Bourbonstreet’s Championship Week: (BstreetC.W.)
Army vs. Navy: (12.02, Saturday 2:30pm, CBS)
There is only one viable place to begin Championship Week; that would most
definitely have to be Army vs. Navy. Without any equivocation, the
best sporting-event in America year in and year out, as we are now in a time of
war, and some of these boys will soon go in harms way in defense our freedoms!
This multifaceted historically fabled rivalry looks a bit lopsided to me this
particular year. Army has made some strides under 1st year head coach Bobby
Ross, to their credit. But the Black-Knights are allowing 222 yards rushing in
their last three games, while Navy is breaking-off a D-1 leading 333 for the
year on the ground, which has actually increased to a whopping 393 over their
last three games. Navy has finally rallied form the loss of senior QB Brian
Hampton, as his replacements (Jarrod Bryant and Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada)
finally have gotten the hang of it when it comes to running Navy’s Wishbone
based triple-option attack. This will be a week of pageantry, pranks, misplaced
Naval Goats, and borrowed Army Mules. But in the end the Middies will win by
double-digits, as they have not scored less than 38 in their last three games,
while Army has been held to single-digits in three of their last five games.
Conference USA title game: Southern Miss vs. Houston
(12.01, Friday 8pm ESPN2)
Former Virginia Tech Homecoming week opponent Southern Miss clashes with
Houston for the CUSA championship. An SMU-East win would make our Hokies’ 2006
look a little better, but can the under-dog Golden Eagles seal the deal?
Southern Miss is the better defensive team; Houston is the better, and perhaps
most importantly, the more balanced offensive team. But the Cougars are missing
three of their top four OT’s for the season, and the Golden Eagle defense has
tightened up like a vice over their last three games, lowering their defensive
yardage total by 104 yards allowed in the process. That’s impressive. Soon to
be all-freshman RB de jour Damion Fletcher seems to have recovered from his
mid-season knee arthroscopic surgery. But senior Houston QB Kevin Kolb is on the
verge of being a 3rd round NFL draft day steal, as K. Kolb has put up some
astounding career numbers, 82 TD’s, 12,320 total yards passing, including a
stellar 25:3 ratio this year. I don’t want to, but I’ve got to side with the
better QB here, Houston by 10.
B.C.S. entry game#1: Connecticut at Louisville (12.02,
Saturday 12noon, ESPN)
This first big east game this Saturday is really a free-pass for Louisville
and Brian Brohm, pun intended. As the UConn Huskies have not stopped the run or
the pass of late, allowing 165 and 223 of each respectively over their last
three games. UConn also has a rather insalubrious looking injury list, and has
been held to 23 or less points in all but one game since week #1. Louisville
will win, water is rumored to be wet, the sky is blue, the grass is green. But
what does this mean?
B.C.S entry game#2: Rutgers at wvu (12.02, Saturday 7:45pm,
It means that Rutgers will get no Husky help, and will have to go into
Mo-town, WV on an enflamed Saturday night and beat wvu in their own backyard to
secure a sure-fire B.C.S. birth. I don’t quite know what happened to wvu last
week, other than a -2 turnover margin, three of which occurred in wvu’s own
territory. But I do know I’d get a copy of the South Florida game ASAP if I’m
Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. As any defensive gameplan that can hold wvu QB
pat white to 17 yards rushing, and then limit RB steve slaton to only 43 yards,
is a gameplan that is worth studying, if not implementing outright. I foresee a
lot of QB woes here. wvu’s pat white has mutual toe and ankle injuries to the
same foot, and RU QB Mike Teel has a history of INT implosions in big-games, in
particular when he is the visitor in his opponents’ house. wvu has a history
of visiting Sea-World, going Shamu and tanking after their MNC bubble goes “pop”.
So I’ll call for 2004 to repeat its self again. RU 29 wvu 27.
