Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Most Important Games

If you would have told me back in July that Navy would have started 3-1 over the first four games of the season, I probably would have been happy. Heck, I think most fans would have seen it as definite progress. Considering we thought ECU, Stanford, and Tulsa would be Bowl teams, (and the jury is still out on the Pirates and Golden Hurricane, although we can safely say the Cardinal is an abomination to the Pac-10), taking two out of three of those games would have seemed a step forward.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Blog Poll Ballot

For obviouse reasons, I hate Cal. Explanations when I get a chance.


1Ohio State--
2Southern Cal 1
3Auburn 1
4Florida 1
5Texas 1
7TCU 2
8Michigan 1
9Louisiana State 2
10Notre Dame 2
11Nebraska 7
12West Virginia 2
14Boise State 3
15Oklahoma 1
16Oregon 4
17Iowa 1
18Virginia Tech 3
19Clemson 2
20Tennessee 1
21Rutgers 2
22Arkansas 4
23Purdue 3
24Tulsa 2
25Wake Forest 1

Dropped Out: Boston College (#12), Michigan State (#22), Arizona State (#24), Navy (#25).

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good: The Navy defense once again played a hard-fought contest in which they held the opposition in check for most of the game. Despite playing with two starters out in the secondary, the Mids got good contributions from backups Jeff Deliz and Jeromy Miles, who impressed me with their ability to tackle in space. Despite obviously struggling on offense, Ballard ran the ball hard as usual, finishing with 87 yards on 16 carries. Rob Caldwell finished with 13 tackles, all of which he wrapped up on. Textbook stuff, but not much else. This week's mock-drama of "24" was the best one yet.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Navy Falls on Blocked PAT

To confine this game into those last few minutes would be a mistake however, and the reality is that the Mids let this one slip away right after their first possession of the second half. Navy's offense looked flat all day, conjuring up shades of the UMass game when a tentative Brian Hampton was just unable to get the job done. While moving the ball for 356 total yards, Hampton and the offense were unable to establish the option on the outside of the field, allowing an aggressive Tulsa defense to box them within the hash-marks. Furthermore, penalties at key moments in the game- including a holding call on a 4th quarter drive that broke into Tulsa territory- helped kill multiple Navy possessions. The execution wasn't there, the play calling was conservative, and once again it looked as though the Navy offense was playing not to lose, instead of playing to win. I know Paul Johnson is maintaining that there's nothing wrong with the offense, but after today's performance it certainly looks as though execution isn't the only problem. The option reads were poor, and at times the play-calling made me scratch my head. I mean what gives, I never scratch my head for Johnson's play-calling!?!

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

FanHouse Coverage

Remember, for the time being, Pitch Right's coverage of Navy Football can be found over at the AOL College Football Fan House.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Blog Poll Rountable

Its only the third week of the season and we've already seen some highly ranked favorites drop out of national championship contention. Preseason favorite Cal dropped to #21 after a loss and a pair of underwhelming victories. Who's your pick as the next NC contender to take a fall?

I'm going to go with either Michigan or Ohio State on this one. These two teams have to play each other, Iowa, and a tough conference schedule in the coming weeks. Quite simply, both of these teams just can't stick in the National Title race. My money is on Michigan dropping out. Carr will find a way to blow it.

By that same token there are several schools hanging around without a loss that all of a sudden look like surprise contenders. There are also a few one loss teams with a legit shot at getting back into it. Looking at the rankings who's the team no one's talking about with the best shot at crashing the party ?

Obviously either West Virginia or Louisville will probably have a shot, but I'm going to go with Texas Christian as my "official" answer. The Horned Frogs have the best defense nobody has heard of, while they have a

Every team has their quicksand away game. You know. That place you should win but somehow find ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory or at least scare the &*%^ out of you every year. Did you know that over the last 21 years Kentucky wasn't won once in Knoxville? Where is your team's yearly sandtrap?

Every game is a "quicksand" game for the Midshipmen, but Air Force is really looming large in the rear-view. The falcons nearly shocked the world against Tennessee, and have quite literally devoted their season to "reclaiming" their position as the top Academy. This isn't the always friendly rivalry of Army-Navy or even Navy-Notre dame. There are some generally bad feelings between these two teams, and this should be an intense, physical game. Playing in Colorado Springs is never easy, and if Navy comes into this game 5-0, could be ripe for an Air Force upset.

