Monday, January 6, 2014

The BCS Got It Right

        In the last year of the BCS is it safe to say it got it right?

        Florida State started the season ranked 11th and 12th in the AP Top 25 and USA Today, respectively. Many didn't see the Seminoles making it to the title game, and rightfully so after losing EJ Manuel and some big-time players on their defense that led them to a 12-win season and BCS Orange Bowl victory. Led by their Heisman winning redshirt sophomore quarterback Jameis Winston, and that amazing defense the Seminoles destroyed everyone in their path ending the regular season 13-0.

        Now as far as who is the second best to play for the title game, who knows?

        It’s almost as if the four-team playoff started a year early, with everything playing out having the two best teams in the country Florida State and Auburn meeting in the Rose Bowl for the Vizio BCS National Championship Game.

        Going into the season everyone believed that the Alabama Crimson Tide were the best team, and rightfully so being the defending national champions winning back-to-back championships.

        The Tide was the number one ranked team in the country going into the Iron Bowl, when the Auburn Tigers shocked the world on a last second field-goal attempt that was returned for a touchdown. At this time Auburn was having a remarkable year having won four games in the final 1:20 of play, with “The Miracle in Jordan-Hare” occurring a week prior in the win over Georgia. Despite shocking the world, the Tigers had one game left to show the nation they deserved to play in the title game, and they did just that dismantling Missouri in the SEC Championship Game 59-42.

        Despite beating Alabama and Missouri two teams ranked first and fifth in the BCS, the Tigers still needed some more help from Ohio State who were ranked second in the BCS.

        Indianapolis, IN is where the winning streak of 24 games would come to an end to the hands of the Michigan State Spartans in the Big Ten Championship Game.

        Now the stage is set for the national championship game between the unbeaten Florida State Seminoles and the Auburn Tigers.

        Do you question that Florida State and Auburn are the two best teams in college football?

        Third ranked Alabama lost to Oklahoma in the AllState Sugar Bowl 45-31, many didn't give Oklahoma a shot to win, and they shocked the country. Alabama struggled with teams that can throw the ball, and Oklahoma did just that exposing the Tide’s shaky secondary.

        For the sixth ranked Baylor Bears who were undefeated fell to UCF in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl 52-42. Baylor had a phenomenal season, but if you allow 42 points from UCF you don’t deserve to have a shot at the national championship.

        As for the seventh ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, they were the team that had a chance to play for a national championship. They also lost in their BCS bowl falling to Clemson 40-35. Many didn't believe the Buckeyes proved themselves despite their 24-game winning streak and rightfully so. Ohio State struggled in winnable games that should have been blowouts, and lost to the two best teams they played against in Michigan State and Clemson.

        As for fourth and fifth ranked Michigan State and Stanford, they both had good seasons with Michigan State defeating Stanford 24-20 in the Rose Bowl, but the two would have needed some help to make it to the title game.

        With all of the drama that took place during this college football season, the BCS got it right in their final season with Florida State and Auburn meeting in the Rose Bowl for the Vizio BCS National Championship Game.

         If you're a fan of the Semnioles or War Eagle take pride in pulling for your team, because the two best college football teams will be on the grand stage tonight in Pasadena.

Justin Tyree

Twitter:  @JTyree704



Thursday, December 19, 2013

What's Next For The Lakers?

        There’s no reason for the Lakers front office to panic neither should their fan base, this injury can be a positive for both Bryant and the Lakers.

        For the fans clamoring about playoffs give it up, the Lakers are currently 11th in the Western Conference with odds not being in their favor on making a post-season appearance. 

         The injury for Bryant seems as if the positives are impossible to find, but I disagree. With Bryant being out a minimum of six weeks it gives him time to not only let his Achilles get stronger, but it also give his legs some much needed rest. Bryant ranks fifth all-time in NBA history in regular season and playoff minutes combined logging 54,163 minutes.

