, and discuss, argue, laugh and enjoy the fellowship they were too busy and too competitive

to enjoy when they coached. As the BCS continues to struggle with its credibility, it may be only a matter of time before the MCS Poll becomes a part of the BCS formula for determining which two teams should play for the national championship. The MCS Web site (www.mcspoll. com) includes ample information and commentary from the coaches as well. The MCS also provides a subscription service for those who seek direct access to the coaches.

Meet The Masters an 11-1 record, including a victory over Michigan in the Sugar Bowl.

LaVell Edwards

Brigham Young • 257-101-3 (29 seasons)

• Led BYU to a national championship in 1984. • His 257 overall wins ranks sixth in Division I-A history, and he has more victories than all other coaches in BYU history combined. • Won the Western Athletic Conference title in 20 of his 29 seasons as head coach.

Hayden Fry

iowa, north texas state, southern Methodist 232-178-10 (37 seasons)

• Transformed Iowa from a perennial doormat into a three-time Big Ten champion and 14-time bowl participant (including three Rose Bowls). • Compiled a 143-89-6 record in 20 years (1978-98) at Iowa. • Won 232 career games as a Division I head coach, including 11 years with SMU and six years at North Texas State.

Don James

Washington, Kent State • 178-76-3 (22 seasons)

• Led Washington to a Rose Bowl victory and the national championship in 1991. • Posted a 153-57-2 record in 18 seasons (1974-92) with the Huskies. • Career record is 178-76-3 (.698). • Led Kent State to the Mid-American Conference championship in 1972.

Frank Kush

Arizona State • 176-54-1 (22 seasons)

• Credited with building Arizona State’s reputation as a major contender in collegiate football. • Guided ASU to 20 winning seasons in his 22-year tenure (1958-79). • Had a 6-1 record in bowl games.

Dick MacPherson Syracuse, Massachusetts • 111-73-5 (17 seasons)

• Compiled a 66-46-4 record during his 10 years at Syracuse. • Won National Coach

of the Year honors in 1987 after leading the Orangemen to an 11-0-1 record, tying Auburn in the 1988 Sugar Bowl. •Led the Orange to a 3-1-1 record in bowl games.

Bill Mallory

indiana, northern illinois, Colorado, Miami (ohio) 165-121-4 (27 seasons)

• One of only seven coaches ever to guide three different programs to top 20 finishes in the national polls. • Compiled a 165-121-4 career record at Miami (Ohio), Colorado, Northern Illinois and Indiana. • Finished his career as Indiana’s alltime winningest coach with 69 victories.

Don Nehlen

West Virginia • 202-128-8 (30 seasons)

• Became the 17th coach in NCAA Division I-A history to record 200 career victories. • Coached more seasons (21) and won more games (149) than any other coach in West Virginia University history. • Guided his program to 13 bowls, 17 winning seasons and the 1993 Big East Conference title.

Tom Osborne

Nebraska • 255-49-3 (25 seasons)

• Led the Cornhuskers to 13 conference championships and three national championships (1994, 1995 & 1997). • Best winning percentage (83.6%) among active NCAA Division I-A coaches at time of retirement and fifth best of all time. • Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

John Ralston

Stanford, Utah St., San Jose State • 97-81-4 (17 seasons)

• Compiled a record of 55-36-3 at Stanford (1963-71) while reviving a sagging program. • Last two Stanford teams won Pacific 8 titles and Rose Bowl victories. • Posted a 31-11-1 record at Utah State (1959-62) and led the team to two conference championships and two bowls.

This Week in FooTball • Tri-sTaTe ediTion • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

John Robinson

Southern California, UNLV • 132-77-4 (18 seasons)

• Led USC to a national championship (1978), two No. 2 finishes, three Pac-10 titles and five bowls in his original run (1976-82) with the program, including three Rose Bowl victories. • His second term (1993-97) at USC featured three more bowl victories, including the Rose Bowl in 1995 that improved his career record in the bowl to 4-0.

R.C. Slocum

Texas A&M • 123-47-2 (14 seasons)

• Ranks as the winningest coach in Texas A&M history with 123 career wins. • Never had a losing season in his 14-year tenure with the Aggies. • Won four conference championships, including the Big 12 title in 1998.

Gene Stallings

Alabama, Texas A&M • 89-70-1 (14 seasons)

• In seven years as head coach at Alabama, directed the Crimson Tide to one national championship (1992), an SEC championship (1996), three straight SEC Western Division titles (1992, 1993, 1994) and six post-season bowl appearances. • Guided Alabama to an undefeated season and the school’s only 13-0 record en route to the national title in 1992. • Won two SEC Coach of the Year Awards (1992, 1994), while also named the Paul Bryant/FWAA Coach of the Year in 1992.

George Welsh

Virginia, Navy • 189-132-4 (28 seasons)

• Became the alltime winningest coach in University of Virginia and Atlantic Coast Conference history. • Is the all-time winningest coach at Navy, his alma mater. • Guided Virginia to 15 winning seasons in 19 years.


Now Listen Up! Another split Championship Confirms BCs is A failure The craziest season in college football history is rambling toward a bizarre ending that could provide the push the sport needs to initiate serious playoff discussions. Ohio State plays LSU in the BCS National Championship, but it’s possible the polls will produce co-national champions. The coaches poll is forced to accept the BCS champion as its No. 1 team, but the Associated Press is not. The BCS arrangement already has produced one split championship, between USC and LSU after the 2003 season, and if it produces another next month the NCAA will have to consider the system a failure. Whether college presidents are willing to buck the TV-run $y$tem and demand a playoff is to be determined, but a second shared championship in five years could generate enough buzz to roust them from their elitist academic slumber.

Frankly, whether it leads to a playoff or not, this wild season deserves nothing less than a split champion. Best of all, until the bowl games are played, there’s no telling which teams are the most likely to split the title. First, you’ve got LSU and Ohio State. Both have been impressive

...if the BCS produces another split championship next month the NCAA will have to consider the system a failure. enough to get into the title game— LSU by winning the gnarly SEC, Ohio State by beating the crap out of most teams on its schedule—yet both have been unimpressive enough to generate widespread doubts. LSU has lost twice, to teams that combined for nine losses (Arkansas and Kentucky), and no two-loss team has ever won the national title. Ohio State, meanwhile, played

With Gregg Doyel Gregg Doyel talks sports six days

a weak non-conference a week on 1530 HOMER and 700 schedule and won a Big WLW in Cincinnati, and writes about Ten schedule loaded with sports daily for CBS Sports.com. He quality teams but no one has written two books on topics that are immaterial to the focus of this resembling greatness. If the BCS title game is fine magazine. close or uninspiring, that the season were the front-runners would open the door for AP voters to play for the national title. That to pick another bowl winner as their would be impressive. champion. But which other bowl And then there’s Hawaii, which winner? has played a weak schedule and There are at least two choices, hasn’t merited serious No. 1 considand possibly four. Georgia has been eration. But what if Hawaii throttles the country’s hottest team of late, Georgia in the Allstate Sugar Bowl? and if the Bulldogs annihilate unde- Hawaii would deserve at least a feated Hawaii in the Allstate Sugar look. Bowl, they would receive No. 1 conAnd don’t forget about USC, sideration. considered for much of the season The same goes for Oklahoma if to be the best team in the country. the Sooners, who dismantled No. The Trojans struggled when quarter1 Missouri in the Big 12 title game, back John David Booty was injured, destroy former No. 2 West Virginia but they’re rolling again with him in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Think back. What if the Trojans destroy about that: The Sooners have the Illinois—which beat Ohio State—in chance to beat both teams which the Rose Bowl? heading into the last weekend of The possibilities are fascinating.

This Week in FooTball • Tri-sTaTe ediTion • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

7


B E A R CAT G A M E DAY

southern mississippi VS

With Mo Egger Mo Egger is heard weekdays, 9 a.m.-Noon on AM 1530Homer, The Sports Animal. He’s worked on UC football and basketball broadcasts on AM 700WLW since 2001.

CINCINNATI OFFENSE vS. SOUTHERN MISS DEFENSE

slow down UC wideouts Since the UC Bearcats Dominick Goodman and closed out the regular seaMarcus Barnett, both of whom were huge for the When: December 22, 2007 son with a win at Syracuse, The Bearcats face a stiff Bearcats late in the season. Where: legion Field, Birmingham, Ala. the talk among fans has been challenge, Southern Miss, while Kickoff: 1:00pm EDt about the future of Coach as Southern stout defensively for Series: tied 7-7 Brian Kelly and the fact the Miss takes Conference USA standards, Last meeting: Cincinnati won 52-24 in team was passed over by the Conference just doesn’t have the ability 2004 Sun and Meineke Car Care USA’s top to slow down the Bearcats bowls. defense to for an entire game. But conFew have concentrated on Birmingham. taining Goodman the match-up facing Cincinnati in the game they This unit is led by the and Barnett will are actually appearing in, the Papajohns.com league’s defensive player of the force UC quarterBowl. However, to emphasize their argument year, junior linebacker Gerald back Ben Mauk that their team was slighted by the other bowls, McGrath, who excels against to use more of UC fans must hope for a convincing win against the run and pass. Cincinnati the playbook. Southern Mississippi, which would also keep the will also have to contend with A major program’s momentum going into the offseason. senior cornerback Brandon advantage for Cincinnati is UC is going after a school-record 10th win, Sumrall, an NFL prospect who Mauk’s ability to improvise, while Southern Miss looks to send Coach Jeff has five interceptions this seaespecially when in trouble. Bower out a winner. Bower resigned at the end son. The Golden Eagles don’t of the regular season, having just completed his For the Golden Eagles bring heat very often, but 17th year in charge of the Golden Eagles. to pull off the upset, they’re when they do Mauk should going to have to Bearcat quarterback Ben Mauk Photos courtesy of University of Cincinnati Sports Communications be able to do enough to find

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This Week in FooTball • Tri-sTaTe ediTion • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3


THE WAY I SEE IT

Moore and Butler Benton. Advantage: Cincinnati

Cincinnati is a double-digit favorite, and rightfully so. Southern Miss is good defensively, but Cincinnati has too diverse an offense to be slowed down by the Golden Eagles.

SOUTHERN MISS OFFENSE vs. CINCINNATI DEFENSE

If Cincinnati can get the lead early, it should be able to take advantage of a very one-dimensional Golden Eagles offense. Quarterback Jeremy Young is average, at best. Bower doesn’t ask him to throw often, as evidenced by his paltry 149 yards per game passing average. Bearcat defensive backs should add to their 23 interceptions. Southern Miss relies on the running game. Sophomore Damion Fletcher is the real deal. He has rushed for 15 touchdowns and has gone over 100 yards eight times, including 211 against UTEP. The Golden Eagles also like to throw to him out of the backfield. He’s a weapon, but the ineffectiveness of the passing game coupled with the inevitability of UC scoring on offense will limit Fletcher’s effectiveness. Advantage: Cincinnati

SPECIAL TEAMS

Two of the nation’s best punters are featured. UC’s Kevin Huber was receivers and get yardage with his legs. named the Big East Special Teams If UC’s line can avoid penalties, the Cats Player of the Year and is a true gameshould be able to run effectively with Greg

Bearcat coach Brian Kelly

Cincinnati 28, Southern Miss 17

changer. Southern Miss’ Britt Barefoot is also very good, ranking second in his conference. Both teams have shaky place-kickers. Brandon Yingling has replaced Jake Rogers for Cincinnati, but he still has not attempted a field goal. Southern Miss freshman Justin Estes has missed seven field goals in 22 attempts. Advantage: Cincinnati

INTANGIBLES

Both teams should be motivated. Despite not publicly saying much about it, Kelly feels his team was snubbed in the bowl selection process, and he wants a big performance from his team to prove as much. Southern Miss players certainly want to send their coach out with a victory. Advantage: Cincinnati

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

9


LOOK WHAT’S

ON TAP THIS WEEK!

UPCOMING TELEVISED GAMES

Saturday December 29 Meineke Car Care Bowl UConn vs. Wake Forest

1:00pm

ESPN

4:30pm

ESPN

8:00pm

ESPN

8:00pm

ESPN

12:30pm

ESPN

2:00pm

CBS

2:00pm

ESPN2

4:00pm

ESPN

6:00pm

NFL Net.

7:30pm

ESPN

11:00am

ESPN

11:30am

FOX

1:00pm

CBS

1:00pm

ABC

4:30pm

ABC

8:30pm

FOX

8:00pm

FOX

8:00pm

FOX

12:00pm

ESPN2

8:00pm

ESPN

8:00pm

FOX

AutoZone Liberty Bowl Central Florida vs. Mississippi St. Valero Alamo Bowl Penn State vs. Texas A&M Sunday December 30 PetroSun Independence Bowl Alabama vs. Colorado Monday December 31 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl California vs. Air Force Brut Sun Bowl South Florida vs. Oregon Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl Georgia Tech vs. Fresno State Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl Kentucky vs. Florida State Insight Bowl Indiana vs. Oklahoma State Chick-fil-A Bowl

Thursday December 20

Clemson vs. Auburn

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Utah vs. Navy

9:00pm

Tuesday January 1

ESPN

Outback Bowl

Friday December 21

Wisconsin vs. Tennessee

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic

8:00pm

AT&T Cotton Bowl

ESPN2

Missouri vs. Arkansas

Saturday December 22

Gator Bowl

Papajohns.com Bowl Southern Miss vs. Cincinnati

1:00pm

ESPN2

Texas Tech vs. Virginia

4:30pm

ESPN

Michigan vs. Florida

8:00pm

ESPN

Illinois vs. USC

Capital One Bowl

New Mexico Bowl Nevada vs. New Mexico

Rose Bowl presented by Citi

Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl UCLA vs. BYU

Allstate Sugar Bowl

Sunday December 23

Hawaii vs. Georgia

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Boise State vs. East Carolina

8:00pm

Wednesday January 2

ESPN

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

Wednesday December 26

Oklahoma vs. West Virginia

Motor City Bowl Purdue vs. Central Michigan

7:30pm

Thursday January 3

ESPN

FedEx Orange Bowl

Thursday December 27

Virginia Tech vs. Kansas

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl Arizona State vs. Texas

8:00pm

Saturday January 5

ESPN

International Bowl

Friday December 28

Rutgers vs. Ball State

Champs Sports Bowl Boston College vs. Michigan State

5:00pm

ESPN

8:00pm

NFL Net.

