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Race to the heisman

By: Michael Dunham

With most teams regular seasons complete and conference championships on the horizon, it is make or break time for all of the serious Heisman contenders.  This weekend is the last chance for them to make an impression before the award is handed out for the 75th time on December 12.  Here is where each hopeful stands coming into the last week for them to make an impression on the voters.

Colt McCoy, Texas

McCoy is statistically one of the top throwing and running quarterbacks in the nation.  Leading the country in completion percentage (71.8%) he also has thrown for 27 touchdowns (8th in nation) with only 9 interceptions (9th in the nation) to counter.  While he has not been asked to run the ball very often, the one game he has gotten free reign to run he did so by running for 175 yards, including a 65 yard touchdown run to help seal the win over the rival Aggies.  He also produces the strongest career resume out of any of the Heisman hopefuls.  He recently became the all time winningest starting quarterback in ncaa history when he recorded his 32nd career win over Kansas.  He also has 13,060 career passing yards and 112 touchdown passes.

Mark Ingram, Alabama

Ingram has put up monster numbers as he has helped lead his Crimson Tide to an undefeated regular season and a showdown against the University of Florida for the right to play in the National Championship Game.  A huge game against Florida could be exactly what Ingram needs to surpass Colt McCoy as the leading Heisman Candidate.  Ingram has 1429 yards (6th in nation) on 221 carries, giving him the highest yards per carry of anyone with more than 220 rushing attempts.  The sophomore has performed his best when it mattered most, namely against LSU (144 yrds rushing) and Mississippi (172 yrds rushing).  He also has a career high 246 yards rushing in a 20-6 win over South Carolina.

Toby Gerhart, Stanford

Gerhart, the darkhorse of the Heisman race, leads a surprise Stanford team just like he leads everything else in the NCAA, overwhelmingly.  His 1736 rushing yards leads all of FBS by nearly 200 yards and he has done it on 311 rushing attempts, 26 more than 2nd place.  He also has 26 rushing touchdowns, yet again the most in the nation.  Gerhart has come on strong as of late, rushing for at least 175 yards in three of the last four games and only failing to eclipse the 100 yard mark twice throughout the season.

Tim Tebow, Florida

Tebow is all but fallen out of the Heisman race and is only where he currently is because he won the Heisman two years ago.  While he does have the 6th highest quarterback rating in the country, he is also 60th in the nation in yards and 41st in the country in touchdowns.  While he is the leader of an undefeated Florida team that has a very good chance of winning the National Championship, he is no longer the greatest football player in the NCAA.

To me, the race is a toss up between McCoy, Ingram, and Gerhart.  I would give my vote to McCoy because he has played his best at the end of the season when it mattered most and his teams national title chances where threatened the most.  Also, his career resume makes me like it even more, as it shows he has been doing this for four years and now deserves to be rewarded for it.  While Gerhart has been amazing, he came on to the scene a little too late and has not consistently performed throughout his college career.  Ingram may not get it this year, but being only a sophomore he will likely get it in the next year or two when McCoy, Gerhart and Tebow have all graduated.

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Categories: Football, Sports

Monday morning headlines: Week 1

By: Michael Dunham

LenDale White will stomp on the terrible towel, but Steelers will stomp on him. Running backs score more than anyone else and it is inevitable that the Titans will get down on the goal line, put in LenDale, and he scores and stomps all over a terrible towel.  Unfortunately for LenDale, Troy Polamalu and his flowing locks won’t appreciate it very much and will stomp all over LenDale and the rest of the Titans offense.  Steelers take the opener 17-7.

Minnesota wins Favre’s Viking debut, no thanks to Favre. Minnesota will win this Sunday, but its not because Brett Favre is a spectacular quarterback, it’s because Cleveland is terrible.  All those people putting Minnesota in the great team category just because they have Favre need to realize: Its not the Favre that Minnesota lost to all the time back in the Green Bay days, he’s old, he has a torn bicep, HE DOESN’T EVEN THINK HE CAN MAKE IT THROUGH THE WHOLE SEASON. Minnesota will win its first 3 then spiral down, quickly, and for Favre, painfully.  Vikings 21 – Browns 10.

Lions loose…shocker. The Lions will be leaps and bounds better than they were last year (winning one game would be leaps and bounds better than last year) but they will still be a terrible team in the bottom 5 of the league.  Matthew Stafford will come to his own over the course of the season but he will struggle in his first NFL start.  Simply, Stafford does not have the targets or talent around him to waltz in and tear it up his first time out.  27-10 New Orleans over Detroit.