        For the Lakers front office this gives them a chance to evaluate the young talent on their roster, deciding on who will make the cut for next season, and who they’ll have to part ways with. This injury to Bryant is going to give some of the unproven Lakers on the roster a time to shine. Nick Young, Xavier Henry and Wesley Johnson are not just auditioning for a multi-year with the Lakers, but also trying to prove to other NBA teams that they can be serviceable NBA players. Young has been the best of the three over the course of the season averaging 14.9 points per game on 44 percent shooting.

        Looking ahead to the draft in June, the Lakers have one first-round pick which is extremely valuable in a draft that is heralded as the best class since 2003 that feature LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwayne Wade. After all the Lakers could use a young athletic point guard or wing player, and from what scouts and experts say this draft class is loaded with talent. This sets up perfect for the Lakers to draft a player that can be groomed under Bryant on what it takes to be a successful pro in the NBA today.

         It's unlike that Bryant will sit out the remainder of the season, so for those who've pondered the idea you can end that thought process.

        Despite the injuries that have hindered the Lakers, the overall goal is to compete to a level high enough to where they can recruit another superstar as Bryant prepares to sail into the sunset.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Will Derrick Rose be the next Grant Hill?

When hearing that Derrick Rose torn his medial meniscus, the first name that came to mind was Grant Hill. I know you’re probably thinking that’s the worst comparison possible, but despite battling injury Hill went on to play nearly two decades, if you know anything about the NBA not everyone gets to have a long lasting career.

Hill, who was a seven-time all-star was to be believed by many to be better than Michael Jordan, was the number one overall selection in 1994, as Rose was in the 2008. Hill went on to have five surgeries on his ankle, Rose is already on his second just recently injuring his “healthy” knee. During Hill’s first two years he led the NBA in all-star votes, beating out Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal, even being named the co-NBA Rookie of the Year. Rose also was named NBA Rookie of the Year, he even went on to become the NBA’s youngest MVP recipient at the age of 22. Both Hill and Rose were young stars in the league until the injury bug bit them. Hill went on to have a solid NBA career of 19 seasons, becoming one of 17 to score over 17,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, and 4,000 assists. Rose’ career is still ongoing, but it will be interesting to see how the rest of his career pans out.

The knee is no longer a concern Rose has already undergone surgery and is set to return to action at the start of 2014-2015 NBA season.

But where is Rose mentally?  That’s the million dollar question.

Basing my opinion off of how long it took Rose to return to the court tells me he is not in a good state of mind after sitting out the entire 2012-2013 season after being cleared to play. I’m not the one to rush a player back to the court after suffering a serious injury, but after witnessing Rose participate in shoot around it was clear that he was not confident in his surgically repaired knee. It was evident that he could still explode off of the dribble and bounce, but yet he still wasn't ready to return to action .Then after a full year, he returns to action and still looks good despite the rust of not playing, then down he goes 11 games into the season he goes down again.

Rose has shown that his injury is clearly more mental than physical.

If Rose is not 100 percent confident that he can return and play without doubting his knees, then that 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player that led the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals is long gone.

People are already questioning Rose’s mental toughness after Skip Bayless took to ESPN’s First Take to say he returned to running distance within two to three weeks after having a successful surgery repairing his torn meniscus.

Why should Rose miss the rest of the season? It’s simple he shouldn't.

Rose will have to show he’s mentally tough, after rehabbing for a year, then having to rehab again is tough to do. If you've ever suffered a major injury, you know just how tough the rehab process can be on your mental stability.

When the rehab regimen picks up intensity, how will Rose respond?

It is possible that Rose can come back and play at a high level.

To make a football reference, take Adrian Peterson for example, after tearing his ACL Peterson came back stronger than ever nearly breaking the NFL rushing record. There is a down side to Peterson's success, now athletes across professional sports who suffers a major knee injury will be held to that same standard, that’s not a performance level that’s easy to meet.

It will be interesting to see how Rose returns. He can enter come back better than ever as Peterson, and continue to ascend to new heights, or he can just be another NBA player who had a serviceable career.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Is This The Year Of The Seminole?

