Saturday, August 30, 2014

Coach Kirk Ferentz and post game analysis of UNI game.

Kirk Ferentz postgame transcript from the UNI game, after the 31-23 victory over the University of Northern Iowa at Kinnick Stadium today.

Kirk Ferentz opened his post game press conference with the following:

We're really excited to get the victory. I know as coaches we realized this was going to be a really hard fought, tough ballgame. UNI has an excellent football team, a lot of really good players back from a year ago, and they're extremely well coached and they played extremely hard today, so it was a really tough ballgame on both sides. We really tip our hat to them, and we're just really happy to come out with a victory. I thought our guys played hard. There are going to be some good teaching moments to learn from, but the most important thing is they played hard down the stretch, and you'd better be doing that in the fourth quarter or it's going to be a long year. That was really a positive.

Cidsports: Both teams played hard, showing positives on both sides of the field. UNI needs to clean up miscues and penalities. Iowa clearly learned some things about their team. As Coach Ferentz said, it is going to be a long season.

Q. What were some of those teaching moments? 

Kirk Ferentz: Well, a couple that jump right out to me in the first half, we had the ball inside the 20, they put us down inside the 20 and we couldn't move it out either time and put our defense out there at midfield, and that's a situation we've practiced a lot. Just little things like that that can really change a game. Not making it on 4th and short there kind of swung momentum a little bit, but just some of those bigger things, and then obviously some match up stuff we're going to have to get cleaned up in the passing game.

Cidsports: UNI has a bye week, ahead of their road game at Hawaii. It should be interesting to watch how the Panthers built off this competitive opener in Iowa City. They will play the top FCS program over the past three seasons in conference play, with North Dakota State. The Bisons beat Iowa's week 3 opponent sou ndly 34-14 in Ames on Saturday.

Q. 200 receiving yards for David Johnson. Is that more him or the defense? 

Kirk Ferentz: I think a combination of both. They caught us a couple of times, and I've seen them do that historically. They do a nice job, and they've done it especially since he's been there against several teams, so he's an excellent player. They have a good scheme, and then we didn't play smart enough at times, either. That's clearly something we're going to have to get addressed or we'll be playing in tough shape.

Cidsports: David Johnson may be the top combo RB Iowa will face in 2014? Ball State, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska all have top RBs, so facing Johnson was good for Iowa's preparation for upcoming games. Many see Johnson likely playing on Sundays in the near future. His receiving skills at RB certainly gives one a positive forecast.

Q. Where did this game turn in your favor? 

Kirk Ferentz: Well, you know, I think probably as good a thing that happened out there, coming up with the defensive stops in that fourth quarter. Things weren't going great. We had given up some big plays, and that makes it tough to play good defense. You can't play good defense giving up big plays like that, but I thought in that fourth quarter our guys really the last three or four series -- really knuckled down and played at a higher level than they had been playing. To me we learned a lot about ourselves today. I think the effort was certainly there. I think for everybody the want to was there, but it's hard to simulate a game, and that was a real good one for us to go through.

Cidsports: It was nice to see Iowa get to 16-1 vs. UNI. The Panthers will hopefully compete well against the best in the FCS and those in the MVfC.

Q. What did Tevaun do for you? He made a couple plays for you. Was that by design or him? 

Kirk Ferentz: Well, the reverse was by design. We didn't quite script out his route that he ended up taking. I've never seen one quite like that, at least in a real game. But that was a big play in the game, obviously, and then the catch he made down there. I'm eager to see it on a replay because that looked like a thing of beauty live. But if you're going to have a good team, you need guys stepping up and doing some things like that, and that certainly was a big deal, and Derrick Willies coming down with that ball and the deep ball down the middle. Things like that are going to have to happen if we're going to be any good.

Cidsports: It was nice to see Iowa get the ball to large number of different ball carriers and pass receivers. It was really good to see both Tevaun Smith and Kevonte Martin-Manly step up with big catches vs. UNI. UNI had some good wide receiver play, as well.

Q. Were you ever close to changing things up with CJ Beathard?
 
Kirk Ferentz: No, not at all, and if we do it, it's going to be because we've talked about it. We kept both guys alert that we might go with that situation. No. I thought Jake played a really good game.

Cidsports: Coach Mark Farley said he wasn't likely going to play two quarterbacks either in pregame. As Farley said, it is rare to go through a season with only one quarterback. At some point, the backup quarterback will get his opportunity to shine. It is then, where he should show that he should be #1.

