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Monday, December 21, 2009

Texas reinstates Monroe for BCS title game

Austin, TX (Sports Network) - Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown announced the reinstatement of versatile freshman kick returner/wide receiver D.J. Monroe at a press conference Monday leading up to next month's BCS National Championship game.

Brown met with the media to discuss the state of the team in preparation for its trip to Pasadena on January 7 against Alabama and indicated Monroe would be with the team.

Monroe had charges of driving while intoxicated dismissed last week. He was arrested on November 15 and was suspended for the Longhorns' final three games of the season -- sitting against Kansas, Texas A&M and for the Big 12 Championship game versus Nebraska.

"I wanted him to learn from it and be more accountable, but he's been practicing with our team every day. So he is not behind. He has not missed anything, and he's had a great attitude since his incident," Brown said Monday.

While listed as a receiver, Monroe served almost exclusively as the team's kick returner this year. In 10 games, he racked up 501 return yards and two touchdowns, averaging a whopping 35.8 yards on 14 returns. The speedster also got into the running game with 110 yards on 20 carries.
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Alabama RB Ingram wins Heisman Trophy first in Tuscaloosa History

Alabama RB Ingram wins Heisman Trophy

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Alabama running back Mark Ingram has won the 2009 Heisman Trophy, college football's most prestigious honor.

It was the closest voting ever for the award and the first Heisman Trophy in Alabama's storied history. Ingram edged Stanford running back Toby Gerhart by just 28 points; Texas quarterback Colt McCoy finished third, Nebraska defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh fourth and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow fifth.

Ingram becomes the third consecutive sophomore to capture the award, joining Tebow, the 2007 winner, and Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, last year's recipient. Ingram amassed 1,542 yards and 15 touchdowns on 249 attempts, helping the Crimson Tide go 13-0 and advance to the BCS title game against Texas.

"It's truly a team award. They've had a lot to do with my tremendous success," said Ingram. "I just want to thank all of them, especially the offensive line."

Ingram was the first Alabama player to be a Heisman finalist since quarterback Jay Barker in 1994; no player from the school had ever finished higher than third in the voting.

"It's a great honor to be a member of the Heisman fraternity," said Ingram. "I'm just so excited to bring Alabama their first Heisman winner."

The vote totals showed Ingram with 227 first-place tallies and a total of 1,304 points. Gerhart had 222 first-place votes and 1,276 points.

McCoy, who was last year's runner up to Bradford, compiled 203 first-place markers and 1,145 points. Suh finished fourth with 815 points.

Having set an FBS record for most career collegiate wins with 45 this season, McCoy threw for 3,521 yards and 27 touchdowns, leading the Longhorns to a 13-0 record, a Big 12 championship and a berth into the BCS title game against Alabama and Ingram.

Gerhart helped Stanford advance to its first bowl game since 2001 by rushing for 1,736 yards and an incredible 26 touchdowns -- both tops in the Pac-10.

Suh was attempting to become the second true defensive player to win the award, as former Michigan cornerback and current Green Bay Packers standout Charles Woodson captured the Heisman in 1997 for the national championship- winning Wolverines.

There are currently 926 voters for the Heisman Trophy, comprising of 870 media representatives, 55 living Heisman winners and one overall fan vote.

Tebow had 390 total points, followed by Clemson running back C.J. Spiller (223), Boise State QB Kellen Moore (100), Houston quarterback Case Keenum (37), Cincinnati wide receiver Mardy Gilyard (23) and Notre Dame wideout Golden Tate (21).

Ingram was the top finisher from the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South and Midwest regions with Gerhart second each time. Gerhart won the West region, while Suh captured the Southwest.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oregon State vs. Oregon

Game-day: 12/3/2009

Game-time: 9:00 pm EST

The only two teams capable of winning the Pac-10, the Oregon State Beavers and the Oregon Ducks, face off this Thursday at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.

