Nick Saban Urban Meyer V! It is inevitable

saban-v-meyer-vThe 2016 college football season is only in its infancy, but it already appears that Saban Meyer V in Tampa is all but inevitable. Although parody is supposedly alive and well, thus far we have learned that Ohio State and Alabama are the two exceptions. The gap between these two elite programs and whoever is ranked below them is outstanding, and will only grow wider as the Tide and Buckeyes continue to improve.

The Lamar Jackson phenomena has certainly been entertaining, but thus far there have lamar-heismanbeen few surprises this season. Although the fortunes of teams often change from week to week, due to injuries or a lack of depth several teams will be the victims of misfortune. Unlike the Buckeyes and Tide, the fortunes of most teams rely too heavily on the play of one player.

No one will question the dynamic playmaking ability of Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson but they alone will not be enough to jabrill-peppersbridge the Buckeyes-Tide gap. The Stanford Cardinals are all out of byes and McCaffrey is already averaging 35 touches per game. LB/OW/PK/KR Peppers has amazed on offense, defense, and special teams but maintaining such a heavy workload for 13 week is a lot to ask of anybody. September Heisman winner, Lamar Jackson may be 2nd in the nation in rushing, but each time he flees the pocket the Cardinals faithful all hold their breath hoping Jackson jumps back up.

Thus far we have been wowed by the dynamic play of those great players and others but the truth may be hard to accept but it is nearly impossible to deny. at this rate two spots saban-meyer5for the college football playoffs is all but set, everyone else is simply playing for third and fourth. Like Cavaliers v. Warriors, the regular season appears to be meaningless because Meyers Saban V is inevitable. The only question that remains is who will be in the home and away jersey.  It took Neo from the Matrix two movies to realize that it was inevitable, how many games will it take you to realize the same? Stay tuned…I know I will. – A. Denmark

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

#Road2Glendale #Countdown2kickoff

ol ball coachAfter months of reliving the agony and glory of last year, a new season of redemption is around the corner. The preseason all-american teams have been announced, the next batch of 5 star freshman have arrived, and fan bases from coast to coast believe this season will finally be the one where they win it all. This season a prodigal son has returned to THE BIG HOUSE and some of most decorated coaches in college football history from Columbia, Blacksburg, and Norman are poised to silence retirement chatter and restore their once proud programs back among the nation’s elite.

As fall camp grows near folks in Tallahassee and Baton Rouge hope to survive what’s leftezekiel elliott of the dog days of summer without losing anymore players. College football fans, the wait is almost over, 125 football teams are all vying to be the last team standing. An early season lost and two quarterbacks later the Ohio State Buckeyes shocked the world. With three national championship to his name Coach Urban Meyer and his stable of future pros appear poised to win his fourth.

travone boykinThe Buckeyes may be everyone’s favorite, but history has shown us that there are no certainties in college football. Can the wide receiver turned quarterback turned Heisman frontrunner Trevone Boykin really duplicate or outdo his jaw dropping performance from last season? After years of probation does USC finally have the depth to survive a brutal Pac 12? Will the play of graduate transfer quarterbacks  Everett Golson or Vernon Adams make fans forget the Heisman winners they replace? And are the SEC’s years of dominance finally over?

This upcoming season is ripe with questions that will only be answered on the field. Asgolson fsu the anticipation and hype builds be prepared to expect the unexpected. A title contender will rise from nowhere, a prominent coach will be fired, and the eventual heisman front runner will not win, and one of the four teams in the college football playoffs will be a team no one expected. Fans, the #Road2Glendale will be a memorable one filled with wide rights, hail mary’s, and torn down goal posts. Stay tuned…I know I will

– A.Denmark @eatdrkslpsprtz2

#Road2Arlington Survive and Advance #CFBPlayoffs here we come

JAMEIS WINSTON SUSPENSIONAt the start of the 2014 college football season many teams appeared to be unbeatable and apparent shoe-ins to punch their #Road2Arlington tickets to the inaugural College Football Playoffs. The close calls in week four has all but destroyed these cloaks of invincibility. The Auburn Tigers high octane sputtered in Manhattan but was bailed out by a dominant run defense and uncharacteristic miscues by the Kansas State Wildcats missing three field goals and two sure handed touchdown passes.

The Oregon Ducks offense may not have been as abysmal but the Ducks offensive line was dominated by the Washington State Cougars defense who sacked the frailWAZZU SACKED Heisman front runner Marcus Mariota seven times, who had to run just to survive. The Ducks defense was a complete no show surrendering 480 yards in passing alone. The Ekpre-Olomu Darrell Revis comparison from this summer looked downright laughable as he was victimized frequently as Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday showed little fear attacking the All American corner.

EDDIE GOLDMAN FUMBLEWhile the Ducks were saved by Mariota the Florida State Seminoles nearly lost because of the selfishness of Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. The nations longest winning streak was on the verge of being snapped until defensive tackle Eddie Goldman saved their season and as well as their championship hopes when he caused a fumble with his bear claw.

Routes come and go but these close calls were a huge wake up call for several title JAMIES WINSTON SIDELINEcontenders. Although battered, bruised and humbled these week four close calls will either bring the team together or serve as a sign of things to come. The diagram their championship demise is no secret and their adversaries smell blood: Auburn can not run; Oregon cannot protect or defend; and poor FSU who knows what Winston will do next. Upsets are inevitable, the only question is who will be next victim? Stay tuned…I know I will.

