Strange Vibrations in the BCS Machine, 4 NFL Teams Run Out Of Gas

A review of the past weekend’s action in college football and the NFL

Taking one final look at the BCS standings: the prophecy of SEC domination is beginning to take over, the Big 12, the Pac 12…will all bow at the altar.

I want to be a West Virginia fan. Open a dude ranch. Set my couch on fire while spitting out moonshine and reading the Book of Revelation. Drink some PBR and spend half the day tending to the livestock. I get the LSU loss, makes sense to lose with the pressure of a home game against the second best defense in football in primetime but Syracuse? They don’t do anything well, except expose that 3-3-5 stack for all it’s worth. A million passing yards, man coverage failure, beat on slants, beat deep and time to take a long hard look in the mirror and settle with the Snapshot Progressive Savings bowl. Let’s say they finish 9-3, which is two losses too many for the Big East. 2nd place and a weekday bowl game that makes football freaks sick.

It is going to get ugly for a second straight year in Texas. They have some pieces for the future on defense, but Mack Brown might make it only a few more if they don’t at least make it through the season with less than 5 losses. Texas Tech, Kansas State and Texas A&M will take 2 out of those 3 with ease, look for more recruits to find other Texas area schools as the days of National Championships are over for the next decade. The power is shifting. Move over Cowboys, we have another candidate for team most hanging on to their own history. The fat old businessmen are simply getting drunk on Saturdays and not caring about the outcome of the game. Betting is over and the Longhorns are looking like fools.

Auburn has officially gone to hell. The Cam Newton factor may have singlehandedly won them at least 3 road games last year. They did not have the overall talent to win a National Championship, and are sitting at the bottom of the SEC West, hoping for some sort of magic to hobble them through the rest of the year as a 5 loss team. They may play in Alabama, but they are not Alabama. Clemson set the wheels in motion, and LSU buried any chance of relevance for the next 2 years. Nobody cares about Auburn anymore, and nobody will by the start of next year. Michael Dyer will always be the runner up to Trent Richardson,

Will Georgia beat Florida? That’s going to be the type of game where you hope each team beats each other into the ground, akin to a Giants/Patriots, or a Packers/Steelers game. How they made it by Tennessee and Mississippi State perplexes me but they will probably get one over on Auburn, who will be scraping themselves off the floor by November 12th. If South Carolina loses Lattimore, all bets are off on the SEC East.

Arizona State Sun Devils, one of the PAC 12 phantoms that rises out of the woods and goes backwards towards the latter half of the season. They just may go undefeated through the rest of the year, but two losses keep them on the edge of the highly overrated PAC 12 conference. There is nothing I care about concerning this team, though I am sure USC is probably a better team. Unfortunately Reggie Bush ruined the beauty and sun kissed finesse of USC for the next few years.

I will root for Texas Tech for years to come. One because they are the reason for Michael Crabtree. Two because they knocked off Oklahoma. Three, because they average 383.7 passing yards per game. The only caveat to Texas Tech is of course the second half of their schedule. Texas will summon enough pride to keep that game close. Oklahoma State will outgun them, and Baylor will attempt some sort of dramatic 500 yard passing high note against a defense that averages 30.7 against it.

What I saw from the Indianapolis defense last night was not surprising. Greatest offense in the NFL against a secondary with a large majority of undrafted, third tier players? Not much of a contest. Small linebackers who can’t defend receivers, can’t stop the run, and can’t tackle in space? Indianapolis hash them. Defensive line? Freeney and Mathis are two of the best defensive ends who happen to be two of the smartest in the league. But when a quarterback can get away from the pocket and throw, defensive ends can’t do much. Especially when they start throwing the occasional power run and play action pass. If your secondary can’t give you three seconds to get the sack, all that effort goes to waste.

