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Georgia Backed Out of Series with Oregon

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops brought up the point this off-season that teams don’t have much to gain by scheduling difficult nonconference games. Rather, he pointed out that they have much more to lose because the BCS emphasizes record more than strength of schedule, so there’s little upside for a team like them whose Big 12 schedule is already difficult. Georgia’s new athletic director must have the same belief, because he recently agreed with Oregon to mutually cancel a planned home and home series for 2015.

Though the move was termed as a “mutual agreement,” comments from Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity (pictured) indicate it was Georgia who initiated the cancellation. He said about the Bulldogs’ game at Colorado this weekend “We think we’re going a long way this week, try Eugene, Ore., that’s even further. It’s not a lot of fun when you see the itinerary when you get back into Athens at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning like will be the situation this Sunday.”

In addition to not wanting to travel to Eugene, McGarity is in favor of the schedule model that features seven home games and only one tough nonconference game per year. With a game against rival Georgia Tech each year, that doesn’t leave much room for other difficult opponents.

To me, this is typical of the SEC. They have a tough conference schedule so their schools usually aren’t eager to challenge themselves with difficult nonconference schedules or games on the road. This move is also reflective of Georgia’s status as a program. They recently beat Arizona State in a home and home but split with Oklahoma State, losing in Stillwater last year. No longer confident in their abilities and looking to rebuild, they’re trying to set up an easier schedule for themselves.

Stanford vs. Oregon Is For Pac-10 Title

We’re only through four weeks of the college football season but I can say with confidence that Saturday evening’s game between Stanford and Oregon in Eugene will determine the Pac-10 champion. Both teams are 4-0 and have been looking dominant against opponents. The Ducks have been a steady contender in the conference for the past 10 years while Stanford is more of a newcomer. Regardless, I think the Cardinal will take the game.

Stanford has been one of the most impressive teams over the first month of the year. They wiped out Sacramento State as expected, 52-17. They humiliated UCLA at the Rose Bowl 35-0. They waxed Wake Forest 68-24, and they smoked Notre Dame on the road 37-14. Averaging 48 points per game places the Cardinal fourth in the country with Oregon at the top of the list. Both teams run the ball exceptionally well, but I think Stanford has the edge in a few areas.

The Cardinal has already proved it can play successfully on the road, which is what they’ll have to do Saturday. They’ve faced tougher competition than Oregon who also has road wins at Tennessee and Arizona State. Most of all, I think Stanford’s defense is dominant. Yes, both teams are scoreboarding huge numbers, but Stanford’s defense may be the best part of the team. They’ve posted 14 sacks and intercepted four passes, and I saw first hand how impossible it was to move the ball against them when they crushed UCLA. I think this will be similar to the Rose Bowl game between Ohio State and Oregon — Stanford will be too powerful for the speedy Ducks.

Oddsmakers may have installed Oregon as a seven point favorite at home, but I like the Cardinal in this one. Seven points seems like a holiday gift.

Lane Kiffin: We Would Let Team Score Late Touchdown in Close Game

The Sunday and Monday night NFL games this past week were close and featured difficult decisions. One team was deep into its opponents territory and preparing to take the lead (Chicago) or extend the lead (Jets) in the final few minutes. The question was whether the Packers or Dolphins should have played to make stops or let the opposing team score a touchdown while conserving timeouts for a last drive.

My Dad and I agreed that the right move for the Dolphins was to let the Jets score (as Tomlinson did), leaving yourself enough time and timeouts to potentially tie it (which is what happened). Perhaps it would have been wise for Green Bay to employ the same strategy instead of losing on a simple, last-second field goal.

Since it was a topic of discussion on Tuesday, Andrew Siciliano decided to ask Lane Kiffin for his thoughts during an interview with the USC coach on ESPN Radio in Los Angeles. Kiffin says he would generally let the other team score because it gives his team the best chance at victory:

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Two UConn Football Players Arrested After Fight…With Each Other

I couldn’t possibly pass up the chance to inform you about a story that has to do with my alma mater and is this ridiculous, could I?  UConn Football players Dave Teggart and Jerome Williams were arrested Monday night for breach of peace after being involved in a fight.  Teggart, a kicker, and Williams, a linebacker, will most likely be suspended as would be the case with any player who got arrested for getting into a fight.