Q. On the other side of that coin, the slot took over late in the fourth quarter. 

Kirk Ferentz: Yeah, I thought the whole group up front really started playing with a little bit more juice and energy, and that's important because that's where it's tough. That's where games get decided. Fortunately for us they did that. It was great to see Jaleel Johnson get in there and be disruptive. He's a young player who hasn't played much, so if we can get six, seven, eight guys involved in that rotation that'll help us. It's always a good thing defensively when you're getting some pressure up front with the front four guys.

Cidsports: Both teams had good line play at times. Whether it be Iowa or UNI, games are often decided by the play at the line of scrimmage. Iowa showed good pressure against the opposing quarterback. The offensive line protected Jake Rudock well enough.

Q. What did you like about your linebackers? 

Kirk Ferentz: You know, it was a good start for them, good first game, certainly Bo's play was an excellent play over there on the bench picking that off, and he made a nice play down in the red zone. But it was a learning experience, and we knew that coming in. It was going to be there were going to be some challenges, especially based on the opponent we're playing, and those are things we'll learn from, and we'll address those during the week and see if we can't be better next week.

Cidsports: Iowa lost three outstanding linebackers from last year. Today, the unit showed the good, the bad and the ugly. Good teaching moments both good and bad. Coming off a season ending broken leg last year, UNI linebacker Jake Farley looked good. Hopefully, UNI can develop a title contending defense conference play.

Q. There were some red flags obviously, things you didn't do as well as you wanted, yet you still get a win, whereas last year you didn't.
 
Kirk Ferentz: First of all, to get a win was great, and the other part about it, you talk to players, and I think they understood. I don't think anybody in our camp underestimated the challenge that was in front of us, and I don't think it was a matter of, boy, those guys came out flat, didn't look ready to play, and that wasn't the case at all. We made it hard on ourselves, again, not moving the ball out, giving up some big plays. But yeah, to play in a game where you have to compete all the way to the end, which is what the case was and then win, I'd always take the win no matter what. But to do that, that's a good thing, especially for our football team.

Cidsports: UNI had defeated Northern Illinois in the past. That was a different era for both programs. UNI defeated ISU last year. It was interesting the comparisons to NIU last year to UNI this year. The Huskies secondary was a strength, as it is for the Panthers. Iowa is 1-0.

Q. Was the rushing game a concern today? A bunch of guys with 30 yards or so. 

Kirk Ferentz: Yes and no. To their credit, I'd just mention I think they're extremely well coached offensively. I thought they did some things defensively that really made us adjust a little bit and do some tweaking on the sidelines. That's a credit to them, too, which is no big surprise. They did their homework and they were ready to go. That will come around, but we're going to be fine there.

Cidsports: Coming into the season, Iowa wanted to keep the running backs fresh, especially Mark Weisman. Actually, UNI rotated David Johnson out, as well. Johnson needed more touches, but he is valuable for the rest of the season, as well. Iowa appeared deeper at RB this year.

Q. What happened during the two or three plays there Johnson got way wide open and burned you for about 200 yards there total? 

Kirk Ferentz: I think it's a combination of a couple things. They've got a good scheme, and I've seem them utilize him in that way against a lot of folks, so it wasn't like we didn't know it was coming, but it's a matter of doing something. He's an excellent football player and we've got to play those better because we'll see that again for sure starting next week.

Cidsports: Last year, Wisconsin's James White was a dual threat. Iowa slowed Melvin Gordon in the run game at running back. After Johnson's effectiveness in the passing game, it will be interesting to see how the Hawkeyes defense grows in '14. You know the Hawkeyes want to control the line of scrimmage, especially the run game.

Q. How was this game different than a Big Ten opponent or a Pittsburgh on the road? 

Kirk Ferentz: I'll tell you at the end of the season, I guess. But the bottom line is it was a tough game, and that's what we expected, and my guess is we've got about 11 more of them on our schedule. I don't see many easy ones. The good thing is to come out of it on the right end of it, and the most important thing from this point on is learning from it.

Cidsports: There is a reason the College Football Playoff committee doesn't begin meeting, after Week 1. In 2009, Iowa needed two blocked field goals on consecutive plays to defeat UNI. Today, Iowa needed interceptions and a strong fourth quarter.

Q. In retrospect is it better to win a game where you have to play the whole way versus beating a team 50-0? Do you learn a lot more? 

