Friday, December 3, 2010

Week 14 Ranking Implications

With the college football season coming to an end there’s very few ranked games coming up this weekend. Making a move up in the rankings this week will be difficult but I do see it happening. Here’s what I have going down:

#19 South Carolina losing to #1 Auburn

#13 Nebraska losing to #9 Oklahoma

#15 Virginia Tech losing to #21 Florida State

This will result in a 2 spot jump up to #15 in the BCS and #12 in the AP. Considering we won’t be getting a BCS game invite you might be asking why does any of this matter? It matters for bowl games. A higher viewed bowl game like the Las Vegas Bowl or the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl are more likely to give a spot to a higher ranked team in the hopes of creating a better match-up and maximizing profit.

With a win against La Tech and the Nebraska losing we could see an invite to the 2 aforementioned bowls. With Virginia Tech going down at the hands of Florida State, that will all but be a guarantee. Goodbye crappy Humanitarian Bowl, goodbye even worse New Mexico Bowl. With BYU already accepting an invite to the Las Vegas Bowl, it will be more likely that Nevada would take the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco and leave the other to once National Champion hopeful, Boise State.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nevada vs. La Tech

With one game left in the season, Nevada is on pace to finish its best season in history since it’s joined the ranks of the division 1 elite. At 11-1 this Nevada team has shown that it is capable of matching up against any team out there on any given Saturday. Will we ever get that respect? Probably not, but the real fans, the coaches, and the players know it…and that’s all that matters.

Nevada has already traveled as far west as it can go this season (Hawaii), and now it will go as far east as a WAC opponent will let them (Louisiana). Much like Boise State has had Nevada’s number over the past few years; Nevada has had La Tech’s.

The only real question going into this game is how much will Colin Kaepernick play. On the verge of a few more records the question is, does Ault put him in a position to get the records and set his place in history more-so than he already has, or does he save his star quarterback for a bowl game? Either way expect him to play the first half and put up, dare I say Heisman like numbers?

Another question going into this game is what defense will show up. Will it be the defense that allowed Boise State 24 first half points, which by all means is respectable, or will it be the 2nd half defense that held Boise State to 8 rushing yards? Either way the game should be pretty much in hand, but for ranking sake we need the 2nd half defense to be there.

Last game we saw great defense from Duke Williams who made a great 1-on-1 tackle in the open field saving a critical first down. Brandon Marshall and James-Michael Johnson also kept their games up and have become one of the best linebacking duo’s in college football this year. But what’s more impressive is #58 Ryan Coulson and the already brilliant Dontay Moch. Both of them are defensive linemen and on every play that we give up for 20 or more yards, one of these two is down field in position to make the tackle. Coming from two “hog-mollies” that’s down right impressive. This defense is fast and outrunning them is a tough task to do, breaking tackles on the other hand might be a bit easier, evident in the Boise State game.

As far as our offense goes we showed last week why we are one of the best offenses in the nation. The pistol went in fully loaded and tore apart one of the best defenses in the country. After a slow start, it seemed like there was nothing that could be done to stop Colin Kaepernick. Unlike previous Boise State games, he took it to the air and lit up their secondary much like we have been lit up in the past. I don’t expect much of a stand from the bulldogs this weekend, if Nevada can tire out Boise State’s defense, it can put La Tech’s to sleep.

Now you might hear that this team is looking past La Tech and they feel like they can do nothing wrong but there’s really nothing to look past. Going into this game a bowl game is guaranteed, which and against whom we will know after this weekend. What’s not is a ring and that trophy. Utah State doesn’t stand a chance entering the smurf turf of Boise. Hawaii hosts UNLV which isn’t a conference opponent so they will finish the season with a ring guaranteed. If Nevada wants that ring, it will take a win against La Tech and they know that. Last week was Nevada’s shining moment, but this week is their championship moment. A win against Boise State means nothing to this team unless there’s a ring associated with it at the end.

I’m expecting a valiant effort from La Tech, but with the swag this Nevada team is walking around with, I expect it too be too little too late. Unfortunately I still don’t see us getting that shut-out. But I do think we will see Mike Ball finally run back a kick-off, unfortunately I see them doing the same thing.

Final Score Prediction

Nevada 48 – La Tech 17

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Enough is Enough

“The Wolf Pack will finish AT BEST, 5-3 in the WAC”

These are the words of Juan Lopez, a student who writes for the school newspaper, The Sagebrush. The sad thing is that it’s Nevada’s school newspaper. And this single quote is all I need to remind myself of why I started this blog.

For far too long now I have heard students talking about how bad this Nevada team is, all the while knowing they have no idea what they are talking about. Now I realize that Nevada is not a football school by any means and most of the students who attend don’t really care, let alone know the rules. But you have to realize that those who get their information about this team read it in the school newspaper, at least that’s what I’ve noticed. And quite frankly, the writers of The Sagebrush haven’t known what they’ve been talking about for at least 8 years.

You, Juan Lopez, are part of this problem while you sit there laughing as your friends cheer on this team.
“Their optimistic cheers aimed at the 42-inch flat screen TV in front of them were funny to me. Regardless of what was happening on the field, they thought Nevada would snap out of it. But I knew there was no climbing out of that 17-point hole. Nevada wasn’t mentally tough enough. End result: A 27-21 season-shattering loss.”

You then went on to call this team mediocre for losing to Hawaii saying at best this is a 5-3 team in conference play. I really do enjoy how you didn’t say “if they don’t change fast” or “if they continue to play this way”, you just came out and said that 5-3 is the BEST this team can do as if you’re some expert on college football, or even Nevada football.

The rest of your article went on to criticize Colin Kaepernick (do yourselves a favor and click on the picture, it gets nice and big for you all to read for yourself). Saying the loss was 100% his fault. That he runs too flashy and loose with the ball. That this is the worst playing you have ever seen by Kaepernick and he “is getting progressively worse and it’s bringing down the entire team.”

You basically did everything but say that he needs to be benched.

My question is this, did you cry when you found out we beat Fresno and Boise State? I’m assuming those are the 2 other teams you expected us to lose to, are they not? Or did you act like you never made the statement that this is a 5-3 team at best? Luckily you’ve kept your mouth shut about football since your column after the Hawaii game…until yesterday.
In yesterday’s edition you made no acknowledgment that you were wrong in your prediction although we all know you were just hoping for a loss against Boise State so you could say that we would lose against La Tech as well and you could be right. Because that’s the type of person you are Juan Lopez, you think you know what you’re talking about but you know NOTHING.

What I want to know is why all of a sudden you sounded proud of this team, saying the game “almost brought tears to your eyes.” Or better yet how on October 19, 2010 you threw Colin Kaepernick under the bus, then on November 30, 2010 you called him “the best athlete in school history, hands down.” You then went on to say “This capped Kaep’s career as one of the best players in NCAA football history.”

Now I’m not saying he’s not amazing, in fact I’ve been saying that for at least 2 years now, but since when do you believe this? And do you honestly believe this or are you just writing what everyone else says? You have become the John Kerry of Nevada sports writing with your “flip-flopping” stances.

I’m disappointed in The Sagebrush for not checking individual’s credentials when hiring them. Students rely on you to get the facts straight and all you have done is confused them and filled their heads with nonsense. To be honest I don’t even know why they still publish The Sagebrush, nothing of any worth has been published in there for as long as I have picked it up.

Juan Lopez, thank you for giving me the motivation to continue my blog; I might not understand the game as much as a lot of people out there, but I sure understand it a million times more than you.