8:30pm

ESPN

Sunday January 6 GMAC Bowl

Texas Bowl TCU vs. Houston Emerald Bowl Maryland vs. Oregon State 10

Linebacker James Laurinaitis leads No. 1 Ohio State against No. 2 LSU in the Allstate BCS National Championship. (Scott Terna/TWIF)

Bowling Green vs. Tulsa Monday January 7 Allstate BCS National Championship LSU vs. Ohio State

This Week in FooTball • Tri-sTaTe ediTion • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3


Presents

The Good Stuff

With Ken Halloy Ken Halloy is the publisher of This Week In Football, with editions in the Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati markets. He is also co-host of This Week in Football radio show, which airs every Sunday during football season from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. on 610 WTVN in Columbus.

it’s time for Redemption. . . Game on! It’s time. Rouge, but he’s still a wacko. Indeed, the best It’s Ohio State vs. LSU. thing Ohio State has going for it in this game is It’s Ohio State vs. SEC. that Miles is patrolling the other sideline. Hell, it’s even Ohio State vs. Michigan. The worst thing Ohio State has going for it It’s Big Ten vs. SEC. is that Miles won’t be on Michigan’s sideline for It’s North vs. South. years to come. It’s Good vs. Evil. It’s a shame, really, because It’s More vs. Les. Miles would be the ideal Ohio State had this More than anything, though, year’s title game won five Wolverine coach to despise. it’s time for REDEMPTION. Shame on you Kirk Herbstreit. minutes after losing last Because of your carelessness, Make no mistake: Ohio State will beat LSU in the Allstate BCS year’s. The only question you cost Buckeye Nation guarNational Championship. To be was whether the Bucks anteed years of domination in determined is whether it will be Game. would get back to the big The But a close to the Tressel-vest outI digress. Back to Miles. game for this chance at He’s smug, arrogant, mouthy come or a smack-down similar to the one we witnessed the last and vastly overrated. He’s the redemption. time these two coaches went antithesis of Tressel. head-to-head. Mark my word; in five years Miles will be fired. You remember the 2004 MasterCard Alamo Fact is, the Tigers are in the national title game in Bowl when Jim Tressel’s Buckeyes throttled Les spite of their coach. For all the talent they have, Miles’ Oklahoma State Cowboys 33-7. The Pokes the Tigers had too many close calls. You know it’s weren’t even remotely competitive. true, and his ‘ready, fire, aim’ approach is about to Shortly after, Miles took off for LSU, and here catch up with him. we are again. If Miles calls for a fake field goal or goes for it Sure, Miles has a lot more talent in Baton on fourth down multiple times against Ohio State,

he’ll pay dearly. Ohio State had this year’s title game won five minutes after losing last year’s. The only question was whether the Bucks would get back to the big game for this chance at redemption. Well they have, and if quarterback Todd Boeckman comes out of his funk, the Buckeyes will win handily. If he struggles, they’ll escape by a field goal. Either way, it’s all good. But wouldn’t it be great to apply an a—kickin’ to the almighty kings of the SEC? Think about it. This is both the game we’ve dreamed of and dreaded at the same time. And now it’s almost here. Are you ready? Excited? Nauseous? All the above? Good. You should be. But relax and know this: Ohio State is a fivepoint underdog. Of the past nine BCS national title games, six underdogs have won outright facing larger point spreads. What’s it mean? Perhaps nothing. Or everything. Go Bucks!

This Week in FooTball • Tri-sTaTe ediTion • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

11


Diamond Cuts With Coach John Cooper

The Year’s Bests, Worsts & Other Stuff! It’s been another great season of college footDisappointing Team of The Year II: ball, especially if you’re an Ohio State fan. As we Louisville head into the bowl season, this is a good time to Comeback Team Of The Year: Georgia offer the bests, worsts, surprises and such of the Upset of the Year: Appalachian State over year. Michigan And on behalf of the John Cooper family, I Upset of the Year II: Stanford over USC hope you have a wonderful Upset of the Year III: holiday season. Pitt over West Virginia And Go Bucks! Best Non-BCS Bowl Coop’s Top Five Match-Up: Texas vs. Arizona Current Initial Ranking How Ohio State Wins State, Pacific Life Holiday 1. Ohio State 1. USC The National Title: Bowl 2. LSU 2. LSU 3. Oklahoma 3. Florida Ohio State must get the Team Not In BCS 4. Georgia 4. Oklahoma lead early to take the crowd Bowl That Should Be: 5. USC 5. Michigan out of the game because it’s a Missouri home game for LSU. If OSU Team In BCS Bowl stops LSU’s running game, That Should Not Be: the Bucks win. Kansas How LSU Wins The National Title: Did the BCS Work: Yes (but I still don’t like LSU must avoid turnovers and taking big the BCS) risks, especially on fourth down, like it has much More/Fewer Bowls: Fewer (6-6 records of the season. The Tiger defense must shut down should not earn bowl bids) Buckeye running back Beanie Wells. Big Ten Program On Rise: Illinois Coach of The Year: Gary Pinkel, Missouri Big Ten Program On Decline: Minnesota Coach of The Year Runner-Up: Best Conference: SEC Ron Zook, Illinois Worst Conference: Big East Surprise Team Of The Year: Missouri Overrated Conference: Pac-10 Disappointing Team Of The Year: Underrated Conference: Big Ten California Overrated Team: Kansas

John Cooper is a member of the Master Coaches Survey and a consultant to the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. The former Ohio State head football coach (1988-2000) led the Buckeyes to three Big Ten titles and a 1997 Rose Bowl victory over Arizona State.

Underrated Team: Georgia Overall Best Coach: Jim Tressel, Ohio State Overall Runner-Up Best Coach: Urban Meyer, Florida Best Big Ten Coach: Jim Tressel, Ohio State Best Big East Coach: Rich Rodriguez, West Virginia Best ACC Coach: Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech Best SEC Coach: Urban Meyer, Florida Best Big 12 Coach: Bob Stoops, Oklahoma Best Pac-10 Coach: Dennis Erickson, Arizona State Best Big Game Coach: Urban Meyer, Florida Assistant Coach Who Should Get Head Coach Job: Jon Tenuta, Georgia Tech 2008 National Title Favorite: Oklahoma 2008 Ohio State Preseason Ranking: Third (Oklahoma, USC) 2008 Surprise Team: Florida 2008 “Under The Radar” Team To Watch: Penn State (21 returning starters)

Drive To The Title 2007 conference standings

ACC Atlantic Division

Boston College Clemson Wake Forest Florida State Maryland North Carolina State

Conference W L 6 2 5 3 5 3 4 4 3 5 3 5

Overall W L 10 3 9 3 8 4 7 5 6 6 5 7

ACC Coastal Division

Virginia Tech Virginia Georgia Tech North Carolina Miami (FL) Duke West Virginia Connecticut Cincinnati South Florida Rutgers Louisville Pittsburgh Syracuse

Ohio State Illinois Michigan Wisconsin Penn State Iowa Indiana Michigan State Purdue Northwestern Minnesota

12

W 7 6 4 3 2 0

L 1 2 4 5 6 8

BIG EAST W L 5 2 5 2 4 3 4 3 3 4 3 4 3 4 1 6

BIG TEN W 7 6 6 5 4 4 3 3 3 3 0

L 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 8

W 11 9 7 4 5 1

L 2 3 5 8 7 11

W L 10 2 9 3 9 3 9 3 7 4 6 6 5 7 2 10 W 11 9 8 9 8 6 7 7 7 6 1

L 1 3 4 3 4 6 5 5 5 6 11

BIG 12 North Division

Missouri Kansas Colorado Kansas State Nebraska Iowa State

W 7 7 4 3 2 2

L 1 1 4 5 6 6

W 11 11 6 5 5 3

BIG 12 South Division

Oklahoma Texas Texas Tech Texas A&M Oklahoma State Baylor

W 6 5 4 4 4 0

L 2 3 4 4 4 8

W 11 9 8 7 6 3

CONF USA East Division

Central Florida East Carolina Memphis Southern Miss Marshall UAB

W 7 6 6 5 3 1

L 1 2 2 3 5 7

W 10 7 7 7 3 2

CONF USA West Division

Tulsa Houston Tulane Rice UTEP Southern Methodist

W 6 6 3 3 2 0

L 2 2 5 5 6 8

INDEPENDENTS

Navy Western Kentucky Army Notre Dame

W - - - -

L - - - -

L 2 1 6 7 7 9 L 2 3 4 5 6 9 L 3 5 5 5 9 10

W 9 8 4 3 4 1

L 4 4 8 9 8 11

W 8 7 3 3

L 4 5 9 9

MAC East Division

Bowling Green Miami (OH) Buffalo Ohio Temple Akron Kent State

Conference W L 6 2 5 2 5 3 4 4 4 4 3 5 1 7

MAC West Division

Central Michigan Ball State Western Michigan Eastern Michigan Toledo Northern Illinois

USC Arizona State Oregon State Oregon UCLA Arizona California Washington State Stanford Washington

W 6 5 3 3 3 1

L 1 2 4 4 5 6

PAC 10 W 7 7 6 5 5 4 3 3 3 2

L 2 2 3 4 4 5 6 6 6 7

SEC East Division

Tennessee Georgia Florida Kentucky South Carolina Vanderbilt

W 6 6 5 3 3 2

L 2 2 3 5 5 6

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

Overall W L 8 4 6 7 5 7 6 6 4 8 4 8 3 9 W 8 7 5 4 5 2

L 5 5 7 8 7 10

W 10 10 8 8 6 5 6 5 4 4

L 2 2 4 4 6 7 6 7 8 9

W 9 10 9 7 6 5

L 4 2 3 5 6 7

SEC West Division

LSU Auburn Arkansas Mississippi State Alabama Mississippi

W 6 5 4 4 4 0

Hawaii Boise State Fresno State Nevada Louisiana Tech San Jose State Utah State New Mexico State Idaho

W 8 7 6 4 4 4 2 1 0

WAC

L 2 3 4 4 4 8

W 11 8 8 7 6 3

L 2 4 4 5 6 9

L 0 1 2 4 4 4 6 7 8

W 12 10 8 6 5 5 2 4 1

L 0 2 4 6 7 7 10 9 11

W 10 9 8 8 7 4 5 3 2

L 2 3 4 4 5 8 7 9 10

W 8 7 6 5 5 3 2 1

L 4 5 6 7 7 9 10 11

MOUNTAIN WEST

BYU Air Force New Mexico Utah TCU San Diego State Wyoming Colorado State UNLV

W 8 6 5 5 4 3 2 2 1

L 0 2 3 3 4 5 6 6 7

SUN BELT

W Troy 6 Florida Atlantic 6 Louisiana-Monroe 4 Middle Tennessee State 4 Arkansas State 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 3 North Texas 1 Florida International 1

L 1 1 3 3 4 4 6 6


The Legends Agree:

Tigers Are National Champions!

The Master Consensus: LSU

The Master Consensus: Oklahoma

JOHN COOPER

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: virginia Tech BCS National Championship: Ohio State LSU has the edge in talent but Ohio State has the upper hand in coaching. The Buckeyes will be motivated to make up for last year’s national championship loss. The Buckeyes will win in a close, low-scoring game.

TERRY DONAHUE

The Master Consensus: USC

LAVELL EDWARDS

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: West virginia Orange: virginia Tech BCS National Championship: LSU LSU will win because Ohio State has problems with the kind of spread offense LSU runs. It helps the Tigers to play so close to home, but it should be a very good and tightlycontested ballgame.

DON JAMES

The Master Consensus: virginia Tech

BILL MALLORY

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: virginia Tech BCS National Championship: LSU Ohio State will be more mentally prepared this year and LSU will finally be healthy. Both teams are wellcoached, play great defense and are balanced on offense, but LSU has a bit more overall speed and talent.

The Master Consensus: Georgia

JOHN ROBINSON

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: virginia Tech BCS National Championship: Ohio State Ohio State sure laid an egg and played poorly in every way possible last year. Because of that, the Big Ten’s reputation has come under fire. OSU will be out to atone and I feel that will give them the edge.

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: virginia Tech BCS National Championship: LSU LSU has had time to heal from some major injuries, such as defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey’s knee troubles, and the Tigers are now really focused, knowing that their coach, Les Miles, is staying in Baton Rouge.

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: virginia Tech BCS National Championship: LSU It’s not a coincidence that the nation’s top two defensive teams are playing for the national championship. Ohio State looked very good against Michigan, but OSU’s sevenweek layoff is an advantage for LSU in what’ll be a very close game.

DON NEHLEN

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: West virginia Orange: virginia Tech BCS National Championship: Ohio State This year the roles are reversed. Everyone’s telling Ohio State they can’t win a year after telling them they can’t lose. LSU rolls the dice too much, and testing their luck against Ohio State will cost them.

R.C. SLOCUM

VINCE DOOLEY

FRANK KUSH

TOM OSBORNE

GENE STALLINGS

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: virginia Tech BCS National Championship: LSU LSU is due to play a complete game given that its last was a win over Virginia Tech in September. This should be a good, hard-knocking defensive game that LSU will win because they’re better overall. It will be a classic.

PAT DYE

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: virginia Tech BCS National Championship: LSU Ohio State has the pyschological edge in wanting to atone for last year. LSU is a very undisciplined team, but has enough talent to overcome most mistakes.

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: Kansas BCS National Championship: LSU LSU has more talent but both defenses are great. I see a lowscoring, defensive masterpiece in the works, with LSU winning 20-14.

DICK MACPHERSON

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: virginia Tech BCS National Championship: Ohio State I’m from the old school of thought which tells me defense wins championships and special teams wins the close ones. Ohio State is very wellcoached in both areas and the Buckeyes will beat a powerful LSU team.

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: virginia Tech BCS National Championship: LSU This will be a great game; a classic defensive struggle. It can really go either way, but I’ll give the edge to LSU simply because it’s essentially a home game for them.

JOHN RALSTON

Rose: USC Sugar: Hawaii Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: Kansas BCS National Championship: LSU It’s really tough to pick a winner because both teams are so similar. Both play great defense and are balanced offensively. I give LSU a slight edge in overall talent, though, and I see the Tigers winning a close one.

This Week in FooTball • Tri-sTaTe ediTion • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

Rose: USC Sugar: Hawaii Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: virginia Tech BCS National Championship: LSU Ohio State is a very sound and well-coached football team while LSU is a juggernaut of talent. LSU is also battle-tested as the champions of the rough and tumble SEC, so I see the Tigers winning. Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: virginia Tech BCS National Championship: LSU LSU has more team speed and I feel they’re also a tougher group than the Buckeyes. We all witnessed what Florida did to Ohio State last year, so that’s reason enough for me to pick the Tigers.

GEORGE WELSH

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: virginia Tech BCS National Championship: LSU You have to admire what Ohio State has done this year, regardless of what some people think of their schedule. They’ll certainly play their best against an incredibly talented LSU team. However, talent will win out over determination.

13


PRESENTS BUCKEYE GAME DAY O-8. Championship there in 2003. You know what it means. You’ve heard and read about It’s especially noteworthy that LSU’s campus in Baton it ad nauseam. Rouge is a mere hour drive away. That would be like Ohio Over the past three decades, Ohio State has taken a beatState getting a chance to win the national title in Zanesville. ing from the Southeastern Conference in bowl games. Could you imagine the craziness in the Buckeye state? It all began when two coaching legends, Bear and Well, that’s what New Orleans is gonna be like. Though Woody, met in the 1978 Sugar Bowl. Alabama 35, Ohio State Buckeye fans are known to travel en masse to big games, 6. Ouch. word is that the Tiger faithful are hoarding the scalpers’ Allstate BCS An unlucky seven more defeats followed, culminated by ticket supply. Expect three-fourths of the dome’s crowd of National Championship last year’s 41-14 nightmare against Florida in the national 70,000-plus to be clad in purple and gold. When: January 7, 2008 title game. That’s actually not a bad thing for Ohio State, considTime: 8:00 p.m. EDt And now, here we are again. The Buckeyes return to the ering the Buckeyes faced ravenous crowds at Washington, Where: new orleans scene of that Bear mauling, the Louisiana Superdome, to Purdue, Penn State and Michigan this season. Fact is, OSU TV: Fox face who many have was a more focused team on the road, perhaps realizing their Series: ohio state leads 1-0-1 believed all season to margin for error was slim in the pursuit of victory. Last Meeting: ohio state won, be the nation’s best Most believe OSU’s margin for error against the Tigers is 36-33, in ohio stadium in 1988. and most talented zero. We disagree. Read on. Line: lsu –5 team, the Louisiana State University Tigers. OHIO STATE OFFENSE Sure, Ohio State is ranked No. 1 in vS. LSU DEFENSE the BCS standings, but only by default. If quarterback Todd Boeckman emerges from his late-season swoon, Ohio State has one less loss than LSU, the Buckeyes might post a big number against what’s proven to be an overbut only because the Buckeyes played rated Tiger defense headed by former Buckeye player and newly-appointed a Sisters of the Poor-type schedule, Nebraska Coach Bo Pellini. many assert. The Tigers, meanwhile, The Tiger run defense, led by All-American tackle Glenn Dorsey, has been have taken down five top 25 teams. brilliant at times, but quite pedestrian at others. Consider: SEC doormat Ole The SEC champions are no Miss rushed for more than 200 yards against this unit. stranger to the Superdome, having The reason Boeckman’s play is pivotal is because the Tigers are going to beaten Tulane there earlier this seaAll-American tackle Glenn Dorsey leads the stack the box to stop running back Beanie Wells, and they’ll succeed unless son. LSU also won the BCS National Tiger defense. Ohio State opens the playbook early and throws downfield.

