Monday, December 11, 2017

Touchdown Maker Baker

Congratulations to quarterback Baker Mayfield of the Oklahoma Sooners in winning the 2017 Heisman Trophy.

Mayfield is the sixth Sooner to win the award, and the first walk on player to ever win the award.

The voting was chalk this year, with Mayfield's victory was the third largest.

We do not have a Heisman vote, but if we had one, our top five was as follows:

1.    Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
2.    Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
3.    Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
4.    McKenzie Milton, QB, UCF
5.    Saquon Barkley,  RB, Penn State

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Ame Higher

For those who house a viewpoint outside a seemingly politically correct perceived norm, the risk of being bullied both verbally and physically by lynch mobs is increasingly dangerous, a trend that must be decisively thwarted.

We were alerted to this very sad story via former adult star Jenna Jameson via Twitter.

It would seem reasonable that unless a contract was executed to the contrary, an adult performer would seemingly have the right to work with other performers they choose and not be forced to work with performers they were uncomfortable with.

August Ames, a relatively new but highly successful performer in the industry, essentially tweeted that thought process, stating that she chose not work with male performers who "crossed over," performing in gay and straight scenes. My body, My rules" Ames stated.

On Twitter; however, her comments created a Twitterstorm. The Daly Mail reports that "Following the post, Ames was accused of being homophobic, as social media users clamored for her to issue an apology."

The Mirror reports "After the row she was hounded by online trolls and it seems her last tweet was in response to the hate she received. "F*** y'all," she tweeted."

Ames was thoroughly berated and bullies on social media, and it appeared to have culminated in her suicide as Ames was found dead just hours later at home in Camarillo, California.

While it should be noted that it is reported in The Mirror that Ames, whose real name was Mercedes Grabowski, had suffered from long-term depression, it is beyond reasonable to conclude that the cyber bullying she experienced was a catalyst to her suicide.

Cyber bullying is an action that that must be decisively thwarted. This type of activity is a form of assault and is unacceptable.
Anyone being bullied should seek immediate help, for we all have value with each of us being special in the eyes of God.

Nobody has the right to bully anybody, and while anybody is welcome to house differing views, you have every right to be exactly who you want to be.

If you are being bullied, or have issues with depression, please reach out to someone you are comfortable with to help, and if don't have anyone, governmental agencies and law enforcement can help.

Nobody should feel such pressure to take the path of the beautiful August Ames.

Adult movie star August Ames, 23, is found dead after being accused of homophobia

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Glorious Morning Frost

There was a very welcomed cool Frost across Cornhusker country this morning.

As former Husker DE Adam Carriker so eloquently tweeted:

Scott Frost, native son and former Husker star quarterback who after some years playing in the National Football League successfully climbed the coaching ladder to find himself winning the AAC Championship as head coach of UCF, was announced this afternoon as head football coach of his, and our, beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers.

The events that led to the hiring of Frost were plentiful, but as the landscape is reviewed, desperately needed. Nebraska has not won a championship of any kind since 1999. While there have some good times (some thought at one point Bo Pelini, who won at least 9 games every season he coached, was going to take there but faltered on reaching the elite), the program has been in a declining state since the legendary Tom Osborne retired.

With Bo Pelini fired, mostly for an adversarial relationship with superiors along with sideline behavior unbecoming someone representing Nebraska, Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst went on his own and hired Mike Riley from Oregon State, a very nice man with a long and varied coaching record who represented the antithesis of Pelini.

Most in Husker Nation were against at the hire; I was not. I thought, given his experience, he would be able to excel with the resources Nebraska would give him, as he had achieved with so much less. I was quite wrong in my assessment of the hiring of Mike Riley.

Riley is a good man, and he represented Nebraska with dignity. Much of his command off the field was quite good, and recruiting, the mother's milk of a successful football program, was steadily ascending. However, the product on the field was poor. The first of Riley's three seasons were littered with mind boggling and painful last second losses, but culminated with perhaps the best game, a victory over UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl which seemed to give indication of what could be. A 9-4 season in 2016 seemed decent on the surface, but the victories were close wins over weak teams, and other than falling to Wisconsin in a close one, the Big Red was not competitive against other top teams, with big losses to Iowa and Tennessee to close out the season.

One could argue the program was ascending, but in early 2017 the case being made on that point came crashing to reality in a stunning home loss to Northern Illinois. Nobody would state it publicly, but unless Nebraska ran the table, the Mike Riley tenure would end.

Then came news that Chancellor Ronnie Green and Hank Bounds had decided that Nebraska would part company with AD Eichorst. Husker Nation was enthusiastic about this appropriate development. Since Eichorst was fired, and he was the one who hired Riley, it seemed they were somewhat joined at the hip, and with Eichorst gone, Riley would soon follow.

In short order, Green announced Nebraska had hired Bill Moos from Washington State, and formerly of Oregon, as new Athletic Director. Moos signaled that he would evaluate the status of the football program and would not make any changes until the season was over.

Meanwhile, the records were being set with the football program; records of futility. Nebraska was widely embarrassed, again, in a home loss to Ohio State. A come from behind victory at Purdue masked 58 minutes of ineffectiveness. Then, Nebraska was listless at Minnesota and got scorched for over 50 points in defeat (Minnesota was shut out in their next two games).  Penn State clobbered the Huskers and Iowa knocked Nebraska out in a humiliating home loss to close the season, as this group finishes 4-8 and ineligible for a bowl contest. In the last three games, each of Nebraska's opponents scored over 50 points, something that had not happened since the era of World War II.


Moos then promptly dismissed Riley and the staff, save Trent Bray. This move shocked absolutely nobody.

As the season was painfully drawing to a close, we learned of many areas of concern within the program. The lack of toughness and want to on the field was obvious, but behind the scenes the most significant of the issues was a lack of leadership, with differing factions between various levels of the program.  Along with the play on the field, this was not an environment which set a foundation for success. Quite the contrary.