        The Seminoles of Florida State debuted at No. 2 in the 2013 BCS Standings after demolishing the Clemson Tigers 51-14 in Death Valley this past Saturday, this is the Noles highest BCS ranking since Dec. 3, 2000.

        Is this the year of the Seminole?

        The Florida State Seminoles are 6-0 and all roads lead to Pasadena, California for the 2013 Vizio BCS National Championship Game.

        Though there is plenty of football left to be played, the Noles will be favored in every match-up from here on out, including when the seventh ranked Miami Hurricanes travel to Doak Campbell Stadium, and when the Noles travel to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators, who have been struggling to say the least.

        The issue for the Noles has not been about winning the big games, but winning the games you should win. In the 2012 season it was NC State, and in 2010 it was NC State again and North Carolina. Jimbo Fisher’s job as head coach, will be to keep the Noles hungry, keeping the complacency out of the locker room.

        The defense is stout, with an offense full of playmakers including quarterback Jameis Winston a Heisman Trophy candidate, and a head coach eager to show he can bring his team back to the glory days, it’s national championship or bust if you ask Seminole fans.

        Alabama sits atop the BCS Standings, but the Crimson Tide have not looked as impressive as previous Alabama teams that won the national championship, if there has ever been a year for a non SEC school to win it all, this is the year.

        If the injury bug stays away and nobody gets suspended, the Noles should run the table and play for a national championship.

        It will be interesting to see if the Noles can handle the media hype and expectation to win.

        Is this the year of the Seminole?

Justin Tyree

ESPN 730 Charlotte Bobcats Insider & College Football Blogger

Twitter:  @JTyree704


Monday, September 23, 2013

The Battle Between The Hedges: LSU/UGA

        In a game that could be a possible SEC Championship match-up, the battle between the hedges in Athens, Georgia will be a good one when the LSU Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs take the field in Sanford Stadium.

        LSU will be looking to remain undefeated, while the Dawgs will be looking to show they are still a top-5 team despite falling to Clemson in the season opener.

        The Dawgs have already been battled teams winning two of their three match-ups against top-10 teams, with LSU's toughest encounter coming this past weekend in Auburn, who they defeated 35-21.

        This game will feature two special running backs with Todd Gurley of Georgia, and Jeremy Hill of LSU.

        The Dawgs have the advantage at the quarterback position with Aaron Murray, but Zach Mettenburger has been making strides, showing he's not the quarterback who often struggled at times last season.

        Many would prefer the combo of Murray/Gurley rather Mettenburger/Hill, and rightfully so, but don't count out the Tigers.

        We already know both teams are going to commit to the run, meaning both defenses will have to be prepared to tackle.

        The Dawgs will go into Saturday's match-ups allowing 29.7 points on defense, with the Tigers only giving up 19.5 points.

        The x-factor will come down to the receiving cores, Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry of LSU combined have 10 receiving touchdowns outnumbering Justin Wesly and Chris Conley of Georgia who together have two receiving touchdowns on the season.

        Murray may be the more polished passer of the two quarterbacks, but the Tigers hold the advantage when it comes to having the weapons on the outside.

        If your looking for a prediction, I have the Tigers of LSU improving to 5-0 defeating the Georgia Bulldogs, LSU who has a stable of running backs, two play-making receivers and a young but solid defense, will be too much for the Dawgs to handle in the long run.

        Who will you be picking to come out on top  Saturday afternoon? LSU or UGA?

Justin Tyree

ESPN 730 Charlotte Bobcats Insider and College Football Blogger

Twitter:  @JTyree704


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

College Football Is Back & A Week Two Preview

        The opening week of the college football season didn't disappoint with Jameis Winston giving Florida State fans hope, Johnny Manziel being Johnny, and UGA falling to Clemson in a 38-35 thrilling.

        Jameis Winston lived up to the hype in his season debut, throwing five touchdowns on 354 yards completing 92 percent of his passes. Jimbo Fisher has known to be great with quarterbacks, and Winston has the potential to be the best to ever play the quarterback position at FSU, but its only week one, his first true test will come October 19th when the Noles travel to Clemson, the winner will play in the ACC Championship Game.