BREAKIN’ IT DOWN

14

This Week in FooTball • Tri-sTaTe ediTion • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3


BCs national Championship: ohio state vs. Lsu S h o u l d Boeckman struggle again, it’s going to be a long day for the Buckeye offense. But if he can get some confidence early and keep the Tiger front seven honest, look out. This is not a game in which Tressel needs Because of his mobility, back-up quartertrickeration. back Ryan Perrilloux may see extensive The Buckeyes action. can go smashmouth against Dorsey and Co. The Tigers do not have the speed on the edges like Florida had last year. But again, OSU must prove it can spread the field a bit with some safe, possession-type passes. Red alert: The Tigers have intercepted 21 passes, led by safety Craig Steltz’ six picks. Also of note, Dorsey has been hobbled with a bad knee for much of the season. When he’s on, he’s unstoppable. But when sidelined, the Tigers lose their physical and emotional leader. ADVANTAGE: Ohio State

LSU OFFENSE vS. OHIO STATE DEFENSE

Look for LSU back-up quarterback Ryan Perrilloux to play a lot in this game. Actually, he’s hardly a back-up. He led his team to the SEC title win over Tennessee, as starter Matt Flynn sat out with an injury. Flynn will be ready for OSU, but Perrilloux may be the better choice because he is more mobile. Flynn moves fairly well also, but Perrilloux is a bigger playmaker with his legs more than his arm. These two will sometimes alternate snaps within the same possession. Sound familiar? Flynn is solid but not great. The Tigers have an excellent receiving trio in Early Doucet (50 receptions, 474 yards, four TDs), Brandon LaFell (48, 641, three) and Demetrius Byrd (33, 593, seven). You’ll hate to love as much as love to hate running back Jacob Hester. He runs like a bulldozer going downhill in a fifth gear. He’s rushed for over 1,000 yards, averaging five yards a carry, and scored 11 touchdowns. After getting blitzed by the Gators nearly a year ago to the day, the Buckeye defense knows this is a defining moment. Reality is that the Bucks have not faced an offense nearly as balanced and skilled as the Tigers’. Are you listening Vernon Gholston, James Laurinaitis and Malcolm Jenkins? ADVANTAGE: Even

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This Week in FooTball • Tri-sTaTe ediTion • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

SPECIAL TEAMS

Whatever OSU punter A.J. Trapasso was doing at Michigan, we want it to stop. Being indoors should be a great assist, and in what could be a game dictated by field position, Trapasso needs to have a leg up on the competition. And again, with weather no factor, Ryan Pretorius ought to be given the green light to try any field goal up to 55 yards. Colt David has made 25 of 32 field goals for the Tigers, but six misses have been less than 49 yards. Patrick Fisher averages a solid 43.9 yards per punt. ADVANTAGE: Ohio State

COACHING

Which would you take: More or Les? ADVANTAGE: Ohio State

INTANGIBLES

It’s a home game for the Tigers, while OSU is trying to exorcise the demons from a year ago. Correction: from the last 30 years. ADVANTAGE: Even

THE WAY WE SEE IT

Can’t say it enough: If Boeckman plays well, Ohio State may win by two touchdowns. If he doesn’t, we’ll all be biting our nails in the fourth quarter, and possibly into overtime.

OHIO STATE 27-21

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Statistically Speaking Ohio state team statistics Scoring by Quarters: 1st 2nd osu 111 98 opp 29 24

3rd 91 48

4th 84 27

OT 0 0

Total 384 128

OSU OPP total First Downs 251 155 Rushing 131 68 Passing 104 77 Penalty 16 10 total net Yards 4765 2703 total Plays 827 756 Yards Per Play 5.8 3.6 Yards Per Game 397.1 225.2 Rushing Attempts-Yards 523-2408 377-925 Yards Per Attempt 4.6 2.5 Yards Per Game 200.7 77.1 Pass Att.-Comp.-int. 304-196-12 379-197-10 Passing Yards 2357 1778 Yards Per Completion 12.0 9.0 Yards Per Game 196.4 148.2 Punting: no.-Avg. 51-40.4 100-39.1 Fumbles-lost 17-7 16-8 Penalties-Yards 65-491 49-447 sacks By-Yds. lost 42-270 14-100 third-Down Conversions 81-170 58-189 Conversion Pct. 47.6 30.7 Fourth-Down Conversions 7-11 8-14 Conversion Pct. 63.6 57.1 Avg. time of Possession 32:19 27:41

Rushing Wells, Chris Wells, Maurice saine, Brandon

s-1 s-8 s-15 s-22 s-29 o-6 o-13 o-20 o-27 n-3 n-10 n-17

OHIO STATE (11-1) Youngstown state ...................38-6 Akron.......................................20-2 @Washington ........................33-14 northwestern...........................58-7 @Minnesota ............................30-7 @Purdue .................................23-7 Kent state................................48-3 Michigan state ......................24-17 @Penn state..........................37-17 Wisconsin .............................38-17 illinois ...................................21-28 @Michigan ..............................14-3

Chris Wells

Matt Flynn

Glenn Dorsey

Malcolm Jenkins

Brian Robiskie

Ryan Perrilloux

Jacob hester

G 12 12 10

No 254 103 60

Gain 1518 399 287

Lost 55 32 20

Net 1463 367 267

Avg 5.8 3.6 4.5

TD 14 3 2

Lg 62 26 37

Yd/G 121.9 30.6 26.7

Passing Boeckman, todd

G 12

Att Comp 273 176

Pct 64.5

Int 12

Yds 2171

TD 23

Lg 68

Yd/G 180.9

Receiving Robiskie, Brian hartline, Brian small, Ray Ballard, Jake

G 12 12 10 12

No 50 46 19 13

Yds 885 619 253 149

Avg 17.7 13.5 13.3 11.5

TD 10 5 2 2

Lg Yd/G 68 73.8 65 51.6 60 25.3 22 12.4

Punt Ret hartline, Brian small, Ray

G 12 10

No 19 21

Yds 220 153

Avg 11.6 7.3

TD 1 0

Lg Yd/G 90 18.3 21 15.3

Kick Ret small, Ray

G 10

No 17

Yds 296

Avg 17.4

TD 0

Lg Yd/G 29 29.6

Punting trapasso, A.J.

G 12

No 50

Avg 41.0

Lg 63

Blk 0

TB 6

Field Goals Pretorius, Ryan

G 12

Att 21

Made 17

Defense laurinaitis, James Freeman, Marcus Russell, Anderson Coleman, Kurt Jenkins, Malcolm Grant, larry Gholston, vernon Washington, Donald heyward, Cameron Chekwa, Chimdi spitler, Austin Worthington, Doug Abdallah, nader Rolle, Brian larimore, Dexter lane, shaun

G 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12

Tack 39 60 35 21 27 31 23 26 20 26 13 9 7 10 6 12

Ast 64 35 23 33 17 12 11 8 10 3 13 13 11 8 9 2

16

LSU (11-2) @Mississippi state.................... 45-0 virginia tech ............................. 48-7 Mid. tennessee st. .................... 44-0 south Carolina ........................ 28-16 @tulane .................................... 34-9 Florida ..................................... 28-24 @Kentucky .................... 37-43 (3ot) Auburn .................................... 30-24 @Alabama ............................... 41-34 louisiana tech ........................ 58-10 @ole Miss ............................... 41-24 Arkansas ....................... 48-50 (3ot) tennessee ............................... 21-14 sEC Championship

todd Boeckman

ohio state individual leaders

FC 10

50+ 9

In 20 19

Lg Blkd 50 3 Tot 103 95 58 54 44 43 34 34 30 29 26 22 18 18 15 14

A-30 s-8 s-15 s-22 s-29 o-6 o-13 o-20 n-3 n-10 n-17 n-23 D-1

TFL 8.5-34 9.5-23 7-29 3.5-5 5-13 9.5-42 14.5-98 2-4 9-32 2-7 2.5-14 2-8 2-6 3-9 5.5-16 0-0

Sack 5-29 1.5-9 3-23 1-2 0-0 5-31 13-96 1-3 2.5-9 0-0 1-12 1-8 1-5 1-6 2-10 0-0

PD 1 5 5 4 3 0 0 2 2 9 0 1 0 0 0 0

FF 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2

FR 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

Rushing Jacob hester K. Williams t. holliday Charles scott Matt Flynn Ryan Perrilloux

G 13 13 12 13 11 11

Passing Matt Flynn Ryan Perrilloux

LSU team statistics Scoring by Quarters: 1st 2nd lsu 94 102 opp 41 71

3rd 141 52

OT 30 38

LSU total First Downs 291 Rushing 141 Passing 137 Penalty 13 total net Yards 5826 total Plays 978 Yards Per Play 6.0 Yards Per Game 448.2 Rushing Attempts-Yards 563-2846 Yards Per Attempt 5.1 Yards Per Game 218.9 Pass Att.-Comp.-int. 415-237-12 Passing Yards 2980 Yards Per Completion 12.6 Yards Per Game 229.2 Punting: no.-Avg. 58-43.4 Fumbles-lost 16-3 Penalties-Yards 113-844 sacks By-Yds. lost 32-246 third-Down Conversions 93-205 Conversion Pct. 45.4 Fourth-Down Conversions 12-15 Conversion Pct. 80.0 Avg. time of Possession 32:08

LSU individual leaders No 204 68 50 43 88 51

4th 136 53

Total 503 255

OPP 214 79 110 25 3690 859 4.3 283.8 434-1340 3.1 103.1 425-197-21 2350 11.9 180.8 79-39.2 23-12 60-483 29-194 68-189 36.0 4-18 22.2 27:52

Gain 1032 493 368 324 376 253

Lost 15 35 17 6 169 50

Net 1017 458 351 318 207 203

Avg 5.0 6.7 7.0 7.4 2.4 4.0

TD 11 6 2 5 4 2

Lg 87 67 33 55 22 23

Yd/G 78.2 35.2 29.2 24.5 18.8 18.5

G 11 11

Att Comp 332 183 75 51

Pct 55.1 68.0

Int 10 2

Yds 2233 694

TD 17 8

Lg 71 62

Yd/G 203.0 63.1

Receiving Brandon laFell Demetrius Byrd Early Doucet

G 13 13 9

No 48 33 50

Yds 641 593 474

Avg 13.4 18.0 9.5

TD 3 7 4

Lg Yd/G 56 49.3 62 45.6 34 52.7

Punt Ret Chad Jones Jared Mitchell

G 13 11

No 16 4

Yds 104 19

Avg 6.5 4.8

TD 0 0

Lg Yd/G 16 8.0 8 1.7

Kick Ret t. holliday K. Williams

G 12 13

No 18 10

Yds 468 199

Avg 26.0 19.9

TD 1 0

Lg Yd/G 98 39.0 25 15.3

Punting Patrick Fisher

G 13

No 56

Avg 43.9

Lg 61

Blk 0

TB 13

50+ 20

In 20 12

Field Goals Colt David

G 13

Att 32

Made 25

Defense Craig steltz Ali highsmith Glenn Dorsey Darry Beckwith Danny McCray Kirston Pittman Curtis taylor Chevis Jackson Jonathan Zenon tyson Jackson Chad Jones luke sanders

G 13 13 13 11 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13

Tack 66 54 39 36 49 28 30 32 28 16 26 13

Ast 31 39 25 27 12 33 19 10 13 19 8 15

This Week in FooTball • Tri-sTaTe ediTion • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

FC 8

Lg Blkd 49 1 Tot 97 93 64 63 61 61 49 42 41 35 34 28

TFL 5-20 7.5-21 11.5-48 6.5-26 4-33 12.5-70 1-6 3-7 1.5-2 3.5-14 3-32 1.5-10

Sack 1-8 1.5-9 6-40 1.5-14 3-32 7-47 1-6 0-0 0-0 2.5-11 2-25 0.5-7

PD 7 8 4 4 3 1 6 15 7 10 3 3

FF 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1

FR 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1


Illinois vs. USC

Hawaii vs. Georgia

When: January 1, 2008 Time: 4:30 p.m. EDT Where: Pasadena, Calif. TV: ABC Series: USC leads 10-2 Last meeting: USC won 55-3 in 1996 Line: USC -13.5

When: January 1, 2008 Time: 8:30 p.m. EDT Where: New Orleans TV: FOX Series: First meeting Line: Georgia -9

Illini Get Booty Call

We’ve Got Georgia On Our Minds

Let’s be honest: Illinois has no business being in this game. As much as we appreciate the bowl’s desire to preserve the Big Ten-Pac-10 tradition in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” this makes no sense. The Illini had a wonderful season, capped by an upset win at top-ranked Ohio State, but they also lost at lowly Iowa. Sure, we haven’t forgotten USC’s loss to crappy Stanford, but at least the Trojans won their conference. Besides, have you seen the way USC has shaken its Booty lately (and we’re not referring to those luscious white-sweater-clad cheerleaders)? Illinois simply won’t have enough Juice to keep it close.

Georgia was hoping to make it to New Orleans, but this isn’t what the Bulldogs had in mind. Snubbed at a chance to play for the national title in the Big Easy, the Dawgs are instead relegated to face a non-BCS team, albeit the nation’s only unbeaten, there a week earlier. The Bulldog offense will pound at the Warrior defense in an attempt to sustain time-consuming drives that in turn will keep Heisman finalist Colt Brennan and his run-and-shooters on the sideline. If Hawaii is held to two or three possessions per half, Georgia wins. If not, it’s Boise State-Oklahoma all over again.

Prediction: USC 41-10 ILLINOIS (9-3) S-1 vs. Missouri*.......... 34-40 S-8 Western Illinois......... 21-0 S-15 @Syracuse.............. 41-20 S-22 @Indiana................. 27-14 S-29 Penn State............... 27-20 O-6 Wisconsin............... 31-26 O-13 @Iowa....................... 6-10 O-20 Michigan................. 17-27 O-27 Ball State................. 28-17 N-3 @Minnesota............ 44-17 N-10 @Ohio State............ 28-21 N-17 Northwestern.......... 41-22 *@St. Louis’ Ed. Jones Dome

USC (10-2) S-1 Idaho....................... 38-10 S-15 @Nebraska.............. 49-31 S-22 Washington State.... 47-14 S-29 @Washington.......... 27-24 O-6 Stanford.................. 23-24 O-13 Arizona.................... 20-13 O-20 @Notre Dame............ 38-0 O-27 @Oregon................. 17-24 N-3 Oregon State............. 24-3 N-10 @California.............. 24-17 N-22 @Arizona State........ 44-24 D-1 UCLA......................... 24-7

Prediction: Georgia 27-24

Bowl Buster

Two-time All-American tackle Sedrick Ellis spearheads the USC defense. The certain first round NFL draft pick has 52 tackles, including 8.5 sacks, this season.

must know info

Master Insight “Illinois’ offense has been impressive, but USC is healthy now and out to prove it’s the best team in the nation.” — John Robinson

Of USC’s 29 bowl wins, 22 have been in the Rose Bowl. This marks USC’s sixth straight BCS bowl appearance, including a third consecutive Rose Bowl. A win would also give the Trojans their sixth straight Associated Press top four finish.