Kirk Ferentz: Not during the game, I wouldn't agree with that. We haven't had too many of those recently, but it's just not the nature of college football anymore, and as you know, we're involved in an awful lot of close games. This is pretty much 60 minutes of turmoil in your stomach, and I might as well get used to it because that's usually how it feels. Particularly, again, we have a lot of guys that haven't played football or much football around here. For them to go through that and survive, that's a good thing.

Cidsports: Teams typically improve the most from Game 1 to Game 2, but last year, Iowa found the road vs. Missouri State a struggle. Maybe it was the 3-4 defense? Iowa hasn't had a blowout in the season opener, since the 2011 game over Tennessee Tech.

Q. How about Rudock's play today? 

Kirk Ferentz: I thought Jake did a really good job. He was good in the spring, did an excellent job in camp... he's a really good football player. I'm thrilled he's on our team.

Cidsports: He had a nice 12 yard gain to move the sticks on third down. He was very productive in the passing game, though it was less vertical, than what fans would likely prefer. He said after the game, he has a better relationship and communication is stronger, with OC Greg Davis knowing each other better.

Q. A lot of Rudock's passes were four to six yards and then the game kind of changed on the two deep balls. Was that by design? 

Kirk Ferentz: Not necessarily. You take what they give you and what have you, but the way they were playing we tried to come up with a couple ways to get it downfield a little bit better, and it was good to see us connect on a couple.

Cidsports: Ferentz is known for teams getting stronger over the course of a season. Finishing strong in the fourth game would be a good development for the methodical style Iowa often plays under Ferentz.

Q. (Inaudible) Derrick Willies (inaudible) is it good to see him though, actually get in the game? He made a terrific catch on that. 

Kirk Ferentz: It is, and he's had his ups and downs, kind of like he did in the spring. He's had the same thing in camp. Again, he's a second year player, so that's just part of the deal. But for him to make a big play, that should give him confidence. He's practiced well, so it's just a matter now of just keep bringing him along.

Cidsports: Juniors Tevaun Smith and Jacob Hillyer are now in their third seasons on the field. Whether it is a running back or wide receiver, Iowa tends to be patient and selective, when possible, in bringing young players along annually. Look at Damond Powell last year, as another example. 

Q. Josey Jewell, is he going to be out a while? 

Kirk Ferentz: It looks like he might be. He won't be in next week, I know that, and then hopefully maybe after that. We'll see what happens. He was injured during practice Wednesday afternoon.

Cidsports: The injury report is always a concern. Iowa only lost 5 starts last year, which was behind North Texas and Penn State at 3.

Q. What impressed you most about your team today? 

Kirk Ferentz: Just the resiliency, and they played it until the end. We didn't have any choice, but sometimes you don't answer, either. I think the guys amped it up there in that fourth quarter after struggling, and it wasn't much fun there for a while. They were moving it pretty good. Really pleased to see the defense anchoring there a little bit, and I thought we made good adjustments on the sideline and the coaches were communicating and talking. Those are positive steps. I thought Marshall, he had that one field goal, but otherwise he performed pretty well.

Cidsports: UNI looked like a capable FCS program. Iowa holding them to three field goals was very good. The Hawkeyes stepped up nicely in fourth quarter.

Q. Talk about what it's like to get that momentum and good feeling right out of the gate. 

Kirk Ferentz: Not even close. Rick mentioned, last year it was the other way around, and those are you don't get them back. That's one thing about sports and anything you do. You don't get them back. Good to get the victory. We all knew it was going to be very hard and very difficult and challenging, and yeah, they didn't show up with anything less than their best effort.

Cidsports: Iowa had the longest drive of the season in Game 1 compared to Game 3 last year at Ames. Progress, we shall see as 2014 unfolds.

Q. How much of the game plan was to spread the carries out and have four guys with fresh legs in the fourth quarter?
 
Kirk Ferentz: Yeah, we were going to kind of play it by feel that way. That's probably something we'll continue to talk about and discuss how we utilize those guys. But probably the biggest difference from a year ago is LeShun Daniels I think has really improved a lot, so he's entered into the fray a little bit. Damon had a good camp, so it'll be ongoing, but we wanted to have fresh backs in the fourth quarter is a good thing.

Cidsports: Iowa maintains success against FCS programs in the modern era, but UNI shows again, it wasn't easy.

Q. They always say teams are making the most improvement between game one and game two. I don't know where you stand with that. Last year maybe it didn't come true because you started in the second game? 

