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.

Penn State vs Ohio State

Penn State vs Ohio StateAre you ready for some college football this weekend? The Penn State Nittany Lions will be heading to Columbus, Ohio this Saturday to battle it out against the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes. Many people in Columbus and across the nation are thinking that the Nittany Lions are going to be in over their heads.

“We don’t want to lose,” Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier said after the close 34-24 win against the Iowa Hawkeyes last Saturday. “We know someone might make a mistake but we’ve got his back.”

While mistakes might have been made on thing is certain, under coach Urban Meyer the Buckeyes keep on winning. The Ohio State Buckeyes are coming into the battle with a 7-0 mark for the season, three tight conference wins in a row and 19 consecutive wins, the best in the nation.

However, the Buckeyes are still at No.4 in the USA Today coaches poll and the Associated Press media poll. Their three victories are by 7 and 10. That just doesn’t seem to be enough to sway the minds of poll voters thinking about the Bowl Championship Series.

Coach Meyer doesn’t seem to be worried about that. “I try to stay away from that,” Meyer said of all the peripheral talk. “I want us to be one step closer to where we want to go. Where we want to go is to beat Penn State.”

After this the Ohio State Buckeyes will be playing three of their final games on the road with only one game remaining at home.

While the Penn State Nittany Lions have only won two of the last 5 engagements with the Ohio State Buckeyes, both of those wins came at Columbus. Which team will be victorious this Saturday in Columbus? Let me know in the comments below how you think this game will turn out.

Taste of the Town: Week 6 Segment

Last week I asked Stanford fans and alumni on Twitter via Taste of the Town where I could find the best food they had to offer. I got so many replies I couldn’t make up my mind on one place to eat. What does that mean?

It means a delicious Paul Rueben Sandwich from Ike’s Place on campus with pastrami, homemade poppy seed, cole slaw, swiss cheese and french dressing on dutch crunch bread, Cinnamon Streusel topped blueberry coffee cake from Hobees Restaurant and a hand-crafted medium roast coffee from Philz Coffee. You gotta love it.

Oklahoma Sooners vs Texas Longhorns


The Oklahoma Sooners have been dominating the Texas Longhorns by a 146-58 margin. Oklahoma has taken the win on the last three games in the series, which doesn’t look good for the Longhorns when they take on the No. 12 Sooners again this Saturday. The battle will be taking place at the Cotton Bowl during the State Fair of Texas and Oklahoma fans seem to be gearing up for another win.

Oklahoma Sooners vs Texas Longhorns

“I don’t want to talk about last year. This isn’t the 2012 Texas Longhorns.” That’s what Texas junior defensive back Quandre Diggs had to say but the 2013 Longhorn defense isn’t looking too good either. Previously ranked No. 15, the Longhorns suffered a 40-21 loss against BYU in the second game. The day after Texas gave up a school record 550 yards rushing against BYU, coach Mack Brown fired their second year coordinator Manny Diaz. When you fire the coordinator after two games – that’s not a good sign.

The Texas Longhorns came back with a win over Kansas State. Another win for the Longhorns came with a field goal in the last 4 minutes against the Iowa State Cyclones. However, when it comes to the Sooners, Texas will need to makes sure they don’t give up a big lead early on. That’s been the Longhorns fate for the last two years. In each year against the Longhorns, the Oklahoma Sooners have had the game in the bag by halftime.

“They were more physical than us,” Coach Brown said. “The games were over before they started.”

A lot of fans were hoping to see the Texas Longhorns become a Big 12 winner this year but that hasn’t been working out so good. The Longhorns are looking slightly overmatched against the unbeaten Sooners. What do you think will happen this Saturday? Will the Longhorns come out of their slump against the Sooners?

Taste of the Town: Week 5 Segment

Last week I had the pleasure of stopping in at the City Cafe right across the Black Warrior River in NorthPort. This place has been there for over 80 years and for good reason. It was delicious.

The menu at the City Cafe features different meat and vegetables for each day of the week. I was more than happy to dive right into one of Friday’s selections and one of my favorites, Fried Chicken Livers with onions and gravy.