Now that you've looked into the darkest place in your football soul, free Escalades aside, turn and look into your crystal ball. Conference play is either just starting or a single game in. Based on what you've seen so far, give the order of finish in your conference, and if you've got a Conference Championship game tell us who the winner will be. Independents must predict the remainder of their schedule. The results your predictions will be held against you at the end of the season.

Tulsa: Win
at UCONN: Loss
at Air Force: Win
New Jersey College: Loss
Notre Dame: Loss
at Duke: Win
at Eastern Mich.: Win
Temple: Win
Army: Win

In keeping with the spirit of Maize n Brew, name your beverage of choice on game days and why. It need not be alcoholic, as there are some of us who choose not to imbibe on game day. Further, it need not be limited to a single brand/type/category. If you enjoy drinking PBR and Kraft Turkey Gravy at the same time (which I have personally witnessed), please, elaborate. Finally, if you should feel so inclined, and this is not a requirement, add an anecdote involving said beverage choice.

For reasons obvious to myself and maybe a few of you, I don't drink. So I'll have to be a real girl here and go with a Diet Coke.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Blog Poll 3

I had written a huge explanation for these, but because blogger sucks, I'll have to retype it tomorrow morning.

1Ohio State--
3Southern Cal--
6Louisville 1
7Michigan 2
8Notre Dame 3
9TCU 1
10West Virginia 4
11Louisiana State 1
12Boston College--
14Oklahoma 12
15Virginia Tech--
17Boise State--
20Oregon 6
21Clemson 5
22Michigan State 1
23Rutgers 1
24Arizona State 1
25Navy 1

Dropped Out: Florida State (#20), Texas Tech (#25).

Navy Spoils the Stanford Party

In resounding style, Navy bounced back with a 37-9 win over the Stanford Cardinal in front of 44,022 fans in the first game of the newly renovated Stanford Stadium. The Mids piled up 367 yards of rushing, and (get this) 75 yards through the air. Reggie Campbell had a big game with 110 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while fullback Adam Ballard wore down the Cardinal defense with 26 carries for 126 yards. The real story here was Quarterback Brian Hampton, who was able to regain his composure after a turnover plagued game against UMass last week. Hampton completed 8 of 11 passes, but even more importantly, just looked to have a better grasp on running the offense. He was not without mistakes though, throwing away an easy pitch on a sweep play inside the Stanford five yard-line.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Transcript of Live Blogging from Last Night

A work of literary merit, it was not. Yet somehow I pulled it off. Was it ugly at times? Yes. Does it look completely melodramatic the morning after, of course. But here it is nonetheless, just in case you missed it.

First Half

Second Half

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Live-Blogging at the FanHouse

Remember to check out the AOL College Football FanHouse, where I'll be blogging before and during the game. Join me at 9:30 when I begin my first ever live-blogging session, and remember to check your local listings for tonight’s Navy-Stanford game.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mid-Week Injury Report

Apparently I did a rather poor job on my injury report last week, so I thought I'd take some time to get this one right. If you remember correctly there was no injury report last week, mostly because I was under the impression everyone was good to go. Well, silly me, that wasn't the case, and when we all saw Matt Harmon kicking a ultra-importante fourth quarter field goal (which he missed), the collective eyes of every fan in the stadium fell on me with a sort of "Uh, what was that" expression. Not really, but hey, that would have actually been kinda cool. Here's a list of banged up Navy players for this week...

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Reggie Campbell=Amazing

Was it just me, or did anyone else notice how 5'6 junior practically won the game on his own for Navy last Saturday against UMass? While his rushing stats weren't anything to grin about (2 carries for 24 yards), it was Campbell's special team and defensive play that really saved the day for the Mids.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

PJ Presser

Ah, the Paul Johnson press conference. Does it get any better? Apparently not, especially after today's was released. The 5th-year Navy Football coach was frank as usual today, and would like you to know that just because his team had a bad game last Saturday, it doesn't mean they can't have success this week. You can read the entire transcript hyah, but I've taken the liberty of highlighting the stuff I find especially interesting...

