Joe Pa out, Cardinal vs Ducks and Logan Thomas is the BIG man on Campus

There is so much to talk about in the college football universe. Between the firing of the legendary Joe Paterno to this weeks monster matchup in the PAC 12 this week, 4 Stanford vs 7 Oregon and even the Hokies win on Thursday night and the career nights of RB David Wilson and QB Logan Thomas. We’ll start with the hot button topic of Joe Pa’s exit at Penn State.

Paterno and Sandusky

For 46 years Joe Paterno has not only been the face of Penn State football but also one of the great figureheads in college football. He is up there with Bear Bryant ,Bobby Bowden, and Woody Hayes on the Mount Rushmore of College Football coaches. He has 409 wins overall as head coach and has built  a  prestigious program out of nothing. But it has all been overshadowed by one bad decision that he made or one that he didn’t make when he knew of longtime assistant coach and defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky’s behaviors and horrific actions with little boys no older than 10 years of age. I won’t go into detail with the story because it seems to be changing every minute and it is also known by everyone. But the real question with the whole mess lies with the board of trustees’ (Who were appointed by Paterno) decision to relieve Joe Pa of his duties is justified. There are two ways to look at it… He did do the right thing according top the law by reporting it to his superior but morally he failed miserably and is now paying the price for it, granted that Paterno was close to retirement anyways being 84 years old and having to coach from the press box over looking the field of play. This incident will have an impact on the athletics of Penn State and the university as a whole this whole event deeply saddens everyone. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this horrific event.

On a happier not we now move to the monster game tonight in the PAC 12 between the only 2 teams of relevance in the conference, the Stanford Cardinal and the Oregon Ducks. These two teams are complete opposites of each other in the way they play the game, the types of players that they recruit and in their mentalities. The Ducks are a fast paced team that runs the spread offense. Everything from their erratic style to their endless number of uniform combinations makes them an exciting team to watch especially with QB Darron Thomas and RB LaMichael James in the backfield. The team in the opposite side , Stanford is based on power and traditional football. The star power of QB Andrew Luck (who will be a future 1st overall selection in the NFL draft either this year or next) and the use of big physical TE ‘s  like Coby Fleener who measures up at 6’6 244lbs has 8 TD’s this season. This game will be close (tonight on ABC @  8pm eastern time) but like Lee Corso I think that Stanford’s experience and leadership will payoff and get them a home victory over the Ducks.

Fear the Tree

 

And now for the Hokie topic of the post… Coming into the season people of Hokie natoin didn’t know what to expect from 1st year starting QB Logan Thomas. Would he live up to his 5 star recruit hype ? or would he be a total bust and be forced back to a TE or WR role ? The answer has been yes to the 1st statement has Thomas has passed all tests (with the exception of Clemson) with flying colors. throwing for over 2000 yards and having a QB rating of 140.3 Thomas is showing why I made suck a big deal about him back when I used to do “Hokie Updates” in 2008 (https://mattburrill.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/hokie-update/). Lets look at Thomas from a defense players perspective. He stands at 6’6 weighs 260 lbs and runs a 4.6 40 ?!?! Impossible is usually the explanation when these stats or attributes get put together but not for Thomas who is only in his Sophomore year giving him up to 2 more years as a Hokie! His size and speed has made him a running threat an automatic go to guy in 3rd or 4th and short situations. To back it up Logan has rushed for 335 yards (3.4 yard average) and scored 8 times by using his legs this season .The other reason for Thomas’ success is the other guys around especially RB David Wilson who like Thomas had a career night in Atlanta.  Wilson who got virtually no carries a season ago splitting time with now NFL players Ryan Williams and Darren Evans has shown that he belongs here. Rushing for 1360 yards so far (175 on Thursday). David Wilson is getting some Heisman Trophy looks as maybe a 3rd or 4th candidate, his chances will depend on the Hokies success moving into critical matchups with ACC opponents UNC and UVA to end the season. The Hokies will next play on Thursday Night Football this week on ESPN @ 8 pm in the Hell Hole they call Lane Stadium.

I have found highlights of Tech’s Triumph over the Yellow Jackets courtesy of thePhreakofVT on youtube… enjoy !

 

 

2011 Preseason Haven Rankings

It’s almost here ! No not the NFL season or Baseball Playoffs , but the start of the 2011 NCAA Football 2011 season. This year on Sports Haven we will have a ranking system of our top 15 teams in the nation. These rankings will be updated every sunday once the season kicks off. Like all rankings The Haven Rankings will have a formula. We will base our rankings on a number of different aspects but here is our basic formula for finding our top 15 in the country.

Here’s our formula: 

Overall Record, Strength of Schedule, Point differential, and half of the USA Today and Coaches poll points factored together

This list will be competitive and tough to rank so if any of our readers think we’re completely wrong or completely agree with us just let us know by commenting or voting in our polls. 

Atop our poll at numero uno this year is a team that is in the top 5 every year but never quite gets there. There SOS (Strength of Schedule) is in the top 5 of teams on the list. They have maybe the best QB to WR combo in the country with a good defense to boot. The Preseason Number 1 team in the Haven Rankings in none other than Boomer Sooner; Oklahoma.

