Oklahoma Sooners vs Alabama Crimson Tide Preview

Oklahoma Sooners vs Alabama Crimson Tide PreviewThe Oklahoma Sooners and the Alabama Crimson Tide will be meeting on the field Thursday Night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA.

The tension was building for several weeks in Alabama before it was announced that Nick Saban would not be leaving for Texas. A lot of people though coach Saban would head for Texas with the news of Mack Brown’s resignation. However, coach Saban has said that he plans on finishing his coaching career in Tuscaloosa after accepting a contract extension this month for a reported $7 million a year salary.

“I don’t have any more reactions to it. I think it’s kind of over so why do we want to talk about that?” Saban said. “We look forward. I’m looking forward. I made a commitment to our players that are here and I’m happy to be committed to them and I want them to make the same kind of commitment to the program and to their future success.”

With that dark cloud gone the Crimson Tide can get back to focusing everything it has on this post-New Year’s event in college football. Hopefully, they can stay on track after their hopes of a BCS championship slipped away in last months shocking loss in its regular season finale.

The Crimson Tide were on the verge of a SEC championship until they gave up 13 points in the last 32 seconds, losing 32-28 at Auburn but that’s not holding them back. “We’re fired up playing Oklahoma,” said defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan. “It’s not for a national championship or anything, but we’re going to go into it like it is. – We’re going to try to finish this season as strong as possible.”

The last time Oklahoma made a trip to the Sugar Bowl in 2004, it was dealt a loss by Saban’s LSU team.

Thursday night will be the college finale for Sooners quarterback AJ McCarron. McCarron, Heisman Trophy runner-up, threw for 20 touchdowns after Sept in winning the Maxwell Award. “I think AJ McCarron is the best player in the country, I really do,” said coach Bob Stoops.

Which team do think is going to claim victory on the field on Jan 2? Leave your comments below and tell me what you think.

Oregon vs Texas Preview

Alamo Bowl – December 30, 2013

Oregon Ducks vs. Texas Longhorns

Monday Evening at 6:45PM, it’s the Oregon Ducks vs. the Texas Longhorns at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. This match marks the final game that Mack Brown will be coaching at Texas who was set to resign after his 16th season in Austin, TX.

In recent weeks, this has become somewhat of a distraction for the Texas program bringing Bill Powers (school president) along with Steve Patterson, the new athletic director at Texas, to inform coach Brown that he could choose to remain coach of the Longhorns. However, Brown has decided to do otherwise. “I felt like I could stay,” Brown said. “I really felt like it wasn’t best for the university to stay.”

Mack Brown, who was at a salary over $5 million a year under a contract until 2020, will be staying as a special consultant to school president Powers. “I sincerely want to get back to the top and that’s why I’m stepping down after the bowl game. I hope with some new energy, we can get this thing rolling again.”

Between 2001 to 2009, coach led his Texas Longhorns who averaged 11.2 wins, won the national championship after being undefeated in 2005 and claimed two Big 12 titles. The Texas Longhorns (8-4) started out the season ranked 15th but then lost two of its first three, putting the pressure on Brown.

“The standard is really high here,” said coach Mack Brown, whose 158 wins with the Texas Longhorns ranks just behind the late Darrell Royal, who claimed 167 victories. “We set a standard at this place. You’d better win all of them. I understand that.”

Texas will need to pull it all together Monday night when they meet the Oregon Ducks (10-2) on the field. The Ducks rank second in the FBS with an average of 573.0 total yards. Quarterback Mariota, a Heisman Trophy candidate for most of the season, has completed 63.1 percent of passes for 3,412 yards, four interceptions and 30 touchdowns.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs Michigan Wolverines

Ohio State Buckeyes vs Michigan WolverinesIt’s the Ohio State Buckeyes vs the Michigan Wolverines this weekend in college football. The two rivals will be meeting for the 110th time this Saturday afternoon. A battle that’s going to be taking place on the field at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI.

The Ohio State Buckeyes claimed their spot in the Big Ten Championship game on Saturday with a brutal 42-14 victory over Indiana in the Ohio Stadium, moving them up to No.3 in all major rankings. The victory over Indiana was a school record 23 straight game win for Ohio State (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten).