A clean slate was required, one which fumigated the acceptance of losing.  Leadership was needed in the form of responsibility, accountability and disciple; the definition of the known goals and objectives and prices that need to be paid to reach the desired levels of achievement.

A return to the way Nebraska used to handle its business.

When Moos arrived, he did not sit behind a desk. He met the people; via social media, sports talk shows, around campus and at the games. He reached out to boosters and fans alike, and this group smothered in frustration gave him an earful.

They told him what to do, but Moos already knew what to do; hire a great football coach who understood what the fabric of Nebraska football was and could restore the order.

As it turned out, the most sought after and successful young football coach in the country was one of our own. It was Scott Frost, who knew exactly the characteristics of Nebraska, the state and the football program.

Moos seems a powerful man quite comfortable in his own skin, but he no doubt realized that although every Husker from Orlando to Spokane wanted him to hire Frost, Frost was indeed the top candidate for any football program in need of new direction. For Nebraska, Frost was the only candidate.

Scott Frost had Tom Osborne down to speak to his Central Florida boosters and team before the season in August. I attended the events, and outside of hearing Osborne speak, had a great time reminiscing about the glory days of Husker football with former linemen Bill Bobbora and Greg Austin. Austin, or Coach G, who is the offensive line coach for Frost at UCF,  is reportedly joining Frost at Nebraska, and this is great news as the offensive line play was among the areas on the field that were most disappointing.

While the events were quite enjoyable, one thing stood out to be sure, and that was how much Tom Osborne meant to Scott Frost.

Walking out to our trucks after an evening event, Frost and I discussed how meaningful it was for him to quarterback Nebraska to the win over Tennessee in the Orange Bowl giving the Huskers the 1997 National Title, which turned out the be the last game Osborne would ever coach.  Frost said it was just such an honor for him to have helped get that victory for his beloved coach.

I am not sure if Osborne and Frost discussed anything about Frost potentially coming home at these events, but given the vibe I observed, I had zero doubt Frost would return to Lincoln if called upon.

Nebraska called, and although it was no doubt a difficult decision, Frost chose to come home.

Make no mistake. Frost genuinely loves his team at Central Florida, and the fine people of this wonderful university. Orlando is not called The City Beautiful for nothing; Frost and his family adore the area.

But, Nebraska is home. That red "N" means so much to Nebraskans, and an opportunity to restore this proud program to its rightful level among the nations elite that those in Husker Nation can be proud of once again is a task Frost could not turn away from, and did not.

I have no doubt Frost will accomplish his goals. Spend five minutes with this man, and you will know that he is a principled and caring individual, a humble but intoxicating presence that while demanding the best from those around him, understands that hard work and integrity that take individuals, and teammates, a long way.

Oh, and Frost likes to have a lot of fun along the way.

The announcement of Scott Frost as head coach of the Cornhuskers, with Tom Osborne standing by along with over 100 former players who showed up, to not only congratulate Frost, but to offer assistance, brought allergic reactions to the eyes of hundred of thousands (105,000 on to view presser) Husker faithful across the nation, myself gleefully included.

It was a glorious morning of Frost on the ground in Lincoln today.

Welcome home Coach Frost!  We are thrilled beyond words to have you back home with us.

Good Luck and Go Big Red!

The Color & Pageantry Top 25

College Football

End of Regular Season Top 25

1.      Clemson, 12-1, 1
2.      Georgia, 12-1, 5
3.      Oklahoma, 12-1, 3
4.      Alabama, 11-1, 6
5.      Ohio State, 11-2, 8
6.      Auburn, 10-3, 2
7.      UCF, 12-0, 9
8.      Southern Cal, 11-2, 10
9.      Wisconsin, 11-1, 4
10.    Miami, 10-2, 7    
11.    Penn State, 10-2, 11
12.    Washington, 10-2, 14
13.    Stanford, 10-3, 13
14.    Louisiana State, 9-3, 15
15.    Notre Dame, 9-3, 16
16.    Memphis, 10-2, 17
17.    Texas Christian, 10-3, 12
18.    Michigan State, 9-3, 18
19.    Oklahoma State, 9-3, 19
20.    South Florida, 9-2, 20
21.    Washington State, 9-3, 21
22.    Northwestern, 9-3, 22
23.    Virginia Tech, 9-3, 23
24.    North Carolina State, 8-4, 24
25.    Louisville, 8-4, 25

LOOKING IN: Louisville, Texas A&M, Michigan, Boston College, Mississippi State, West Virginia, Kansas State, Houston, Missouri, Iowa State, San Diego State, Iowa, Troy, Oregon, South Carolina, Boise State and Fresno State.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Color & Pageantry Top 25

College Football

Top 25

1.     Clemson, 11-1, 3
2.     Auburn, 10-2, 6
3.     Oklahoma, 11-1, 4
4.     Wisconsin, 12-0, 5
5.     Georgia, 11-1, 7
6.     Alabama, 11-1, 1
7.     Miami, 10-1, 2
8.     Ohio State, 10-2, 8
9.     UCF, 11-0, 10
10.   Southern Cal, 10-2, 11
11.   Penn State, 10-2, 12
12.   Texas Christian, 10-2, 13
13.   Stanford, 9-3, 15
14.   Washington, 10-2, 19
15.   Louisiana State, 9-3, 16
16.   Notre Dame, 9-3, 9
17.   Memphis, 10-1, 18
18.   Michigan State, 9-3, 17
19.   Oklahoma State, 9-3 21
20.   South Florida, 9-2, 20
21.   Washington State, 9-3, 14
22.   Northwestern, 9-3, 24
23.   Virginia Tech, 9-3, NR
24.   North Carolina State, 8-4, NR
25.   Louisville, 8-4, NR

OUT:  Mississippi State, (21), Iowa State (23), South Carolina (25)

LOOKING IN: Texas A&M, Michigan, Boston College, Mississippi State, West Virginia, Kansas State, Houston, Missouri, Iowa State, San Diego State, Iowa, Troy, Oregon, South Carolina and Fresno State.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Color & Pageantry Top 25