The Miami Dolphins are God’s way of punishing the Miami Heat. I was once invited to a Dolphins game. Reggie Bush might keep you awake, Brandon Marshall will make some big catches. But they can’t finish games once they get stopped through the air. Chad Henne would have got them 4 wins, but there is no stopping the insanity for Andrew Luck, who will in fact decline Miami’s invitation if it is given. What’s there to be excited about. A 20th ranked defense? A bunch of overrated wide receivers? No great tight end? Miami could do best by trading the Luck pick for two first rounders and two second rounders, beefing up their secondary and receiving core. They’ll be able to get someone decent at QB in the second or third round.

Now for the sorriest team from the sorriest division of the sorriest coast of professional football. The Rams are not worthy of the old Rams colors. They are second tier talent across the board. They are the 8-8 team without a highlight reel, and Sam Bradford is going to need some help at receiver. He needs a big playmaking receiver to sit across from Brandon Lloyd while Pettis and Salas grow into starters. Amendola will be relegated to the slot and Lance Kendricks will finally take over at tight end. They need secondary help and they could use some offensive lineman to keep Bradford upright. They will make do on their defensive line although Spagnolo is itching for a first round defensive lineman to accompany Robert Quinn.

Minnesota proves my theory of hedging your bets on an aging quarterback to be disastrous for twice as many years as he plays. Brett Favre for two years? Four year recovery time for any sort of playoff run. Look at the Vikings closely. Is Adrian Peterson the best running back in the NFL? There’s no way to judge that. Without Favre, the Vikings are going against a stacked box all day. When Favre was there, everyone defended the pass. Hell of a change for the offensive line. There’s going to be nothing to like about this team by the end of the year. Peterson would break all sorts of record on either the Packers, Saints or Ravens. Sadly, he will stay in Minnesota and freeze his ass off.

Jets vs. Chargers: 12 Pack of Predictions

12 Predictions for the Jets/Chargers week 7 match-up

Pivotal game in the New York Jets season this Sunday

1. LaDainian Tomlinson will play his best game of the season to this point, finishing with over 140 yards of total offense and a touchdown, which will be his first home touchdown as a New York Jet. Shonn Greene will chip in 55 yards rushing and Joe McKnight will have 35 total yards of offense.

2. Ryan Matthews will have a big day against the New York Jets defense, finishing with over 100 total yards and a pair of touchdowns.

3. Philip Rivers will throw for 270 yards but will also be sacked 3 times and throw at least one interception. Antonio Gates, who is going to play and Malcolm Floyd will be his top targets throughout the day.

4. Mark Sanchez will not have a turnover for the third straight week, and will throw a pair of touchdown passes. However, he will be sacked at least 3 times.

5. Joe McKnight will return a kick for over 50 yards, setting up a Jets touchdown.

6. Santonio Holmes will score a touchdown for the third straight week. Plaxico Burress will play better, but still only finish with 45 yards receiving.

7. The Jets will at least get a first down in the first quarter…that isn’t expecting too much of this offense, is it?

8. This game will be a tie heading into the half and will be a one possession game heading into the final few minutes.

9. Antonio Cromartie will give up a few big plays down the field, attempting to be too aggressive. However, he will come up with at least one huge play for the Jets defense.

10. Aaron Maybin will come up with another big play for the Jets defense, as his role continues to grow.

11. Nick Folk will miss his first field goal of the year.

12. As I said earlier, this will come down to the final minutes and I think tapping into a little of last year’s late game magic, the Jets will pull one out a 27-24.

New York Jets: It Feels Like Home

Rex Ryan talking big? Underdogs at home? It finally feels like a normal week for the New York Jets

Rex Ryan getting ripped to pieces in the media for an arrogant comment?

The New York Jets underdogs in their own building?

Somebody from outside the locker room (Kris Jenkins), criticizing the players on the team as being catty, selfish and more concerned with self-promotion than winning?

It finally feels like a normal week for the Rex Ryan led New York Jets. This team needs the headlines, controversy and doubt to play to their potential. Think about it –

In 2009, they started off with low expectations with a new coach and a rookie quarterback. They rip off three straight wins to start the season, including a stunner over New England. The praise and complacency start to come and they lose 6 out of 7.