Washington Huskies vs Stanford Cardinals

Stanford Football Stadium

The No.15 Washington Huskies (@UWAthletics) will be traveling to face off against the No.5 Stanford Cardinals (@StanfordFball) this Saturday night. Quarterback Keith Price has Washington at 4-0 this season with 1,044 yards passing, nine touchdowns and only two interceptions for 2013. Price is playing the best football of his career and the Huskies are going to need that this weekend versus Stanford.

Stanford is still feeling the pain from last year after losing 17-13. In a critical Pac-12 North battle, Washington is hoping to make this two in a row against the Cardinal. However, Stanford is not planning on a repeat of last year. Stanford Cardinal left tackle Andrus Peat made the comment, “Definitely not an experience I want to have again.”

Last year, the Cardinal failed to make an offensive touchdown against the Huskies. As the former quarterback, Josh Nunes completed 18 of 37 passes for 170 yards, often misfiring completely or throwing at the receivers feet. Stanford has since moved from an offense that counted on short and intermediate passes to tight ends to an offense going deep to wide receivers who are creating separation without interruption.

Last week, Stanford Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan showed his best performance of the season in the Cardinal win over Washington State. In a 55-17 victory on the same field, Hogan threw for 286 yards and three touchdowns. This proves how far the offense has come since last year.

The Washington Huskies are going to need to see a huge game from wide receivers Kevin Smith and Kasen Williams. Quarterback Keith Price has seemed to make Smith and Williams his favorite targets this season, who have caught 15 and 16 catches each. You can expect for both wide outs to be crucial in the Huskies’ game plan this Saturday.

Who do you think will take victory of this game on Saturday? Leave me your comments below.

Ole Miss Rebels vs Alabama Crimson Tide

Ole Miss Rebels vs Alabama Crimson TideThis weekend the #21 Ole Miss Rebels (@OleMissFB) are going to battle it out with the top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (@AlabamaFTBL) in Week 5 of college football action.

Coach Hugh Freeze is hoping they can put an end to the Ole Miss Rebels nine game losing streak to the Alabama Crimson Tide. The two teams will be facing off on the field this Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The Crimson Tide have had a rough time with their lack of a strong offensive going slightly unnoticed by their ability to score. In their 31-6 win over Colorado State last week, the Crimson offense ran only 66 yards for an all-time low since 2010. Five touchdowns from the defense and special teams has helped Alabama survive but Saban is going to need to get the offense nailed down. Currently, the Tide’s 132.0 rushing yards average ranks last in the SEC.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban knows that Ole Miss is not going to easily give up victory. Saban said, “We obviously have a difficult game coming up, and we need to get it right,”

For the first time since 1989, the Ole Miss Rebels are 3-0 and on August 29 won their only SEC contest 39-35 over Vanderbilt. Averaging 38.0 points and 250.0 rushing yards per game, second best in the conference, has put the Ole Miss Rebels off to a fast start.

The Crimson Tide have 11 straight wins at Tuscaloosa and Ole Miss haven’t been able to defeat the Tide since Oct. 18, 2003 with a 43-28 home win.

“We’re not going to stop them the whole night,” Freeze said. “Hopefully we can score enough points and stop them enough that we have a shot in the fourth quarter. If you’re in the game in the fourth quarter, our kids will play the entire 60 minutes, and we’ll see what happens.”

Who do you think will take victory of this game on Saturday? Leave me your comments below.

South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

south-carolina-college-footballThe Commodores visit the Gamecocks in this SEC battle in Week 3 of college football action.

No. 13 South Carolina (@GamecockFB) is facing their second SEC East match up in a row, this time facing Vanderbilt (@vucommodores).

On paper, this may look like an easy win for Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks, but Vanderbilt is known to surprise. Last year they finished 9-4 (5-3 SEC), finishing out their season on a seven game winning streak. While they lost to Ole Miss in that very exciting Week 1 matchup, they bounced back in Week 2 with a 38-3 win over Austin Peay.