HAWAII (12-0) S-1 Northern Colorado.... 63-6 S-8 @Lou. Tech.....45-44 (OT) S-15 @UNLV.................... 49-14 S-22 Charleston Southern.66-10 S-29 @Idaho.................... 48-20 O-6 Utah State............... 52-37 O-12 @San Jose St..42-35 (OT) O-27 New Mexico State... 50-13 N-10 Fresno State............ 37-30 N-16 @Nevada................. 28-26 N-23 Boise State.............. 39-27 D-1 Washington............. 35-28

GEORGIA (10-2) S-1 Oklahoma State....... 35-14 S-8 South Carolina........ 12-16 S-15 Western Carolina..... 45-16 S-22 @Alabama.......26-23 (OT) S-29 Ole Miss.................. 45-17 O-6 @Tennessee............ 14-35 O-13 @Vanderbilt............. 20-17 O-27 vs. Florida*............. 42-30 N-3 Troy......................... 44-34 N-10 Auburn.................... 45-20 N-17 Kentucky................. 24-13 N-24 @Georgia Tech........ 31-17 *@Jacksonville’s Municipal Stadium..

Master Insight “Georgia is strong on both sides of the ball, and they will wear down the Warrior defense with freshman phenom running back Knowshon Moreno.” — Vince Dooley

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

Bowl Buster

Quarterback Colt Brennan has thrown for 4,174 yards and 38 touchdowns this year. Earlier this season he became the NCAA alltime leader in TD passes and currently has 131 in his three seasons on the islands.

must know info

Hawaii is playing in just its second bowl ever on the mainland. Warrior fans will travel 4,000 miles to see if their team can maintain the nation’s longest winning streak, which currently stands at 13.

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Oklahoma vs. West Virginia

When: January 2, 2008 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: Glendale, Ariz. TV: FOX Series: Oklahoma leads 2-1 Last meeting: West Virginia won 41-27 in 1982 Line: Oklahoma -6.5

‘Eers Face Battle Between Ears

Man, it’s a good thing the Orange Bowl gets to host next season’s national championship because it’s been getting some stinker matchups lately. Last year we snoozed through Louisville-Wake Forest. Now we get. . . Kansas? Even Ohio State is laughing at the Jayhawks’ schedule. Believe it or not, though, this is a battle of top 10 teams, with the nation’s second-ranked scoring defense (Hokies allow 15.5 points per game) going against the nation’s second-ranked scoring offense (Jayhawks score 44.3 points per outing). Frank Beamer’s ‘D’ and special teams will dominate.

Prediction: West Virginia 31-30 OKLAHOMA (11-2) S-1 North Texas............. 79-10 S-8 Miami (FL).............. 51-13 S-15 Utah State................. 54-3 S-21 @Tulsa.................... 62-21 S-29 @Colorado.............. 24-27 O-6 vs. Texas*............... 28-21 O-13 Missouri.................. 41-31 O-20 @Iowa State.............. 17-7 N-3 Texas A&M.............. 42-14 N-10 Baylor...................... 52-21 N-17 @Texas Tech........... 27-34 N-24 Oklahoma State....... 49-17 D-1 Missouri.................. 38-17 Big 12 Championship

Bowl Buster

WVU’s Pat White is one of the nation’s top dual-threat quarterbacks. The two-time Big East player of the year has rushed for 1,185 yards (14 TDs) and passed for 1,548 (12 TDs).

must know info

Master Insight “This is a great match-up between two teams with incredible speed. I have a hunch WVU will prevail because Pat White is going to will them to victory.” — Don Nehlen

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When: January 3, 2008 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: Miami TV: FOX Series: First meeting Line: Virginia Tech -3

Special Teams Only Thing Special Here

Big East co-champion WVU faces its toughest opponent. No, not Big 12 kingpin Oklahoma. Rather, the ‘Eers are battling the space between their own ears. Will there be a hangover from the devastating loss to Pitt or will WVU respond on a mission of atonement? Oklahoma returns to the desert scene of the crime where it lost to Boise State last year, so you know the Sooners will be in a surly mood. But if they thought the Bronco offense was dynamic, wait until they see WVU quarterback Pat White and running back Steve Slaton. We’re guessing the duo will be at its best in this one. WEST VIRGINIA (10-2) S-1 Western Michigan... 62-24 S-8 @Marshall............... 48-23 S-13 @Maryland.............. 31-14 S-22 East Carolina............. 48-7 S-28 @South Florida....... 13-21 O-6 @Syracuse.............. 55-14 O-20 Mississippi State..... 38-13 O-27 @Rutgers.................. 31-3 N-8 Louisville................. 38-31 N-17 @Cincinnati............. 28-23 N-24 Connecticut............. 66-21 D-1 Pittsburgh................. 9-13

Virginia Tech vs. Kansas

West Virginia is making its first trip to the Fiesta Bowl since playing Notre Dame for the national championship in 1989, and is in its second BCS bowl in three years. WVU has also posted three consecutive seasons of double-digit wins for the first time in school history.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 31-10 VIRGINIA TECH (11-2) S-1 East Carolina............. 17-7 S-8 @LSU........................ 7-48 S-15 Ohio.......................... 28-7 S-22 William & Mary......... 44-3 S-29 North Carolina......... 17-10 O-6 @Clemson............... 44-23 O-13 @Duke..................... 43-14 O-25 Boston College........ 10-14 N-1 @Georgia Tech.......... 27-3 N-10 Florida State............ 40-21 N-17 Miami (FL).............. 44-14 N-24 @Virginia................. 33-21 D-1 Boston College........ 30-16 ACC Championship

KANSAS (11-1) S-1 Central Michigan....... 52-7 S-8 SE Louisiana............. 62-0 S-15 Toledo..................... 45-13 S-22 Florida Int.................. 55-3 O-6 @Kansas State........ 30-24 O-13 Baylor...................... 58-10 O-20 @Colorado.............. 19-14 O-27 @Texas A&M........... 19-11 N-3 Nebraska................. 76-39 N-10 @Oklahoma State.... 43-28 N-17 Iowa State................. 45-7 N-24 vs. Missouri*.......... 28-36 *@Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium

Master Insight “Kansas’ defense will keep them in the game for a while, but Tech’s defense and special teams will ultimately prevail.” — Don James

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

Bowl Buster

First team All-American linebacker Xavier Adibi leads Virginia Tech with 99 tackles, including 11 for losses.

must know info Frank Beamer, whose Va. Tech team won the ACC title for the second time in three years, is the nation’s thirdwinningest active coach with 209 victories. Tech is one of only two teams (USC) to win at least 10 games in each of the past four seasons.


Navy vs. Utah

Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic

When: December 20, 2007 Time: 9:00 p.m. EDT Where: San Diego, Calif. TV: ESPN Series: First meeting Line: Utah – 8.5

When: December 21, 2007 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: New Orleans TV: ESPN2 Series: First meeting Line: Florida Atlantic -2.5

Johnson Has Jumped Ship!

Another Florida School To Worry About

Paul Johnson has jumped ship and Navy may never be the same. In six seasons, the master of the triple option spread offense took the Middies’ program to new heights. He posted an 11-1 record against Army and Air Force and won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy five consecutive seasons. He also ended the program’s NCAArecord 43-game losing streak to Notre Dame this year. But Johnson is taking over at Georgia Tech and won’t even be around to coach against a hot Utah team that has won seven of its last eight games and ranks second nationally in scoring defense (15.5 avg.).

Howard Schnellenberger has done it again. The man is unbelievable. After building Miami (FL) and Louisville into national powers, Howie has worked his magic a third time, at little ole Florida Atlantic. But this time he did it from scratch. That’s right, Schnellenberger literally launched the Owl program in 2001, and six years later it has become the fastest start-up program to earn a bowl berth. The Tigers are on a mission, though, having won five of six games since the tragic shooting death of one of its players. Thus, we’re emotionally torn on this one. Coin flip.

Prediction: Utah 34-17 NAVY (8-4) A-31 @Temple................. 30-19 S-7 @Rutgers................ 27-41 S-15 Ball State.........31-34 (OT) S-22 Duke........................ 46-43 S-29 Air Force.................. 31-20 O-10 @Pittsburgh....48-45 (OT) O-20 Wake Forest............ 24-44 O-27 Delaware................. 52-59 N-3 @Notre Dame.. 46-44 (OT) N-10 @North Texas.......... 74-62 N-17 Northern Illinois...... 35-24 D-1 vs. Army.................... 38-3 **@Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium

UTAH (8-4) A-30 @Oregon State.......... 7-24 S-8 Air Force.................. 12-20 S-15 UCLA......................... 44-6 S-22 @UNLV...................... 0-27 S-29 Utah State............... 34-18 O-5 @Louisville.............. 44-35 O-13 San Diego State........ 23-7 O-18 @TCU...................... 27-20 O-27 @Colorado State....... 27-3 N-3 Bye N-10 Wyoming................... 50-0 N-17 New Mexico............ 28-10 N-24 @BYU...................... 10-17

Prediction: Memphis 27-24

Bowl Buster

Utah’s Louis Sakoda is the nation’s only dual starting punter/placekicker to rank in the top five nationally in punting and kicking. He averages 44.8 yards per punt and has made 19 of 22 field goals.

must know info

Master Insight “With its coach gone, Navy has lost 25 percent of its team for this game. Utah has played very well and will roll in this one.” — Dick MacPherson

Navy and Utah are making their 14th and 13th bowl appearances, respectively, and both are in the postseason a school-record fifth consecutive season. The Utes have the nation’s secondlongest bowl win streak (six), dating back to 1999.

MEMPHIS (7-5) S-1 Ole Miss.................. 21-23 S-8 @Arkansas State........PPD S-15 Jacksonville State.... 35-14 S-22 @Central Florida...... 20-56 S-29 @Arkansas State..... 31-35 O-2 Marshall.................. 24-21 O-13 Mid. Tennessee St..... 7-21 O-20 @Rice...................... 38-35 O-27 @Tulane.................. 28-27 N-3 East Carolina........... 40-56 N-10 @Southern Miss..... 29-26 N-17 UAB........................... 25-9 N-24 SMU..............55-52 (3OT)

FLORIDA ATLANTIC (7-5) S-1 Mid. Tennessee St... 27-14 S-8 @Oklahoma State...... 6-42 S-15 Minnesota............... 42-39 S-22 @North Texas.......... 30-20 S-29 @Kentucky.............. 17-45 O-6 South Florida........... 23-35 O-20 @Lou.-Lafa......39-32 (OT) O-27 Lou.-Monroe...30-33 (OT) N-3 Bye N-10 Arkansas State........ 34-31 N-17 @Florida.................. 20-59 N-24 @Florida Int............. 55-23 D-1 @Troy...................... 38-32

Master Insight “Florida Atlantic is playing well of late, but Memphis is much more physical and has too much talent for the Owls to keep up with.” — Vince Dooley

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

Bowl Buster

Sophomore wide receiver Duke Calhoun leads Memphis with 58 receptions for 850 yards and five TDs. He’s had four 100-yard receiving games this season, and has caught a pass in 23 straight games.

must know info

OK, maybe this isn’t ‘must-know’ stuff but it shows how deep sports info departments will dig to impress: Memphis is just one of seven schools nationally which will have participated in a football bowl, NCAA basketball tournament and NCAA baseball tourney in the 2007 calendar year.

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Cincinnati vs. Southern Miss

When: December 22, 2007 Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT Where: Birmingham, Ala. TV: ESPN2 Series: Tied at 7-7 Last meeting: Cincinnati won 52-24 in 2004 Line: Cincinnati -11

A Southern Miss At Southern Miss

When: December 22, 2007 Time: 4:30 p.m. EDT Where: Albuquerque, N.M. TV: ESPN Series: New Mexico leads 1-0-1 Last meeting: Teams played to a scoreless tie in 1943 Line: New Mexico -3

There’s No Place Like Home

Talk about a southern miss at Southern Miss. For sure, the administration missed the boat big-time when it pushed Coach Jeff Bower out the door after 17 years. Bower led the program to 14 winning seasons and 10 bowls. Someone needs to remind the Golden Eagle braintrust this is Southern Miss, not Michigan. Then again, no one wants the Michigan job, either. Well, we hope UC’s Brian Kelly doesn’t. We’re worried he will, though, because he can’t be thrilled with playing in dreary Birmingham after leading his team to nine wins. After all, just eight wins at Michigan gets you a trip to Disneyworld.

If you can’t earn a bowl bid, start one of your own. That’s what Boise State did several years ago, and now the folks at New Mexico have followed suit. This is the second year for this charade, and surprise, surprise, the hometown Lobos have been invited to participate in their own stadium each time. The irony here is that New Mexico is actually pretty good (three of four losses were by a combined seven points), and is actually deserving of a trip out of the state. The Lobos were 5-1 at home this year, and should have no problem handling the fangless Wolfpack.

Prediction: Cincinnati 34-28 SOUTHERN MISS (7-5) S-1 Tennessee-Martin.... 35-13 S-8 @Tennessee............ 19-39 S-15 @East Carolina........ 28-21 S-27 @Boise State........... 16-38 O-3 Rice......................... 29-31 O-13 SMU.......................... 28-7 O-21 @Marshall............... 33-24 O-28 Central Florida......... 17-34 N-3 @UAB........................ 37-7 N-10 Memphis................. 26-29 N-17 @UTEP.................... 56-30 N-24 Arkansas State........ 16-10

Nevada vs. New Mexico

Prediction: New Mexico 34-20

Bowl Buster

CINCINNATI (9-3) A-30 SE Missouri State...... 59-3 S-6 Oregon State............. 34-3 S-15 @Miami (OH).......... 47-10 S-22 Marshall.................. 40-14 S-29 @San Diego State... 52-23 O-6 @Rutgers................ 28-23 O-13 Louisville................. 24-28 O-20 @Pittsburgh............ 17-24 O-27 Bye N-3 @South Florida....... 38-33 N-10 Connecticut............... 27-3 N-17 West Virginia........... 23-28 N-24 @Syracuse.............. 52-31

UC’s Brian Kelly is the Big East Coach of the Year after leading the Bearcats to their fourth nine-win season in school history and No. 22 ranking in the BCS Standings.

must know info

Master Insight “Brian Kelly is one of the nation’s finest coaches, whereas Southern Miss let their coach go. Big advantage to Cincinnati.” — John Cooper

Though the NCAA recognizes the Rose Bowl in 1902 as being the first actual bowl game, UC has records indicating the Bearcats played in and won a bowl game in New Orleans five years earlier. To note, UC beat Ohio State, 34-0, during that regular season.

NEVADA (6-6) S-1 @Nebraska.............. 10-52 S-8 @Northwestern....... 31-36 S-15 Nicholls State.......... 52-17 S-29 UNLV....................... 27-20 O-6 Fresno State............ 41-49 O-14 @Boise State........... 67-69 O-20 @Utah State............ 31-28 O-27 Idaho....................... 37-21 N-2 @New Mexico St..... 40-38 N-16 Hawaii..................... 26-28 N-24 @San Jose State..... 24-27 D-1 Louisiana Tech........ 49-10

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When: December 23, 2007 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: Honolulu TV: ESPN Series: First meeting Line: Boise State -10.5

We at TWIF admit to not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even we wouldn’t be so stupid to invite Boise State to this bowl. After all, the Broncos and their legion of fans just traveled to the islands a month ago when they lost the WAC title to Hawaii. Exactly how many of those fans will want to return so soon? We’re told about 200. No kidding. Boise State is far superior to its Conference USA foe, but we’d like to see Skip Holtz (that’s Lou’s boy, you know) get a win and perhaps a better job. We’re thinking upset.