The Michigan Wolverines will be entering the game after a bit of a bad streak. The Wolverines were looking good coming into the season with five consecutive wins. However, that winning streak faded with Michigan losing four of their last six games. Being able to hand the Buckeyes their first loss since 2012 would certainly be a great way for the Wolverines to bounce back.

Michigan will have to play it’s best game of the season this Saturday when they face off against the Buckeyes. “This game has always been different in some ways,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. “Are they a good football team? Yeah. They’re a very good football team. Do we have to play better than we’ve played? I don’t think there’s any doubt.”

As head coach, Urban Meyer won his first game over Michigan a year ago in the second half 26-21. However the year before that, the Wolverines were the ones dealing out the loses to the Buckeyes. “I have great respect for this rivalry – it almost makes me in awe,” said Ohio coach Urban Meyer. “The respect we have comes with incredible responsibility that sometimes can be overwhelming (when it comes) to what we have to do next week. So we take it very seriously.”

Taste of the Town: Week 12 Segment

This month 9 years ago Bin 612 opened for business in the middle of the cotton district and has since become a popular local restaurant. I stopped in and had their famous Bin 612 Burger .. black angus ground fresh patties made by hand and grilled, topped with hickory smoked bacon, pepperjack cheese, a garlic aioli and served on homemade paska bread. Add some grilled chicken nachos on the side and you’ve really got something you can sink your teeth into.

Missouri Tigers vs Ole Miss Rebels

Missouri Tigers vs Ole Miss RebelsThe Missouri Tigers are traveling to Oxford, MS where they will be meeting the Ole Miss Rebels on the field Saturday night in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Just in time for the Missouri Tigers to make their final push toward the SEC championship, Quarterback James Franklin will be returning to the starting lineup.

Franklin hasn’t been able to start the last four games due to an injured right shoulder. Before receiving an injury in the fourth quarter of a 41-26 win over Georgia on Oct. 12, the senior quarterback had thrown for 1,577 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. Now he’s back in the lineup and ready to take on Mississippi.

“He looks really good. He looks just like he left off before the injury,” coach Gary Pinkel said. “He’s excited about being back, and the team is excited about getting him back too. I obviously want him to do really well. He had some adversity and battled through it and we are excited to have him in.”

Getting past the No. 24 Ole Miss Rebels will be the first step that the No. 8 Missouri Tigers need to accomplish in order to make it to Atlanta. This will be the first time the two teams have faced off since the Ole Miss Rebels took a 38-25 loss at home against the Missouri Tigers on Sept. 8, 2007.

The Ole Miss Rebels have been playing great this season against some of the top teams in the SEC and across the nation. They’re ready to take on Missouri this weekend. After missing three games due t a deep thigh bruise, Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott is back in the game along with quarterback Bo Wallace. The Ole Miss quarterback is fourth in the league with 266.4 passing yards per game. However, the Missouri Tigers are also leading the SEC with 34 sacks and 17 interceptions.

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Texas Longhorns

The Oklahoma State Cowboys will be heading to Austin, Texas this weekend to take on the Texas Longhorns. The No.12 Cowboys (8-1, 5-1) will be meeting the No. 24 Longhorns  (7-2, 6-0) this Saturday at the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in one of the biggest matchups of the Big 12 2013 season. While Texas might have lost their last two home games to Oklahoma State, the Longhorns are leading the overall series 23-4 over the Oklahoma State Cowboys. A win for Texas this Saturday would give the Longhorns their seventh straight Big 12 win, keeping the hope of a Big 12 title alive.

Mounting injuries are a major concern for Texas right now and leave them little room for error. Although the Texas Longhorns claimed victory over West Virginia 47-40 last Saturday in overtime, the Longhorns were also dealt a pair of major blows. Running back Johnathan Gray was lost with a torn Achilles tendon and defensive tackle Chris Whaley took an injury to his left knee for the season. This was just added on to the fact that the Texas Longhorns had previously lost quarterback David Ash to a concussion and linebacker Jordan Hicks who like Gray was lost to a torn Achilles tendon. Regardless of injury, Texas has been able to overcome to win six straight.

“We’ve gone through this on both sides of the ball with David and Jordan Hicks,” junior center Dominic Espinosa said. “Those were two guys that were big leaders in the beginning of the season, and now something similar is happening with Chris Whaley and Johnathan Gray.

“We got these last three games and we control our own fate,” senior guard Brandon Webb said. “If we win out, we do what we want to do and we’ll leave it up to the BCS poll after that, but right now, we’re going for the Big 12 championship and so are these next three teams in front of us, so we just got to prepare.”