The Ducks have lost only twice this season, to the Stanford Cardinal and the Boise State Broncos. They are fresh off of a fantastic 44 to 41 overtime victory over the Arizona Wildcats, and should be geared up to get into the Rose Bowl. Their top rivals, the Oregon State Beavers, will have something to say about that.

Oregon vs. Oregon State is one of the little known rivalries in college football. Dubbed the Civil War, the game between Oregon and Oregon State is the 7th oldest rivalry game in college football. It was first played in 1894.

The Ducks lead in the series overall 56-46-10 but in Eugene, surprisingly, things have been very close, Oregon is up on Oregon State 25-23-3. That should really tell how close these two teams have been in this game.

Let’s take a look at the BetUS football betting odds in this game.

Oregon State Beavers +9 ½ -110 +300 O 62 -110

Oregon Ducks -9 ½ -110 -370 U 62 -110

Here are a few NCAA football betting trends for this game:

* The Oregon State Beavers are 13 and 3 against the spread in their last 16 games following a bye week.
* The Oregon Ducks are 5 and 0 against the spread in their last 5 games at home.
* The Oregon State Beavers are 4 and 0 against the spread in their last 4 games versus a team with a winning record.
* The Over is 7 and 0 in the last 7 meetings between these two teams.
* The key in figuring out the best bet in this game is to understand which team will be on this Thursday.

That’s easy, actually. Both teams will be on so to speak. Oregon hasn’t put up less than 40 points in 5 straight games. The Beavers have put up over 40 points in two straight games.

When it comes to the stop game, neither Oregon nor Oregon State is all that great. Oregon’s defense is ranked 28th in college football and gives up, on average, 23 points a game. When facing a team that doesn’t put up a lot of points, the Ducks do okay, keeping UCLA to 10 and Washington State to 6 in their games against those teams this year, but the Ducks also gave up 51 points to Stanford and 41 points to Arizona.

Oregon State, overall, has done much better defensively than Oregon lately allowing 19 to UCLA, 14 to California, 21 to Washington and 10 to Washington State. What it shows is that the Beavers are capable of playing a defensive, well as defensive as possible, game if they need to.

What that means is that betting the total might not be the best wager in this game. What is then?

Oregon State has won four games in a row including a victory over California at California. Not only that, but Oregon State actually beat Stanford this season 38 to 28. Oregon couldn’t get past Stanford.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bowden to announce retirement Tuesday

Report: Bowden to announce retirement Tuesday

Tallahassee, FL (Sports Network) - It appears Bobby Bowden's legendary 34-year tenure as the head coach at Florida State will come to an end Tuesday.

The Tallahassee Democrat reported Monday night that Bowden will announce his retirement. The newspaper reports Bowden is expected to be offered a non- coaching position at the school for an unspecified amount of time. He's also reportedly entitled to $1 million upon his retirement as part of a clause in his coaching contract.

The newspaper reported that Bowden met with school president T.K. Wetherell and athletic director Randy Spetman for about an hour on Monday morning. The legendary coach told a group at a booster luncheon that he will again talk with Wetherell and Spetman on Tuesday.

Bowden has stated that he wanted to return for the 2010 season, which would have been his 35th at the school.

The Seminoles are just 6-6 in 2009 and finished 4-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but they are expected to receive a bowl invitation for the 28th consecutive season. It's unclear if Bowden will coach that bowl game.

Should Florida State lose in its bowl game, the six wins would be the fewest for a Bowden-coached Seminoles team since the 1981 squad finished 6-5. It would also mark Bowden's first losing record since his first Florida State squad was 5-6 in 1976.

Bowden's job security came under fire earlier this season after a 2-3 start, including an 0-2 mark in ACC play. It was reported that some Florida State alumni questioned whether the 2009 campaign should be Bowden's last.

The Seminoles have a transition plan in place, with offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher set to take over the reins when Bowden eventually steps down or is forced out. Fisher was named the head coach in waiting after joining the Seminoles in 2007 following seven seasons in a similar role with LSU.