        Johnny Manziel where do I begin?

        Manziel who was suspended by the NCAA for the first-half against Rice, came to play in the second half going six of eight on 94 yards with three touchdowns, solid performance, but that’s not the issue. The issue at hand has never been about Manziel’s play on the field, it’s his attitude, after getting flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting, Manziel walked by Kevin Sumlin when trying to talk to him. I’m not a fan of it, but that’s “Johnny being Johnny”, as the majority of the nation would say.

        Dawg fans are in a state of frenzy already, losing to Clemson was a big-time game and a big-time lost, but the story wasn't the Dawgs losing, but Malcolm Mitchell UGA’s number one receiver getting hurt, Mitchell will miss the remainder of the season will a torn ACL after celebrating with Todd Gurley after his 75-yard touchdown run.

                It doesn't end there.

                Not only is UGA 0-1 and without their best receiver, but they welcome the South Carolina Gamecocks to Athens, the Dawgs are 0-3 against the Gamecocks since 2010. It doesn’t look good for the Dawgs seeing Jadeveon Clowney has been a thorn in Aaron Murray’s side for the past two seasons.

                Will the Dawgs answer the call? Or will the Gamecocks continue to flex their muscle on UGA?

                Kickoff is at 4:30 in Athens, Georgia.

                As most of the nation will be looking forward to the UGA/SC game with Notre Dame and Michigan being the headliner later that night, I have the Florida Gators on upset alert when they travel to Miami to take on the Hurricanes, in a noon kickoff.

                The Gators defeated Toledo 24-6, but it wasn't over the chart impressive. In a game that should be played every year in the state of Florida UF/UM the Hurricanes have a talented roster with heralded recruits all over the field, I’m not saying the Gators will fall to the Hurricanes, but don’t be shocked if the Hurricanes pull the upset.

                Did you enjoy week one of the college football season?

                Week two shouldn't disappoint, I have the Michigan Wolverines defeating the Fighting Irish in the Big House.

Justin Tyree

ESPN 730 Charlotte Bobcats Insider and College Football Blogger

Twitter:  @JTyree704


Monday, August 26, 2013

Dyer Completes The Puzzle

A puzzle can never be deemed complete when a piece is missing.

In just two seasons in the SEC Michael Dyer managed to become not only an All-American and All-SEC heralded player, he also won a national championship along with being name the offensive player of the game.

Dyer is a flat out stud, and that’s why Louisville now has a legitimate chance to make a run at a BCS National Championship.

The puzzle that represents the Louisville Cardinals is now complete.

The Cards have a favorable schedule that can land them in the conversation for a national title, but they must run the table, one lost will silence the championship talks unless luck is on their side and the teams ranked ahead of them fall.

The term “must” is the word that will decide the fate for the Cards, their schedule is not strong enough to endure a lost.

One lost for Charlie Strong’s ball club, and it’s an at-large bid at best, but you never know what can happen during the tenure of a college football season, anything can happen.

Dyer’s best year at Auburn consisted of ,1242 yards on 5.1 yards per carry and 10 touchdowns, this is against SEC defenses, not an easy task by any means.

One thing you should know there is a big difference in the defense that is played in the SEC compared to the defenses that make up the American Athletic Conference.

If Dyer is anything close to what he was at Auburn, Cards fans are in for a special treat.

With a well coached defense, with the best quarterback in the nation, the addition of Dyer makes Teddy Bridgewater’s job a tad bit easier.

The schedule sets up well of the Cards, who busted onto the national scene after defeating the Florida Gators in the 2012 AllState Sugar Bowl.

Pressure burst pipes, but it can also make diamonds, we’ll see how the Cards respond to the pressure after being ranked ninth by USA Today Coaches Poll.

Justin Tyree

ESPN 730 Charlotte Bobcats Insider and College Football Blogger

Twitter:  @JTyree704