College Football

Top 25

1.     Alabama, 11-0, 1
2.     Miami, 10-0, 2
3.     Clemson, 10-1, 3
4.     Oklahoma, 10-1, 4
5.     Wisconsin 11-0, 5
6.     Auburn, 9-2, 6
7.     Georgia, 10-1, 7
8.     Ohio State, 9-2, 8
9.     Notre Dame, 9-2, 9
10.   Central Florida, 10-0, 11
11.   Southern Cal, 10-2, 12
12.   Penn State, 9-2, 13
13.   Texas Christian, 9-2, 14
14.   Washington State, 9-2, 15
15.   Stanford, 8-3, 16
16.   Louisiana State, 8-3, 17
17.   Mississippi State, 8-3, 20
18.   Memphis, 9-1, 19
19.   Washington, 9-2, 18
20.   South Florida, 9-1, 22
21.   Oklahoma State, 8-3 10
22.   Michigan State, 8-3 NR
23.   Iowa State, 7-4, 25
24.   Northwestern, 8-3, NR
25.   South Carolina, 8-3 NR

OUT: Michigan (21), West Virginia (23) and North Carolina State (24)

LOOKING IN: Michigan, Boise State, Texas A&M, Wake Forest, North Carolina State, Louisville, Missouri, Kansas State, Boston College, West Virginia and Virginia.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Color & Pageantry Top 25

College Football

Top 25

1.     Alabama, 10-0, 1
2.     Miami, 9-0, 5
3.     Clemson, 9-1, 4
4.     Oklahoma, 9-1, 6
5.     Wisconsin, 10-0, 8
6.     Auburn, 8-2, 10
7.     Georgia, 9-1, 2
8.     Ohio State, 8-2, 16
9.     Notre Dame, 8-2, 3
10.   Oklahoma State, 8-2, 11
11.   Central Florida, 9-0, 13
12    Southern Cal, 9-2, 20
13    Penn State, 8-2, 17
14.   Texas Christian, 8-2, 9
15.   Washington State, 9-2, 18
16.   Stanford, 7-3, NR
17.   Louisiana State, 7-3, 20
18.   Washington, 8-2, 7
19.   Memphis, 8-1, 19
20.   Mississippi State, 7-3, 24
21.   Michigan, 8-2, NR
22.   South Florida, 8-1, 23
23.   West Virginia, 7-3, 22
24.   North Carolina State, 7-3, NR
25.   Iowa State, 6-4, 25

OUT: Virginia Tech (17), Michigan State (19) and Iowa (21)

LOOKING IN:  Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Northwestern, Iowa, Arizona, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Wake Forest and Boise State

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Color & Pageantry Top 25

College Football

Top 25

1.     Alabama, 9-0, 1
2.     Georgia, 9-0, 2
3.     Notre Dame, 8-1, 4
4.     Clemson, 8-1, 5
5.     Miami, 8-0, 8
6.     Oklahoma, 8-1, 9
7.     Washington, 8-1, 10
8.     Wisconsin, 9-0, 7
9.     Texas Christian, 8-1, 19
10.   Auburn, 7-2, 15
12.   Oklahoma State, 7-2, 12
13.   Virginia Tech, 7-2, 11
13.   UCF, 8-0, 13
14.   Michigan State, 7-2, NR
15.   Southern Cal, 8-2, 17
16.   Ohio State, 7-2, 3
17.   Penn State, 7-2, 6
18.   Washington State, 8-2, 25
19.   Memphis, 8-1, 20
20.   Louisiana State, 6-3, 14
21.   Iowa, 6-3, NR
22.   West Virginia, 6-3, NR
23.   South Florida, 8-1, NR
24.   Mississippi State, 7-2, 23
25.   Iowa State, 6-3, 18

OUT: Stanford (16), Arizona (21), North Carolina State (22) and South Carolina (24)

LOOKING IN:  Stanford, North Carolina State, Arizona, South Carolina, Michigan, Northwestern, Houston and San Diego State.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Halloween To Haunt Democrats

Gridiron Graveyard

It has been an extremely painful college football season this season, unlike any in my lifetime.

From the team of my heritage and foundation, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and my alma mater, the Florida State Seminoles, unprecedented futility and ineptitude has stricken the once powerful pair.

Let's start with Nebraska.

The 'Huskers, with a storied history placed among the elite of the game (top five in all time victories), have slipped since the dominance of the mid 90's under Tom Osborne where they won three National Championships going on a 60-4 run.

Since Osborne hand picked Frank Solich to replace him (who was ushered out the door by an idiotic athletic director), the Huskers have basically tread water since 2000, with no conference titles. Three coaches have had their ups and downs, including the current coach Mike Riley.

I was excited, perhaps soaked with bias, when Riley was hired. I had always appreciated him from afar and was intrigued at what he could do with the resources Nebraska could provide.

Riley made missteps in putting together his original staff, which he has attempted over his tenure to address. However, it appears the athletic department and Riley had some miscommunication going on which did not allow everyone to act as one. This has hampered the ascension of the program.

After a brutal start of several last second close losses, year one gave hope as Nebraska played it's best game of the season taking out UCLA in a California bowl game. Year two saw Nebraska start 7-0 with a top ten ranking, but even a casual observer could see they were not very good. They collapsed, with several late lopsided losses to finish 9-4.

Riley had been recruiting well, and it was thought 2017 would start slow but begin to emerge with a combination of young talent assisting the veterans as the Big Red built for the future.

None of that has occurred, and the one thing that would be unacceptable, a home loss to a game considered won before kickoff, happened as Northern Illinois beat a seemingly uninspired Nebraska team.

All season, and for much of the tenure of Riley one could say, Nebraska has always play uninspired. All over the field, there appear a lack of "want to." Sometimes, it seems losing is not all that painful.

The coaching staff has made mistakes a plenty. We always refer to the horrendous job OC Danny Langsdorf did in an inexplicable loss at Illinois in year one, relentlessly throwing the ball into a stiff wind with a precarious lead, only to loss at the end. I have never thought he was any good.

