Michigan State started off the tournament as one of the most popular picks to win the title — what a JOKE. Syracuse weaseled their way into the tournament, as they always seem to do as of lately and keeps justifying it. Michigan State took a 30-5 record into this game and well..
Of course, everybody this weekend is talking about Virginia so not much will be focused on the poor job that Izzo did here. Syracuse, which came into the game playing their zone defense as they always do were able to stifle and shut down Michigan State. The Spartans missed their last 14 (!!) shots and did not record a FG for the last 5:43 of the game.
The only way to beat that Syracuse zone is to attack it, which Sparty did a horrendous job of doing so. Miles Bridges, one of the premier players in the country, was not properly utilized as they should have had him cutting to the glass. This isn’t all on Michigan State losing as Syracuse firmly deserved the win but this is just another notch into all of those people who refer to Izzo as someone to fear in March. He won one national championship all the way back in 2000, which I’m not sure if you realized was 18 years ago at this point. Michigan State has made the final four 3 times in the last 15 years which isn’t a bad thing but Izzo is constantly referred to in the Coach K category. Let’s get this straight — he’s not. He’s a good coach but the Spartans will not win another title with him at the helm.
Kudos to Syracuse, they did what they came out to do which was win an ugly game. They have Duke on the horizon who looks damn good but there’s no way we can’t justify their selection at this point. Fouling at the end of the game when up three is probably my least favorite thing about basketball but a win is a win.
UCF capped off their undefeated season with a win over Auburn in the Peach Bowl and claimed to be “undefeated National Champions.” At first, it was funny and lighthearted that UCF claimed to be National Champions and held their own block party before the real championship on Monday.
And then UCF paid their coaches a national championship bonus.
Okay still a bit cool. Nice to see they’re rewarding their coaches for a great season. And then Governor Rick Scott stepped in.
And now they’re releasing shirts too because why not try to profit off of this?
Little bit too far — undisputed? Not quite. The Alabama team we saw against Clemson & Georgia absolutely wipes the floor with Scott Frost’s Knights. This was funny and lighthearted to start with but now is entering the territory of insufferable. The 2017 UCF Knights were likeable and a nice underdog story — and now they’re doing everything possible to ruin it. I don’t know what UCF diehards are running to buy these shirts but if you do, you’re a joke and so is this program.
It took me some time to accept this, with my extreme hate for Alabama and the SEC conference but facts are facts. Alabama is the best team in the nation. Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide went into halftime down 13-0. In an unprecedented move, he benched his QB (who wasn’t doing much to be fair) who has won 25 of his last 27 starts to put in a true freshman, Tua Tagovailoa to lead the comeback.
The play that sealed the National Championship?
Jokes — I’m firmly anti-Alabama but UCF… you guys are not the national champions, you went undefeated in the AAC.
Also, chalk this up to the Atlanta Journal Constitution for jinxing UGA before the game even started.
Back to the game, Georgia controlled the entire first half and most of the game — in fact Alabama didn’t lead once. Jake Fromm made some big throws but with a one score lead and 7 minutes to go, they couldn’t convert a first down. Tua, who made big plays all night, took his team down and hit Calvin Ridley to tie it up at 20. Georgia then was forced to punt after 3 downs yet again, setting Alabama up for an easy game-winning 36 yard FG.
Of course however, Nick Saban was not losing this game in OT as Georgia scraped up a FG and Alabama hit them with the dagger on the following possession.
That’s a wrap — Alabama has now won 5 championships in 9 years and is no doubt the powerhouse of college football. Now with a stud freshman QB? Place your bets on Alabama repeating again.
PS — State of Georgia in football…not the best look.
Looks like we’re going to have quite the QB loaded draft this year. Lamar Jackson, the 2016 Heisman winner, has officially declared for the NFL Draft
At first, I didn’t think Lamar Jackson would get a shot at playing QB but thinking about it — the talent is there. This man literally carried Louisville his entire college career. He’s got a really strong deep ball and can make plays with his legs as well. I honestly think with some good coaching, this kid can be the best QB of this class.
Not too shabby for an irrelevant ACC team. I’m actually very interested to see where he lands — I know of a team who just had a big ESPN report published about them that doesn’t have a future QB.
Funniest moment from last nights’ college basketball slate of games had to be when referee Ted Valentine turned his back on North Carolina’s Joel Berry II when he tried to discuss a non-call.
It was clear that Joel was held by the FSU defender as he was running down the court, which led to the UNC turnover. At the time of this play, it was only a 3 point game and might have been the difference maker considering FSU won by 1 point.
You always hear of referees complaining about how players treat them on the court. It was refreshing to see a referee shut down a player for once. Besides missing an obvious call, I loved what Ted Valentine did last night.
The California QBs that were touted as top picks before the season have both officially made their statements and declared for the draft within 1 hour of each other. Rosen, the UCLA product, made his statement on twitter first — followed up by USC’s QB Darnold doing the same but on Instagram.
There obviously was talk of both of them not wanting to go to the Browns because of the state of the franchise and I’m not going to get in depth in their abilities because Danny did so here. However, these two were selected as pre-season favorites to go early in the draft for a reason. Both slumped a little during their seasons and the records aren’t exactly eye-opening, but they both managed to have solid seasons.
