Teams that won’t live up to the hype in 2016

by Travis Normand

(Originally posted on September 1, 2016 – Updated on September 7, 2016, and again on October 7, 2016)

Before the start of every season I try to sort through the pre-season hype and pick a few teams that are receiving so much undeserved excitement that there is no way they can live up to it. Here are my 2016 selections.  For the sake of these teams, I hope I am wrong.

  1. Michigan:  Do people really have them picked to make the CFP Playoff?  I will believe it when I see it.  I think Harbaugh will get things working for the Wolverines, but I need to see “something” tangible before I start claiming that they are about to win a national title.
  2. Tennessee: I put Tennessee on this list before their first game of the 2016 season, and then they almost lost to Appalachian State (and needed OT to secure the victory . . . at home).
  3. Washington: Coach Chris Petersen is probably the right guy for Washington and 2016 is a great time for Washington to finally get their feet under them (The Pac-12 North is primed for a Washington “rising” as Oregon is not as great as they have been recently and Stanford is good but is also looking for a new QB).  However, the amount of hype surrounding their 2016 season is a little too much for them to live up too.

UPDATE 1 (October 7, 2016):  So far, I have been wrong on all three of these teams!  I can admit when I am wrong.  However, there is still time for these teams to fall apart this season; not that I am rooting for that.

I think Washington will be fine as they look better than I expected and the rest of their schedule isn’t too “crazy.”  Now that they have (easily) gotten past Stanford, there is no reason that Washington can’t make it to the Pac-12 title game, and possibly further.  Side note: Despite being wrong in thinking that Washington wouldn’t live up to the hype in 2016, I actually got the rest of this projection right.  Go back and re-read my original post on Washington (above).  This is the perfect year in the Pac-12 for a Washington rising, Oregon is clearly not as good as they have been recently, and while Stanford is good, Washington was able to make short-work of them.

Michigan is also looking better than expected.  The Wolverines still have to get past Ohio State in order to get to the Big 10 title game, but even if they don’t, I would still say that this has been a great season for Michigan. Although, technically, falling short of the Big 10 title game would be considered “not living up to the hype” considering how many prognosticators had them making the CFB Playoff.

If the jury is still out on any of these teams, I would say it is still out on Tennessee.  They have managed to win each of their games so far, but each victory has been quite a chore for the Vols.  While I can see that they are a much improved team (compared to recent history), they are also living on the edge and have flirted with losing every game.  I don’t feel like they can sustain this kind of momentum for an entire season and their great run of victories is sure to run out sooner or later.  However, having said that, regardless of how the Vols end up, I think this has been, and will continue to be, a great season for them.  

UPDATE 2 (December 31, 2016): Wow, could I have been more wrong here? Can we just forget I ever made this post? I’ll leave it up, as I can admit when I’m wrong. Congratulations to all three of these teams for having a better season than I obviously expected.

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FOX fails and I am happy

by Travis Normand

I don’t think I have written about my disdain for FOX’s college football coverage on this blog, but I used to write about it a lot on my old one.  Just like FOX’s college football coverage, my old blog was horrible but I also didn’t take it seriously.

I remember writing about how happy I was to hear that the BCS broadcasts would be moved from FOX to ABC/ESPN (in 2008?).  I also remember writing about how much I loved watching the Cotton Bowl each year, but hated the fact that I had to listen to FOX’s NFL commentators call the game.

Anyway, it comes as no surprise to me to hear that FOX’s college football morning show, FOX College Saturday, has been canceled before its second season has even begun.

I am not a TV executive, but maybe I should be.  After all, when FOX announced the show a year ago, all I could think was, “great, another awful idea in terms of college football programming by FOX.

It is final confirmation of what could be described as nothing but a disastrous tenure for Fox College Saturday, a program that couldn’t even make it to a second year.

– From AwfulAnnouncing.com

 

 

Some of the best . . .

by Travis Normand

If you are anything like me, you enjoy reading great college football articles — especially during the off-season.  Here is a list of articles which I thought were fantastic.  I hope you enjoy(ed) them as much as I did.

Note:  I will update this list as I find more articles that I think should be included.  

  1. Growing Up Penn State, The End of Everything at State College; by Michael Weinreb, November 16, 2011, Grantland.com.
  2. It’s Personal, Why we love the silly, irrational, ridiculous, beautiful world of college football; by Bill Connelly, August 27, 2013, SBNation.com.

I am also creating this second list of articles that are not quite as “great” as the ones listed above; however, they are definitely interesting and worth reading.  I should call this second list the “highly recommended” list.

  1. Meet the Bag Man, How to buy college football players, in the words of a man who delivers the money; by Steven Godfrey, April 10, 2014, SBNation.com.
  2. Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax; by Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey, January 16, 2013, DeadSpin.com.
  3. My Blue Heaven: What the 2007 Fiesta Bowl Meant for College Football, An Excerpt from ‘Season of Saturdays;’ by Michael Weinreb, August 20, 2014, SBNation.com

More to come . . . 

Jadeveon Clowney scores a touchdown in South Carolina spring game

CollegeFootballTalk

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was, as expected, sidelined for today’s South Carolina spring game because of his mild neck sprain.

That didn’t stop Clowney from seeing the field for one play, though, and giving the crowd what they wanted.

Sprinting from the sidelines without pads or helmet, Clowney caught a touchdown pass. Not only was Clowney down way before getting into the end zone, but the score actually counted because, well, spring football!

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Sara Lampe criticizes Gary Pinkel for no apparent reason

by Travis Normand

By now I am sure you have read about Sara Lampe, the Missouri politician that has attempted to use Gary Pinkel to further her political aspirations of winning her parties nomination for Lt. Governor (the primary is set for August 7).  While Lampe has said that her critical statements of Pinkel have nothing to do with the fact that she is running for public office, can anyone really believe her?  Only the most sycophantic of Lampe worshippers would.

Lampe is criticizing Pinkel for saying some positive things about a friend and man he knew professionally.  Does this mean her message is that despite any potential wrong-doings, not even a friend can be supportive of another?  Seems a little harsh.

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