At 4-6 they are written off in a similar way to they are being now. They respond by winning 4 out of 5 and making the playoffs. Yet, they still receive criticism and a lack of respect for how they got in. Rex Ryan outlandishly calls the Jets the Super Bowl favorites before the playoffs start, everybody thinks he is crazy until they win two straight on the road and are up by 11 in Indianapolis in the AFC Championship Game.

It falls apart but everybody takes the Jets seriously as a Super Bowl contender heading into the 2010 season. They drop a stink bomb in week one, leading to everybody questioning everything about the team, particularly Ryan and Mark Sanchez. In response, the Jets win 9 of their next 10 and are arguably the best team in the league at 9-2 heading into New England. Too much confidence, too much praise, too much complacency and the Jets lose two straight and make themselves underdogs heading into Pittsburgh. They win a surprising game that ultimately propels them to the playoffs, where nobody picks them to beat Peyton Manning or Tom Brady but they do.

Finally everybody hops on the bandwagon, the trash talking disappears and they lose in the AFC Championship Game.

It seems to me that the Jets only respond as an underdog. They find ways to run their mouths and win games in ways that piss people off. Let’s hope history repeats itself the next 3 games when the Jets will likely be underdog in every single match-up, starting this week versus San Diego.

Two Months & Still No Answers: NFL, College Football, NBA

Justin breaks down what we have learned through two months of the college football and NFL season, along with a look at the NBA Lockout

Questions remain. Is Oklahoma the best college team in the country? Don’t bother thinking about it. They’re the most explosive offense, but as Oregon found out against LSU, great defense beats great offense every time in college football. Oklahoma will fear the LSU or Alabama defense if they so happen to meet in the BCS championship game.

They will fear it because it hits hard. See Jordan Rogers. They will fear it because it causes turnovers, whether through the air or on the ground. They will fear it because it keeps coming, and even after the ball gets thrown Landry Jones will still have to pick himself up off the ground and wait for the blue moon blitz.

Alabama put a beating on Ole Miss, as LSU did to Tennessee earlier on Saturday. The debate as to who is better comes down to the running game, because both quarterbacks are probably not even in the top 10 in the country. Now LSU gets the beauty of a quarterback controversy heading into the November 5th early SEC championship game.

To break this down to those who have not witnessed Alabama and how they go about outscoring opponents by 40 every weekend I have devised this 8 part script:

Part 1 – Let the opposing offense march down the field, giving a false sense of hope
Part 2 – Start to stop the run game
Part 3 – Take away the pass game
Part 4 – Introduce Trent Richardson to opposing defensive backs
Part 5 – With 21 point lead, take Richardson out of the game
Part 6 – Hit someone so hard on defense they stop looking for screens and passes over the middle
Part 7 – With 30 point lead, insert Eddie Lacy or Marcus Fowler
Part 8 – Enjoy victory

Oh Denard. Michigan is currently sitting at the great precipice of what may be the end to their season. How did Michigan fall apart against Michigan State? They couldn’t play their game. Their game that consists of power run, option run, screen pass, QB sneak, and repeat. Michigan always runs up scores in the first few weeks against subpar teams, but Michigan State knows their game plan, and as long as Denard Robinson is around that isn’t going to change much. He, unfortunately, cannot throw the ball. What some call back shoulder, some call luck.

So there you go. Alabama will be in the title game, LSU will destroy some Big 12/Pac 12 team in a bowl game as Alabama did to Michigan State last year, and Oklahoma will finally be exposed as the pass happy big brother to Oregon. Stanford will have to beat the elusive, speed first Oregon if they are going to get anywhere close to the BCS championship, all the while praying to god Oklahoma has some sort of huge slip up. Neither may happen, so we may again be wondering if the smartest team in the country can actually hang with either the Big 10 or SEC. After this season it won’t matter, so if they are going to do it, they better do it this year.

If Clemson survives the rest of their schedule, they will make a nice story, but the great matchup of an undefeated Georgia Tech against an undefeated Clemson is sadly not to be.