 

THE RANKINGS

  1. Oklahoma Sooners–   827 pts    SOS Grade : A-  (@FSU, A&M, MIZZOU & @ OK STATE)
  2. LSU Tigers–  798 pts   SOS Grade : A – (Oregon,@Alabama, Florida & Auburn)
  3. Oregon Ducks– 755 pts SOS Grade: (LSU,@Stanford, USC & @ Arizona)
  4. Alabama Crimson Tide– 707 pts SOS Grade: B (LSU, @ Florida ,@ Ole Miss & @Auburn)
  5. Stanford Cardinal–  695 pts SOS Grade: C+ (Oregon, @ USC, California & Notre Dame)
  6. Oklahoma State Cowboys 675 pts SOS Grade:B- (Oklahoma, @ A&M, @ Texas & @ Mizzou)
  7. Boise State Broncos– 665 pts SOS Grade:  C – (TCU, @ Georgia, Nevada & @ Fresno State)
  8. Wisconsin Badgers– 645 pts SOS Grade:  B (Nebraska,@Ohio State, Penn State & @ Michigan State
  9. Texas A&M Aggies– 640 pts SOS Grade :B+ (@ Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Mizzou & Texas  )
  10. Florida State Seminoles– 635 pts SOS Grade: B-  (Oklahoma,@ Florida, @Clemson & Miami )
  11. South Carolina Gamecocks– 630 pts SOS Grade: B – (Florida, @ Arkansas, @ Georgia & Auburn
  12. Arkansas Razorbacks-629 pts  SOS Grade: B+ (@ LSU, @ Alabama, A&M , & South Carolina
  13. Nebraska Cornhuskers– 623 pts SOS Grade: B + (@ Wisconsin, @ Ohio State, @ Michigan & @ Penn State)
  14. Virginia Tech Hokies– 608 pts SOS Grade: C (Miami, UNC,@ Georgia Tech & Clemson)
  15. TCU Hornedfrogs– 593 pts SOS Grade: D + (@ Boise State,BYU,@SDSU & SMU)

The Analysis

 Oklahoma was a pretty easy choice at the top but after that was not as easy to grade , rank and score. Number 2 came down to LSU and Oregon ; Two very different teams with insane coaches and tremendous expectations in 2011…Guess I’ll just have to wait for Labor Day weekend when the Ducks and Tigers square off on primetime. The 4 through 7 slots were easy to fit in Bama,Stanford,OK State and Boise, but A&M and Wisconsin were close in schedule and points for the 8th slot. I picked Wisconsin based on the teams returning players, (Particularly on the offensive side of the ball.). I had to put FSU in somewhere so 10 felt like a good place… Then South Carolina just beat Arkansas for the 11th spot in our poll.Nebraska has a tough 1st year schedule wise in the Big 10 with trips to “The Big House”, “Happy Valley” , “The Horseshoe” and to top it off a visit to Camp Randall in Madison,WI…After the Cornhuskers are the Hokies who have been plagued with injuries in camp but still have a solid team intact from a season ago. And rounding out my top 15 preseason teams in TCU who is without a veteran QB and playing an AWFUL schedule that features only 1 Quality opponent (Boise).

Our  next poll will be on Monday: 9/5/11… we’ll address the 1st weekend of NCAA Football action and maybe have some shakeups atop the leaderboard.

Also in closing please take a moment and vote in our “Did We Get it Right ? ” Poll

 

BCS week 3

Another week another number 1 ranked team crumbles… Thats the way it has gone thus far in the world of college football. The latest victims were the Sooners of Oklahoma who were upset by the still unbeaten Missouri Tigers. The other battle of the unbeatens was in the SEC where the Auburn Tigers defeated LSU. Auburn is now the number 1 team in the BCS Rankings but I still have the Ducks and their wild spread offense as the top dogs in our Sports Haven rankings. Some things have changed in the Rankings that you see below with Boise moving up from the 4 hole last week to number 3 after another easy win in the WAC or as I call it “WEAK ASS CONFERENCE“. In total there are still 7 teams with a big fat goose egg in the loss column (Oregon,Boise,TCU,Utah,Michigan State,Auburn and Missouri). I do expect the trend of upsets to continue with  a possible one or two teams like Michigan State maybe stumbling against Iowa. Well here they are our week 3 rankings for the Bowl Championships.

Can they be Stopped?????

  1. Oregon Ducks (1) 2 
  2. Auburn Tigers (3) 1
  3. Boise State Broncos (4) 3
  4. Missouri Tigers (NR) 6
  5. Michigan State Spartans (5) 5
  6. TCU Horned Frogs (7) 4
  7. Utah Utes (10) 8
  8. Alabama Crimson Tide (8) 7
  9. Wisconsin Badgers (9) 10
  10. Oklahoma Sooners (2) 9

 

BCS Rankings week number 2

Again we had another week of exciting updates and as a result we have a shake up in our Haven Bowl Rankings but the same team on top. Thats right I still like the Ducks over Boise,Boomer Sooner and TCU. The reason why as I explained in last weeks edition is that they are fun to watch and definitely pretty frigging hard to stop at the same time. Back to the upsets of the previous week. We saw teams like Ohio State and Nebraska who we’re both on the top of the board in our rankings before getting their first tastes of defeat in the 2010-2011 season. This week I can see some more shake ups especially with the battles of the no loss teams in the SEC with LSU and Auburn and the not so Big 12 with Oklahoma taking on Missouri .Now for our second week of rankings this week with a new 2 new elements. The Number in () is what that particular team was in our rankings the previous week and the number in Italics is what they are in the actual Rankings…   So Read em and weap….

  1. Oregon Ducks (1) 2
  2. Oklahoma Sooners (5) 1
  3. Auburn Tigers (10) 4
  4. Boise State Broncos (4) 3
  5. Michigan State Spartans (9) 7
  6. LSU Tigers (7) 6
  7. TCU Horned Frogs(6) 5    
  8. Alabama Crimson Tide (8) 8
  9. Wisconsin Badgers (NR) NR
  10. Utah Utes (NR)9