The offensive line, is, well, offensive. High recruits regress in ability. The same people play, even if they are failing to do the job. Receivers drop passes, and who knows what the criteria for the depth chart at running back is. Observers of the program are seeking promising alternate players they know of on the side of milk cartons.

Defensively, people are shifting positions. One guy plays one week, goes on sabbatical only to show up out of nowhere weeks later. Areas of strength turn concerning. A pass rush is invisible. There is no fire, and teams have ridiculously been able to push around our defense when they need to.

Riley lost me after Northern Illinois, but had he gotten it done against Wisconsin I could have understood the spot of those backing him, what with the outstanding recruiting class that "appeared" on it's way.  But, Nebraska allowed Wisconsin to break it's will in a devastating display at Memorial Stadium.

Thankfully, AD Shaun Eichorst was terminated, and Bill Moos has taken over.

Moos observed Nebraska get smashed at home by a strong Ohio State team, which was demoralizing for those who consider themselves Cornhuskers.  It was brutal.

Moos appears to have already reached a decision that Riley will not return. It is the right decision.

With that assumed by most of Big Red nation, most have checked out on Nebraska 2017. That is understandable, but unfortunate. We are fans always, not just when wins are pilling up.

Fans are looking to the future, and that future includes a former Big Red quarterback named Scott Frost. Lighting the world on fire at UCF, Frost is the hottest name for those who are seeking a coach, most notably, the University of Florida.

Mike Riley is a very well respected individual and good football coach, but at 64, he may be inching toward retirement. Rather than think in the terms of dismissing Riley for poor performance, I would prefer to think of Nebraska as seizing the opportunity to bring home one of us, who has all the tools and acumen to perhaps be a one time in a generation coach who could instantly ignite a beaten down fan base.

Yes, it would appear recruiting could take a hit, especially in California where Riley was flat doing work, but the fact remains Nebraska is 4-4 and fighting for a bowl game, irrelevant on the national landscape.

As the new AD Bill Moos accurately stated, that is not where Nebraska belongs.

Come late November, Nebraskans will hope to look outside and find the landscape covered with FROST!

Now let us visit on the debacle that is taking place in Tallahassee, where Florida State, fresh of the 2013 National Championship, is laying an egg of gargantuan proportions.

Florida State, which started the year ranked third in the Associated Press, faced top ranked Alabama in the opener.  It was to be an epic game, with the loser not considered out of any national championship consideration. Florida State was in the game, got hosed by the refs before the half, and then mentally got loose. Alabama makes teams pay dearly for losing focus, and FSU lost the game 24-7.

But much more importantly, late in game the Seminoles lost quarterback Deondre Francois for the season due to a knee injury. And the season has gone swirling downward ever since.

Due to a questionable lack of depth at the quarterback position, Jimbo Fisher was forced to promote true freshman James Blackman to the position. Blackman has a bright future, and may win the job outright in 2018, but he was not ready to guide the Seminoles in 2017.

But, he is, and in all honesty, while he has made his share of true freshman mistakes, the young man is not the problem.  What is the problem is a lack of mental focus and overall leadership, both from the players and the assistant coaches.

The offensive line played fairly well against Alabama, but quickly regressed and has been a significant issue throughout the year. Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick (out injured now but perhaps coming back) have done well at running back, but he receiving core lacks quality depth, and while there have been moments, lacks consistency and has been unable to rise up to help the young quarterback.

Defensively, it is most puzzling. The line, who appear to house quality starters and depth, is stout one play and pushed around the next. Boston College ran it down FSU's throat, so obviously, these guys are not giving it 100% every play. The ends excel at rushing the passer, and are highly thought of. But, they crash down on running plays, failing often to close the corner hence allowing big plays around the perimeter. The linebacker play is erratic. Matthew Thomas is all over the field making big plays, but then we look up and see a back bursting through the middle for a big gain. It is very rare to see somebody fill a hole with some authority, making the observing eye question the "want to." We think Derwin James is not the player he was prior to his injury. When you are in his space, he will destroy you, but he is not making the distance plays coming from his spot to disrupt pass attempts of loose runners. The other safeties have disappointed, but the biggest disappointment has been All America corner Tavarus McFadden. He dances around if he defends a play well (or the opposing receiver drops the ball), but his lack of focus in getting beat cost us the game against Miami. He has been just awful at returning punts as well, and the special teams has not been good at all, really hurting the 'Noles against Alabama.

The issue is not talent, but rather between the ears, which is most disappointing. It is shocking Coach  Fisher has not been able to right this ship, and now, a record 35 year string of bowl appearances is in dire jeopardy. Of course, if you get beat at Boston College 35-3, you don't really deserve to attend a bowl game.

Sadly, it does not appear enough players on the field are as concerned about these issues as I am, which is beyond concerning.  And, the fans see it, with many choosing to remain amid the flowing beers at Madison Social then making their way into the scorching heat of these noon games teams who are 2-5 are forced to play.

Assistant coaches will be shown the door after this dismal campaign, and if Jimbo Fisher is not careful, he may be joining them. Fisher has earned the right to get a chance to fix it, but I can absolutely assure you a losing record without a bowl bid is not going to be tolerated at Florida State, particularly considering the team has more talent than almost every team they play.

We are watching who is going through the motions and who is out there giving it all with Seminole pride! With Syracuse in town for parents weekend, this would not be a good time to embarrass yourself. In fact, it is time to play Seminole football, beginning the road to reestablishing owning DOAK and restoring our rightful spot among the elite of the college football landscape.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Lock Her Up!

Enough is enough!

The Democrats have pulled off the ultimate deception of projection ever seen.

It turns out the whole Russian thing has nothing to do with Donald Trump, but everything to do with Democrats engaging in the corrupt and illegal activity they accuse Trump of doing.

If we remain a nation of laws, given these latest developments, several people need to be held accountable, which would include many being locked up.

Judge Jeanine holds nothing back, and I agree with her without reservation:

The Color & Pageantry Top 25

College Football

Top 25

1.     Alabama, 8-0, 1
2.     Georgia, 8-0, 2
3.     Ohio State, 7-1, 8
4.     Notre Dame, 7-1, 9
5.     Clemson, 7-1, 6
6.     Penn State, 7-1, 3
7.     Wisconsin, 8-0, 5
8.     Miami, 7-0, 7
9.     Oklahoma, 7-1, 10
10.   Washington, 7-1, 11
11.   Virginia Tech, 7-1, 13
12.   Oklahoma State, 7-1, 14
13.   UCF, 7-0,  15
14.   Louisiana State, 6-2, 19
15.   Auburn, 6-2, 20
16.   Stanford, 6-2, 18
17.   Southern Cal, 7-2, 21
18.   Iowa State, 6-2, NR
19.   Texas Christian, 7-2, 4
20.   Memphis, 7-1, 25
21.   Arizona, 6-2, NR
22.   North Carolina State, 6-2, 12
23.   Mississippi State, 6-2, NR
24.   South Carolina, 6-2, NR
25.   Washington State, 7-2, 22

OUT: South Florida, (16), Michigan State (17) West Virginia (23) and Texas A&M (24)

NEXT: West Virginia, Michigan State, Michigan, South Florida, Wake Forest, Houston,  Kentucky, Northwestern, Texas A&M, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Iowa and Arizona State.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Color & Pageantry Top 25

College Football

Top 25

1.     Alabama, 8-0, 1
2.     Georgia, 7-0, 2
3.     Penn State, 7-0, 3
4.     Texas Christian, 7-0, 4
5.     Wisconsin, 7-0, 5
6.     Clemson, 6-1, 6
7.     Miami, 6-0, 7
8.     Ohio State, 6-1, 8
9.     Notre Dame, 6-1, 15
10.   Oklahoma, 6-1, 9
11.   Washington, 6-1, 10
12.   North Carolina State, 6-1, 13
13.   Virginia Tech, 6-1, 14
14.   Oklahoma State, 6-1, 12
15.   UCF, 6-0, 17
16.   South Florida, 7-0, 17
17.   Michigan State, 6-1, 16
18.   Stanford, 5-1, 19
19.   Louisiana State, 6-2, NR
20.   Auburn, 6-2, 20
21.   Southern Cal, 6-2, 11
22.   Washington State, 7-1, 22
23.   West Virginia, 5-2, 23
24.   Texas A&M, 5-2, 25
25.   Memphis, 6-1, NR

OUT: Michigan (21) and South Carolina (24).

IN CONTENTION: Iowa State, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Mississippi State, San Diego State, Arizona and Arizona State

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Shock Talk

"They Would Like Me Dead"

If Bill Browder is the witness Victoria Toensing is representing, there is the potential that the testimony of Bill Browder could blow wide open the assortment of illegalities involving the Clinton's and the Russian uranium deal, potentially sending shock waves across the political landscape of America.

Stay tuned, but in the meantime, please listen to this very informative interview Browder recently had with Glenn Beck.

We think, like us, you will find Browder most credible.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Did People Know Prior to Attack?

What was going on?

Is it possible that some people knew about this attack prior to it happening?

Dear God!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Color & Pageantry Top 25

College Football

Top 25.

1.     Alabama, 7-0, 1
2.     Georgia, 7-0, 4
3.     Penn State, 7-0, 5
4.     Texas Christian, 6-0, 8
5.     Wisconsin, 6-0, 7
6.     Clemson, 6-1, 2
7.     Miami, 5-0, 9
8.     Ohio State, 6-1, 12
9.     Oklahoma, 5-1, 11
10.   Washington, 6-1, 3
11.   Southern Cal, 6-1, 14
12.   Oklahoma State, 5-1, 15
13.   North Carolina State, 6-1, 17
14.   Virginia Tech, 5-1, 13
15.   Notre Dame, 5-1, 16
16.   Michigan State, 5-1, 18
17.   UCF, 5-0, 20
18.   South Florida, 5-0, 19
19.   Stanford, 5-2, 23
20.   Auburn, 5-2, 6
21.   Michigan, 5-1, 21
22.   Washington State, 6-1, 10
23.   West Virginia, 4-2, NR
24.   South Carolina, 5-2, NR
25.   Texas A&M, 5-2, NR

OUT: San Diego State (22), Louisville (24) and Georgia Tech (25).

VOTES: Louisiana State, Utah, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Florida, Kentucky, Iowa, Texas, Purdue, San Diego State, Virginia, Mississippi State, Texas Tech, Memphis, California and Wake Forest.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Good On You Gainesville

Tom Petty tribute at Florida Field

Gator Nation Salutes Rocker Tom Petty

For more college football, visit our Color & Pageantry page on Facebook!

The Color & Pageantry Top 25

College Football

Top 25

1.     Alabama, 6-0, 1
2.     Clemson, 6-0, 2
3.     Washington, 6-0, 3
4.     Georgia, 6-0, 5
5.     Penn State, 6-0, 4
6.     Auburn, 5-1, 7
7.     Wisconsin, 5-0, 13
8.     Texas Christian, 5-0, 9
9.     Miami, 4-0, 11
10.   Washington State, 6-0, 12
11.   Oklahoma, 4-1, 6
12.   Ohio State, 5-1, 10
13.   Virginia Tech, 5-1, 14
14.    Southern Cal, 5-1, 15
15.    Oklahoma State, 4-1, 17
16.    Notre Dame, 5-1, 18
17.    North Carolina State, 5-1, 23
18.    Michigan State, 4-1, NR
19.    South Florida, 4-0, 19
20.    UCF, 4-0, 24
21.    Michigan, 4-1, 8
22.    San Diego State, 6-0, 21
23.    Stanford, 4-2, NR
24.    Louisville, 4-2, 16
25.    Georgia Tech, 4-1, NR

OUT: Florida (20) Utah (21) and Florida State (25)

VOTES: West Virginia, Florida State, Navy, Texas A&M, Purdue, Texas Tech, Florida, Texas,  Iowa, South Carolina, Troy, LSU and Wake Forest.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

We Got Lucky To Have Tom Petty

Man, it has been a really sad year with respect to titans of the music world.

In recent months, we have lost David Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey, Glen Campbell and now Florida's own Tom Petty.

It was this weekend, with the nation reeling from the evil terrorist act in Las Vegas, we learned of the passing of Petty.  Given the news, his loss was not given proper credence.

The entire story of the rise of Tom Petty is astounding.  The music he gave us was wide ranging, soulful and uplifting.  Most of the tunes he wrote and remade were sing along songs, which helped solidify the close relationship he had with his legions of fans.

Of those mentioned above who we have lost, I had occasion to see my favorites among them, Campbell, Frey and Petty, live.

The body of work of Tom Petty is lengthy, but my three favorite TP & The Heartbreakers tunes are as Petty often put it; MACH 1 Heartbreakers. Here they are:

1.  She's A Woman in Love (It's Not Me)
2.  You Got Lucky

3.  American Girl


Pure Evil


Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Color & Pageantry Top 25

College Football

Top 25

1.       Alabama, 5-0, 1
2.       Clemson, 5-0, 2
3.       Washington, 5-0, 3
4.       Penn State, 5-0, 4
5.       Georgia, 5-0, 7
6.       Oklahoma, 4-0, 6
7.      Auburn, 4-1, 8
8.      Michigan, 4-0, 8
9.      Texas Christian, 4-0, 9
10.    Ohio State, 4-1, 11
11.    Miami, 3-0, 14
12.    Washington State, 5-0, 16
13.    Wisconsin, 4-0, 13
14.    Virginia Tech, 4-1, 12
15.    Southern California, 4-1, 5
16.    Louisville, 4-1, 15
17.    Oklahoma State, 4-1, 17
18.    Notre Dame, 4-1, 18
19.    South Florida, 5-0, 19
20.    Florida, 3-1, 20
21.    Utah, 4-0, 20
22.    San Diego State, 5-0, 22
23.    North Carolina State, 4-1, 24
24.    UCF, 3-0, NR
25.    Florida State, 1-2, 25

OUT: Mississippi State (23)

VOTES: West Virginia, Stanford, Oregon, Kansas State, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, Purdue and Maryland.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Color & Pageantry Top 25

College Football

Top 25

1.      Alabama, 4-0, 1
2.      Clemson, 4-0, 2
3.      Washington, 4-0, 3
4.      Penn State, 4-0, 5
5.      Southern Cal, 4-0, 7
6.      Oklahoma, 4-0, 4
7.      Georgia, 4-0, 13
8.      Auburn, 3-1, 9
9.      Michigan, 4-0, 10
10.    Texas Christian, 4-0, 18
11.    Ohio State, 3-1, 11
12.    Virginia Tech, 4-0, 16
13.    Wisconsin, 4-0, 14
14.    Miami, 2-0, 12
15.    Louisville, 3-1, 19
16.    Washington State, 4-0, 21
17.    Oklahoma State, 3-1, 6
18.    Notre Dame, 3-1, 23
19.    South Florida, 4-0, 24
20.    Florida, 3-1, 20
21.    Utah, 4-0, NR
22.    San Diego State,  4-0, 22
23.    Mississippi State, 3-1, 16
24.    North Carolina State, 3-1, NR
25.    Florida State, 0-2, 8

OUT: Oregon (17) and Maryland (25).


Iowa, Central Florida, Duke, West Virginia, Louisiana State, Texas Tech, Memphis, Stanford, Purdue, Texas, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Tennessee and Colorado.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Keys Wrecked But Spirit Lives on to Rebuild

It will be a long road ahead for our friends and neighbors in the beautiful Florida Keys! Among the spots severely damaged was one of my favorites; the Tiki Bar at Holiday Isle.

The Sun Sentinel took a look at many of the famous destinations in the Florida Keys and how they survived, if they did, Hurricane Irma.

Before and after Hurricane Irma: What happened to our favorite Florida Keys landmarks?

The Florida Keys lay in wreckage, but the spirit found among those who call the treasure home will power the resolve to rebuild bigger and better than ever!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Color & Pageantry Top 25

College Football

Top 25

1.      Alabama, 3-0, 1
2.      Clemson, 3-0, 4
3.      Washington, 3-0, 2
4.      Oklahoma, 3-0, 5
5.      Penn State, 3-0, 6
6.      Oklahoma State, 3-0, 7
7.      Southern California, 3-0, 3
8.      Florida State, 0-1, 9
9.      Auburn, 2-1, 10
10.    Michigan, 3-0, 11
11.    Ohio State, 2-1, 12
12.    Miami, 1-0, 13
13.    Georgia, 3-0, 14
14.    Wisconsin, 3-0, 15
15.    Virginia Tech, 3-0, 16
16.    Mississippi State, 3-0, NR
17.    Oregon, 3-0, 20
18.    Texas Christian, 3-0, 21
19.    Louisville, 2-1, 17
20.    Florida, 1-1, NR
21.    Washington State, 3-0, 22
22.    San Diego State, 3-0, NR
23.    Notre Dame, 2-1, 23
24.    South Florida, 3-0, 24
25.    Maryland, 3-0, NR

OUT: Louisiana State (8), Kansas State (18), Stanford (19) and Tennessee (25)

VOTES: Louisiana State, Colorado, Texas, Memphis, Utah, West Virginia, Iowa, Kentucky, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Kansas State, Wake Forest, California, North Carolina State, Purdue, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Boise State.

Beyond the debacle in Lincoln, Nebraska, the heat has been turned on immediately in Baton Rouge as the Tigers went to StarkVegas, looked listless and got clocked by Mississippi State 37-7. Wow!

No Excuses At Nebraska


A stunning, intolerable and inexcusable step backward took place at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, as Nebraska fell to Northern Illinois 21-17.

We can discuss thoroughly the reasons why and how this could have happened, but the end result of this mind boggling loss is that folks in charge of various aspects of the program need to be fired. Period.