One of the nation's premier teams in the late 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, Florida State has not posted a 10-win season since 2003. The Seminoles also had 14 straight seasons of double-digit winning records from 1987-2000 -- a span that also included a final AP ranking among the top five.

Bowden has won two national championships -- in 1993 and 1999 -- since joining the school in 1976 and 12 conference titles, including nine in a row from 1992-2000.

The 80-year-old Hall of Famer has 388 career victories, second all-time behind only Penn State's Joe Paterno. Bowden was also the head coach at Samford from 1959-62 and was the head coach at West Virginia from 1970-75.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Big East battle that pits the Bearcats against WVU Mountaineers

Big East battle pits Bearcats against Mountaineers

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The fifth-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats try move one step closer to repeating as Big East champions, as they host the West Virginia Mountaineers in a key league bout this Friday at Nippert Stadium.

The Bearcats have coasted past just about every one of their opponents this year and it looked like more of the same this past Saturday, when the team held a 30-10 halftime lead on UConn. The Huskies however, rallied within a two-point conversion of the tying the game in the fourth quarter before Cincinnati came up with a stop and finished the night with a late touchdown for a 47-45 victory.

"How was that? Was that exciting football? That is going to age me quickly, said head coach Brian Kelly. "I think we helped the ratings for ABC. It was a great game and atmosphere."

It was certainly an thrilling game and the victory pushed Cincinnati to 9-0, marking its best start since 1951. The Bearcats have now won 10 straight games at Nippert Stadium and 15 consecutive regular season games dating back to last season, as they continue their magical run. At 5-0 in the conference, Cincinnati remains tied for first place with Pittsburgh, a team it will face in its regular season finale in early December.

As for the Mountaineers, they won a share of the Big East title in 2007 before taking a backseat to Cincinnati last season. WVU is still very much in the running for the title in 2009 with a 3-1 record, but it will likely need to run the table to accomplish that feat. Last weekend, the Mountaineers may have got caught looking ahead to this game, as they barely slipped past a struggling Louisville club, 17-9, in Morgantown.

"We found a way to win," said head coach Bill Stewart. "I'll take a Big East win any day of the week."

The Mountaineers, winners of five of their last six games, now stand at 7-2, with both of their losses coming on the road.

WVU holds a commanding 14-2-1 lead in the head-to-head series with Cincinnati, but the Bearcats picked one of their two wins last season, a 26-23 overtime triumph in Morgantown.

The Mountaineers didn't have their best game on offense last weekend, managing just 273 total yards, but they did enough to get past Louisville in a 17-9 decision. WVU, which is gaining a much better 393.6 total ypg on the season, used 173 yards on the ground and solid defense to edge the Cardinals. Jock Sanders, the starting slotback, rushed for a team-high 66 yards on 12 carries, as he stepped in for tailback Noel Devine, who left with a sprained ankle after gaining 56 yards on 13 totes.

"He's been hurt for two weeks," Stewart said. "He got beat up pretty good last week against South Florida. You cannot run a 5-foot-8, 178-pound man 30-35 times a game."

Devine is the one of the fastest and most elusive backs around and he already surpassed the 1,000-yard plateau for the second straight season, with 1,010 yards and 10 scores. Listed as probable for this game, Devine should be ready to go and lead a potent ground attack that is averaging a 181.4 ypg this season.

Quarterback Jarrett Brown adds another dimension to the ground game, rushing for 332 yards and four scores, and he has also been effective with his arm, completing 64.5 percent of his throws with 10 touchdowns. Last weekend, Brown didn't have his best stuff, but was still able to throw for a score and run for 43 yards on eight carries.

Sanders was mentioned earlier as he replaced Devine in the backfield, but the 5-8, 175-pounder is the team's top wideout, leading the way with 58 catches and 555 receiving yards.