Kirk Ferentz: Like I said on the radio, we sure brought that axiom most of those old axioms are true, but the rest of that axiom is it's what you do with it during the week. You have to make it happen. So we've got a real good opportunity here in the next six days. I don't want the guys worrying about it this afternoon, but when we come in tomorrow we'll get on that film. Clearly we need to make strides, and that's part of the deal, though. That's what the challenge for the whole season is. We need a good week of practice certainly, and we'll be playing a tough opponent again next week.

Cidsports: Iowa has a favorable schedule, but on any given Saturday or Black Friday, anything can happen. Iowa seems to play it that way more now, then not. They often are competitive. Some say they play up or down to the competition. Jake Rudock moves to 9-5, as a starter. His season opener, as a junior finished better, than as a sophomore.

Q. Overall what do you think about the UNI quality? Do you think they could be an FBS team if the enrollment, if further attendance would allow it? 

Kirk Ferentz: I don't know if I'm qualified to answer that. I just know they're an excellent football team. You look back last year, their record isn't what they were used to. They've got pretty high standards. They've played really well for a long time. They had some key injuries that I think really affected their football team, but they've been a good football team for as long as I can remember. It's no different than '09 or '12, the last couple times we've played them. It's been a knockdown, drag out fight, and today was the same. They're an excellent football team.

Cidsports: The Valley is showing they are competitive against FBS programs. North Dakota State just notched number 5 in Ames. Youngstown State gave Illinois a competitive game. UNI hasn't played as competitive lately in the Valley. If they can remain healthy, hopefully they can compete for a Valley title and the best in the FCS, as mentioned earlier.

Q. Are you satisfied with your tight ends' play?

Kirk Ferentz: For the most part, yeah. It would have been nice to come up with that one pass there to the right of our bench there, but that's a play Ray will make. He's made a lot of big plays for us, but I thought overall they did a pretty good job. There's going to be room for improvement, I'm sure, when we look at the tape.

Cidsports: I noticed a good block by George Kittle on Iowa's stretch play today. Iowa goes four deep at TE. It will be interesting to watch this unit grow in '14.

As mentioned earlier, UNI enters a bye week, after the loss. Iowa will welcome Ball State this Saturday at Kinnick.  We shall see how Week 1 compares to Week 2.

Game Day Iowa: Kickoff of the '14 season at Kinnick vs. Northern Iowa Panthers

The University of Iowa (8-5, 5-3 B1G in '13) celebrates their 125th anniversary of Hawkeye Football in 2014, as the Northern Iowa Panthers (7-5, 3-5 MVfC in '13) come to Kinnick Stadium to open the '14 season.

There is plenty of history to celebrate with Iowa Football and College Football in 2014. The new College Football Playoff has replaced the old BCS in '14.

It has been 75 years, since the Iowa Ironmen team and the 1939 season and Nile Kinnick's Heisman season. The Hawkeyes have enjoyed memorable seasons over the past 125 and 75 years, respectively.

Personally, it is the 40th anniversary of my first college season at Kinnick, as a young Hawkeye fan. Sadly, 2014 is the first college football season, without my father alive, as he passed away this Summer.

Iowa is 15-1 in the UNI series, as the only loss came in game 1, back in 1898. It was only five years ago, when the Hawkeyes needed to block back to back Panther field goals, on consecutive plays, at the end of the game, to preserve the win at Kinnick, in another season opener. Last season, UNI beat Iowa State 28-20, in their season opener.

Iowa enters their 16th season with head coach Kirk Ferentz (108 wins, 6-5 in bowls) at the helm. It has been ten years, since Iowa took home a share of a Big Ten title in football. Iowa won co-championships in both 2002 and 2004, under Ferentz leadership.

Iowa hasn't competed for a Big Ten title, since the 2009 season, five years ago, when they fell short in OT at Ohio State. Today, division football enters year 4 in the Big Ten, but with a new geographic divisions for '14.

Iowa is part of the new B1G West in 2014, as Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin and the Hawkeyes make up new geographic division in the new 14 member conference. Maryland and Rutgers are now in the Big Ten and will join Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State in the East division.

Iowa opens at Kinnick Stadium today, the first of four non-conference games to open the 2014 campaign. The Hawkeyes return eight starters on offense, five on defense, with 40 returning letterman.

Both programs, Iowa and UNI, should be better on offense in 2014. Each has a 1-2 option at QB, though junior Jake Rudock is a clear #1 for the Hawkeye offense. Sophomore C.J. Beathard could come in some situational plays in '14 for the Hawkeyes.