Prediction: East Carolina 31-28

Prediction: BYU 31-13

Bowl Buster

UCLA’s Bruce Davis, one of the nation’s best defensive ends, has 12 tackles for losses, including 9.5 sacks, nine pass break-ups and has forced a fumble this season.

must know info

Master Insight “Brigham Young couldn’t be playing any better right now, while the Bruins have been up and down all year with too many injuries. BYU should win handily.” — LaVell Edwards

New Mexico is the only Mountain West Conference team to be bowl eligible each of the last seven seasons. However, the Lobos have lost five straight bowls, with their last win being in the 1961 Aviation Bowl (Dayton, Ohio).

Hawaii’s Nice, But Not Every Month!

Once upon a time, leading a team to a bowl game was usually followed by a pay raise and contract extension for a coach. Of course, these days when 6-6 gets you a bowl trip, that’s not exactly cause for jubilation. Thus, UCLA’s Karl Dorrell was canned after five seasons and he isn’t coaching in this bowl. In fairness, the Bruins have been decimated by injuries, at one time playing a fourth stringer at quarterback. But such is life, and life is good in Provo, as the 17th-ranked Cougars have won nine straight games, the secondlongest streak in the nation. Make it a perfect 10. UCLA (6-6) S-1 @Stanford............... 45-17 S-8 BYU......................... 27-17 S-15 @Utah....................... 6-44 S-22 Washington............. 44-31 S-29 @Oregon State........ 40-14 O-6 Notre Dame............... 6-20 O-20 California................. 30-21 O-27 @Washington St....... 7-27 N-3 @Arizona................. 27-34 N-10 Arizona State........... 20-24 N-24 Oregon...................... 16-0 D-1 @USC........................ 7-24

must know info

Boise State vs. East Carolina

When: December 22, 2007 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: Las Vegas TV: ESPN Series: UCLA leads 7-1 Last meeting: UCLA won 27-17 in September Line: BYU -6.5

BYU (10-2) S-1 Arizona...................... 20-7 S-8 @UCLA.................... 17-27 S-15 @Tulsa.................... 47-55 S-22 Air Force.................... 31-6 S-29 @New Mexico......... 31-24 O-13 @UNLV.................... 24-14 O-20 Eastern Washington.. 42-7 N-3 Colorado State........ 35-16 N-8 TCU......................... 27-22 N-17 @Wyoming............. 35-10 N-24 Utah........................ 17-10 D-1 @San Diego State... 48-27

Bowl Buster

New Mexico running back Rodney Ferguson, a first team All-MWC selection two years in a row, had 180 total yards in last year’s New Mexico Bowl loss to San Jose State.

Master Insight “Nevada is strong offensively, but New Mexico is even better defensively. Home field advantage is huge in this game as well.” — LaVell Edwards

BYU vs. UCLA

Make A Bowl, Get Fired

NEW MEXICO (8-4) S-1 @UTEP...................... 6-10 S-8 New Mexico St........ 44-34 S-15 @Arizona................. 29-27 S-22 Sacramento State...... 50-0 S-29 BYU......................... 24-31 O-13 @Wyoming............... 20-3 O-20 @San Diego State... 20-17 O-25 Air Force.................. 34-31 N-3 @TCU........................ 0-37 N-10 Colorado State........ 26-23 N-17 @Utah..................... 10-28 N-24 UNLV......................... 27-6

UCLA defeated BYU, 27-17, the second game of the season in Los Angeles, when the Bruins were ranked 11th in the country. The teams will meet again, in Provo, early next season, marking their third meeting within a calendar year.

BOISE STATE (10-2) A-30 Weber State............... 56-7 S-8 @Washington . ....... 10-24 S-15 Wyoming................. 24-14 S-27 Southern Miss......... 38-16 O-7 New Mexico State..... 58-0 O-14 Nevada.................... 69-67 O-20 @Louisiana Tech..... 45-31 O-26 @Fresno State......... 34-21 N-3 San Jose State.......... 42-7 N-10 @Utah State.............. 52-0 N-17 Idaho....................... 58-14 N-23 @Hawaii.................. 27-39

EAST CAROLINA (7-5) S-1 @Virginia Tech.......... 7-17 S-8 North Carolina......... 34-31 S-15 Southern Miss......... 21-28 S-22 @West Virginia.......... 7-48 S-29 @Houston............... 37-35 O-6 Central Florida......... 52-38 O-13 @UTEP............45-42 (OT) O-20 N.C. State................ 20-34 O-27 UAB........................... 41-6 N-3 @Memphis.............. 56-40 N-10 @Marshall................. 7-26 N-24 Tulane...................... 35-12

Master Insight “Boise State usually plays well in bowl games, and they’re familiar with the setting. East Carolina will suffer from having to travel halfway around the globe to play.” — John Robinson

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

Bowl Buster

East Carolina’s Chris Johnson is the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year for the second straight season. He leads the nation in career-all-purpose yardage and kickoff return yardage.

must know info

No. 24 Boise State is playing in its sixth straight bowl and eighth in nine years. Four of those bowl ‘trips’ were to their own stadium (Humanitarian and MPC Computers bowls), where they won three times.


Purdue vs. Central Michigan

When: December 26, 2007 Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT Where: Detroit TV: ESPN Series: Purdue leads 3-0 Last meeting: Purdue won 45-22 in September Line: Purdue -9

Boilers Pride Of The MAC

If you’ve never been to San Diego, go. Beautiful city, always great weather. If you’ve never watched the Holiday Bowl, do so. Entertaining games, always great weather. Of the 29 Holiday Bowls, 17 have had margins of a touchdown or less and the outcome of 19 was decided in the final two minutes. Texas likes this game so much that it’s here for the fourth time this decade. Texas isn’t as good as its 9-3 record, as sophomore quarterback Colt McCoy had a shaky season, throwing a Big 12-worst 18 interceptions. ASU, behind heady signal-caller Rudy Carpenter, is as good as its 10-2 record.

Prediction: Central Michigan 34-24 CENTRAL MICHIGAN (8-5) S-1 @Kansas................... 7-52 S-8 Toledo..................... 52-31 S-15 @Purdue................. 22-45 S-22 North Dakota State.. 14-44 S-29 Northern Illinois...... 35-10 O-6 @Ball State.............. 58-38 O-13 Army....................... 47-23 O-20 @Clemson............... 14-70 O-27 @Kent State............ 41-32 N-6 @West. Michigan.... 34-31 N-16 Eastern Michigan.... 45-48 N-23 @Akron................... 35-32 D-1 Miami (OH)............. 35-10 MAC Championship

Prediction: Arizona State 31-27

Bowl Buster

In the regular season win over CMU, Boiler quarterback Curtis Painter completed 29 of 39 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns.

must know info

Master Insight “When getting to play the Big Ten, MAC teams do so with ferocious hunger. Purdue should win, but if they mess around. . .” — Bill Mallory

When: December 27, 2007 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: San Diego TV: ESPN Series: First meeting Line: Texas -2

Long Day For Longhorns

Thinking about attending one of the 32 bowls? Well, we have a deal for you. For what it would cost you to scalp just one ticket to watch Ohio State play in the national title game, you can treat 40 of your closest friends to see Purdue and Central Michigan tangle for the second time this season, in the ever-popular winter getaway destination of Detroit. You’re welcome. Purdue was 3-0 against MidAmerican Conference teams this year, and a repeat over the MAC champions would give the Boilers, uh, uh, geez, we got nothin.’ Purdue doesn’t want to be here, CMU does. PURDUE (7-5) S-1 @Toledo.................. 52-24 S-8 Eastern Illinois.......... 52-6 S-15 Central Michigan..... 45-22 S-22 @Minnesota............ 45-31 S-29 Notre Dame............. 33-19 O-6 Ohio State................. 7-23 O-13 @Michigan.............. 21-48 O-20 Iowa.......................... 31-6 O-27 Northwestern.......... 35-17 N-3 @Penn State........... 19-26 N-10 Michigan State........ 31-48 N-17 @Indiana................. 24-27

Arizona State vs. Texas

Detroit’s Ford Field is a short drive from the CMU campus. The Chippewas defeated Middle Tennessee State last season before a Motor City Bowl-record 54,113 fans, thus essentially making this a home game for Central Michigan against Purdue.

ARIZONA STATE (10-2) S-1 San Jose State.......... 45-3 S-8 Colorado.................. 33-14 S-15 San Diego State...... 34-13 S-22 Oregon State........... 44-32 S-29 @Stanford................. 41-3 O-6 @Washington St..... 23-20 O-13 Washington............. 44-20 O-27 California................. 31-20 N-3 @Oregon................. 23-35 N-10 @UCLA.................... 24-20 N-22 USC......................... 24-44 D-1 Arizona.................... 20-17

TEXAS (9-3) S-1 Arkansas State........ 21-13 S-8 TCU......................... 34-13 S-15 @Central Florida...... 35-32 S-22 Rice......................... 58-14 S-29 Kansas State........... 21-44 O-6 vs. Oklahoma*........ 21-28 O-13 @Iowa State.............. 56-3 O-20 @Baylor................... 31-10 O-27 Nebraska................. 28-25 N-3 @Oklahoma State.... 38-35 N-10 Texas Tech............... 59-43 N-23 @Texas A&M........... 30-38

Master Insight “Dennis Erickson will have the Sun Devils properly prepared, but Texas simply has more horses. Should be a great game, though.” — Frank Kush

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

Bowl Buster

Arizona State’s Thomas Weber is the 2007 Lou Groza Award winner, given to the nation’s top kicker. A redshirt freshman, he has made 22 of 23 field goals for the Pac-10 co-champions.

must know info

First-year ASU Coach Dennis Erickson is the Pac-10 Coach of the Year. He is the only man to win the award at three different schools, and joins John Cooper (1986) and Bruce Snyder (1996) as other Sun Devil coaches to earn the honor.

21


Boston College vs. Michigan State When: December 28, 2007 Time: 5:00 p.m. EDT Where: Orlando, Fla. TV: ESPN Series: Boston College leads 3-1-1 Last meeting: Michigan State won 25-21 in 1995 Line: Boston College -3.5

If The Big Ten Is So Awful. . .

There’s nothing quite like a Mountain West-Conference USA showdown, eh? Yawn. What we have is another made-for-local-teamsabomination that celebrates mediocrity while pumping a few mill into the local economy. The Horned Frogs thought they were going to be this year’s Boise State and go to a BCS bowl, but someone forgot to tell Coach Gary Patterson’s defense. The future must not be very bright in Cougar country, either, as Coach Art Briles just bolted to take the same position at Baylor. No wonder this game is on the NFL Network. For you 18 subscribers, enjoy.

Prediction: Michigan State 35-27 MICHIGAN STATE (7-5) S-1 UAB......................... 55-18 S-8 Bowling Green......... 28-17 S-15 Pittsburgh............... 17-13 S-22 @Notre Dame.......... 31-14 S-29 @Wisconsin............ 34-37 O-6 Northwestern.......... 41-48 O-13 Indiana.................... 52-27 O-20 @Ohio State............ 17-24 O-27 @Iowa.............27-34 (OT) N-3 Michigan................. 24-28 N-10 @Purdue................. 48-31 N-17 Penn State............... 35-31

Prediction: Houston 34-31

Bowl Buster

Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, the ACC Player of the Year, ranked eighth nationally in total offense with an average of 329.5 yards per game.

must know info

Master Insight “I can’t envision Michigan State moving the ball on Boston College’s highly-ranked defense, and BC will win because it has better players.” — John Cooper

Boston College has won seven consecutive bowls, the longest current streak in the nation. The Eagles, who started the season 8-0 for the first time since 1942, have also posted back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time in school history.

Maryland vs. Oregon State

must know info

Master Insight “Even though it’s basically a home game for Houston, the Cougars will be distracted by the loss of their coach. Look for TCU to score a lot of points in this one.” — Gene Stallings

Prior to a 1998 Sun Bowl win over USC in Coach Gary Patterson’s first year at TCU, the Horned Frogs had gone 41 years without a bowl victory since defeating Jim Brown and Syracuse, 28-27, in the 1957 Cotton Bowl.

For the second straight season Wake Forest faces the Big East champion in a bowl. OK, so this isn’t nearly as sexy as the FedEx Orange Bowl in which the Demon Deacons lost to Louisville last year. But you have to give Coach Jim Grobe credit. He’s not a oneyear wonder. As for the Huskies, they’ve only been playing D-I ball since the turn of the century. It’s amazing what they’ve accomplished in such a short time. Wake fans only have to travel 80 miles, so they’ll have home field advantage. They’ll need it.

Prediction: Wake Forest 24-23

Prediction: Maryland 24-23

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Bowl Buster

Houston’s Donnie Avery, a first team Conference USA selection, led his team in receptions (81) and receiving yards (1,336), and paced the conference in receptions (6.75) and yards (111.3) per game.

Not Exactly Déjà vu For Wake

In the only bowl featuring an ACC-Pac-10 match-up, both Maryland and Oregon State come into this game as two of the hottest teams in the country no one knows anything about. Both have knocked off top 10 teams. The Terps offense, decimated by injuries in the regular season (only three players started all 12 games), came together and averaged 424 yards during the final three games, including a season-high 472 in the upset of No. 8 Boston College. The Beavers, meanwhile, won six of their last seven with a stifling defense, holding opponents to an average of 75 yards rushing.

Bowl Buster

Maryland junior linebacker Erin Henderson averaged 11 tackles per game and recovered four fumbles, both tops in the ACC. The first team all-conference selection also had an interception.

must know info

Master Insight “Maryland started slowly but has come on strong because of an aggressive defense. The Beavers are also on a roll, but the better defense usually wins bowls.” — Don Nehlen

HOUSTON (8-4) S-1 @Oregon................. 27-48 S-15 @Tulane.................. 34-10 S-22 Colorado State........ 38-27 S-29 East Carolina........... 35-37 O-6 @Alabama............... 24-30 O-13 Rice......................... 56-48 O-20 @UAB...................... 49-10 O-27 @UTEP.................... 34-31 N-4 SMU........................ 38-28 N-10 @Tulsa...................... 7-56 N-17 Marshall.................. 35-28 N-24 Texas Southern......... 59-6

When: December 29, 2007 Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT Where: Charlotte, N.C. TV: ESPN Series: Tied 1-1 Last meeting: Wake Forest won 24-13 in 2006 Line: Wake Forest -3

Hottest Teams You Know Nothing About

OREGON STATE (8-4) A-30 Utah.......................... 24-7 S-6 @Cincinnati............... 3-34 S-15 Idaho State.............. 61-10 S-22 @Arizona State........ 32-44 S-29 UCLA....................... 14-40 O-6 Arizona.................... 31-16 O-13 @California.............. 31-28 O-27 Stanford.................... 23-6 N-3 @USC........................ 3-24 N-10 Washington............. 29-23 N-17 @Washington St..... 52-17 D-1 @Oregon.......38-31 (2OT)

TCU (7-5) S-1 Baylor........................ 27-0 S-8 @Texas.................... 13-34 S-13 @Air Force......17-20 (OT) S-22 SMU.......................... 21-7 S-29 Colorado State........ 24-12 O-6 @Wyoming............. 21-24 O-13 @Stanford............... 38-36 O-18 Utah........................ 20-27 N-3 New Mexico.............. 37-0 N-8 @BYU...................... 22-27 N-17 UNLV....................... 34-10 N-24 @San Diego State... 45-33

UConn vs. Wake Forest

When: December 28, 2007 Time: 8:30 p.m. EDT Where: San Francisco TV: ESPN Series: First meeting Line: Oregon State -4.5

MARYLAND (6-6) S-1 Villanova.................. 31-14 S-8 @Florida Int............. 26-10 S-13 West Virginia........... 14-31 S-22 @Wa. Forest..... 24-31(OT) S-29 @Rutgers................ 34-24 O-6 Georgia Tech........... 28-26 O-20 Virginia.................... 17-18 O-27 Clemson.................. 17-30 N-3 @North Carolina...... 13-16 N-10 Boston College........ 42-35 N-17 @Florida State......... 16-24 N-24 @N.C. State............... 37-0

When: December 28, 2007 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: Houston TV: NFL Network Series: Houston leads 13-11 Last meeting: TCU won 34-27 in 2004 Line: TCU -3.5

Yawn, Yawn, Yawn, Yawn, Yuk!