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Heisman Top 10 has partnered with the world-renowned Heisman Pundit to create a "Blogger Heisman Poll." HP was gracious enough to invite me to be one of the nine bloggers who will submit a Top 10 every week, which should be published by Thursday on the main site. In the meantime, you can enjoy my Top Ten.

1. Brady Quinn, Notre Dame- Torching a good Penn Sate defense for 287 yards and 3 TDs bodes nearly as well as the media hype surrounding Notre Dame’s savior.

2. Troy Smith, Ohio State- As if getting out of Austin with a win wasn’t impressive enough; Smith struck a pose with 269 passing yards and 2 TDs against the Lonhorns.

3. Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma- He didn’t get a whole lot of attention against Washington, but put up some great numbers while running strong in the fourth quarter to put his team in the win column.

4. Chris Leak, Florida- The Florida Quarterback put up some excellent numbers against Central Florida (352 yards, 4 TDs), but still has a difficult schedule to weather in the coming weeks.

5. Brian Brohm, Louisville- As long as Louisville continues to win, and as long as he can put up good-looking numbers, Brohm is going to hover around this number five spot.

6. Ted Ginn, Ohio State- It’s not going to be easy to continue, but the Ohio State WR/KR proved he still belongs on the list with an electrifying performance against Texas.

7. Kenny Irons, Auburn- Did anyone else notice that he only had 69 yards (3.3 avg) rushing against Mississippi St? Another performance like that and he’s done for.

8. Garret Wolfe, Northern Illinois- I’ll be honest, even I didn’t catch his game against Ohio, but 196 yards rushing sounds good no matter who you’re playing.

9. Steve Slaton, West Virginia- There’s no doubt he’s got some great looking numbers, but c’mon, even I could put up 100 yards on the ground against Eastern Washington.

10. Eric Ainge, Tennessee- Big day against Air Force, but just how good is Tennessee? Let’s see how he does against the SEC teams before moving him any higher.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday's UMass Coverage

I apologize that I'm not writing any of my articles over here. I promise it's only temporary, but because of some serious time constraints, I'd rather write my posts over at the FanHouse, where I'm actually compensated for my efforts. (It's all about the money boys!)

Here's What You've Missed:

Johnson talks about Inept Offense (FanHouse)

Defense Comes Up Big (FanHouse)

QB controversy Bound to Ensue (FanHouse)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday Night UMass Coverage

Sorry about not getting much coverage up here this week. There is however plenty to read over at the Navy Football FanHouse...

Focus Not an Issue: AOL Sports College Football FanHouse

Navy Moving Up In Rankings: AOL Sports College Football FanHouse

Navy Offense Vs. Umass Defense: AOL Sports College Football FanHouse

Navy's O-Line: Mules?: AOL Sports College Football FanHouse

Steve Baylark = Adrain Peterson?: AOL Sports College Football FanHouse

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Roundtable Times Dos

Bruce Ciskie hosts the latest edition of the BlogPoll Roundtable, which I've decided to jump in on at the last moment possible.

What team best met your overall expectations of them in their opener?

Louisville. Despite the loss of Bush, the Cardinals rolled over Kentucky in the opener. They have a fairly easy schedule and should be able to do this to a lot of teams this year. With an experienced offensive line and a talented group of running backs taking center stage, look for Brohm and the Cardinals to possibly go 11-1 in the regular season.

What team jumped off the map and surprised you the most? (Bonus points to anyone who can make an argument for someone besides Tennessee.)

Montana State, but I guess I'm going to have to give you a I-A team, won’t I? In that case I'll go with UCLA. Maybe it's just because I jumped on the Ute bandwagon so early (he made me), but I really thought that Utah was going to pull the upset against UCLA. But the Bruins not only won, they dominated what I thought was going to be a great Utah offense.

What team best moved themselves into a position to surprisingly contend for a national title?

If there was another clear answer besides Tennessee, believe me, I'd go with that team. I don't know whether it was a matter of Cal just being that bad, or if Fulmer actually knows what the hell he's doing again, but for the a team to make that big of a statement week one is impressive. I also think you can look at Florida State, who despite winning in incredibly ugly fashion, beat a top ranked school to start the season. And I'm also going to go with Notre Dame, for no other reason that they survived a trap game on the road in which most of you (the blogging community) picked them to lose.

