Saturday, August 29, 2009

All Over

Checking in today from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

My hometown Wall Street Journal has an article about the 2009 prospects of some of the NCAA's former powers.

If this year's group of fallen powers formed a conference, one could neatly divide it into two divisions – schools that at least competed last season and ones that simply stunk:

Group A (last year's mediocres): Nebraska, Florida State, Notre Dame, Miami, Clemson, Colorado

Group B (last year's disasters): Washington, Michigan, Texas A&M, UCLA, Tennessee, Auburn

The former group is the better bet to produce a big surprise, since its teams weren't so far off last season.
Interesting enough I suppose, though excepting ND, Michigan and Washington, this is a sample of college football's recent fallen powers and not so much all-time great programs.

Another such team: SMU looks to be starting over from scratch as their QB called it quits.

An interesting look at the Virginia Tech's Hokie pokie around eastern football conferences.

The Sun Bowl turns their back on the Big East. I don't like that news at all, the Sun Bowl is a classic bowl venue, and a long term deal with the Big East would be best for the league. The Big East needs to raise it's postseason profile especially now without a Gator Bowl bid, but now they have little hope to do so. Is this the final straw for the Big East to create their own bowl game?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

From Mitchell, With Love

I'm in Mitchell South Dakota, en route to the west coast, and I guess I'm pretty lucky that news is so slow regarding Army football right now.

Chas over at Pitt Blather has a look at Pitt's final camp practice and looks ahead to Fan Fest.

Syracuse looks ahead to Minnesota

and West Virginia is still checking out other team's girls.

Oh, yeah and Delaware lost the appeal to get single game sports wagers.

"Come next month, Delaware will have the only sports lottery east of the Mississippi," Joe Rogalsky said yesterday. "The exact form it will take is something that the State Lottery Office is working on now.

Certainly not what I was hoping for. If you want to gamble on sports games at a lottery level, buy a ticket to Texas Tech, you have the same chance of winning a scholarship at a halftime kicking competition as you do winning lottery games with sports themes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm in the middle of a cross-country move, so forgive me if I don't get a chance to post every day.

Make sure to follow the Times-Herald Record's Varsity 845 blog. They've got a great insider perspective on Army football.

From Varsity 845:

The O-line is undersized, but it's about the right size for an option offense. doesn't have a lot of faith in the new offense and pins Army's hopes on the defense.

It is the defense that will have to keep this team in games. The front line has Josh McNary, Victor Ugenyi and Fritz Bentler to build around. McNary led the team with 4.5 sacks a year ago and Ugenyi and Bentler are decent run stoppers. The linebackers need to find a couple new starters, but Stephen Anderson is back in the middle of the defense and should lead the team in tackling. The secondary might be the most talented unit on the team. Corners Mario Hill and Jordan Trimble are experienced players and if Trimble can stay healthy he could emerge as a shutdown corner. Add free safety Donovan Travis to the mix and the secondary has more talent than one would think.
... sportsodds cites Army as a 200-1 longshot to win the national title, but who wants to take NCAA advice from a site that refers to the "BSC national title"?

Regarding QBs:

Sal Interdonato of the Times-Herald Record Online sits down with freshman QB Trent Steelman

It's likely for Chip Bowden to start, and it's also likely for Steelman to see a lot of time as well.

Regarding Kickers:

Ellerson held an informal kicking competition in practice on Thursday. It was last year's kicker Matt Campbell vs sophomore Alex Carlton.

"I'd give Matt the edge, but Alex has certainly closed the gap," Ellerson said. "I'm much more comfortable with the idea of Alex kicking for us in a game than I was in the spring. Technically, he's smoothed some things out. His timing issues are behind him. That's a real positive, we have two guys I feel strongly about as place-kickers."

and finally, another Army preview


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