2012-12-06

Week Fifteen FBS Preview - The Bowls are coming, the coaches are going and the Heisman will be awarded ...

So here it is, the LAST week of regular season with only ONE game.

That game is a tradition since 1890!

I will write more in the game preview.

For the rest of the teams it either end of the season or preparations for the Bowl games.

Those Bowls are strange for League/Championship-driven people.

You know the Superbowl, right? The basic idea behind that game was NOT to find the NFL-Champion.
At that time the NFL had a competing league, the AFL and this league was quite successful, so some thought, who might be better?
The NFL-Champion or the AFL-Champion. In the process of the merger of both leagues, which THEN became the NFL we all know now, the AFL-NFL Championship Game was created, later officially called the Superbowl.
It was to compare and to compete.
Until Joe Namath led his Jets to victory in Superbowl III, nobody believed the AFL teams could compete with the NFL teams.
The Colts were the favourites, by far.

And here come the deja vu for college football bowls.
The first was 1902 which later was named the first Rose Bowl.
Michigan did beat Stanford in 3 quarters (they gave up after that) 49-0 and nobody believed the west coast teams could beat the east coast teams.
It was so obvious, that it took 15 years to get the second Rose Bowl on the way.
Washington State did beat Brown and a year later did Oregon beat Pennsylvania.
The dominance of the east was broken.

From the Rose Bowl spirit did more and more Bowls originate and now we have 35 different ones.
The reason now is very much money driven, since those Bowl games do get good TV ratings and do also sell good tickets for the stadium.
Some of those games get better ratings than NFL games and in some areas this is the highlight of the season.
Party for the fans, teams and the people in the city.

I love the idea, compare and compete.
A last friendly match, worth honour and money, prestige and fan support.
In addition those teams playing a bowl get more training time and can get better for the next season.

I will cover those step by step and the games will start 15th of December.

For now, let’s have a look some other issues.

The coaches carousel is in full swing and it looks like there will be easily more than 20 head coaching changes this season.
Remember, we had 25 changes in 2012 and I expect the same number or more.

Some teams did not wait long and did not only fire their HC immediately after the last game; no they did already find his successor.
Almost all found successors yet are headcoaches of OTHER programs, so now THOSE teams have to find a new coach on their own.
Some changes are really hard for the teams, since if you get hired NOW, normally you leave the team immediately; means BEORE the Bowl game, if one has to be played.
And normally there is one, since you don't hire unsuccessfully coaches (expect Boston College, they hired the 4-7 HC of Temple), so those teams letting their coach walk have to find an interims coach for the Bowl, sometimes the biggest game in school history.
Like Northern Illinois, playing the Orange Bowl without their HC, because he left for North Carolina State.
Or Wisconsin, playing the Rose Bowl without their HC, because he took the job at Arkansas.
Or Arkansas State, because their HC left for Auburn.
Or Kent State, their HC left for Purdue.

But some coaches did decline changes, like Jim Mora, Coach of UCLA, declined two offers from SEC schools.
Or Les Miles, declining a job at Arkansas and got a raise at LSU.
Or Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State and Charlie Strong of Louisville.
Of cause it's not always clear WHY the stay, and of cause not always the reasons are noble, sometimes it's money or power.

Anyway. When the dust has settled (and that might happen beginning of the NEXT season as we learned this season) there probably will be more than 25 new coaches in new places and the next season can begin.

The reason behind an immediate change is simple. The new team wants the new coach yesterday to do as much recruiting as possible. New kids are the fuel behind changes.
And the old teams? Well, nothing is worse than a coach who abandoned ship telling you an additional month to play for your heart and soul and for the program. It just doesn't work.

I'm not sure if this all is a good and fair way to handle such changes, but at the moment it is that way.

It's a strange world, once the last drive was played in college football.

Then there is the Heisman Trophy.
This Trophy is awarded to the MVP of the season, regardless of the position.
It's a big hype each year and very often that player become an average player in the NFL with a big price tag at the beginning.

The finalist were announced and the normally offensive position dominated list is filled with two QBs and one LB!
Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Kansas State's Collin Klein will be the QBs, Notre Dames Manti Te'o the LB.
If the word would be fair, the Trophy would go to Te'o, his outstanding playing was the reason for Notre Dames perfect season and he might become a NFL star.
Both QBs did play very good, but the did not only lost 1-2 games each, not they also look not that good in those games.
Not so Te'o.
But my Guts are saying the Trophy will go to the hyped Johnny "Football" Manziel.

The BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAME FOR WEEK 15 (and the only one)

Navy vs Army
This is huge.
At least the media wants to tell this everyone.
If you find it as huge as the media depends on you.
Those two service academies do play that game for a very long time and since 1930 every year.
It's normally played on a neutral site and Navy has a 10 game winning streak and is leading the series 56â€"49â€"7.
It is part of the "Commander-in-Chief's Trophy"-tournament played between Army, Navy and Air Force.
Sometimes this game is meaningless regarding the Trophy, since Air Force did beat both teams and did already clinch the victory.
Sometimes the Trophy can be won by one of the teams or both teams.
This year Air Force did lose against BOTH teams, so the winner of this game will get the Trophy.
The odds are in favour of Navy.
Even the best Army Fan has to admit that Army does suck since years.
Their record this year is 2-9 with wins over Air Force and Boston College which doesn't mean much and they lost actually against Stony Brook, a FCS Program.
Navy on the other hand has a record of 7-4 with losses against Penn State, Notre Dame, Troy and San Jose State.
Not that bad, but beside the 5-7 year in 2011 that's the worst record since 2002.
Still, that Navy team should be able to beat Army any given Saturday and that's what I'm expecting for this weekend.
It could even happen that the HC of Army has to look for a new job after that game, since he did not turn that program around in his fourth year and it might be that the West Point (That's the Army Academy behind the Army Blackknights) wants a new face.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

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