Don’t trust Oklahoma State. They are horrible on defense, and they will ultimately rely on the play of their quarterback and running back to put up 50 if they have any chance to make it through the Big 12 with only one loss (Oklahoma). Giving up an average of 27 a game is not a method for long term success.

The Big East, whom I love like Gilbert Grape, will not exist in five years, so no point in getting sentimental about teams like West Virginia and Rutgers and Syracuse.

The Big 10 championship will be ugly. There will not be many points scored, and if it ends up as Michigan State against Wisconsin, look for something truly hideous.

TCU can’t pass and they can’t stop the pass, so the temporary love affair from analysts is most likely over. Someone print up posters of Kellen Moore and Justin Bieber side by side. I love Boise State, and will until I am cold and rotting. They average 14.5 points against, so I can love the defense and let Kellen sling it all over the field.

As I stated previously, the South Carolinas and Floridas are sadly not going to be a part of the SEC championship. I have a respect for Florida’s defense, and I have unabashedly announced my fascination with both Marcus Lattimore and Jadaveon Clowney. Despite this, they are a rung below the machinelike efficiency of both LSU and Alabama.

Anyone care about the Sun Belt? No? Good.

On to the NFL. Who’s the best team in the AFC North? The Ravens. They are what the Jets wish theywere. Greatest linebackers and safeties of their generation, an All Pro defensive tackle, and a running back who is the lighter/faster version of Shonn Greene. The Patriots are probably going to meet them in the AFC championship, but as we all know, defense wins in the playoffs. Can’t Wait.

NFC North? Packers. There are few things that can beat the Packers, save for some ridiculous pressure and or speed that no defense has at the moment. Aaron Rodgers will run circles around the rest of the NFC north for the rest of the season. God help any NFC team that happens to run across the Packers indoors the rest of the season.

What will happen to the weirdest team in football? Carson Palmer will probably throw for 150, two interceptions, and two touchdowns this weekend. They will not sling it out, accuracy is key when you’ve got Bush and Mcfadden in the backfield. 3rd and 4. That is until Moore and Heyward-Bey get loose and Carson Palmer says to himself, “hey now, these guys can run better than the guys in Cincinnati!”

The only question is, would Carson have fared better with AJ Green and Jermaine Gresham than he will with Kevin Boss and the two burners on the outside?

At this point, I must make my confession about the NFC East. The Redskins are a QB and a receiver from the playoffs. They should do well in this year’s draft, probably ending up with the 16th pick and finally getting the offensive help to add to one of the NFC’s best defenses. If they can get a big fast receiver and a first round quarterback, they may actually stand a chance against the overhyped Eagles and the under-hyped Giants.

As a Jets fan, it makes me sad to realize that the Giants are a better built organization. Just look at the first round picks:

Hakeem Nicks, Jason Pierre Paul, Mathias Kiwanuka, Antrel Rolle, Aaron Ross

The offensive line: Four Pro Bowls. Defensive line: Four Pro Bowls. They have consistency that most teams envy. They will make the playoffs this year and the rest of the ALL STAR teams (Cowboys, Eagles) will have to deal with quarterback inconsistency that makes Eli Manning look like Peyton.
Enough love for the NFC East. I feel sick.

There is a sad end to all of this, the NBA

The NBA will not have a full season this year. It will probably not have even half a season. If there is a season, it will be weird, short and as exciting as the last 6 weeks of college football.

We already missed the Heat vs. Knicks, Thunder vs. Mavericks and to keep the list going would make every NBA fan seethe with rage. As the NFL taught us, it isn’t over till its over but this time it feels like it’s been over since the beginning. And now the players are talking about a ten game world tour, something you wouldn’t do unless you have little to no hope. Here comes the NBA equivalent of the XFL, and it will not last. Even the most diehard fans will feel cheated.

Final Words On Jets/Dolphins

Final words from the New York Jets before Monday Night Football kicks off

From the New York Jets themselves

Follow live commentary during the game on Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets)

Join in the conversation in our Forum

Follow us on Facebook

1. Pro Football Talk decided to blame the Jim Harbaugh/Jim Schwartz fight on Rex Ryan. In other news, I also heard he was responsible for World War II and world hunger.