We’re confused. Consider: Boston College, once ranked No. 2 nationally and featuring one of the nation’s best quarterbacks in Matt Ryan, just missed out on a BCS bowl when it lost the ACC Championship game. Meanwhile, Michigan State finished a dismal eighth in the supposedly awful Big Ten. Now, this is why we’re scratching our heads: BC is just a 3.5-point favorite to beat the Spartans. Hmmm. Suggestions anyone? Perhaps the narrow spread is because the Spartans won their last two games while BC has dropped three of five. And then there’s MSU running back Javon Ringer. The Eagles won’t be able to stop him. BOSTON COLLEGE (10-3) S-1 Wake Forest............ 38-28 S-8 N.C. State................ 37-17 S-15 @Georgia Tech........ 24-10 S-22 Army....................... 37-17 S-29 Massachusetts........ 24-14 O-6 Bowling Green......... 55-24 O-13 @Notre Dame.......... 27-14 O-25 @Virginia Tech........ 14-10 N-3 Florida State............ 17-27 N-10 @Maryland.............. 35-42 N-17 @Clemson............... 20-17 N-24 Miami (FL).............. 28-14 D-1 Virginia Tech........... 16-30 ACC Championship

TCU vs. Houston

Maryland’s last game in the state of California was in 1954, a 12-7 loss at UCLA. Oregon State’s last ACC opponent was No. 2 Duke in the 1942 Rose Bowl, played in Durham, N.C., due to World War II.

CONNECTICUT (9-3) S-1 @Duke..................... 45-14 S-8 Maine........................ 38-0 S-15 Temple..................... 22-17 S-22 @Pittsburgh............ 34-14 S-29 Akron...................... 44-10 O-13 @Virginia................. 16-17 O-19 Louisville................. 21-17 O-27 South Florida........... 22-15 N-3 Rutgers................... 38-19 N-10 @Cincinnati............... 3-27 N-17 Syracuse................... 30-7 N-24 @West Virginia........ 21-66

WAKE FOREST (8-4) S-1 @Boston College..... 28-38 S-8 Nebraska................. 17-20 S-15 Army....................... 21-10 S-22 Maryland.........31-24 (OT) O-6 @Duke..................... 41-36 O-11 Florida State............ 24-21 O-20 @Navy..................... 44-24 O-27 North Carolina......... 37-10 N-3 @Virginia................. 16-17 N-10 @Clemson............... 10-44 N-17 N.C. State................ 38-18 N-24 @Vanderbilt............. 31-17

Master Insight “These are two well-coached teams. Wake may be surprised by how good UConn is, so look for the Huskies to surprise early. But Wake will pull it out in the end.” — Dick MacPherson

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

Bowl Buster

Wake Forest center Steve Justice was named to the AFCA All-American team. The 6-4, 284-pounder was also named AllACC for the second consecutive year. He has started 37 consecutive games.

must know info Wake Forest and UConn have two common opponents. Both teams beat Duke in Durham and, in an eerie coincidence, both lost at Virginia by an identical 17-16 score.


UCF vs. Mississippi State

When: December 29, 2007 Time: 4:30 p.m. EDT Where: Memphis, Tenn. TV: ESPN Series: Mississippi State leads 1-0 Last meeting: Mississippi State won 35-28 in 1997 Line: UCF -3

Coaching Does Make A Difference

Without question, Penn State and Texas A&M are looking ahead to next season. After all, the Nittany Lions will return 21 starters, along with both specialists. Gone will be the team’s weakest link, quarterback Anthony Morelli. Despite his so-so play, the Lions hung tough in all but one game, with three losses being by seven points or less. The Aggies will ring in a new era with Coach Mike Sherman. He’s currently finishing the NFL season as an assistant with the NFL’s Houston Texans. These teams met in the 1999 Alamo Bowl, with the Nittany Lions rolling to a 24-0 victory. Look for an encore performance.

Prediction: UCF 27-17

MISSISSIPPI STATE (7-5) A-30 LSU........................... 0-45 S-8 @Tulane.................. 38-17 S-15 @Auburn................. 19-14 S-22 Garner-Webb........... 31-15 S-29 @South Carolina..... 21-38 O-6 UAB......................... 30-13 O-13 Tennessee............... 21-33 O-20 @West Virginia........ 13-38 O-27 @Kentucky.............. 31-14 N-10 Alabama.................. 17-12 N-17 @Arkansas.............. 31-45 N-23 Ole Miss.................. 17-14

Prediction: Penn State 31-21

Bowl Buster

UCF junior running back Kevin Smith is the nation’s leading rusher and scorer, averaging 188 yards (2,448 total yards) and 14 points per game. If he gains 181 yards in the bowl, he’ll become the all-time single-season rusher leader, surpassing Barry Sanders.

must know info

Master Insight “Central Florida will win because it has much better overall team speed. Plus, Mississippi State starts a freshman at quarterback. Not good.” — Pat Dye

When: December 29, 2007 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: San Antonio TV: ESPN Series: Penn State leads 2-1 Last meeting: Penn State won 24-0 in the 1999 Alamo Bowl Line: Penn State -5.5

Just Wait Until Next Year

Now this is what a bowl is supposed to be about: a reward for outstanding effort. These teams have progressed tremendously under fourth-year coaches. UCF’s George O’Leary is the Conference USA Coach of the Year, and MSU’s Sylvester Croom should be getting the same award in the SEC. Fans of both schools are thrilled, as the game is a sellout. UCF running back Kevin Smith is the real deal. He gashed Texas’ defense for 173 yards, so he’ll easily get that and more against the Bulldogs. By the way, look for Croom, the SEC’s first black coach, to replace some guy named Saban at Alabama in about three years or so. CENTRAL FLORIDA (10-3) S-1 @N.C. State............. 25-23 S-15 Texas....................... 32-35 S-22 Memphis................. 56-20 S-29 Lou.-Lafayette......... 37-19 O-6 @East Carolina........ 38-52 O-13 @Southern Florida.. 12-64 O-20 Tulsa........................ 44-23 O-28 @Southern Miss..... 34-17 N-3 Marshall.................. 47-13 N-10 @UAB...................... 45-31 N-17 @SMU..................... 49-20 N-24 UTEP....................... 36-20 D-1 Tulane...................... 44-25 C-USA Championship

Penn State vs. Texas A&M

Coach George O’Leary guided UCF to its second 10-win season and first C-USA title in school history. The Knights are playing in just their second bowl ever.

PENN STATE (8-4) S-1 Florida Int.................. 59-0 S-8 Notre Dame............. 31-10 S-15 Buffalo..................... 45-24 S-22 @Michigan................ 9-14 S-29 @Illinois.................. 20-27 O-6 Iowa.......................... 27-7 O-13 Wisconsin................. 38-7 O-20 @Indiana................. 36-31 O-27 Ohio State............... 17-37 N-3 Purdue.................... 26-19 N-10 @Temple................... 31-0 N-17 @Michigan State..... 31-35

TEXAS A&M (7-5) S-1 Montana State........... 38-7 S-8 Fresno St.........47-45 (OT) S-15 Lou.-Monroe........... 54-14 S-20 @Miami (FL)........... 17-34 S-29 Baylor...................... 34-10 O-6 Oklahoma State....... 24-23 O-13 @Texas Tech............. 7-35 O-20 @Nebraska.............. 36-14 O-27 Kansas.................... 11-19 N-3 @Oklahoma............. 14-42 N-10 @Missouri............... 26-40 N-23 Texas....................... 38-30

Master Insight “Joe Paterno has always been excellent at preparing his team for bowl games. And we have yet another bowl with a team that is distracted by a coaching change. Lions win.” — R.C. Slocum

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

Bowl Buster

Dan Connor, Penn State’s all-time leading tackler with 410 stops, is the winner of the Bednarik Award as the nation’s top defensive player. The first team All-American also leads the Big Ten with 136 tackles.

must know info

Penn State’s Joe Paterno is coaching his 500th game; Texas A&M’s Gary Darnell is coaching his first as the Aggies’ interim coach. Darnell, the team’s defensive coordinator, replaces Dennis Franchione, who resigned.

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Alabama vs. Colorado

California vs. Air Force

When: December 30, 2007 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: Shreveport, La. TV: ESPN Series: Tied at 1-1 Last meeting: Alabama won 30-25 in the 1991 Blockbuster Bowl Line: Alabama -3.5

When: December 31, 2007 Time: 12:30 p.m. EDT Where: Fort Worth, Texas TV: ESPN Series: California leads 5-2 Last meeting: Cal won 56-14 in 2004 Line: Cal -3.5

Coaching Does Make A Difference

Falcons Goes To Ground Attack

For two more million, Alabama could have gotten Lee Majors as its coach, and he could have used some of his bionic powers to produce at least a win or two more than Nick Saban did this year. If you’re clueless, ask your parents. They’ll catch you up to speed on TV shows from the 70’s. Shreveport welcomes two tradition-rich programs that won the minimum number of games to be bowl-eligible. The Tide has dropped four straight, while the Buffs have been up and down all season. We love the thought of Saban finishing his first season with a losing record!

Air Force has won six of its last seven games. Cal dropped six of its last seven. The Bears were national title contenders in midOctober, so you can just imagine how excited they are to be playing a service academy in Fort Worth. The game features two of the nation’s most exciting running backs, Air Force’s Chad Hall and Cal’s Justin Forsett. Each has rushed for more than 1,400 yards. One of the nation’s top rushing teams, the Academy is unbeaten when Hall gets his 100 yards. That doesn’t bode well for a Cal defense that allows, on average, four yards a carry.

Prediction: Colorado 23-20 ALABAMA (6-6) S-1 Western Carolina....... 52-6 S-8 @Vanderbilt............. 24-10 S-15 Arkansas................. 41-38 S-22 Georgia............23-26 (OT) S-29 @Florida State......... 14-21 O-6 Houston.................. 30-24 O-13 @Ole Miss............... 27-24 O-20 Tennessee............... 41-17 O-27 Bye N-3 LSU......................... 34-41 N-10 @Mississippi St...... 12-17 N-17 Lou.-Monroe........... 14-21 N-24 @Auburn................. 10-17

COLORADO (6-6) S-1 vs. Colo. St.*...31-28 (OT) S-8 @Arizona State........ 14-33 S-15 Florida State.............. 6-16 S-22 Miami (OH) .............. 42-0 S-29 Oklahoma................ 27-24 O-6 @Baylor................... 43-23 O-13 @Kansas State........ 20-47 O-20 Kansas.................... 14-19 O-27 @Texas Tech........... 31-26 N-3 Missouri.................. 10-55 N-10 @Iowa State............ 28-31 N-23 Nebraska................. 65-51 *@Denver’s Invesco Field

Prediction: Air Force 27-21

Bowl Buster

Linebacker Jordon Dizon is the first Colorado player to be named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He has 160 tackles, second-most nationally.

must know info

Master Insight “Neither team played a tough schedule and neither impressed me during the season. Alabama will win because it has more overall talent.” — Gene Stallings

Alabama is playing in the same bowl in consecutive seasons for the first time since making Cotton Bowl appearances in 1981-82. The Tide is also playing a Big 12 opponent in a bowl for the third straight season. They lost to Oklahoma State last season, 34-31, and beat Texas Tech, 13-10, in the Cotton Bowl a year earlier.

AIR FORCE (9-3) S-1 South Carolina St...... 34-3 S-8 @Utah..................... 20-12 S-13 TCU.................20-17 (OT) S-22 @BYU........................ 6-31 S-29 @Navy..................... 20-31 O-6 UNLV....................... 31-14 O-13 @Colorado State..... 45-21 O-20 Wyoming................. 20-12 O-25 @New Mexico......... 31-34 N-3 Army....................... 30-10 N-10 @Notre Dame.......... 41-24 N-17 San Diego State...... 55-23

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Prediction: USF 38-13

Bowl Buster

Georgia Tech All-American senior running back Tashard Choice led the ACC in rushing for the second straight season, averaging 119 yards per game. He had a season-high 37 rushes for 204 yards against Miami (FL).

must know info

Master Insight “Georgia Tech won’t miss its head coach in this one. Their defense will give the Bulldog offense fits. Tashard Choice will have a big game.” — Vince Dooley

When: December 31, 2007 Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT Where: El Paso, Texas TV: CBS Series: First meeting Line: South Florida -6.5

Never in recent memory has one player meant more to his team than quarterback Dennis Dixon did to Oregon. Things were just ducky in mid-November. The Ducks were national title contenders and Dixon was the Heisman front-runner. But then he was injured in the first quarter at Arizona, and as fast as you can say AFLAC, it was game over, Heisman over, season over. The Ducks have lost twice more since. Thus, having to play in this bowl is a bit BRUTal for Oregon, pun intended. The Bulls, meanwhile, have averaged 48 points during their current three-game win streak. The rout is on.

Prediction: Georgia Tech 31-10 FRESNO STATE (8-4) S-1 Sacramento State...... 24-3 S-8 @Texas A&M...45-47 (OT) S-15 @Oregon................. 21-52 S-29 Louisiana Tech.......... 17-6 O-6 @Nevada................. 49-41 O-13 @Idaho.................... 37-24 O-20 San Jose State.......... 30-0 O-26 Boise State.............. 21-34 N-3 Utah State............... 38-27 N-10 @Hawaii.................. 30-37 N-24 Kansas State........... 45-29 N-30 @New Mexico St..... 30-23

First-year Air Force coach Troy Calhoun started at quarterback for the Academy in 1986 and was one of only two freshmen to letter for the 1985 team that finished fifth in the polls with a 12-1 record and included wins over Notre Dame and Texas.

One-Man Show Quacks Up

The two teams in this bowl are required to provide a corporate sponsor, purchase a minimum number of tickets and stay at a selected hotel for a minimum stay. And they call this the Humanitarian Bowl? Seems more like prostitution to us. Anyway, we have yet another team in a bowl after firing its coach. Defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta will lead the Yellow Jackets for this game only, as Navy’s Paul Johnson is Chan Gailey’s permanent successor. Despite the internal chaos, Tech will have no problem taking care of a Fresno State team that simply isn’t the giant killer it used to be. GEORGIA TECH (7-5) S-1 @Notre Dame............ 33-3 S-8 Samford.................. 69-14 S-15 Boston College........ 10-24 S-22 @Virginia................. 23-28 S-29 Clemson.................... 13-3 O-6 @Maryland.............. 26-28 O-13 @Miami (FL)........... 17-14 O-20 Army....................... 34-10 N-1 Virginia Tech............. 3-27 N-10 @Duke..................... 41-24 N-17 North Carolina......... 27-25 N-24 Georgia.................... 17-31

must know info

South Florida vs. Oregon

Line: Georgia Tech -4

Nothing Humanitarian About This Bowl

Bowl Buster

Air Force do-everything star Chad Hall leads his team in rushing (1,415 yards), receiving (46 catches for 488 yards) and kick returns (18 returns for 425 yards). He ranks third in the nation in all-purpose yards.