Taste of the Town: Week 10 Segment

After a week off from Taste of the town I got to enjoy some sweet treats during my visit to East Lansing. Before the game I headed over to Holland Michigan where my son is a Freshman Basketball player at Hope College. That’s where I found the Holland Peanut Store. Family owned and operated for over 100 years, it’s a candy lovers paradise with every kind of chocolate you hope for.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Miami Hurricanes

The Virginia Tech Hokies are heading down to South Florida for a weekend battle. Virginia Tech will be facing off against the Miami Hurricanes this Saturday night with an inside track to the ACC Coastal Division title on the line.

The Miami Hurricanes (7-1) are coming into this week’s game off a 41-14 loss to Florida State in Tallahassee, while the Virginia Tech Hokies (6-3) have dropped two back-to-back-weeks, falling to both Boston College and Duke.

Once Big East Foes, the rivialry between the two teams shows a great deal of respect. During his three seasons as coach for the Miami Hurricanes, coach Al Golden has often cited Virginia Tech as the standard in which the Hurricanes are striving for in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division.

A message sent a couple weeks ago from coach Frank Beamer showed that Virginia Tech has a mutual respect for their adversaries. The longtime Hokies coach sent Miami coach Al Golden a note after the Miami NCAA saga was all said and done, a message to praise them in the way that the Hurricanes had handled the investigation.

When coach Golden was asked about Beamer’s message on Tuesday he said, “It means a lot, I kind of cut my teeth at Virginia when Frank was growing that program and learned so much from him.” Golden went on to say, “In our conference, he’s kind of the patriarch, if you will. When Frank talks, we all listen. He’s done it the right way.”

Throughout Golden’s first 30 games as coach, the NCAA was probing the actions of a former booster leaving a lot of uncertainty about the Miami program. “I think he got through that and made the program better,” coach Beamer said. “Not just survive. He made it better. I thought he did a heck of a job. And I told him that too.”

While we don’t find vengeance in this rivalry, we are sure to witness a heated battle on the field this Saturday evening as No. 14 Miami (7-1, 3-1 ACC) plays host to Virginia Tech (6-3, 3-2) in a game that will help decide the league’s Coastal Division title. It’s definitely a game we’re all looking forward to.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan State Spartans

It’s all about Michigan this weekend as the Michigan Wolverines travel to Spartan Stadium to battle the Michigan State Spartans. Expect to hear some boos when Michigan takes the field Saturday in Spartan Stadium. The Wolverines might be loved in Ann Arbor but just up the road in East Lansing, the football team is absolutely hated – and they love it.

“Just stepping in there and getting all the boos, I think it’s sometimes better than cheers.” said Michigan linebacker Jake Ryan.

The Michigan State Spartans have been undefeated at home this season. “We have our goals, just like everybody else,” said coach Mark Dantonio. “And among our goals is to be in that championship game and then to win it.”

The Wolverines traveled to Connecticut for their first road game of the year. They came off with a slow start but in the end they came away with a three-point win. However, their road trip to Penn State was not so good. The Nittany Lions handed Michigan their first loss of the season in four overtimes.

Michigan was not able to show a true offensive identity in either one of those games. However, there’s one thing that is for sure and that’s the Wolverines are going to need to play their best game of the season against MSU as they’re giving up just 12 points and 55 rushing yards per game.

Defensively, Michigan is going to pull together and overcome their communication issues, which has been a problem in their previous road games. That’s been a main focus of practice this week according to defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.

“You have to over-coach that in a game like this,” Mattison said. “You have to make sure than any check or any adjustment that happens on that field has got to be communicated louder and more emphatically than ever. Games like this go down to communication sometimes. You have to have everybody on the same page when you’re playing in these kinds of games.”

Who will be victorious this week in College Football? We’ll find out Saturday in Spartan Stadium.

Taste of the Town: Week 8 Segment

Last week I thought I would try something new for the Taste of the Town. What goes along with College Football better than tailgating? Talk about a feast of choices. However, with Arkansas in town I decided to go with some pig. Mike & Bonnie were offering up ribs, smoked pork, grilled bacon wrap chicken jalapeño poppers and a wide assortment of side dishes and homemade desserts. Let me tell you it was tailgating heaven.