The Vick hype won’t mean anything until McNabb finds a way to lose his starting job. Just like Christmas comes every year (and the Eagle fans subsequently beat up Santa), so does that game where Donovan McNabb does not start, either because of injury or because he gets benched for a rookie quarterback out of the University of Houston.  When the inevitable happens it will be up to Vick to perform and dethrone the man responsible for him coming to Philadelphia.  Vick won’t be able to play until week 3 but even then it will only be 5-10 plays a game at most.  Carolina over Philly 27-20.

Cowboys will be 1-0 when they open their new stadium. Tampa Bay will be one of the worst teams in the NFL this year and the Cowboys will surprise some people and do better than expected.  The Cowboys, Buccaneers game will be like when teams like Florida or Texas play teams like Southeastern Missouri State.  The game will count on both teams records but for one (Dallas) it will be an extra preseason game and for the other (Tampa) it will be a chance to pull off that upset that defines their season.  Dallas 30 – Tampa -14.

Giants blow out Washington in search of becoming repeat NFC East Champions. The NFC East is by far the most talented and difficult division in the NFL.  That being said, the Giants are much better than the Redskins.  Watching Jason Campbell pull himself off of the turf will just get boring by the end of the game because he will have done it so many times.  The Giants offense won’t be as good as in previous years but will have no problem moving the ball against Washington.  Giants defeat the Skins 17-3.

Green Bay starts run to NFC North title by beating Chicago in division bout. Green Bay and Chicago will be the two best teams in the NFC North with the Vikings underachieving and the Lions going 2-14.  The game will come down to the wire but the cheeseheads will take it in a nail biter.   Packers over ‘da bears’ 21-20.

San Diego vs. Oakland get lowest Nielsen Rating in Monday Night Football history. Seriously, who is going to want to watch this game?  Two smaller market, West coast teams playing a game that does not start until 10:15 on the East coast.  Outside of the maybe 1/4 of California residents who watch this, America won’t even know that a football game is going on.  Poor game decisions like this are part of the reason Sunday Night Football is taking over what Monday Night Football used to be.  Just like Shawne Merriman’s first game back after his steroid suspension, he will go out and get an insane amount of sacks but then disappear for the rest of the season. San Diego will win 24-7 in a game that will cost ESPN thousands.

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Categories: Football, Sports

One game to Decide it all

By: Michael Dunham

The College World Series match-up between the first ranked University of Texas Longhorns (50-15-1) and the third ranked Louisiana State Tigers (55-17) has been nothing short of spectacular.  With LSU winning game 1 in dramatic fashion, Texas bounced back to win game 2 and force a winner take all game that is destined to be one remembered for time to come.

Game 1 was one of those games with a flair for the dramatic.  After seven innings Texas was able to gain a 6-4 lead that was only to be erased in the ninth inning by Sean Ochinko’s 2 RBI single.  In the top of the 11th LSU’s DJ LeMahieu scored from third off of a single from Mikie Mahtook and it would turn out to be the game winner.

The rain before game 2 did not damped the power of anyone’s bats.  In fact, it seemed to make them more powerful.  All 6 of the games runs came in the first three innings and then the pitchers were able to gain their footing and dominate there on out.  While Texas had a dominating lead the whole game, it seemed like LSU was just one Texas mistake away from making it a close game.  Luckily for Texas, that mistake never came and they were able to win 5-1 and in convincing fashion.

Until making it to Omaha, Russell Moldenhauer was not known for his power at all.  In fact, he did not have a single home run before he walked onto the grass at Rosenblat Stadium.  Since then he was looked like Barry Bonds on steroids (HR hitting Barry Bonds).  He has tied the CWS record for most Home Runs in Omaha with four.

Who would have thought that going into the final game of the CWS, LSU’s biggest fear is the explosiveness behind the bat of a guy who has 4 homeruns on the season?

If LSU is able to win game 3, they will be tied with Texas for second most Division I Baseball National Championships at 6.  Texas hopes to avoid this tie by gaining their 7th National Championship and becoming one closer to Southern Cal’s 12 National Championships.

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Categories: Baseball, Sports

How ‘Bout them…Rangers?!

Who would have thought that 36 games into the season, the Texas Rangers would be in first place in the Al West?  If an Espn analyst had predicted this before the season he would have likely been fired.  If you had tried to predict this in any credible baseball community you would have been laughed at.

Yet the only ones laughing right now are those 22-14, Texas Rangers.

Two pitches into the game, Angels pitcher John Lackey was already being thrown out of the game and you knew that you could add another “W” to the record.  After starting May 12-3 they will be tested with a 6 game road trip to Detroit and Houston and they begin a 3 game series against those dreaded New York Yankees.

With All-Star slugger Josh Hamilton just rejoining the team all they can do is get better.

Categories: Baseball, Sports