Well, with today being Saturday, I normally rant and rave about various games but today, I don't think I am going to rant and rave. I will discuss 2 games today and make my predictions and that will be all as I intend on saving you guys from the obnoxious rants that I normally throw at College Football.
SEC Championship Game: Florida vs. Alabama
In this game, the top team from the SEC East, #1 Florida Gators face off against the top team form the SEC West, #2 Alabama Crimson Tide. This game in some eyes' could go either way but again, I will have to disagree with the so-called experts; I believe Florida will dominate this game for a couple of reasons and the #1 reason is the stout Florida defense. Yes, the Alabama defense is good too with both being ranked in the Top 5 in the nation, but Florida has a defense intact from last year's National Championship team that beat pretty much this same Alabama team with one glaring exception, Greg McElroy, Alabama's Quarterback. McElroy will be the deciding factor and here's why: Florida's defense will shut down Mark Ingram which in my opinion is Alabama's only "real" threat. This will cause Alabama to become one dimensional and do something that Nick Saban doesn't want to do and that is throw the ball against this beastly pass defense that Florida is sporting on the field. Against South Carolina, McElroy looked horrible and although I am a die hard Gamecock fan, their defense isn't quite as good as Florida's. Florida will have a field day against McElroy and you better believe that Charlie Strong will have a gameplan and he will come after McElroy over and over and over again. This Florida defense will be a hungry pack of dogs and they will have their ears pinned back. It's going to be a tough day for Bama as Tebow finds a way to score at least 2 on the ground and 1 through the air.
Florida - 24
Alabama - 13
ACC Championship Game: Georgia Tech vs. Clemson
You know, in other years, I couldn't care less about this game but this year, the hometown boys in Clemson have finally made it there to Tampa in the ACC Championship game and they have a good enough team to win it. Offensively they have Kyle Parker, Jacoby Ford, and the dynamic and dangerous, CJ Spiller. They have a 2 beasts at Defensive End in Ricky Sapp and Daquan Bowers. These players will be the ones who win or lose this game for the Tigers. After the showing against my South Carolina Gamecocks last week, I just do not know if they have what it takes to stop an option offense. South Carolina exploited poor assignment play by the Tigers last week to amass an astounding 220+ yards on the ground. GT averages well over that rushing while running an option offense. The only difference is Nesbit has more experience than Garcia and is more consitent and appears to be more accurate than Stephen Garcia is. Georgia Tech's defense isn't quite as good as South Carolina's either. These 2 teams played a very close game earlier in the season with Georgia Tech prevailing on a last second field goal. I see this game being a shootout and the last team having the ball winning it and I believe that team will be Clemson, getting revenge from the last 3 meetings between these 2 teams. Clemson will be the 2009 ACC Champions and will finally make a trip to a BCS bowl, something the state of South Carolina needs for it's college football programs.
Clemson - 34
Georgia Tech - 31
As this Christmas season approaches, some of the hot things on the toy market will be hard to get your hands on as they always are. Years ago it was the Furby and Tickle Me Elmo... Last year the world saw Hasbro taking command with it's "Littlest Pet Shop Round and Round Pet Town and Transformers along with other best selling items like anything Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus stuff. This season, it appears as though Mattel will take a huge boost in revenue as it capitalizes on the Twilight series by introducing Bella and Edward Dolls. Dora the Explorer and Diego will also be a big seller along with Webkinz Lil' Kinz and Zhu Zhu Pets. It is amazing at how quickly some things take off, such as is the case of Twilight. Twilight has become the next Harry Potter, though, I do not believe it will ever get to that magnitude of Potterness. Twilight already has many original Twilight spoofs that can easily be found on Youtube... Check it out if you don't believe me; some are rather funny. Now, Mattel, with it's Barbie franchise being one of the biggest, if not the biggest toy franchises ever, will attempt to Capitalize on the Twilight craze by introducing the Bella and Edward Barbie dolls. When describin these dolls, Mattel says this about the Edward doll: "At the heart of the phenomenal Twilight series, can true love can conquer all? Fans forever can embrace the epic romance of dazzling vampire Edward Cullen, ever intriquing in a buttoned wool-look jacket, blue and white striped shirt, jeans and black shoes.The Twilight novels, by author Stephenie Meyers, are New York Times Best Sellers and hugely popular movie series." I am not a big fan of the movies, books, or Robert Pattison but I know this is going to be a big seller because of the hype of the young teenage girls out there.
The next big thing, if not the biggest thing on the market this year will be the Zhu Zhu Pets. Zhu Zhu Pets™ drive around in little cars, zip up ramps and spin down slides, run in their hamster wheels, and get into all sorts of crazy situations. Their artificial intelligence even allows them to know what room of their hamster habitat they are in. They make toilet-flushing or teeth-brushing sounds when they enter the bathroom and sleeping noises and alarm-clock sounds when they go into their bedroom. And although Cepia turns out 220,000 Zhu Zhu Pets per day, they still cannot keep up with the deman as stores are continuosly sold out. Walmart.com is currently out of Zhu Zhu pets.
After the Zhu Zhu pets comes a slight staple of the toy biz with Dora the Explorer's "Dance Around Dora" doll. This toy is also currently out of stock at walmart.com but can be found on Ebay and Amazon.com. I am actually going to buy this toy for my daughter as she is a HUGE Dora fan, more so Boots than Dora but still a big, HUGE Dora fan. Dance Around Dora is an interactive doll inspired by Dora’s Crystal Kingdom adventure. She is dressed in crystals from head to toe. Girls can press Dora’s necklace to watch her do a programmed dance, or to dance along with her as she prompts you with instructions. The most magical part is how Dora walks and twirls on her tippy toes! Although this toy goes for around $50, I cannot say "no" to my 2 year old little girl when it comes to Dora and she says, "Please, Daddy."