Master Insight “Cal should win based on talent, but Air Force and its wishbone-oriented offense is very tough to prepare for. An upset wouldn’t surprise me.” — John Ralston

Georgia Tech vs. Fresno State When: December 31, 2007 Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT Where: Boise, Idaho TV: ESPN2 Series: Fresno State leads 1-0 Last meeting: FSU won 30-21 in the 2002 Silicon Valley Classic

CALIFORNIA (6-6) S-1 Tennessee............... 45-31 S-8 @Colorado State..... 34-28 S-15 Louisiana Tech........ 42-12 S-22 Arizona.................... 45-27 S-29 @Oregon................. 31-24 O-6 Bye O-13 Oregon State........... 28-31 O-20 @UCLA.................... 21-30 O-27 @Arizona State........ 20-31 N-3 Washington State.... 20-17 N-10 USC......................... 17-24 N-17 @Washington.......... 23-37 D-1 @Stanford............... 13-20

This is just the second meeting between the teams, as the Bulldogs beat the Yellow Jackets, 30-21, in the 2002 Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, Calif. Tech has appeared in 35 bowls, Fresno State 19.

SOUTH FLORIDA (9-3) S-1 ELON....................... 28-13 S-8 @Auburn................. 26-23 S-22 North Carolina......... 37-10 S-28 West Virginia........... 21-13 O-6 @Florida Atlantic..... 35-23 O-13 Central Florida......... 64-12 O-18 @Rutgers................ 27-30 O-27 @Connecticut.......... 15-22 N-3 Cincinnati................ 33-38 N-10 @Syracuse.............. 41-10 N-17 Louisville................. 55-17 N-24 @Pittsburgh............ 48-37

OREGON (8-4) S-1 Houston.................. 48-27 S-8 @Michigan................ 39-7 S-15 Fresno State............ 52-21 S-22 @Stanford............... 55-31 S-29 California................. 24-31 O-13 Washington St........... 53-7 O-20 @Washington.......... 55-34 O-27 USC......................... 24-17 N-3 Arizona State........... 35-23 N-15 @Arizona................. 24-34 N-24 @UCLA...................... 0-16 D-1 Oregon St......31-38 (2OT)

Master Insight “With Dixon out, Oregon will struggle to move the ball against USF’s tough defense. The Bulls should win by a touchdown or more.” — Don James

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

Bowl Buster

USF defensive end George Selvie is the school’s first consensus first team All-American. He leads the nation with 31.5 tackles for loss, including 14.5 sacks.

must know info

Both USF and Oregon climbed as high as No. 2 in the BCS standings this season before falling apart. The Bulls got there after starting 6-0, but then lost three straight. The Ducks earned the same ranking with an 8-1 record but lost their final three contests.


Kentucky vs. Florida State

When: December 31, 2007 Time: 4:00 p.m. EDT Where: Nashville, Tenn. TV: ESPN Series: Kentucky leads 3-1-1 Last meeting: Kentucky won 26-24 in 1965 Line: Kentucky -1

Hey Bobby, Maybe It’s Time

Kentucky is a slight favorite to beat Florida State. Read that again. Now, someone please offer a valid justification for Seminole Coach Bobby Bowden not retiring. Yes, we know this isn’t your father’s Wildcats (we haven’t forgotten they beat LSU), but give us a break. They’ve lost five games and aren’t even ranked. Come to think of it, FSU has the same resume. The difference is that UK has Andre Woodson at quarterback, while FSU has Drew Weatherford, who is only slightly more overrated than Michigan’s Chad Henne. Oops, sorry. We’ll save the Michigan bashing for the Capital One Bowl preview.

Prediction: Kentucky 27-17 KENTUCKY (7-5) S-1 Eastern Kentucky.... 50-10 S-8 Kent State................ 56-20 S-15 Louisville................. 40-34 S-22 @Arkansas.............. 42-29 S-29 Florida Atlantic........ 45-17 O-4 @South Carolina..... 23-38 O-13 LSU.................43-37 (OT) O-20 Florida..................... 37-45 O-27 Mississippi State..... 14-31 N-10 @Vanderbilt............. 27-20 N-17 @Georgia................ 13-24 N-24 Tennessee.....50-52 (4OT)

FLORIDA STATE (7-5) S-3 @Clemson............... 18-24 S-8 UAB......................... 34-24 S-15 @Colorado................ 16-6 S-22 Bye S-29 Alabama.................. 21-14 O-6 N.C. State................ 27-10 O-11 @Wake Forest......... 21-24 O-20 Miami (FL).............. 29-37 O-27 Duke.......................... 25-6 N-3 @Boston College..... 27-17 N-10 @Virginia Tech........ 21-40 N-17 Maryland................. 24-16 N-24 @Florida.................. 14-45

Bowl Buster

Coach Bobby Bowden, about to finish his 32nd season at FSU, is the nation’s winningest coach of all time with 373 victories. He is leading the Seminoles into their 26th consecutive bowl game.

must know info

Master Insight “FSU has more talent but I think Kentucky will win. Look for quarterback Andre Woodson and tight end Jacob Tamme to connect several times.” — Pat Dye

Though we like Kentucky to roll in this game, the Music City Bowl has a history of upsets. Underdogs have won six of the eight games, including last year when 10-point dog Kentucky beat Clemson 28-20.

Indiana vs. Oklahoma State

When: December 31, 2007 Time: 6:00 p.m. EDT Where: Tempe, Ariz. TV: NFL Network Series: Tied 0-0-1 Last meeting: Teams battled to a 7-7 tie in 1930 Line: Oklahoma State -4

Gundy Can Take A Loss; He’s A Man

If you’re not rooting for Indiana, you’re heartless. On a mission to “Play 13” for Coach Terry Hoeppner, who passed away before the season, the Hoosiers are the feel-good story of the season. They’re going to a bowl for the first time in 14 years. Maybe there should be a movie called Hoosiers made; the title might sell. IU’s quarterback/ receiver combination of Kellen Lewis and James Hardy should be too much for a Cowboy defense that gave up more than 35 points in five of their six losses. By the way, don’t feel bad if OSU loses. Cowboy Coach Mike Gundy can take it. He’s a man. He’s 40.

Prediction: Indiana 28-27 INDIANA (7-5) S-1 Indiana State............. 55-7 S-8 @West. Michigan.... 37-27 S-15 Akron...................... 41-24 S-22 Illinois..................... 14-27 S-29 @Iowa..................... 38-20 O-6 Minnesota............... 40-20 O-13 @Michigan State..... 27-52 O-20 Penn State............... 31-36 O-27 @Wisconsin.............. 3-33 N-3 Ball State................. 38-20 N-10 @Northwestern....... 28-31 N-17 Purdue.................... 27-24

OKLAHOMA STATE (6-6) S-1 @Georgia................ 14-35 S-8 Florida Atlantic.......... 42-6 S-14 @Troy...................... 23-41 S-22 Texas Tech............... 49-45 S-29 Sam Houston St........ 39-3 O-6 @Texas A&M........... 23-24 O-13 @Nebraska.............. 45-14 O-20 Kansas State........... 41-39 N-3 Texas....................... 35-38 N-10 Kansas.................... 28-43 N-17 @Baylor................... 45-14 N-24 @Oklahoma............. 17-49

Bowl Buster

Oklahoma State wide receiver Adarius Bowman is every bit as talented as his IU counterpart, James Hardy. Despite missing three games with an injury, Brown still caught 61 passes for 932 yards and seven TDs.

must know info

Master Insight “OSU throws the ball well and runs well behind Dantrell Savage. But IU has a game-changer in Kellen Lewis. Indiana will win as long as they contain Savage.” — Bill Mallory

Indiana, historically a Big Ten doormat, surprisingly holds a 23-19-6 record (.542) against teams from the Big 12 Conference. The Hoosiers are making their ninth bowl appearance overall.

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

25


Clemson vs. Auburn

When: December 31, 2007 Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT Where: Atlanta TV: ESPN Series: Auburn leads 32-11-2 Last meeting: Auburn won 21-17 in the 1998 Chick-fil-A Bowl Line: Clemson -2

Tigers vs. Tigers/War Eagles

Tennessee will win this game, oh, let’s say something like 87-3, so go ahead and give the 3.5 points on this one. Good for you; you recognize facetiousness when you read it. Truly, though, this is the first of what is supposed to be three easy wins for the mighty SEC over the awful Big Ten in bowls. Can the Badgers, behind the one-two punch of running back P.J. Hill and first team All-American tight end Travis Beckum, compete with the SEC East Division champs? Yes, and they’ll do so with a grind-it-out attack.

Prediction: Wisconsin 23-17

Prediction: Auburn 23-21

Bowl Buster

AUBURN (8-4) S-1 Kansas State........... 23-13 S-8 South Florida........... 23-26 S-15 Mississippi State..... 14-19 S-22 New Mexico St........ 55-20 S-29 @Florida.................. 20-17 O-6 Vanderbilt.................. 35-7 O-13 @Arkansas.................. 9-7 O-20 @LSU...................... 24-30 O-27 Ole Miss.................... 17-3 N-3 Tennessee Tech......... 35-3 N-10 @Georgia................ 20-45 N-24 Alabama.................. 17-10

James Davis leads Clemson with 992 yards rushing, averaging a hefty 5.2 yards a pop. He is tied for second in Clemson history in career rushing with 3,058 yards.

must know info

Master Insight “Clemson is balanced offensively but Auburn is great defensively. This game’s a toss-up but Clemson has the edge because Auburn’s offensive coordinator just resigned.” — Pat Dye

When: January 1, 2008 Time: 11:00 a.m. EDT Where: Tampa, Fla. TV: ESPN Series: Tennessee leads 1-0 Last meeting: Tennessee won 28-21 in the 1981 Garden State Bowl Line: Tennessee -3.5

SEC vs. Big Ten, Round One

It’s the Tigers vs. Tigers in this made-for-selling-tickets bowl held in what used to be known as Hotlanta. Auburn will probably go by the name War Eagles in this one to have its own identity. It’s the only school we know that has two completely unrelated but interchangeable mascots. But we digress. Both teams rank in the top 10 in scoring defense and total defense, but Clemson has more offensive gusto. The X-factor is Tiger Coach Tommy Bowden, as he often finds a way to screw up in close games. Conversely, Auburn’s been schizo all season. We’re doing the coin flip thing again. CLEMSON (9-3) S-3 Florida State............ 24-18 S-8 Lou.-Monroe........... 49-26 S-15 Furman.................... 38-10 S-22 @N.C. State............. 42-20 S-29 @Georgia Tech.......... 3-13 O-6 Virginia Tech........... 23-41 O-20 Central Michigan..... 70-14 O-27 @Maryland.............. 30-17 N-3 @Duke..................... 47-10 N-10 Wake Forest............ 44-10 N-17 Boston College........ 17-20 N-24 @South Carolina..... 23-21

Wisconsin vs. Tennessee

With Clemson favored by just two points, it’s worth noting that the Tigers are 12-15 in games decided by seven points or less since 2001 under Coach Tommy Bowden, while Auburn is 15-7.

WISCONSIN (9-3) S-1 Washington State.... 42-21 S-8 @UNLV.................... 20-13 S-15 The Citadel.............. 45-31 S-22 Iowa........................ 17-13 S-29 Michigan State........ 37-34 O-6 @Illinois.................. 26-31 O-13 @Penn State............. 7-38 O-20 Northern Illinois........ 44-3 O-27 Indiana...................... 33-3 N-3 @Ohio State............ 17-38 N-10 Michigan................. 37-21 N-17 @Minnesota............ 41-34

Big Ten vs. SEC, Round II

Missouri has been unbeatable against all teams not named Oklahoma. A second loss to the Sooners cost the Tigers a trip to the Big Easy, and now they find themselves in the Big Sleazy. Ever been to the Cotton Bowl, folks? It’s a dump. That’s why this bowl is no longer one of the biggies. But we have to admit this is an attractive match-up, featuring a pair of Heisman Trophy finalists, Arkansas running back Darren McFadden and Mizzou quarterback Chase Daniel. The Hogs will pound it with McFadden, while the Tigers will spread it with Daniel. This is easily the best non-BCS game.

Lloyd Carr’s final game as Michigan coach will be against the last team he beat in a bowl. The Wolves have lost four straight bowls since beating the Gators in the 2003 Outback game. Make it five. This has debacle written all over it. Michigan hasn’t contained a mobile quarterback all season, and now it has to face the nation’s best in Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. Even if Tebow is contained, Carr will never ultimately outwit Gator Coach Urban Meyer. Alas, has anyone heard from Michigan running back Michael Hart lately? We just wanted to get his prediction on this one! (Ha, we crack ourselves up sometimes!)

Prediction: Arkansas 38-35

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The SEC runner-up Volunteers lost three regular season games by 14, 39 and 24 points, respectively, to teams that have a combined 15 losses. Conversely, three Vol wins were by a combined six points, including two in overtime.

When: January 1, 2008 Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT Where: Orlando, Fla. TV: ABC Series: Michigan leads 1-0 Last meeting: Michigan won 38-30 in the 2003 Outback Bowl Line: Florida -10

Easily The Best Non-BCS Bowl

Bowl Buster

Arkansas running back Darren McFadden was the Heisman Trophy runner-up for the second consecutive season. The Sporting News Player of the Year rushed for a single-season school record 1,725 yards.

must know info

Master Insight “Missouri’s angry because it’s not in a BCS bowl and Arkansas is a bit embarrassed by the Bobby Petrino hiring fiasco. Advantage to the Tigers.” — Hayden Fry

must know info

Michigan vs. Florida

When: January 1, 2008 Time: 11:30 a.m. EDT Where: Dallas TV: FOX Series: Tied at 2-2 Last meeting: Arkansas won 27-14 in the 2003 Independence Bowl Line: Missouri -3

ARKANSAS (8-4) S-1 Troy......................... 46-26 S-15 @Alabama............... 38-41 S-22 Kentucky................. 29-42 S-29 North Texas............... 66-7 O-6 Tenn.-Chattanooga.. 34-15 O-13 Auburn........................ 7-9 O-20 @Ole Miss................. 44-8 O-27 Florida Int................ 58-10 N-3 South Carolina........ 48-36 N-10 @Tennessee............ 13-34 N-17 Mississippi State..... 45-31 N-23 @LSU............50-48 (3OT)

Bowl Buster

Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge has had an up-and-down career, but enters the bowl playing well. He set career-highs this season in completions (300), yards (3,157) and TDs (29).

Master Insight “Wisconsin has a good chance to win if P.J. Hill and the rest of the backfield are healthy. If not, Tennessee could win by a couple of touchdowns.” — John Cooper

Missouri vs. Arkansas

MISSOURI (11-2) S-1 vs. Illinois................ 40-34 S-8 @Ole Miss............... 38-25 S-15 Western Michigan... 52-24 S-22 Illinois State............ 38-17 O-6 Nebraska................... 41-6 O-13 @Oklahoma............. 31-41 O-20 Texas Tech............... 41-10 O-27 Iowa State............... 42-28 N-3 @Colorado.............. 55-10 N-10 Texas A&M.............. 40-26 N-17 @Kansas State........ 49-32 N-24 vs. Kansas............... 36-28 D-1 Oklahoma................ 17-38 Big 12 Championship

TENNESSEE (9-4) S-1 @California.............. 31-45 S-8 Southern Miss......... 39-19 S-15 @Florida.................. 20-59 S-22 Arkansas State........ 48-27 O-6 Georgia.................... 35-14 O-13 @Mississippi St...... 33-21 O-20 @Alabama............... 17-41 O-27 So. Carolina.....27-24 (OT) N-3 Lou.-Lafayette........... 59-7 N-10 Arkansas................. 34-13 N-17 Vanderbilt................ 25-24 N-24 @Kentucky....52-50 (4OT) D-1 LSU......................... 14-21 SEC Championship

Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel is returning to Dallas to play in front of his hometown fans. As a senior at perennial national power Southlake Carroll High, Daniel led the Dragons to a state title in 2004.