2. Inactives — Kevin O’Connell, Logan Payne, Donald Strickland, Ropait Pitoitua, Isaiah Trufant, Bilal Powell, Colin Baxter.

3. The Jets are inducting Larry Grantham, Gerry Philbin, Freeman McNeil, and Al Toon into their Ring of Honor tonight. Toooooooooon.

Jets vs. Dolphins: 12 Pack Of Predictions

A week 6 Monday Night must win for the New York Jets…12 predictions for tonight —

1. Dustin Keller is going to get back into the end-zone for the first time since week 2. Santonio Holmes will join him, as he scores his second touchdown in as many weeks.

2. Mark Sanchez will finish with at least 225 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns. I do think a more aggressive game-plan will result in at least one turnover. I am specifically thinking about Cameron Wake rushing the passer on Wayne Hunter.

3. Jeremy Kerley will pull in at least 3 receptions in his first game as the full time slot receiver.

4. Calvin Pace, Jamaal Westerman, and Muhammad Wilkerson will all record sacks of Matt Moore.

5. Moore will have multiple turnovers tonight but will also make a few plays with his feet that prevents the Jets defense from getting off the field on third down.

6. Brandon Marshall won’t get ejected in the fist half, but will be non-factor in this game.

7. Reggie Bush will have less than 80 total offensive yards.

8. Shonn Greene will rush for more than 75 yards and score his third touchdown of the season. LaDainian Tomlinson will also be more involved than he was last week, while Joe McKnight will pull in his first reception of the season.

9. If the Jets find a way to lose this game, you can bet things will start to get very ugly in their locker room. I may also have to temporarily shut the website down out of disgust. You don’t lose to a 0-4 team in your own building on Monday Night, especially when they are starting a backup quarterback.

10. The Jets will score a touchdown on their first drive.

11. Kenrick Ellis will finally be active.

12. I am picking the Jets 30-13. A win doesn’t suffice here, the Jets need to thoroughly beat down Miami to get some confidence back.

Week 6 Sunday: NFC East Only Gives Jets A Little Help

A review of Sunday’s week 6 action, looking at what we learned about each division

Today was a weird day for New York Jets fans as they were forced to root for the New York Giants, our in-stadium rivals and the team many of our annoying friends root for and the Dallas Cowboys, who nobody likes to root for. The Giants came through with a win over the Buffalo Bills, knocking them down to 4-2 however Dallas did what Dallas does and choked late and lost a tight one in New England as the Patriots pulled to 5-1. For the Jets it is time to take care of business tomorrow night and next week at home versus San Diego. If they head into their back to back games against Buffalo and New England at 4-3, they just may have a chance to make the AFC East race somewhat interesting into December.

Here is what else we learned around the league today…

AFC East – Buffalo has an exciting offense and will be in the mix into December. However, they are very beatable because unless another quarterback throws them four interceptions, they have a tough time winning. New England isn’t quite as dominant as everybody makes them out to be, but they know how to win close games better than any team in the league.

AFC North – You could make a strong argument for Baltimore being the best team in the AFC because of how dominant their defense looks. Pittsburgh looks a level or two behind them.

AFC South – Just a weak overall division that will come down to the Titans and Texans battling it out, as their head to head match-ups loom large.

AFC West – Oakland needs to get David Garrard on the phone immediately if they have plans on keeping pace with San Diego. I am sorry but Kyle Boller won’t cut it.

NFC East – The division is wide, wide open. The Giants are playing well early in the season as they always do but it would foolish to write off Philadelphia or Dallas already because of their sub .500 records. Washington had an ugly loss today but will a contender all year as well.

NFC North – Don’t pat Jim Schwartz on the back. How about the Stan Van Gundy clone trying to break the fight up?

NFC South – Another division that is wide open, especially after Tampa Bay putting up a very impressive win today over New Orleans. The Falcons have had an ugly start but they aren’t dead yet.

NFC West – San Francisco should clinch any day now.