Road2Arlington: Oregon Ducks, fast start dissapointing finish

ducks push upsYear in and year out the Oregon Ducks begin each season with championship aspirations only to have their title hopes slip through their grasps. The Ducks offense begin each season at a record breaking pace, but they are apparently done in by their own fast pace. Although Pac 12 Championships and BCS bowl appearances may make them the envy of many, those accomplishments have left many in Eugene, Oregon yearning for more. Despite falling short yet again National Championship aspirations were renewed when All American quarterback Marcus Mariota and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu said no to the NFL and yes to the Ducks.

Before sputtering to the finish each Saturday had become a Mariota showcase filled withmariota scores one jaw dropping play after the other. Each night his talents left NFL scouts salivating as he ran past helpless defenders and made them pay with his arm when they dared him. Although more highlights are certain, after suffering a mild MCL sprain Mariota will wisely slide more and rely on his legs less. Mariota’s reduced load will lead to more carries for the best running back duo in the nation in Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner. The Ducks may boast the best backfield in the country but they alone will not punch their ticket to the Inaugural College Football Playoffs. Pass catchers must be found and fast to replace Addison who was lost for the season due to injuries. Dwayne Stanford has the size, Keanon Lowe has the hands, and Chance Allen has the world class speed although unproven one thing is ducks defensecertain, the talent is there.

Defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti has been the face of the Ducks defense for decades but a new era begins in 2014. The cupboard is far from bare, the defensive line may be the envy of every team out west. Lead by Arik Armstead they have the size the depth to do great things but they must first show that they are tough enough.  Despite several losses in the secondary has the potential to be special led by first round lock Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.

marcus mariota injuredHistory suggest that scoring will not be a problem but can Mariota shake Ducks qb injury curse, Dennis Dixon were not so fortunate. In the wild wild west the Ducks defense must be more than just fast, in the drenches they trust. Led by Coach Mark Helfrich the Ducks have the talent but can they be consistent. Will the Ducks fly high on their Road2Arlington or sputter to the end as they have done so many times before? Stay tuned…I know I will.

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

 

Road2Arlington: Ohio State Buckeyes – Championship or Bust, No Excuses. No Apologizes.

12 n 0THE Ohio State Buckeyes have had two unblemished regular season finishes, but no national championships to show for it. At programs like that SCHOOL UP NORTH a 23-game win and a Big Ten Conference is something to be proud of, but in Columbus where excellence is expected NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP are all that matter.

This year the Buckeyes are stacked and the gap separating them from their Big Ten peers is gaping. After three years Coach Urban Meyer has well stocked roster that has both speed and talent galore. Despite the Buckeyes abundance of riches the national championship hopes of Buckeye Nation rest squarely on the surgically repaired shoulder and previously strained MCL of Heisman favorite senior quarterback Braxton Millerbraxton miller injury

When Miller was on the field he was nearly unstoppable, which is why he has two Big Ten Player of the Year Awards in his trophy case. Although Miller will always be a threat to run he continues to grow and mature as a passer. Each time Miller pulled the ball down fans were both amazed and horrified hoping that he would get up unscathed. Although there is no shortage of talent, replacing an entire offensive line for an injury prone quarterback is a bit unsettling.

However, the Buckeyes saving grace will be their defense, which will rank as one of the best in the country. Despite the losses of first rounders Bradley Roby and Ryan Shazier, the defense will be nothing short of dominant. The defensive line will be downright scary and opposing quarterbacks and OC will be terrorized in their dreams osu dand on the field by Michael Bennett, Joey Bosa, and Adolphus Washington. At Ohio State they don’t replace, they simply reload, FS Vonn Bell, CB Doran Grant, and LB Curtis Grant are all poised to be premier play-maker that will not be a secret for much longer.

Although no team will ever rival Meyer’s 2008 Florida Gators, Meyer may have assembled his best team yet in Columbus. The offensive line holds the key to the Buckeyes championship fate. Since they practice against the nation’s best defense there may be hope after all. If talented play maker Dontri Wilson finally live up to his Percy Harvin expectations which he is more than capable of doing then the Road2Arlington will be an easy one. But if Miller misses time due to injury all bets are off. Stay tuned…I know I will.

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

 

 

Road2Arlington: Michigan State Spartans, Big Ten Champions and Beyond?

you shall not passLast season the Michigan State Spartans led by a record setting defense was one of the hottest teams in the nation. The Spartans gave Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes their first lost in two years in route to a Big Ten Championship. And if that was not enough they out toughed and out muscled the bullies from the west the Stanford Cardinals to win their first Rose Bowl Championship since 1945. 2013 was truly a banner year for the Spartans but with expectations heightened what will they do for an encore?

The new kings of the Big Ten Conference must replace their two All Americans shilique calhounlinebacker Max Bullough and Thorpe winner Darqueze Dennard but the cupboard is far from bare. Two-time assistant coach of the year Pat Narduzzi continues to turn unheralded recruits into prime time play makers and former basketball player Shilique Calhoun is his latest discovery. Calhoun and his 8.5 sacks 16.5 career tackles for loss will be relied on to terrorize opposing quarterbacks as the newest members of the no fly zone Trae Waynes and company get their feet wet.

Unlike in years past the Spartans offensive cupboard is far from barren returning 8 starters on offense. Quarterback Connor Cook confidence grew in the latter part of the season displaying pinpoint accuracy and mobility to extend plays. Running back Jeremy Langford was a human pinball whose punishing style led to big runs in the fourth quarter. Tennessee transfer Deanthony Arnett joins a deep stable of ball-hawking big receivers led by senior Tony Lippett.

jeremy langford and ryan shazierExpectations in East Lansing could not be higher. In 2012 the Spartans were everyone’s darkhouse  BCS title contender but they finished 7-6. Is another disappointing encore on the horizon or is there another Big Ten Championship and a trip to the College Football Playoffs in Arlington to play for a National Championship in the cards? Stay tuned…I know I will.

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast