12.10.13

Every Rose Has Its Thorns:  How Michigan State Halted Ohio State

Lone Star:  Is This the End of Mack Brown?

Hello, Heisman:  Who Hoists the Trophy?

Snow Day:  The Super Bowl and a Blizzard

By Levi Dunagan

 

I want to thank you all for reading and I’m looking forward to some new things that will soon be added to the 4 Down Territory blog, so you should all stay tuned.  I know everyone is clamoring for BCS National Championship previews, bowl projections, and various other college football topics.  However, in the upcoming weeks there won’t be any games being played, at which point Sam and I will address those topics.

Congratulations to those of you who enjoyed watching your team win a conference championship this week.  Auburn and Baylor fans should send Christmas gifts to Michigan State and Oklahoma coaches, players, and staff members.

1st Down:  Michigan State halts Ohio State

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After racing to a 17-0 lead, Michigan State suddenly found itself trailing 24-17.  The Spartans rallied to win 34-24 over the previously undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes.  Michigan State was able to defeat the Buckeyes by stopping the Buckeyes on 3rd down on a consistent basis.

Ohio State was dismal on 3rd down and late in the game they were simply unable to make plays when they were of absolute necessity.  The Ohio State offense was effective running the football, but quarterback Braxton Miller was inaccurate due to poor offensive line play and dropped passes.

Michigan State’s tremendous defensive backs made throwing lanes tight for Miller and the Spartan defense was special when it mattered most.

Most impressively, Michigan State was able to gain back the momentum of the game in the 4th quarter against the Buckeyes.  This is quite impressive considering the crowd was overwhelmingly wearing red and the Big Ten Conference was (not so secretly) hoping for Ohio State to make to the BCS National Championship in Pasadena.

The Ohio State Buckeyes will have settle for the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida.

Michigan State, however, will be playing in the Rose Bowl versus Stanford.

2nd Down:  Mack Brown

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On a cold day in Waco, Texas the Mack Brown era might’ve come to a bitter end.

How far has Texas fallen?

The Longhorns were outplayed, outscored, and outmanned by a Baylor Bears team that historically has been the doormat of the conference.

If we took a poll right now to determine the best team in the state of Texas does anyone really think Texas would finish higher than third?

If we asked Texas boosters, alumni, and fans what direction their beloved Longhorns were trending what would they say?

The answers to these questions would prove to be alarming.  Texas is at best the third best team in the state.  Baylor and Texas A&M are better on the field.  Texas A&M will soon complete a massive stadium renovation project and boast a better venue than the Longhorns.  Both schools have produced Heisman Trophy winners and Texas A&M is assembling a superior recruiting class than Texas this year.

So we must ask the toughest question of all, can Mack Brown right the ship?

Texas possesses the resources to be an elite program and being the head coach at Texas is perhaps the greatest job in the sports.  The recruiting ground is fertile.  The vast alumni network ensures that fundraising is never a problem.  The Texas Longhorn name still means something.

However, right now, Texas is not an elite program.

I am not saying that Brown won’t be coaching in Austin next season.  I am not advocating that the program should replace one of the true gentlemen in the coaching profession.  I am simply saying that the program is not moving in a positive direction and that a difficult decision must be made to protect the Texas brand.

It appears as though the verdict may be coming sooner rather than later.  There are already numerous reports that Brown will announce his resignation by the end of this week.  However, Brown is recruiting in Florida and denies that he is stepping down any time soon.

3rd Down:  Who will win the Heisman Trophy

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If you haven’t accepted the very real possibility that Jameis Winston will run away with the Heisman trophy then you have not watched football in recent weeks.

As of today, placing a $150 bet on Winston to win the Heisman Trophy will only pay out a mere $1 (1/150 odds).

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will win the Heisman Trophy.

The other players who have been invited are as follows:  Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Auburn’s Tre Mason, NIU’s Jordan Lynch, Boston College’s Andre Williams, and Alabama’s AJ McCarron.

So who finishes second?

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Johnny Manziel is the defending Heisman winner.  He could simply vote himself first and hope to garner enough votes from other voters who are swayed by Drake’s newest album.  Though I will acknowledge that Winston is the most outstanding player this season, I still believe that Manziel is the best player in the country.  Manziel faced tremendous competition and injuries to his throwing hand and shoulder, which hurt his numbers late this season.

Tre Mason has been absolutely phenomenal lately.  He has led the Auburn rush attack and the Tigers will play in the national title.  His father is a member of the rap group, De La Soul.  De La Soul produced the hit song “Me, Myself, and I.”

AJ McCarron might have come close to locking up a second place finish if Alabama was playing for a national title for the third time in a row.  However, McCarron’s campaign was heavily (read exclusively) built upon the Crimson Tide being undefeated.  McCarron stills dates Katherine Webb so don’t feel too bad for him.

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Jordan Lynch has aged a tremendous amount in his time at Northern Illinois.  Seriously, the guy looks like he’s older than Drew Brees.

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The majority of people still don’t know who Andre Williams is.

4th Down:  Snow and the Super Bowl

In one of the most bizarre decisions in sports, the Super Bowl will be played outside this season.  The game will be played in New York.  The game will be played in February.

(Logically, that means that the game will be played outside, in New York, in February.)

Does anyone know what it’s like in New York in February?

It is freezing cold and there could be snow falling during the game!  Fans will be paying a lot of money to shiver in their seats while they try to regain the feeling in their hands with a $10 cup of hot cocoa.

The halftime show is always a popular part of the Super Bowl spectacle.  This year Bruno Mars will perform.  Is he going to be excited about singing in chilling temperatures in front of a crowd of snowmen?

Doubtful.

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