Five Keys For New York Jets Versus Miami Dolphins

Listen to TJ discuss the top five keys here

1-CIRCLE THE WAGONS: Namath’s comments after the Oakland loss. Receivers complain abut Schotty. Santonio Holmes calls out the O line. Mason is dealt. Holmes vs. Brandon Moore. Is this a team on the brink of implosion?

2-CLEANER PLAY FROM THE SECONDARY: Too many flags in recent weeks. Keep your hands to yourselves guys.

3-PROVE ‘EM WRONG OFFENSIVE LINE: Called out by the media, Holmes, and still readjusting after the return of the injured star Nick Mangold. This group has to prove the doubters wrong, and start giving Mark Sanchez some time to throw.

4-STRETCH THE FIELD: Defenses are playing eleven guys right up at the line. Go downfield sometimes, and create some room to run.

5-BE A TOP FIVE DEFENSE: Last week the Jets finally got some pressure on a QB in Foxboro. Kick it into gear now, certainly don’t let backup QB Matt Moore get comfortable early on.

New York Jets: No Excuses Against Pitiful Dolphins

The New York Jets have no excuses this week against the Miami Dolphins

I am aware the New York Jets recent three game losing streak has been a kick in the you know what to those who approached the season with a high amount of optimism for the team. However, there are different types of teams and different types of losses in the NFL.

In Oakland, you had a Jets team take their foot off the pedal up 17-7 and play a lackadaisical second half against a hungrier team. In Baltimore, you had a recipe for disaster going against one of the league’s best defenses with a makeshift offensive line. In New England, you had a superior team run out the clock late preventing your offense a chance to win the game.

Baltimore and New England are both playoff teams in the AFC and will both likely be division winners who receive a bye week. The Jets lost to both of them in their building. Oakland is a serious playoff contender at this point and could also very well be a division winner. The Jets also lost to them in their building. Losses to these teams is disappointing in that the Jets clearly can’t compete with the elite of their own conference at the moment, yet the Miami Dolphins are a completely different story.

At 0-4, the Dolphins are the worst team in the AFC. They have lost every game by 10 points or more except for one and are now on their backup quarterback, the thoroughly mediocre Matt Moore. Miami is a led by a lame duck coach who likely will be fired within the month, has an overpaid, underachieving starting running back in Reggie Bush and a big time receiver who doesn’t make any plays in Brandon Marshall. Their defense can’t stop the pass and doesn’t force turnovers.

There are no excuses this week as the Jets host this awful team in their building on Monday Night Football in front of the whole country. There are no moral victories. Hell, there are no normal victories. This needs to be a thorough double digit beating of your rivals in front of your angry home crowd. Kick the Dolphins while they are down and get some swagger back because you are going to need it with San Diego, Buffalo, and New England upcoming on the schedule.

Shonn Greene and Santonio Holmes…get your first 100 yard games of the season. Plaxico Burress…stop dropping the football and get back in the end-zone. Mark Sanchez…throw for 275 yards without a turnover. Dustin Keller…come out of the witness protection program you have been in the previous two weeks. Calvin Pace and Bart Scott…get back to making plays on defense and come up with a few sacks. Darrelle Revis…well you just keep doing what you been doing.

I am about as optimistic as they come but if the Jets lose this game, their season is over.

TOJ Week 5 NFL Picks

Last Week: 8-8
Season Record: 35-28
  • Philadelphia (-2 ) vs. Buffalo
  • New Orleans (-5) vs. Carolina
  • Oakland (+6.5) vs. Houston
  • Indianapolis (-1.5) vs Kansas City
  • Cincinnati (+2.5) vs. Jacksonville
  • Minnesota (-2.5) vs. Arizona
  • New York Giants (-9) vs. Seattle
  • Tennessee (+7.5) vs. Pittsburgh
  • San Francisco (PK) vs. Tampa Bay
  • San Diego (-4.5) vs. Denver
  • New York Jets (+9) vs. New England
  • Atlanta (+5.5) vs. Green Bay
  • Chicago (+6.5) vs. Detroit