After getting torched by South Florida, WVU's defense rebounded nicely last weekend, holding Louisville to just 301 total yards and only three field goals. It was the first time this season the unit hadn't allowed a touchdown and it also limited Louisville to just 100 passing yards after being sliced through the air by South Florida.

"I was really proud of the defense the way it set the tone the entire day," said Stewart. "That was a great way to bounce back after a sub-par (defensive) showing last weekend."

The defense even came up with five sacks, bringing its season total to 24 in that department. However, despite the team's ability to pressure opposing quarterbacks, WVU is still allowing 220.7 ypg through the air and this pass defense will be tested in a big way by Cincinnati's explosive offense.

Julian Miller is by far the team's best pass rusher, with 8.5 sacks and 11.5 TFLs to his credit, and he made a big impact last weekend, finishing with six stops and three sacks in the win over Louisville.

Offensively, the Bearcats are on a different level than the rest of the Big East and they are generating 482.6 total ypg and 40.0 ppg. The success hasn't come at the expense of turnovers either, as Cincinnati has committed only four and has yet to lose a fumble, a pretty remarkable accomplishment. The offense was clicking on all cylinders once again last weekend, racking up a school- record 711 total yards with no turnovers in a narrow win over UConn. Quarterback Zach Collaros threw for 480 yards, the second-best passing total in school history, and a touchdown, while rushing for 75 yards and two scores.

"I'd have to be a real bummer to pick a part his performance," said coach Kelly. "He sees the field extremely well and made plays all over the place."

The sophomore quarterback was making his third straight start in place of the injured Tony Pike (forearm), who was in uniform on Saturday, and he was sensational once gain. He has now completed 76.0 percent of his throws with 10 touchdowns and just one pick, leaving Kelly with the dilemma of who to start this Friday. Pike has been medically cleared to play and has also had great success with 1,633 yards and 15 touchdowns. Collaros though, brings another dimension to the offense with his legs, rushing for 288 yards, and he has everything working for him right now as well.

Kelly has decided to go with Collaros this weekend, and he will surely continue to look to one of the league's best receiver in Mardy Gilyard, who leads the team with 65 catches for 908 yards and eight scores. Armon Binns is another weapon that will surely be utilized and his size and strength has helped him to record 631 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. The duo were both effective last weekend, as Gilyard hauled in 12 balls for 172 yards, while Binns had five receptions for 108 yards and a score.

"Zach will start this Friday night against West Virginia. Tony Pike is expected to play," Kelly said in Tuesday's press conference. "When Tony's back to [100 percent] he's our starter. He's not there yet. He's making progress."

The Bearcats can also be effective on the ground, gaining 157.9 ypg behind a 5.2 yard per carry average. Isaiah Pead heads the attack with 512 yards and seven scores and Jacob Ramsey follows with 419 yards. Ramsey had 91 yards on 12 carries against UConn, and Pead finished with 67 yards and two scores on 10 attempts.

Cincinnati's defense was exploited last weekend by UConn, which rolled up 462 total yards, including 201 on the ground. The Bearcats, who are giving up a far less 329.8 total ypg on the year, surrendered 322 of those yards and 35 points in the second half.

"The first half, we really didn't play too bad except for the long plays," said linebacker J.K. Schaffer. "We had a small mistake here and there. When you have guys not on the same page, it hurt us. In the second half, they were pounding the ball two or three yards at a time. Kudos to our offense for keeping the points on the board."

While the defense was shredded in the second half, it did come up with a big stop on a late two-point conversion attempt that would have tied the game at 40-40. That was about the lone positive to take from a unit, which had 29 sacks coming into the game, but managed just one in the win.

Andre Revels leads the defense, which had to replace 10 starters from a year ago, with 76 stops and that includes a 10-tackle performance in last weekend's win.

For all the best College Football Picks and College Football lines check out Cooper's Sports Picks.

Monday, September 14, 2009

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