Prediction: Florida 37-17 MICHIGAN (8-4) S-1 Appalachian St........ 32-34 S-8 Oregon...................... 7-39 S-15 Notre Dame............... 38-0 S-22 Penn State................. 14-9 S-29 @Northwestern....... 28-16 O-6 Eastern Michigan.... 33-22 O-13 Purdue.................... 48-21 O-20 @Illinois.................. 27-17 O-27 Minnesota............... 34-10 N-3 @Michigan State..... 28-24 N-10 @Wisconsin............ 21-37 N-17 Ohio State................. 3-14

FLORIDA (9-3) S-1 Western Kentucky..... 49-3 S-8 Troy......................... 59-31 S-15 Tennessee............... 59-20 S-22 @Ole Miss............... 30-24 S-29 Auburn.................... 17-20 O-6 @LSU...................... 24-28 O-20 @Kentucky.............. 45-37 O-27 vs. Georgia*............ 30-42 N-3 Vanderbilt................ 49-22 N-10 @South Carolina..... 51-31 N-17 Florida Atlantic........ 59-20 N-24 Florida State............ 45-12 *@Jacksonville’s Municipal Stadium

Master Insight “I like Michigan in this one because the team wants to send Carr out with a win, and Henne and Hart are finally healthy. Stopping Tebow won’t be easy, though. ” — Bill Mallory

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

Bowl Buster

Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow became the first quarterback in college football history to run (22) and pass (29) for 20 TDs in a season. He is also the first sophomore to win the Heisman.

must know info

Though Michigan’s Lloyd Carr has lost his last four bowls, it’s worth noting that legendary Wolverine boss Bo Schembechler lost his first seven bowls (his team averaged only 10 points per defeat), and 10 of his first 12.


texas tech vs. Virginia

Rutgers vs. Ball state

When: January 1, 2008 Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT Where: Jacksonville, Fla. TV: CBS Series: First meeting Line: Texas Tech -5.5

When: January 5, 2008 Time: 12:00 p.m. EDT Where: Toronto, Canada TV: ESPN2 Series: Tied at 0-0-1 Last meeting: Teams played to a 31-31 tie in 1989 Line: Rutgers -10

Cavalier Effort won’t Get it Done

upset special? not Really

Virginia, victors nine times this season, set an NCAA record by winning five games by one or two points, and in its last outing got pounded by rival Virginia Tech. Texas Tech, which averages 42 points and 440 passing yards per game, has won eight times, and most recently took Big 12 champion Oklahoma to the woodshed. See where we’re going here? Even though Virginia has the nation’s best defensive end in Chris Long, there’s really no stopping Tech quarterback Graham Harrell. The Red Raider defense isn’t very good, but neither is Virginia’s offense. We ran the math: It adds up to blowout city.

Ya gotta hand it to Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano. Even though his name pops up at the top of the list of every plum job that opens – Miami (FL) and Michigan, to name a pair – he appears firmly committed to turning the Scarlet Knights into a perennial national power. We love what he accomplished last year, but the team dipped quite a bit this season with the same talent. This game features Rutgers’ All-American running back Ray Rice and Ball State quarterback Nate Davis, the nation’s best player you’ve likely never seen or heard of. This isn’t as big an upset as many will claim it to be.

Prediction: texas tech 45-24 s-3 s-8 s-15 s-22 s-29 o-6 o-13 o-20 o-27 n-3 n-10 n-17

TEXAS TECH (8-4) @sMu ...................... 49-9 utEP ...................... 45-31 @Rice ..................... 59-24 @oklahoma st. ...... 45-49 nW louisiana st. ..... 75-7 iowa state .............. 42-17 texas A&M ............... 35-7 @Missouri .............. 10-41 Colorado................. 26-31 @Baylor.................... 38-7 @texas ................... 43-49 oklahoma ............... 34-27

s-1 s-8 s-15 s-22 s-29 o-6 o-13 o-20 o-27 n-3 n-10 n-24

VIRGINIA (9-3) @Wyoming............... 3-23 Duke ....................... 24-13 @north Carolina ..... 22-20 Georgia tech .......... 28-23 Pittsburgh .............. 44-14 @Mid. tenn. st....... 23-21 Connecticut ............ 17-16 @Maryland ............. 18-17 @n.C. state ............ 24-29 Wake Forest ........... 17-16 @Miami (Fl) ............ 48-0 virginia tech .......... 21-33

Prediction: Ball state 27-23

Bowl Buster

A mere red-shirt freshman, Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree is the Paul Warfield Award winner, given to the nation’s top receiver. He leads the nation in receiving yards (1,861), receptions (125) and TD catches (21).

must know info

Master Insight “Virginia will have to be at its best defensively because they can’t afford to get into a shootout. The Cavaliers will find a way to keep it close but Tech will prevail.” — George Welsh

Texas Tech capped the biggest comeback in bowl history with a 44-41 overtime win over Minnesota at the Insight Bowl last season. Tech trailed 38-7 early in the second half before scoring 35 straight points.

A-30 s-7 s-15 s-29 o-6 o-13 o-18 o-27 n-3 n-9 n-17 n-29

RUTGERS (7-5) Buffalo ...................... 38-3 navy ....................... 41-27 norfolk state ............ 59-0 Maryland ................ 24-34 Cincinnati ............... 23-28 @syracuse ............. 38-14 south Florida .......... 30-27 West virginia ............ 3-31 @Connecticut ......... 19-38 @Army ..................... 41-6 Pittsburgh .............. 20-16 @louisville ............. 38-41

A-30 s-8 s-15 s-22 s-29 o-6 o-13 o-20 o-27 n-3 n-13 n-24

BALL STATE (7-5) Miami (oh) ............ 13-14 @Eastern Michigan 38-16 @navy ............34-31 (ot) @nebraska ............. 40-41 Buffalo .................... 49-14 Central Michigan .... 38-58 Western Kentucky .. 35-12 @West. Michigan ... 27-23 @illinois ................. 17-28 @indiana ................ 20-38 toledo .................... 41-20 @northern illinois .. 27-21

Bowl Buster

Sophomore quarterback Nate Davis, from Bellaire, Ohio, is Ball State’s team MVP this season. He set single-season school records with 3,376 passing yards, 429 pass attempts, 245 completions and 27 TD passes.

must know info

Master Insight “Rutgers is used to winning now and is out to prove they’re not pretenders. They have better coaches and players and will beat Ball State handily.” — Dick MacPherson

In its second year, the International Bowl (Toronto, Canada) is the only post-season bowl played outside the United States, and the first since the 1937 Bacardi Bowl in Cuba.

Bowling Green vs. tulsa

Season’s Greetings from

When: January 6, 2008 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: Mobile, Ala. TV: ESPN Series: Tulsa leads 1-0 Last meeting: Tulsa won 45-10 in 1989 Line: Tulsa -4.5

Yes! football over Dancing with the stars!

The best thing about this bowl for the participating teams is that they get nearly two extra weeks of practice, compared to the other teams playing in teeny tiny bowls. The best thing about this bowl for fans is that it gives us an alternative to “Dancing With The Stars” on the eve of the BCS National Championship. Hey, football is football. We’ll tune in. Actually, there’s some legit entertainment value here, as the opposing quarterbacks have combined for nearly 8,000 passing yards and 65 TDs. If you like shootouts. . .

Prediction: tulsa 48-35 BOWLING GREEN (8-4) s-1 @Minnesota ........... 32-31 s-8 @Michigan state .... 17-28 s-22 temple.................... 48-35 s-29 Western Kentucky .. 41-21 o-6 @Boston College .... 24-55 o-13 @Miami (oh) ......... 14-47 o-20 @Kent state ........... 31-20 o-27 ohio........................ 27-38 n-2 Akron...................... 44-20 n-9 @East. Michigan .... 39-32 n-17 @Buffalo................. 31-17 n-23 toledo .................... 37-10

A-30 s-15 s-21 s-29 o-6 o-13 o-20 o-27 n-3 n-10 n-17 n-24 D-1

TULSA (9-4) @lou.-Monroe ....... 35-17 BYu ........................ 55-47 oklahoma ............... 21-62 uAB ........................ 38-30 @utEP ................... 47-48 Marshall ................. 38-31 @Central Florida ..... 23-44 sMu ....................... 29-23 @tulane ................. 49-25 houston.................... 56-7 @Army ................... 49-39 @Rice ..................... 48-43 uCF ........................ 25-44 C-usA Championship

Master Insight “I hate picking against my alma mater, but Tulsa quarterback Paul Smith and the Golden Hurricane offense are just too good.” — Don Nehlen This Week in FooTball • Tri-sTaTe ediTion • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

Bowl Buster

Bowling Green center Kory Lichtensteiger led the way for one of the MAC’s most proficient offenses this season. He was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top center.

must know info Tulsa leads the nation in total offense with a 542-yard average, while its 374 passing yards is third nationally. The Golden Hurricane average 40 points a game, ranking 10th nationally.

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Congratulations! Josh Krusling Mason

Byron Thompson Cincinnati Northwest

Logan Von Bargen Little Miami

Jared Ferguson Lemon-Monroe

Harry Fowler Lockland

Richie Cox Jeff Ware Mason County (Ky.) Hamilton

Justin Foley Harrison

Chris Hines Taylor

Greg Napier New Miami

Shawn Davis Western Brown

John Cordero Middletown

Andrew Finnerson Winton Woods

Tyler White Anderson

Keith Reddish Deer Park

Michael Zellar Kris Gaier Cincinnati Christian Walnut Hills

Tim Uecker Josh Gagen Archbishop Moeller Western Brown

Justin Steigerwald Oak Hills

Dwight Evans II Sycamore

Alex Kummer La Salle

Scott Sharrock Grant County (Ky.)

Alex Gulick Milford

Jerry Ogilvie Western Brown

Ben Heiser Walnut Hills

Andrew Gullion Batavia

Aaron Hamburg Fairfield

Andy Billisits Lakota East

Bruce Ernest Kings

Pete Cary Turpin

Dan Leahy Lemon-Monroe

Jon Elder Trenton Edgewood

M. Wylie Brace Mason County (Ky.)

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Dominique Collier Cincinnati Woodward

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

Brian Dern Kings


The 2007 McScholar Athletes are recognized for: athletic ability, academic effort and school citizenship

Ricky Otis Elder

Jeff Mardis Western Brown

Robert Waddle Walnut Hills

JK Schaffer La Salle

Erik Finklea Cincinnati Woodward

Brian Ellis Dayton (Ky.)

Brad Griffith Glen Este

Dane Boggs Western Brown

Kendal Coleman Hillsboro

Brian Baird Mariemont

Scott Dearwester Oak Hills

Matt Reinert Finneytown

James Perry Milford

Conner Warye Kings

Dan Weintraub Walnut Hills

Cody Reardon New Richmond

Timothy Duncan Cincinnati Woodward

Richard Turner Dayton (Ky.)

Dan Bauder Sycamore

Tom Fields Western Brown

Tyler Sanders Clermont Northeastern

Caleb Corrill Batavia

Andrew Jenkins Finneytown

Alex Brummett Dayton (Ky.)

Fred Craig St. Xavier

Cory Minnie Western Brown

Eric Jones Walnut Hills

Matt Auffrey Finneytown

Kyron Payne Cincinnati Woodward

Nate Thomas Trenton Edgewood

Derek Termuhlen Milford

Danny Hagee Kings

Yue Sun Walnut Hills

Tyler Osterman Lemon-Monroe

Robert Barber Western Brown

Jackson Tolle Mason County (Ky.)

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

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U.S. Army Ohio High School Players of the Year Division II Player of the Year

Division I Player of the Year

Division III Player of the Year

Bart Tanski Mentor High School

Taylor Housewright Ashland High School

Isaiah Pead Eastmoor Academy

2007 Record: 11-3; lost to Cincinnati St. Xavier, 27-0, in the Division I state championship. 2007 Stats: 161 of 273 passing for 2,385 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for eight TDs Photo by Jerry Cook in nine regular season games. Noteworthy: 2007 Mr. Ohio Football Award (first ever by a player from Mentor); three-year varsity starter at quarterback; Associated Press Division I Co-Offensive Player of the Year; AP Division I First Team All-Ohio.

2007 Record: 12-2; loss to Cincinnati Anderson, 35-20, in the state semifinals. 2007 Stats: 182 of 265 passing for 2,568 yards and 31 touchdowns and rushed for 656 yards and seven touchdowns in 10 regular season games. Ashland High School Noteworthy: Associated Press Division II Offensive Player of the Year; AP Division II First Team All-Ohio; Ohio Cardinal Conference Offensive Player of the Year; Mansfield News Journal Offensive Player of the Year.

2007 Record: 9-1. 2007 Stats: Rushed for 2,204 yard and 39 touchdowns, recorded 35 tackles and intercepted six passes in 10 regular season games. Eastmoor Academy Noteworthy: Associated Press Division III Co-Offensive Player of the Year; AP Division III First Team AllOhio; First Team All-Columbus City League; football scholarship offers from West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

Division IV Player of the Year

Division V Player of the Year

Division VI Player of the Year

Mentor, Ohio Quarterback; 6-2, 190; Senior

Dan McCarthy Cardinal Mooney High School

Ashland, Ohio Quarterback; 6-3, 200; Senior

Youngstown, Ohio QB/S; 6-2, 190; Senior 2007 Record: 14-1; lost to Coldwater, 28-27, in the Division IV state championship. 2007 Stats: Passed for 414 yards and six touchdowns rushed for 1,113 yards and 13 TDs in 10 regular season games. Roncone Studio Noteworthy: Associated Press Division IV Offensive Player of the Year; AP Division IV First Team All-Ohio; finalist for the Mr. Ohio Football award; verbally committed to Notre Dame.

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Lamar McQueen Ursuline High School

Youngstown, Ohio Quarterback; 5-9, 165; Senior 2007 Record: 12-3; lost to Maria Stein Marion Local, 20-14, in the Division V state championship. 2007 Stats: Passed for 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns and rushed for 722 yards and six Ursuline High School TDs in 10 regular season games. Noteworthy: Associated Press Division V Co-Offensive Player of the Year; AP Division V First Team All-Ohio; Division V All-Northeast Inland District Offensive Player of the Year; Division V AllNortheast Inland District First Team Offense.

Columbus, Ohio RB/CB; 5-11, 190; Senior

Mark Nichols Newark Catholic High School

Newark, Ohio Running Back; 5-11, 190; Senior 2007 Record: 13-2; defeated Bascom HopewellLoudon, 28-14, in the Division VI state championship. 2007 Stats: Rushed for 2,906 yards and 41 touchdowns in 10 regular season games and Rivals.com five playoff games. Noteworthy: Associated Press Division VI Co-Offensive Player of the Year; AP Division VI First Team All-Ohio; Newark Advocate Offensive Player of the Year; Central District Offensive Player of the Year.

This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3


This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3

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This Week in Football • tri-state edition • Vo l u m e 5 , I s s u e 1 3


This Week In Football