There is no Line for UMass

I've noticed a good number of incoming hits to this blog off searches for the spread for the UMass game on Saturday. Guys, there is no point spread when playing a Division 1-AA team. However, if you want one, I'll just give you my most reasonable guess. Navy is a 14 point favorite. There you have it.

Also, I've noticed that quite a few answers to the poll questions have been "Navy will lose to UMass." Are these Navy fans voting this way or just UMass fans coming over from the UMass Football Fanzone?

Roundtable Later in the Day, don't forget to check the FanHouse. That is All.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

UMass Scares Me and Other Stuff

Well, the AOL College Football Fan House is just about set for launch. For the next few weeks the majority of my Navy posts will be taking place over there. Does that make me a sellout? Probably, but at least I'll be posting my thoughts everyday as opposed to only a couple times a week. So, do me a favor and bookmark the Navy FanHouse, but keep checking back here for Random Thoughts and BlogPoll related issues. Speaking of which, I'll get the new Roundtable up ASAP.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

This Week's Top 25

Well, here it is. My poll for Week 2 of the College Football BlogPoll.


1Notre Dame--
2Ohio State--
3Southern Cal 1
4Texas 1
5Auburn 2
6Florida State 3
7Louisville 1
9Tennessee 17
11West Virginia--
12Nebraska 4
13Miami (Florida) 8
14Georgia 1
15Virginia Tech 1
16Michigan 1
17Oregon 9
18Louisiana State--
19Texas Tech 3
20Purdue 3
21Oklahoma 1
22Cal 10
23UCLA 3
24TCU 1
25Navy 4

Dropped Out: Arizona State (#15), Utah (#19), Boston College (#24).
Observations and Explanations
  • Notre Dame played the toughest team of any of the top five schools this weekend, and that's why I have them #1 again. Sorry Phil Steele fans, Arkansas was far from a Top 25 team when USC dismantled them. Ohio State had a decent win over NIU, while Texas pummled a helpless North Texas squad. For nothing else then having the balls to schedule a difficult team on the road in a trap game, I'm sticking with the Irish at #1 until they lose.
  • Because Arkansas is better then North Texas, I'm going to give USC the edge. Considering I hate USC this was not an easy decision.
  • Auburn and FSU move up after wins, although some more impressive then others. Just because FSU upended a highly ranked Miami team doesn't mean they will be contending for a national title, for for the time being I'll have them up there.
  • Louisville look awesome in their blowout of Kentucky, but the loss of Michael Bush puts them a spot down nonetheless. I still think they beat WVU though, considering the backups look very fast and very elusive.
  • Iowa, WVU, and Florida all won decent games against bad-decent teams. Thus they will stay in their positions and await further review.
  • I still don't know what to make of Tennessee. The View from Rocky Top must look pretty good, but something tells me Cal was just that bad, and that the Vols will have their share of disappointments again this year. Proving I'm a complete tool of ESPN, I have them at #9.
  • Why is Nebraska so high? To be perfectly honest I have no idea, but we'll see what happens.
  • Miami falls, despite putting on a strong defensive showing. Wright just lost whatever Heisman bid he might have had.
  • Georgia is at 14. Those wondering why can go visit Dawg Sports and have Kyle tell you why, because I'm still not sure if I get it.
  • Michigan looked sub-par against Vandy, and despite my particular dislike for the state and university of Oregon, I thought they posted an impressive win over a good Stanford team.
  • LSU dismantled a Sun Belt team. Sorry, but I can't move them up.
  • Purdue could have scored 100 points against Indiana State if Tiller let them. Watch out, this is a very potent offense.
  • Cal sucks, I don't know what else to say. Lee Corso proves that he knows very little about college football.
  • I dislike the Pac-10, but UCLA gets the nod with a win over Utah.
  • NAVY is at 25, dropping 3 spaces from my preseason sympathy vote. Don't badger me about how people like me are arrogant fans who have put Navy in a position where they don't belong. Last time I checked we beat a fairly talented East Carolina team and that college football blogging was for fun, so lighten up.
  • Why wasn't I able to plug in Montana State?

That is all.