Finally, Webkinz will do well for themselves this year as well. My neice received one of these toys last year and to me, they are a little freaky, but kids love them so they will definitely be a big hit. Webkinz pets are lovable plush pets that each come with a unique Secret Code. With it, you enter Webkinz World where you care for your virtual pet, answer trivia, earn KinzCash, and play the best kids games on the net! Again, for the 2nd year in a row, this will be a hot item on kids' wish lists.... Why can't they just go back to slinkies and yo-yos?Links:
Well... the big game has come and went... Not the way I expected but I am very happy about the outcome. I regretably picked Clemson in a 27-24 win; a pick that I am happy to get wrong. During my last post, I posted an offensive strategy that I thought would do good for this speedy Gamecock team and look what happens when that strategy is put into action in a game; South Carolina wins in its most convincing fashion all season. This Shotgun option offense that Spurrier threw at Clemson was the most brilliant thing he has done since coming back to NCAA College Football.
South Carolina manage just over 230 rushing yards in this option offense that looked very similar to what Florida is running under Urban Meyer. This gives me hope that Steve Spurrier has let go of his pride in the passing, "Fun N Gun," "Cock N Fire" offensive strategy and has decided to use the weapons he has in his stable of extremely fast running backs. Stephen Garcia is a scrambling quarterback and not a pocket passer, so, this offense suits him. The first play I saw Garcia run in this game, he lowered his shoulder and went up the middle for about 12 yards and I had visions of Tim Tebow from the past. Once South Carolina was able to establish this running game, they were able to pass efficiently when they needed to with Stephen Garcia going 11-22 with 165 yards passing, 3 Touchdowns and 1 interception. It was nice to see True Freshman Stephon Gilmore get into the game on offense and rush for 20 yards and pass for 39 yards. The defense was stout as usual with 3 turnovers. DeVonte Holloman grabbed an interception and the offense forced and recovered 2 fumbles with Gilmore scooping up one of those.
All in all it was a great game for the Gamecocks and it showed how truly dominant the SEC defenses really are as they shut Spiller down, Heisman Trophy hopeful Spiller that is, and the rest of the Clemson offense. On the day, the SEC was 3-0 against the ACC with Florida blowing out Florida State and Georgia beating Georgia Tech... Two mid level SEC teams beatin the best of the ACC in dominant fashion.http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/gamecenter/recap/NCAAF_20091128_CLEM@SC/south-carolina-slows-spiller-foils-no-15-clemson
Welcome... I will be posting daily blogs from Iraq on here. I hope you all enjoy this website and blogs. This first blog is about the upcoming Clemson vs. South Carolina game.
This game is a big game for S. Carolina as they need it to avoid another horrific late season slide. When the year began, I said if S. Carolina goes 6-6 it would be a successful season as they are very inexperienced and young, the youngest team along with Duke in all of College Football. Well, 6-6 is the minimum record these guys are going to have before the bowl game, which is a tremendous accomplishment.
The Gamecocks continue to have the same problems: 1) Offensive line play is horrible, but it has improved. 2) Turnovers have haunted them all year. Turnovers definitely cost the Gamecocks in Knoxville against UT. 3) Cannot stop the run between the tackles. Power runners have been able to smoke this interior Defensive line. Below, I will list things I think that USC can do to change the tide of things.
1. Implement a Florida-style of offense. I know Spurrier is a pass happy coach, but this has to change for the Gamecocks to be successful. They have talent that they are not utilizing properly. With the stable of running backs they have, coupled with the fact they have a running quarterback and a kid that is lightning fast that can play both offense and defense, they should easily be able to run an option style offense like Urban Meyer runs with Tim Tebow. Line up Garcia along with Stephon Gilmore and I prefer Jarvis Giles in the backfield. Run an option read to Giles or a spread option read to Giles or Gilmore. Option to Gilmore and let him throw if you really want to throw; he proved he could throw in high school as a quarterback. This kid is a stud and can flat out fly. If the pass isn't open, then he runs. Have Garcia run a play action to himself like Tebow and then hit the open receiver... There are so many options from the style of offense that Florida runs... You can even include the wide receivers in the option mix.
2. Find the biggest, fastest guys you can find to help out with the offensive line in this style of offense; it doesn't matter if these guys have ever played football in their lives because a good coach can coach them to play the position.
3. Use the same strategy in #2 when recruiting Defensive Tackles or just looking for Defensive Tackles. Using huge guys in the interior defensive line will allow them to fill more space to allow less space in the gaps. This will free up the Defensive Ends to rush freely as now the middle, between the tackle, power runners' lanes will be shut down and the speedy guys at LB and SPUR, along with the fast SS and Corners will be able to run this guy down quickly and put an end to these massive russhing yards against the Gamecocks. A good coach like Ellis Johnson could easily take a big dude, 300+ pounds and make him a stud on the defensive line... This method works... Look at Alabama's Terrence Cody... The guy is huge and slow; I don't think he has that much talent but he is big and is coached well and that is why people cannot run up the middle on Alabama and he is just one man in a 3-4 schemed defensive system.
4. If you are worried about implementing all of these new changes, DON'T! You cannot do any worse than you currently do by sliding late in the season. You have a great defense and have had a great defense the past several years and you continue to recruit great defensive players.
This is a recipe for success.... Trust me. Someone give Spurrier my email so we can chat.
As far as this Clemson/Carolina game, I hate to say it, but Clemson wins this game 27-24.