Both programs like to run the football. Iowa goes four-deep at RB, with seniors Mark Weisman, Damon Bullock, junior Jordan Canzeri and sophomore LeShun Daniels. UNI counters with senior David Johnson, who Iowa recruited as a greyshirt. Former Iowa RB Barkley Hill, transferred during the summer to UNI. Hill was buried deep on the Iowa depth chart, when he vacated Iowa City. He should finally make his college debut today.

Both teams have experience in the offensive line. Iowa is lead by senior FBS pre-season all-American LT Brandon Scherrff. Senior Andrew Donnal will man the RT spot for Iowa, while junior C Austin Blythe calls the offensive line signals again. Junior Jordan Walsh is back, with redshirt freshman Sean Welsh the other guard spot for Iowa, as we kickoff the '14 season.

Senior FCS preseason all-American candidate Jack Rummels anchors the Panthers in the offensive line in '14. The Panthers have watched North Dakota State emerge as a three-time FCS champion, lately as a fellow MVfC member. North Dakota State opens in Ames today. ISU comes to Kinnick in two weeks.

The FCS schools knocked off a record 16 FBS schools in '13. UNI enjoyed one of those wins in Ames last year. North Dakota State took down Kansas State last year and will look to make it two in a row for the FCS in Ames.

If Iowa is going to compete for a Big Ten title in 2014, they will have to improve their explosive plays this season on offense. The passing attack will have to improve.

Iowa has four experienced tights ends for third-year, offensive coordinator Greg Davis to utilize. Senior Ray Hamilton, juniors Henry Krieger-Coble, Jake Duzey and sophomore George Little bring variables to the Iowa offense.

The wide receivers have been mostly quiet the past several years for Iowa, but that may change in '14?

Senior Kevonte Martin-Manly (40 catches, 5 tds), junior Tevaun Smith (huge TD vs. Michigan in '13) and senior Diamond Powell (24.2 yds per catch, 2 tds) were the Top 3 wide receivers last year. They are all back, as is junior Jacob Hillyer, as seasoned wide receiver. 

Sophomore Matt VandeBerg made two starts last year and redshirt freshmen Derrick Willies, Derrick Mitchell and Andre Harris all are options at WR. Senior walk-on Andrew Stone could factor in as a possession receiver.

The strength of the Iowa defense is the return of all four starters in the defensive line. Iowa was very good in run defense and points allowed in '13, but all three talented starting linebackers are in the NFL now.

Defensive coordinator Phil Parker will enter year three, as DC. He has been at Iowa leading the defensive backs, since 1999, during Kirk Ferentz's first season. Iowa's coaching staff is seasoned with a mix of experience and youth.

Iowa will see senior MLB Quinton Alston anchor the Iowa defense in '14. He will benefit up the middle with senior defensive tackles Carl Davis and Louis Trinca-Pasat. Davis, like Scherff on offense, is receiving pre-season all-American talk. Trica-Pasat is one of Iowa's four team captains in the opener, with Weisman, Scherrf and Alston.

Iowa has a three-man rotation back at defensive end with senior Mike Hardy, juniors Drew Ott and Nate Meier. Juniors Riley McMinn and Melvin Spears need to step up, as reserves.

Depth and experience is a concern on defense for Iowa, but the defense could be stout again at times?

The defensive line lost junior Darian Cooper to knee surgery, so the #3 DT will come from sophomores Jaleel Johnson, Faith Ekakitie and redshirt freshman Nathan Bazata in '14.

Sophomore Reggie Spearman will man the WLB position, after playing as a true frosh last season, as a specialist on pass rush, in Iowa's Raider defense. Look for more nickel and dime looks in '14 on passing downs by the Hawkeyes?

The other linebacker spot is an interesting story for Iowa. Ferentz rewarded a redshirt freshman Bo Bower the first start and a scholarship to open his career. Bower turned down a scholarship at UNI to walk-on at Iowa. His debut comes vs. UNI today at The Kinnick.

Iowa's secondary has two returning starters, but otherwise new. Senior SS John Lowdermilk is back. Sophomore Desmond King became the starter, after week 1, when he replaced an injured starter in last year's opener vs. Northern Illinois. King could be very special in the Hawkeye secondary and is a player to keep an eye on for Iowa.

The other members of the secondary for Iowa in '14. Junior Jordan Lomax manned King's CB spot in last year's opener, but he has moved this off season to the FS position for Iowa. The other new CB for Iowa is sophomore Greg Mabin (6-2 converted WR), with junior Sean Draper and sophomore Maurice Fleming pushing Mabin.