We have been a longtime fan of Mike Riley. It appears that strides were being made, and Riley has to get kudos for making changes to his staff (each seemingly a strong upgrade) every year he has been at Nebraska.  More changes are needed.

A central reason for the debacle on Saturday was the inability of Nebraska to line up and run the football. With much of the line returning, there is no pop, no toughness and no firing off the ball. Nebraska ran for approximately 3 yards per carry, which is unacceptable for any team, much less at Nebraska. Coach Mike Cavanaugh can no longer be given the benefit of the doubt and must be terminated, which should happen today as time is out. The lineman on the field do not appear to be be being held accountable. If they are not getting it done, lets find someone who can. I wondered if the toughness I hear about in Boe Wilson might have been an option on Saturday, if for nothing else but to send a message. Given the line cannot run block, you might think they could protect the passer, but they are woeful at that as well as Tanner Lee has been under extreme duress.

Tanner Lee
Photo/Lincoln Journal Star
Under heat, Lee has not performed well. On Saturday, he tossed two pick sixes to UNI, difficult for any team to overcome.  Much of the fan base loved Tommy Armstrong at signal caller, but cringed as he had a pension for throwing to the other team. At least, for the most part, he balanced it with outstanding plays. Very few of those happening now.

When Lee does fire it in there, the much ballyhooed receiving core continues to drop balls.  An interception at Oregon, another pick six, bounced off the face mask of Stanley Morgan.  Everyone out there has had critical drops, which extends it to a mental issues which fall at the hands of the staff.

The play calling is also quite suspect. I have never bought into Danny Langsdorf at offensive coordinator, and have not seen the high level aptitude many around the program have voiced. When is the last time the Big Red got up on someone pulling away and hanging half a hundred?  There is not sense of offensive urgency, and the lack of attack arsenal places the team in situations they have no business being involved in. The famous game at Illinois a few years back remains the classic example. Hard to dump Langsdorf right now, but maybe Riley can call plays?

And Langsdorf appears to have some doghouse, perhaps considered an accessory unit. I think running back Devine Ozigbo is on house arrest in there. Ozigbo is a fiery competitor, but he watches; while we get beat.

The defense is showing signs, but when they needed a stop yesterday, they could not get one.  DC Bob Diaco spoke of his 3-4 as reactionary, as reported yesterday by Howard Griffith of BTN, not attacking. That mindset is a mistake, but Diaco did attack some late in the game.

Recruiting seems to be going well, much superior to recent years back. But when these guys get on the field, nobody is stepping up to showcase their talents. Where was the fire in someone yesterday. Did you see an offensive lineman offended that his quarterback was planted six inches deep in the turf? Hell, I was offended at my bar stool. Who on the receiving core appeared torques at the passes hitting the turf? Catch the damn ball! One wonders if the troubling result yesterday will negatively impacting a decent recruiting class that is, or was, shaping up. Nebraska certainly needs the help.

I remember hearing Bill Callahan being interviewed on the Husker Radio Network after Nebraska escaped Ball State a decade or so ago. Callahan was thrilled at the statistical prowess of his passing attack on the day, seemingly unaware that 30 years of Nebraska history almost melted away in the sun with another Nate Davis pass under his watch.

Callahan did not care. Does Riley? Does anybody out there on the gridiron? Don't they feel a responsibility to the fans, the higher standards set by the former players, or themselves?

Does AD Shawn Eichorst care? His tenure has been dismal. All programs are not where they need to be, with many appearing to be slipping. Eichorst is tied to Riley, so it seems Riley cannot stay if Eichorst is removed. But, Eichorst needs to be removed, and if that means Riley has to go as well, so be it.

I like Mike Riley, and have supported his hire. However, what happened Saturday is entirely unacceptable. Firing Riley could really negatively affect recruiting, but there are no more exits for him after Saturday. I hope he recognizes the crossroad the Nebraska football program stands at.

At an event for UCF in Orlando a couple weeks back where Tom Osborne spoke, I spoke with Scott Frost, a very impressive individual and obviously good football coach. Maybe somebody else should speak with him. Perhaps a new athletic director named Trev Alberts.

Blowin In The Wind

Although this truth stares us, even those who remain without power, the media continues to pound us with agenda driven propaganda.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Color & Pageantry Top 25

College Football

Top 25

1.      Alabama, 2-0, 1
2.      Washington, 2-0, 2
3.      Southern California, 2-0, 4
4.      Clemson, 2-0, 5
5.      Oklahoma, 2-0, 9
6.      Penn State, 2-0, 6
7.      Oklahoma State, 2-0, 7
8.      Louisiana State, 2-0, 10
9.      Florida State, 0-1, 11
10.    Auburn, 1-1, 8
11.    Michigan, 2-0, 15
12.    Ohio State, 1-1, 3
13.    Miami, 1-0, 13
14.    Georgia, 2-0, 16
15.    Wisconsin, 2-0, 14
16.    Virginia Tech, 2-0, 18
17.    Louisville, 2-0, 19
18.    Kansas State, 2-0, 20
19.    Stanford, 1-1, 12
20.    Oregon, 2-0, 21
21.    Texas Christian, 2-0, 22
22.    Washington State, 2-0, 23
23.    Notre Dame, 1-1, 17
24.    South Florida, 2-0, 24
25.    Tennessee, 2-0, NR

OUT: Nebraska (24)

VOTES: UCLA, Florida, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, West Virginia, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Iowa, Maryland, Boise State, Texas A&M and North Carolina State.

Sidelined By Irma

We have been sidelined without power since Hurricane Irma blew through Central Florida.

We had limited damage, thankfully, only without power for four days.

Some of our neighbors here in Central Florida were not so lucky.

In other parts of the Sunshine State, the damage has been far worse than what we ran up against here in the home of Mickey.

Pretty much everyone has been impacted in some way. UCF cancelled two home football games, Miami, Florida and Florida State each one and the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost a weekend,

But with no apologies to ESPN's racist host Jamelle Hill, we use football in these parts to escape.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, we have much more important things to deal with.

