Tuesday, January 03, 2006
SMQ BOWL BLITZ: SIZING UP THE ROSE BOWL
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A year in the making, finally, it's mythical championship time! At last, useless, unreliable speculation can end...right after SMQ makes his highly valuable, official prediction, of course.
Friday: When USC Has the Ball: Rushing Offense vs. Texas' Front Seven - - - - -
Saturday: When USC Has the Ball: Passing Offense vs. Texas' Secondary and Pass Rush
Sunday: When Texas Has the Ball: Rushing Offense vs. USC's Front Seven
Monday: When Texas Has the Ball: Passing Offense vs. USC's Secondary and Pass Rush
TODAY: Gameday Pick
Texas Wants: Top priority will be to test the SC defense to see if it's good enough to stop the spread option game the 'Horns have used to devastating effect all year; the success of that attack requires the massive UT offensive line to establish some control of the line of scrimmage. If the Trojans muscle up effectively, Vince Young may be forced to throw early in hopes of hitting a big play and loosening up the SC defense, which should be keyed on all aspects of the nation's thrid-ranked rushing offense. It's pick your poison against the Trojan offense, but getting pressure on Matt Leinart with only four or five rushers would allow the remaining cover guys to focus on the offense's other weapons. If UT has to bring any more than that, though, Leinart can hot read any college defense to death (think the penultimate fourth down play against Notre Dame).
Southern Cal Wants: A more high octane game benefits the Trojans. Texas may be the national scoring leader, but USC has the more versatile offense, with more options for going long and scoring quickly. Goal number one will be to establish Reggie Bush and LenDale White, control the line of scrimmage and set up more short yardage situations that allow Leinart to make plays to the big-time wideouts downfield without having keyed up pass rushers hounding him. A big play from Bush early on, just to show that Texas is really just like everyone else SC has blown by the past three years, would be a psychological boost. Keep the Longhorns off-balance. Defensively, it's all about Vince Young: force him to make plays with his arm, which means trusting DBs to lock down the UT wideouts so the front seven can focus on its gap and lane responsibilities on the many misdirection plays it will see.
The Pick: The hard part of picking this game is that SMQ's instincts and experience instantly projected a blowout...only for whom he knew not. Mega-hyped championships have tended to go in this direction recently; namely, Alabama blasting Miami in the '93 Sugar Bowl, Nebraska walloping Florida in the '96 Fiesta Bowl and SC beating the hype out of Oklahoma last year. Both of these teams have been blowout-oriented all season.
So: who is more inclined to gallop away? Initially, SMQ leaned towards Texas on the basis of its more lopsided victories and statistically superior defense. As he looked closer, though, he was reminded why the Trojans are favorites, not to mention owners of a 30-plus game win streak about which Texas can still only dream: a deep, talented, complete, balanced, virtually indefensable offense, the most exciting and probably best overall player in the nation - maybe in a long time - big game, championship experience and an underrated defense that has more than held up against significantly tougher offenses than its upcoming opponent on a consistent basis.
Basically, USC is the champ until someone proves otherwise. SMQ likes Texas a lot, but doesn't see it dethroning perhaps the best dynasty of his young life.
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Deja vu all over again...
SOUTHERN CAL 42, TEXAS 17
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And don't let the name fool ya - second guessing the phenomenal athletic feats and split-second decisions of college kids under extreme physical duress is for every day of the week.
AWWW!! The totally nicest people, like, ever!...
How much football does he watch? Dude's got insights on -everybody-, and by everybody, I mean everybody. Throw in some of the best writing in the blogosphere, and we're talking about a daily must-read.
- Burnt Orange Nation
SMQ starts to sound more and more like the Gregg Easterbrook of our ideal memories every day - whip-smart, systematic, omnivorous in his intellectual tastes and yet unafraid of the cheap joke.
- Every Day Should Be Saturday
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- State Fans Nation
Sunday Morning Quarterback is a killer football blog if you are a college football junkie. It is run by one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and analytical writers in the college football blogosphere...The guy is thorough and detailed and provides a level of analysis you are not going to find anywhere else .
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Just another hack writer who hasn't done one lick of research...
...the pride of Southern Mississippi ever since Brett Favre turned into an ESPN soap opera, has the sort of prose knack that can keep you riveted to a preview about any one of D-IA's scrubbier members ... should be given gifts.
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e-mail Sunday Morning Quarterback at firstname.lastname@example.org
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PREVIOUSLY FROM SMQ:
Anatomy of an Underdog
The Big Ten
The Big XII
The Sun Belt
The Rap Sheet
July 29/Aug. 1/Aug. 9/Aug. 16/Aug.19/Aug. 25/Sept. 28/Oct. 4/Oct. 5/Oct. 18/Oct. 26/Nov. 2/Nov. 7/Nov. 8/Nov. 28/Dec. 2/Dec. 8/ Dec. 11/Dec. 18/Dec. 21/Feb. 6/Feb. 10/April 7/April 14/April 21/April 29/May 6/May 12/May 19/May 26/June 2/June 10/June 16/June 24/June 30/July 8/Aug. 4
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COLLEGE FOOTBALL PAGES
News from the Big Guys
ESPN/ College Football News Wire
Opinion: Columnists and bloggers
Around the Oval (Ohio State)
Badger Sports (Wisconsin)
The Blue-Gray Sky (Notre Dame)
Block U (Utah)
BoiFromTroy (Southern Cal)
Bruins Nation (UCLA)
Burnt Orange Nation (Texas)
The Corporate Headquarters of the San Antonio Gunslingers
Dave Sez (Virginia)
Dawg Sports (Georgia)
ESPN: Ivan Maisel/Pat Forde
Every Day Should Be Saturday (Florida)
FOX: Pete Fiutak
Golden Tornado (Georgia Tech)
I'm a Realist (Georgia)
Journalism is for Rock Stars (Alabama)
Mark May Be Wrong
MDG CFB (Fresno State)
Mountain Lair (West Virginia)
Paradigm Blog (Michigan)
Paul Westerdawg (Georgia)
Pitch Right (Navy)
Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer (Alabammer)
Sexy Results (Virginia)
SI: Stewart Mandel/John Walters
Sporting Fools (Florida State)
Straight Bangin' (Michigan)
Texas A&M and Baseball, In No Particular Order (Texas A&M)
The 614 (Ohio State)
The House That Rock Built (Notre Dame)
The Sporting Gnomes (Clemson)
Tiger Pundit (Clemson)
We Must Ignite This Couch (West Virginia)
The Wizard of Odds
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The Blog Poll
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WANNA DO SOME RESEARCH? NERD! HERE'S SOME QUICK REFERENCES:
College Football Data Warehouse
College Football Research Center
College Football News
Tackles For Loss
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Thursday Morning Quarterback
Sept. 29/Oct. 6/Oct. 20/Oct. 27/Nov. 3/Nov. 10/Nov. 17/Nov. 24/Dec. 1
Sunday Morning Quarterback
Oct. 2/Oct. 23/Oct. 30/Nov. 6/Nov. 13/Nov. 27
Stat Relevance Watch
Part One/Part Two/Part Three
SMQ Bowl Blitz
New Orleans/GMAC/Las Vegas/Poinsettia/Motor City
SMQ's [Hurricane-Abbreviated] 2005 Preview
Top 25 Countdown/Methodology