True freshmen Miles Taylor and Ben Niemann are expected to play today. Taylor is a reserve safety and Niemann is likely a reserve linebacker, both should play special teams. Juniors Travis Perry (one start in '12), Cole Fisher and senior Chad Gilson, transfer from UNI, are all reserve linebackers and will find roles on special teams in '14.

Special teams are always important, especially in season openers. Iowa returns specialists Canzeri (25.2 yards per KO return) and PR Martin-Manly (15.7, 2 tds). Redshirt freshman, reserve RBs Jonathan Parker and Akrum Wadley may help in roles on kick returns in '14, as well,  for Iowa.

Iowa has a new placekicker and punter in '14, despite the return of two-year junior punter Connor Kornbath's (40.0 per punt) return. Junior college transfer, junior Dillon Kidd will get the start at punter. Kornbath's strength has been pinning teams inside the 20, but Kidd appears to have a stronger leg. Kidd's dad had a long career in the NFL, as a punter.

Four-year placekicker Mike Meyer has graduated. So, junior Marshall Koehn is likely first up as the new PK for Iowa, with true freshman Mick Ellis from the Lone Star State in the mix, likely in '14. The new long snapper is redshirt freshman Tyler Kluver. There are some big shoes to fill in '14.

Iowa vs. UNI

Season openers are always a little anxious, since no one really knows just how their team will gel right out of the gates.

Iowa is known for slow, methodical starts under Kirk Ferentz. In 2005, Iowa roared out of the gate vs. Ball State, but that has been the exception the past 15 seasons, rather than the rule.

UNI coach Mark Farley likely has a Panther team with an offense ahead of the defense, which may help Iowa more in the Season Opener?

Does Iowa continue to struggle in Season Openers for the third straight season?

UNI is most experienced in the secondary on defense. Some believe it should be 'stellar' in '14. Iowa found Northern Illinois' secondary in '12 and '13 solid in the secondary.

The middle of the UNI may be stout, like Iowa?  Defensive tackle Xavier Williams is a stout, 311 pound anchor. He was all-conference and had 74 tackles last year. Senior linebacker Jake Farley is not 100 percent, but is expected to play, coming off a broken leg during the loss to North Dakota State, last season. Leading tackler over the first five games last season.

Iowa and UNI both could be set for breakout seasons. Lately, both have been up and down in their respective conferences and Division 1 divisions (FBS vs. FCS). Neither has had the success as their fan bases have enjoyed in the past under respective coaches, Ferentz and Farley.

Keys to game:

1. Line of scrimmage,
2. Special teams and turnovers,
3. Explosive plays,
4. Down and distance,
5. Coaching adjustments and temperament.

Cidsports Game Pick:
Iowa 38
UNI 17

This game could be close, but UNI defense has been apparently running behind the offense. Iowa should return to having a better offense and defense should be able to control line of scrimmage more than UNI.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Look at Week 1 in the College Football season

Wednesday, August 27th

Last year, 16 FCS opponents beat FBS teams, up from ten in 2012. In some cases, like last year's Georgia State match up, the FCS was actually expected to win.

This year, the first match-up tonight appears to be an interesting opportunity for Georgia State to end a losing streak.

Abilene Christian at Georgia State at 6:00 p.m. on ESPNU

Thursday, August 28th      

The BCS is dead. The quest for the four spots in the College Football Playoff begins on Thursday. Also, conference hunts begin in Week 1, such as the first game on the SEC Network.           

Texas A&M at South Carolina, 5:00 p.m. on SECN

Eastern Illinois at Minnesota, 6:00 p.m. on BTN

Wake Forest at Louisiana Monroe, 6:00 p.m. on ESPNU

Idaho State at Utah, 6:30 p.m. on PAC-12 Network (HD)

Boise State vs. Ole Miss (Atlanta), 7:00 p.m. on ESPN

Cal Poly at New Mexico State, 7:00 p.m. on ALT / FSSW+ / espn3

Tulane at Tulsa, 7:00 p.m. on CBSSN

Temple at Vanderbilt, 8:15 p.m. on SECN

Rutgers at Washington State, 9:00 p.m. on FS1

Weber State at Arizona State, 9:30 p.m. on PAC-12 Network (HD)

Chattanooga at Central Michigan, 6:00 p.m. on espn3

Howard at Akron, 6:00 p.m. on espn3

North Dakota at San Jose State, 9:00 p.m. on espn3

Presbyterian at Northern Illinois, 6:00 p.m. on espn3

Friday, August 29th

BYU at UConn, 6:00 p.m. on ESPN

Bowling Green at Western Kentucky, 6:30 p.m. on CBSSN

Jacksonville State at Michigan State, 6:30 p.m. on BTN 

Villanova at Syracuse, 6:30 p.m. on espn3

Colorado vs. Colorado State (Denver), 8:00 p.m. on FS1

UTSA at Houston, 8:00 p.m. on ESPNU

UNLV at Arizona, 9:30 p.m. on ESPN

Saturday, August 30th

Penn State vs. UCF (Dublin), 7:30 a.m. on ESPN2

Appalachian State at Michigan, 11:00 a.m. on ESPN2

Indiana State at Indiana, 11:00 a.m. on ESPN News

North Dakota State at Iowa State, 11:00 a.m. on FS1

Northern Iowa at Iowa, 11:00 a.m. on BTN 

Ohio State at Navy (Baltimore), 11:00 a.m. on CBSSN

Troy at UAB, 11:00 a.m. on DTV: 608 / FCSC (cable)

UCLA at Virginia, 11:00 a.m. on ESPN

UT Martin at Kentucky, 11:00 a.m. on SECN

Western Michigan at Purdue, 11:00 a.m. on ESPNU

Youngstown State at Illinois, 11:00 a.m. on BTN 

Georgia Southern at NC State, 11:30 a.m. on ESPN-GP / ACC Network / espn3 

Wofford at Georgia Tech, 11:30 a.m. on FSN Affiliates / ESPN-GP / espn3 

Alabama vs. West Virginia (Atlanta), 2:30 p.m. on ABC / ESPN2

California at Northwestern, 2:30 p.m. on ABC / ESPN2

Florida Atlantic at Nebraska, 2:30 p.m. on BTN 

James Madison at Maryland, 2:30 p.m. on BTN 

Rice at Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m. on NBC

South Dakota State at Missouri, 2:30 p.m. on ESPNU

Arkansas at Auburn, 3:00 p.m. on SECN

Montana at Wyoming, 3:00 p.m. on RSRM / RSNW / DTV: 101

Portland State at Oregon State, 3:00 p.m. on PAC-12 Network (HD)

UC Davis at Stanford, 3:00 p.m. on PAC-12 Network (HD)

William & Mary at Virginia Tech, 3:00 p.m. on ESPN News

Clemson at Georgia, 4:30 p.m. on ESPN

Central Arkansas at Texas Tech, 6:00 p.m. on FSN Affiliates 

Idaho at Florida, 6:00 p.m. on ESPNU

Louisiana Tech at Oklahoma, 6:00 p.m. on FSN PPV

Northern Arizona at San Diego State, 6:00 p.m. on CBSSN

Samford at TCU, 6:00 p.m. on FSN Affiliates 

Fresno State at USC, 6:30 p.m. on FOX

Southern Miss at Mississippi State, 6:30 p.m. on SECN

Florida State vs. Oklahoma State (Arlington), 7:00 p.m. on ABC

NC Central at East Carolina, 7:00 p.m. on ESPN News

North Texas at Texas, 7:00 p.m. on LHN

LSU vs. Wisconsin (Houston), 8:00 p.m. on ESPN

South Dakota at Oregon, 9:30 p.m. on PAC-12 Network (HD)

Washington at Hawaii, 9:30 p.m. on CBSSN

Arkansas Pine Bluff at Texas State, 6:00 p.m. on espn3

Austin Peay at Memphis, 6:00 p.m. on espn3

Bethune Cookman at Florida International, 6:00 p.m.

Boston College at UMass, 2:00 p.m. on espn3

Colgate at Ball State, 1:00 p.m. on espn3

Delaware at Pittsburgh, 11:00 a.m. on espn3

Duquesne at Buffalo, 2:30 p.m. on espn3

Elon at Duke, 5:00 p.m. on espn3

Hampton at Old Dominion, 2:30 p.m.

Liberty at North Carolina, 5:00 p.m. on espn3

Marshall at Miami Ohio, 2:30 p.m. on espn3

Montana State at Arkansas State, 6:00 p.m. on espn3

Morgan State at Eastern Michigan, 5:00 p.m. on espn3

New Hampshire at Toledo, 6:00 p.m. on espn3

Nicholls State at Air Force, 1:00 p.m. on espn3

Ohio U at Kent State, 5:00 p.m. on espn3

Savannah State at Middle Tennessee, 6:00 p.m.