The Gamecocks are also 1-1 with a Week 1 win over rival North Carolina and a Week 2 fall to Georgia.

While South Carolina is favored going into this game, Vanderbilt’s offense has proven to be strong so far this year. Vandy’s player to watch is wide receiver Jordan Matthews. He’s currently 3rd in the nation for receiving yards with 16 receptions for 289 yards.

James Franklin’s (@JamesFranklinVU) offense might be in for a shock going up against Jadeveon Clowney and the Gamecocks defense. T.J. Gurley is another top tackler in the SEC with 20 stops so far this year. Clowney is going to have a large impact on this game in an attempt to shut down Austyn Carta-Samuels.

South Carolina and Vanderbilt will be playing in Columbia, South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium this Saturday at 7pm on ESPN with Todd Blackledge and Brad Nessler.

TCU vs. LSU – College Football Season Week 1

cowboys-classic-TCU-LSUThe Horned Frogs of TCU taking on the LSU Tigers in Arlington, TX at the 2012 Cowboys Classic is certainly a big match up to start off these teams seasons. This Top 25 matchup is a much watch.

Currently, LSU is favored by 4 points. While the Tigers lost quite a bit of talent from last year, they are looking to improve their offense under new OC Cam Cameron. This game will be Cameron’s first test, with TCU’s defense being at the top of the Big 12.

As far as TCU’s offense, who will Gary Patterson start? It sounds like we’ll see both QB’s Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin on the field this Saturday. You may have Pachall’s DUI arrest more freshly in your memory than his 15-2 record for TCU, but Boykin also comes with a great track record for passing efficiency. We may not know who will start until Saturday.

The Tigers, starting out at #12, seem to be quietly underrated, all things considered. LSU’s rushing game could wear out the Tiger’s defense, especially with star defensive linemen like Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson.

Although this game is technically at a neutral site, it will certainly be similar to a home game environment for the Horned Frogs, making this a challenge for LSU. But will TCU’s top rated defense be in for a surprise?

 

Who do you think will take this game on Saturday?

Best Rivalries in College Football

college-football-rivalryThe rivalry games are what football fans look forward to every year. College football rivalries are one of the best traditions in the sport and still remain to be very fun and very intense. No matter your team, it likely has a rivalry and that could be the most important matchup of the year. It was difficult to narrow these down, but here are the top 5 rivalries in college football.

5. USC vs. Notre Dame

Each of these teams are 2 of the biggest names in college football. Although these teams are in different conferences and have a significant geographic separation, this rivalry dates back to 1926. Since then, these two teams have 22 national titles and produced 14 Heisman trophy winners combined. The all time series goes to the Fighting Irish at 43-34-5.

4. Army vs. Navy

While neither of these teams are necessarily an athletic powerhouse, this still ranks high among the best college football rivalries around. Although, the Navy has been dominating this rivalry between these service academics the past ten years. This respectful rivalry grabs the nation’s attention each year as these two institutions strive for some serious bragging rights.

3. Oklahoma vs. Texas

This Big 12 matchup shows no love when it comes down to the Red River Rivalry (say that 3 times fast!). Each year these teams meet at a neutral site in Dallas as part of the traditions of the Texas State Fair. Typically, this game has a huge impact on each team’s season, making the rivalry that much more exciting. Texas currently leads the all-time series of well over 100 games at 59-42-5.

2. Alabama vs. Auburn

When it comes time for the Iron Bowl, you must pick a side. This matchup is easily the biggest sporting event in Alabama each year and can get very heated. While some fans may cross the line at times, this rivalry is certainly among the best. In Alabama, your battle cry is either War Eagle or Roll Tide.

1. Michigan vs. Ohio State

It’s fair to say that these two teams have built up some hostility towards one another. The greatness of this game is how closely contested the teams are year after year. The winner of this game typically goes on to win the Big 10 Championship. In fact, a coach won’t last long if they’re losing consistently in the rivalry (just as former Buckeyes head coach John Cooper). While Michigan has been on the losing end recently, you never know when they could bounce back and even things back out.