Unless, of course, the only two parties involved in the fight were the players themselves.  That’s right, Teggart and Williams were arrested for fighting each other.  Head coach Randy Edsall said the two players won’t miss playing time because they were the only two involved.  As if the situation isn’t embarrassing enough, Edsall also had this to say:

It will be handled quite well. Nobody got hurt. No black eyes, nothing like that. It was like a cat fight.

A cat fight?  Ouch.  If you’re going to get taken to the clink for fighting with a teammate you might as well leave a bruise.  Apparently these two just scratched and clawed.  Their coach phrasing it that way to the press is probably punishment enough.

H/T to SbB Live

Brian Maddox Hurdles Defender, Steps on His Head (Video)

We’re big fans of freaky athletic plays here at LBS. Luckily for us, with like a hundred games being played on Saturdays, we generally get to see quite a few special plays be made. Brian Maddox’s incredible hurdle for South Carolina certainly qualifies. The senior running back caught a pass and proceeded to jump over a defender, getting so high he kicked the Auburn guy in the head. Check out the Brian Maddox hurdle video:

Let’s hope #22 didn’t suffer any facial injuries after taking that cleat to the grill. Yikes.

Patrick Peterson Does the Heisman Pose

LSU junior cornerback Patrick Peterson is one of the most exciting players in the country. Despite being robbed of a pick in the Bama/LSU game last year, Peterson has eight career INTs including two last weekend against Mississippi State. His dynamic ability led to the coaches also placing him in a special teams return role this year. The junior from Pompano Beach, Florida has already responded.

Peterson took a punt 60 yards to the house to make it 17-0 LSU against West Virginia in the second quarter Saturday night. What appeared to be a blowout in the making turned into a low-scoring game (they won 20-14), so the TD was huge for the Tigers. Peterson was well aware of his big play and decided to celebrate in the most recognizable way. Instead of getting caught in action like Denard Robinson last week, Peterson’s Heisman pose was premeditated. That doesn’t make it any bit less cool. Check it:

LSU’s tried to spark a Patrick Peterson for the Heisman Trophy campaign, so there’s nothing wrong with a little self promotion to help remind the voters. Sadly for Peterson, I don’t think he’ll become the first DB to win the Trophy since Charles Woodson did in 1997.

Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Rick Neuheisel Gets Signature Win in UCLA Upset over Texas

The UCLA program appeared to be heading in the wrong direction under third year head coach Rick Neuheisel. The Bruins lost 31-22 in the opener at Kansas State, allowing Daniel Thomas to run for 234 yards and two touchdowns while Kevin Prince went 9 of 26 for 120 yards and two picks. Then there was the 35-0 disaster in the home opener against Stanford. UCLA was so bad they practically were inventing ways to lose the game. After that pathetic showing, I had completely given up on the season and was completely down on the coaching staff.

Two weeks later, it’s redemption time.

The Bruins beat Houston for their first win last weekend, knocking both Houston quarterbacks out of the game. This week, they entered Saturday’s game in Austin as 15-point underdogs to the 7th ranked Texas Longhorns. UCLA (particularly the defense) played like it had nothing to lose in a 34-12 upset win.

UCLA caused four turnovers and took advantage of them for 10 points. The big play was a muffed punt by Texas inside its five that set up an easy Bruins touchdown, giving UCLA a 7-3 lead. The Bruins went into halftime up 13-3 but it should have been much more. Not only did the defense stop a sleepwalking Texas team, but the running game pounded the Horns into oblivion.

The Bruins ran for 263 yards and three touchdowns. The pistol offense showed what it’s capable of despite having zero passing threat (Kevin Prince was just 5-for-8 for 27 yards). Jonathan Franklin ran for 116 on 19 carries, Derrick Coleman added 94 yards on 16 carries, and even Kevin Prince ran for 48 yards. Texas and its vaunted run defense was somehow left helpless against UCLA.

Improbably, UCLA has now outscored Texas 100-15 in two games in Austin. The offense still needs a lot of work, the defense looks good, the Bruins are 2-2, and Rick Neuheisel has himself a signature win. Hopefully the Bruins will build upon this huge victory.