If I had to choose one? And I’m sure Cleveland or the Giants will select a QB, if not both — I’m going Rosen. USC QBs never really pan out well in the NFL(see: Leinart, Barkley, Sanchez, Kessler). I’d be shocked if the Browns went Darnold here as I feel even Josh Allen is a better prospect than him.
Either way, it is now official and the Browns are on the clock — let’s see if Rosen can be the game-changer to turn a franchise around.
Two years ago, the UFC Knights were 0-12. Coach Scott Frost was hired and they are now crowned Peach Bowl champions after finishing a perfect season with a 34-27 win over Auburn. The American conference champions weren’t given a shot at the playoffs despite their perfect season, which is fine — the best opponent they played all season was Memphis. They came to play against Auburn though, who beat both Alabama & Georgia and came through with a victory.
“It was the right thing to do to come coach these guys,” Frost said, holding the game ball. “I’m not happy for me. I’m so happy for these guys.”
Frost, who has been confirmed as the next Nebraska coach, agreed with UCF to coach the last game and what an amazing way to go out. QB McKenzie Milton led the way with 242 yds and 2 TDs through the air. Though not outstandingly efficient, he added 116 yds and 1 TD on the ground which was huge for the Knights. Auburn almost was able to send it to overtime but a game-ending interception (set to Titanic music below) clinched it for UCF.
Frost was quoted after the game as saying “it wasn’t right” for UCF to not be even mentioned in the playoff talk.
This is going to be the problem with college football is that nobody knows what to do with these teams that aren’t in the power 5 conferences. Would UCF have beaten any of the top 4 teams? It’s hard to say — did they deserve a shot? Well they just proved themselves on a pretty big stage. Obviously UCF will have a drop-off next year without coach Frost but I think something needs to be done to let these little schools have a chance at the big title. I’m sure the Knights are happy with their win and will enjoy being the only undefeated team in the playoff era but it would have been awesome to see if they would have been able to compete for a national title. Could be time for an 8 team playoff already.
PS – The Auburn pile-driver was my favorite thing from this season.
Penn State’s superstar running back Saquon Barkley is officially forgoing his senior year and has declared for the 2018 NFL Draft. He announced it through a post on his instagram
The pre-season favorite for the Heisman trophy started off the season in fire and helped lead Penn State make it all the way up to #2 before they ended up hitting a slight slump. Though they hung around, they were never in the playoff hunt and teams started to zero in on Barkley. He did have one of the better bowl performances of the year in Penn State’s 35-28 Fiesta Bowl win over Washington in which he had 137 yards and 2 TDs including a real casual 91 yard TD — ending his season total at 1,271 yards and 18 TDs.
He ended his Penn State career with 3,843 rushing yards which was just 90 yards shy of the Penn State record. He won’t care though as this was absolutely the right decision.
Barkley is a game-changer and an electric player who can run and catch. He’s top 2 on both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay’s board and I have to imagine he doesn’t make it out of the top 5.
The Colts pick third and GM Jim Irsay said that they might look to take a running back early — which makes sense with Frank Gore being as old as dirt. I think they like Mack but it’s hard to pass up on Barkley. It’d be interesting to see him paired up with a healthy Luck and a competent coach (if they get one). The Giants, who haven’t had a solid running back in forever, would also be an intriguing landing spot at #2 if they don’t decide to take a QB. Lots of intrigue this draft but this kid is absolutely going to be a stud.
What is coming off as a surprise to most people, Lane Kiffin has extended his contract with Florida Atlantic to stick around for another ten whole years. While he most likely won’t stay for the entire time, this type of deal should not be taken lightly. When he left for FAU, most people were under the impression that he would stick around for a couple of years, and then head back to a Power Five Conference. That does not seem to be the case.
Already a potent offense before his arrival, FAU has an opportunity here to make a true impact on the College Football landscape. Since his arrival to FAU, out-of-state applications for the university have gone up by 35%, which just goes to show you that not only will Lane bring in more talent for the football team, but more brand recognition for the school.
FAU absolutely demolished Akron the other night in the Boca Raton Bowl. Many people criticized Lane when they went for two up 31 points in the third quarter. Kiffin fired back by saying an Akron athletics official was talking trash before the game, and that it was “his bad”. Absolutely love the move. Akron never stood a chance, so not too sure why one of their athletic officials would think that’s a good idea.
I am very curious to see what type of recruiting class Lane can bring in for the upcoming years. Do we have a new best team within the state of Florida? Only time will tell. If you haven’t already, it’s time to hop aboard the Lane Train.
The long awaited ending to the Jimbo Fisher saga has come to an end. Fisher, has stepped down as the coach of Florida State and signed with Texas A&M. There have been rumors for weeks that A&M was targeting Fisher and after firing Kevin Sumlin this week, they were able to convince Jimbo to come to College Station.
Fisher is coming off his worst season as FSU head coach, finishing the season at 5-6. He had taken Florida State to three consecutive ACC titles and 1 national championship.
Although the details of his contract have not been made public, it is expected that Fisher will make between $7 – $7.5 million per season.