Southern at Louisiana Lafayette, 6:00 p.m. on espn3

Southern Utah at Nevada, 2:00 p.m.

Stephen F. Austin at Kansas State, 6:00 p.m.

UTEP at New Mexico, 7:00 p.m.

Western Carolina at South Florida, 6:00 p.m. on espn3

Sunday, August 31st

Utah State at Tennessee, 6:00 p.m. on SECN

SMU at Baylor, 6:30 p.m. on FS1

Monday, September 1st

The ACC welcomes it's newest member to the conference, in a Prime Time Labor Day showdown to close out Week 1 of the 2014 College Football season.

Miami-FL at Louisville, 7:00 p.m. on ESPN

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The 2014 College Football season opens August 23 on ESPN

The 2014 College Football season opens today with a FCS showdown to kick off the 2014 NCAA season.

Sam Houston State at Eastern Washington, as two Top 25 FCS programs kick off the season at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Washington out of the Big Sky may be the best program to knock North Dakota State off the FCS throne. Sam Houston State comes out of the Southland.

True Week One will kick off Wednesday, with the first FCS at FBS game of 2014. Fellow Southland program, Abilene Christian at Georgia State on Wednesday, August 27th.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day ...

The official kick off to Summer has begun in America with Memorial Day. Our thoughts and prayers are with those families and for those who have passed in service for our freedom.

The countdown of the 2014 College Football Season has also begun. Less than 100 days, until the opening weekend of College Football!

Two preseason magazines have hit the shelves.

Lindy's Sports College Football National Edition 2014 Preview, as well, as The Sporting News College Football are on the racks at Barnes and Noble and other fine retailers.  

The preview for the College Football Playoff inaugural season can begin. Out with the BCS poll and in with the 13 member Selection Committee.

Rutgers may not want Dr. Condoleeza Rice for their commencement speach in 2014, but Rice is the sole women headlining the 13 member Selection Committee for the College Football Playoff.

Five current athletic directors will serve, along with the patriarch of the Manning family, a former NCAA executive vice president, a former Big East Commissioner, a former sportswriter, a former superintendent of the Air Force Academy, two former head coaches and Ms. Rice.

Four teams will be chosen for the College Football Playoff, as The Selection Committee uses their iPad specifically loaded with software allowing them to watch any game in the country at any time. America would love to carry that iPad, since the committee members will not travel to games as special guests.

The Selection Committee will rank the Top 25 beginning with the midseason to the end of the regular season. But, votes and totals will remain private.

Lindy's Sports and The Sporting News both like the same four programs, but not in the same order: Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma and Oregon.

Out with the BCS National Championship Game and this season: the Rose and Sugar Bowl games will host the semi-final games, so the Big Ten or Pac Ten will not likely play in the Granddaddy of Bowl Games this season.

The Selection Committee will determine who plays in the Rose, Orange,  Fiesta, Sugar, Cotton and Peach Bowls each season, as part of the new College Football Playoff. Those bowls will rotate over the next 12 years as semi-final hosts, each getting to host four times over the 12-year span.

Notre Dame has a twice in 12-year period guarantee to play the ACC champion in the Orange Bowl. One spot in the six bowls will be reserved for the top-rated team from the so-called non-Big Five (Sun Belt, MAC, Mountain West, American and Conference USA).

With the BCS, a conference (Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, ACC and SEC, for example) was limited to two BCS teams in the old BCS bowls, but not anymore.  The College Football Playoff is not limited in any way, other than to  the choices of 13 members of The Selection Committee.

ESPN will enjoy the slate of lesser bowls to highlight upcoming big Bowls, a traditional New Year's Eve and Day slate of games and four-team College Football Playoff.

College Football has its Final Four in 2014.

Monday, January 6, 2014

We say good bye tonight: Final BCS Title Game: Florida State (13-0) vs. Auburn (12-1)

BCS Championship: Auburn vs. Florida State at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN (HD) - The Tigers try to keep the SEC dominance going in the Final Game of the BCS, as the ACC's Seminoles counter in the final BCS Title Game.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cotton and Orange Bowls on Friday night!

Cotton Bowl :
Missouri vs. Oklahoma State at 7:00 p.m. on FOX (HD)
Two former Big 8 rivals square off in Arlington, Texas in the new Cotton Bowl

Orange Bowl :
Clemson vs. Ohio State at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN (HD)
Woody Hayes last game came in this match up back in the late 1970s... hopefully no punches are thrown in this year's re-match in the Orange Bowl.