College Football’s 10th Weekend: Picks, predictions

(1) Alabama at (5) LSU

This game is being played in Baton Rouge which is what makes this matchup even more interesting. Talent-wise I think it’s safe to say that the Crimson Tide have the advantage. I like both teams’ tailbacks equally, but other than the running game, I favor the Tide in every other facet of the game other than maybe on the punting side of things.

In order for LSU to take down the nation’s top team, they have to change things up. Ultimately Les Miles is an enhanced version of Jim Tressel. Miles gets more top-end recruits, which makes his program more consistent (now) than what Ohio State’s was. Miles comes up with the occasional crazy trick play, but in the end, he’s conservative. Unless he can unleash Zach Mettenberger and he can throw it with success, Alabama shouldn’t have too much trouble here. Alabama wins 31-17.

(2) Kansas State vs (24) Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State isn’t a bad team. They’re ranked in the top 25, which is probably appropriate, but they’re on the road, facing a team that just doesn’t beat themselves. Collin Klein and company shouldn’t have problems against the Cowboys’ defense. Kansas State wins 45-21.

(3) Notre Dame vs Pittsburgh

This would be a classic letdown game for the Fighting Irish. Again, their defense keeps them in every game. It’s the offense that holds me back from pushing all in with this team. Pittsburgh isn’t a bad team, and although the Panthers are on the road, Notre Dame won’t win this game by as much as the No. 3 team in the country should. Notre Dame wins 31-17.

(4) Oregon at (17) USC

At the beginning of the year, this game was regarded as one of the top games in all of college football. Even a week ago, before USC lost to Arizona, this was still a highly anticipated game. Now we’re here in November and this matchup is still a good one, but many people feel that if Oregon is as good as perceived to be, they’re expected to win this game by more than a touchdown.

It’ll be tough for the Ducks, but I will assume they win by double digits. The game is at USC, so Oregon will have that going against them, but USC is coming off an emotional loss, so the Trojans won’t be going down without a fight. Like every other week, the Ducks will try and speed up the game as much as possible. The issue with doing this against the Trojans is that USC actually has the athletes to compete for 60 minutes. This game ultimately comes down to whether USC can slow down Oregon enough to let its offense put up 30+ points, which is what Kiffin’s squad will have to do if they want to win this one. Oregon wins 41-31. Read more…

Stanford Cardinal’s luck hasn’t run out just yet

Barry Sanders JrSome may want to consider the Stanford Cardinal’s unlucky now that Andrew Luck has gone on to Indianapolis, but their luck hasn’t run out just yet. The big news for the Cardinal moving forward is the commitment of Barry Sanders Jr. for the 2012 season.  They may have lost the battle to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl, but Stanford has won the war, or at least evened the score by recruiting Barry Sanders Jr. away from his father’s Cowboy Alma-mater.  Barry Sanders Sr. was a 1988 Heisman trophy winner at Oklahoma State, but even that glory could not sway the younger Sanders.  The junior Sanders expressed excitement after donning the black hat with the Cardinal Stanford “S” on it at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game, saying that he was looking forward to getting a chance to play with what he thinks are some of the greatest student-athletes in the world.  He believes what some Stanford fans may be questioning, especially with the loss of Luck: that Stanford has been improving as a program and has a bright future ahead of them.

Sanders joins the Cardinal’s 17th-ranked recruiting class that includes two top-40 offensive line commitments and Sanders’ commitment could be enough to move the upcoming Stanford recruiting class into the top 15. 
This season, Stanford rushed for 2,738 yards as a team, including 1,363 yards and 10 touchdowns from junior Stepfan Taylor.  Sanders will join Taylor, junior Tyler Gaffney, sophomore Anthony Wilkerson in the Cardinal’s backfield, along with 2011 four-star running backs Kelsey Young and Remound Wright.

Don’t let Sanders 5”9, 190 pound frame fool you, he is quick and elusive on the field and displays great balance and the ability to take big hits and stay on his feet.  Stanford relies on the run; even more so now with Luck gone and Sanders may just be the next marquee player for the Cards.  Sanders chose Stanford in order to make his own name in the game and step out from behind his dad’s hulking shadow.  Also, receiving an education from one of the top schools in the nation doesn’t hurt either.  So even though the Fiesta Bowl may have left a sour taste in the mouths of Stanford fans and players alike, there is a bright future ahead for the Cardinal and hopefully some good luck as well.  The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work and Stanford’s” blue-collar” work ethic motto remains in tact.

Emily Van Buskirk is a writer for The Sports Blitz

Looking back, Gundy’s rant propelled Oklahoma State football

Mike GundyMike Gundy is passionate, determined and a winning coach for the Oklahoma State Cowboys who have had success as of late. Marquee players Dez Bryant now of the Dallas Cowboys, Justin Blackmon of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Brandon Wheeden of the Cleveland Browns are just a few names Gundy has recruited.

It was only four years ago that Gundy’s famous “I’m a man…I’m 40!” rant became an instant classic with fans and radio hosts all over but one of the aspects we may have overlooked is just how important this rant was to bringing in and signing recruits that have now propelled the Cowboy’s.

Before the rant in September of 2007, Gundy’s overall record was 13-15 since…40-14.

“The rant, in kind of perverse way, I think actually helped the program,” Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis said according to CBS Sports. “In the sense I think a lot of players and parents appreciated the way he stood up like that for one of his players. They say the only bad publicity is an obituary, but I do think it sent a strong message to his players and possible recruits that this guy will stand up for his players.

“It was complete passion, sincere and genuine. He was speaking straight from his heart. I think it was a net plus.”

Gundy confirmed the thoughts of the president as he was interviewed by Dan Patrick on Fox Sports Radio.

The You Tube video of Gundy’s “I’m a man! I’m 40!” went viral. It has been viewed 2.3 million times.

GB Bongiovanni is the owner of The Sports Blitz Network and can be contacted @GBBongiovanni