SEC Championship Game: Florida vs. Arkansas (12.02,
Saturday 6pm, CBS)
The SEC title game I had been expecting for weeks has finally materialized,
as Florida will now play Arkansas. But Arkansas is limping into this SEC tilt,
having been upset last week as I predicted by LSU, and listing four ballers in
their defensive 2-deep out for the year, and two of three starting LB’s as
being a bit dinged-up. All Florida has going for it is the fact that they are
riding a five game win streak, and have posted 110 more yards of offense, and
allowed 90 less yards on defense over these two teams’ last three respective
games. That’s nearly an even 200 yards worth of total yardage margin in the
Gators’ favor since November the 11th. I like that. I also like the fact that
Florida owns edges in all of the following categories: turnover margin, special
teams play, total offense and total defense. Arkansas may have been looking
ahead a little bit last week, but they need look no further for the Gators, as
one of the most creative offensive minds in all of D-1 (Urban Meyer, Florida
head coach) will give them all they want this weekend. I like the Razorbacks
style of play, I like Darren McFadden’s 1555 all-purpose yards gained in only
10 games due to injuries. But I also like Florida by 10+ points.
Big 12 Championship Game: Nebraska vs. Oklahoma (12.02,
Saturday 8pm, ABC)
In the one oddball year that Nebraska was not scheduled to play Oklahoma
during the regular season, it is indeed apropos that these two hateful and
historic rivals will clash for the Big 12 title and a B.C.S. auto-birth. Be
aware that there is some remote chance that Oklahoma All-Big-12 RB Adrian
Peterson will at least attempt to play this weekend. If not, he is very possibly
back by the time bowl season rolls around. But who will win? Oklahoma is
streaking, entering this Big-12 title tilt on the heels of a seven game win
streak. Sooner QB Paul Thompson has finally settled into his second appearance
as Oklahoma’s starting QB, and the Sooner defense has become downright nasty
vs. the run, only allowing 34 yards rushing over their last three games.
However, this is not yesteryears’ “Why does Tom Osborne always drive 55?
Because he can’t pass” Cornhuskers…as these Cornhuskers do not count the
word “pass” as one of those ugly four letter words. Nebraska is 18th in both
rushing and passing offense this year, and has mild special-teams and turnover
margin edges. I’ll go with that. NEB by eight or less.
ACC Championship Game: Georgia Tech vs. Wake Forest (12.02
Saturday 1pm, ABC)
Last weekend Wake beat Maryland away, and GT experienced a minor upset at the
hands of their in-state rival Georgia Bulldogs. Which begs the question…are
these two ACC football teams moving in opposite directions? This year we have
seen Wake beaten twice by two of the top-3 defensive speed teams that the Demon-Deacs
have played. “Hello” ACC defensive speed team #4. AKA the Georgia Tech
Yellow-Jackets. But what will happen?
If you are a true football X’s and O’s guru, you will l-o-v-e watching
this one! How will GT defensive-coordinator Jon Tenuta’s blitz crazy defense
deal with a blizzard of misdirection, counter based, cut-back runs??? Or perhaps
more importantly, will Tenuta modify his defense to account for such, or will he
just take his chances that his superior athletes can make enough plays vs. the
Demon-Deacs? In two of the three Rambling-Wreck L’s this year, the
Yellow-Jackets were out-rushed by their opponents. Furthermore, Reggie Ball has
two passing TD’s, two fumbles, and four INT’s in those non-winning GT
efforts. So there’s your ingame barometer, if Wake can out-rush GT and Reggie
Ball still has a Georgia hang-over on his mind, I mildly like Wake Forest to
win. I expect this to be the best championship game of them all, and I’m going
out on the proverbial limb, with my Demon-Deac hacksaw in hand. Wake wins by 2
12th Virginia Tech:
Last week: goose-egg’ed france 17-zip
Up next: The bowl formerly known as the Peach?
It was interesting to see Sean Glennon n-o-t wearing the Power Jersey
(elastic in the arm band for a tighter fit); Nike must have a quarterback
specific throwing design, to limit any encumbrance on the typical overhead
follow-through. Check this out at our warm-weather bowl.
191 minutes 10 seconds have elapsed since a TD was scored on VT.
VT has now won 29 straight games when scoring first!
Since 2000, VT has more interceptions than any
team in the nation (133 in total)!
Today is the 735th day of continuous Commonwealth Cup
VT is 7-12 all-time in bowls.
VT’s historical average bowl score reads: VT 23
However, the average margin of victory for bowl games that VT
has played in is 15.5 points for either team. (meaning: VT bowl games tend to be
very close, or rather lopsided in their final margin)
Last week’s official prediction poll winner: Gator Hokie!!!
(still no two time winner, someone nail the Bowl, or we go Skins-Game
carryover format till 2007 gets here)