Please keep our Sunshine State friends and neighbors in your prayers, and don't forget about those tough Texans, still reeling from Hurricane Harvey.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Color & Pageantry Top 25

College Football

Top 25

1.    Alabama, 1-0, 1
2.    Washington, 1-0, 3
3.    Ohio State, 1-0, 4
4.    Southern Cal, 1-0, 5
5.    Clemson, 1-0, 6
6.    Penn State, 1-0, 7
7.    Oklahoma State, 1-0, 8
8.    Auburn, 1-0, 9
9.    Oklahoma, 1-0, 10
10.  Louisiana State, 1-0, 12
11.  Florida State, 0-1, 2
12.  Stanford, 1-0, 14
13.  Miami, 1-0, 11
14.  Wisconsin, 1-0, 13
15.  Michigan, 1-0, 16
16.  Georgia, 1-0, 17
17.  Notre Dame, 1-0, 20
18.  Virginia Tech, 1-0, 23
19.  Louisville, 1-0, 19
20.  Kansas State, 1-0, 21
21.  Oregon, 1-0, 24
22.  Texas Christian, 1-0, NR
23.  Washington State, 1-0, NR
24.  South Florida, 2-0, 15
25.  Nebraska, 1-0, 22

OUT: Florida (18) and North Carolina State (25)

VOTES: Tennessee, UCLA, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Utah, Georgia Tech,  West Virginia, Arkansas, Maryland, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Northwestern, Western Michigan, Kentucky, Boise State, Minnesota and North Carolina State.

ANALYSIS: There were two upsets of monumental magnitude. Howard, a 45 point dog at UNLV, won 43-40. UNLV, coached by local Tony Sanchez who led Bishop Gorman HS to national prominence there in Las Vegas, was defeated in large measure by the performance of Caylin Newton, the younger brother of former Auburn and current NFL star QB Cam Newton........Liberty, coached by former Nebraska quarterback Turner Gill, won at Baylor. Sure, the Bears are reeling after an scandalous beat down, but this 48-45 win by the Flames was huge. Liberty cancelled classes. Great for Gill; one of the truly good people in coaching.....Many thought NC State, with 17 returning starters, would be a dark horse team out of the ACC, but they stumbled against what appears to be a middle of the pack SEC squad in South Carolina. Maybe not! Maybe Will Muschamp has something going in Columbia..... Texas A&M, after leading at UCLA 31-3 and 44-10 late in the 3rd, had a collapse for ages as Josh Rosen led the Bruins to a 45-44 victory. Already under immense fire, a member of the Aggies Board of Regents voiced desire to fire coach Kevin Sumlin; on social media. Imagine the professionalism? The game was a classic....Wisconsin, USC, Washington and Ohio State started slow, but won big. Texas got 51 and a loss hung on them at home by upstart Maryland, who is ascending rapidly....USF has won two games in lethargic fashion, which will end up dealing them a loss if Charlie Strong does not it fixed....Michigan looked decent dumping Florida, which continues to have significant issues at the quarterback position....Iowa held Wyoming in check behind the stellar play of LB Josey Jewell, who took a step toward the Butkus Award on Saturday as we see it.... Georgia Tech ran for some 600 yards and led by two touchdowns late but somehow fell to Tennessee.
*Florida State would have been ranked 7th in our poll, but due to the loss of QB Deondre Francois, they are ranked 11th.

NEBRASKA ANALYSIS: Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee looked as advertised, leading the 'Huskers to a victory Saturday night, one which was much too close for the liking of Big Red Nation. Up front offensively, the 'Huskers looked shaky in pass protection, but did generate some good run blocking. Tre Bryant got the start, and ran for 193. The receiving core looked strong, and as we expected, TE Tyler Hoppes had a breakout game. The new 3-4 defense was unimpressive. The line did not generate the type of pass rush desired, but Arkansas State was making quick throws. The linebackers were mixed, and it appears foot speed for some is an issue, particularly for a team like the Red Wolves that utilized the entire field. The secondary has good and bad moments, but did not give up an big plays, a significant note. It seemed Nebraska was holding back, so Oregon could not get much film. It almost cost the 'Huskers dearly. 

FLORIDA STATE ANALYSIS: Alabama, for the most part, controlled Florida State en route to a 24-7 victory. There are teams that can play with Alabama for a while, but the Crimson Tide force you into mistakes and tighten the screws hard on you when you make them. Alabama made FSU pay for a secondary mishap, nailing a 53 yard touchdown pass to Calvin Ridely. Even so, FSU had a chance to lead at halftime 14-10. The Seminoles were interfered with at the goal line on a pass attempt that was not called for some unexplained reason, forcing a field goal effort, which Alabama blocked. From there, there was a blocked punt and a fumbled kickoff return giving BAMA the ball inside the red zone. Although the defense down there was strong, Alabama eventually posted a touchdown. FSU QB Deondre Francois then tried to force some things, resulting in a pair of interceptions (Francois had never had a game with more than one interception). It was over, except for the season potentially being lost. Francois was eluding a blitz horizontally along the line of scrimmage when he was tackled from behind by Rasheed Wallace, turning his knee in the process. The tackle was clean, but Francois is now lost for the season with a torn patella. The loss of Francois is a brutal blow for the Seminoles, who will now start true freshman signal caller James Blackman of Belle Glade. While Blackman has great promise, it will be Fisher's best work ever if he can get Blackman to perform at a level allowing FSU to win the ACC Atlantic.

Stolen Money

Monday, August 28, 2017

2017 Florida State Seminoles Preview


Deondre Francois
QB/Florida State
Florida State knew what the had in the brilliant Dalvin Cook at running back in 2016, but could not have been more pleased with the play of redshirt freshman quarterback Deondre Francois. Francois threw for 3350 yards, with 20 TD's against only 9 INT's. Among his greatest attributes beyond his calmness in the pocket was his toughness, taking numerous vicious hits from "look out' blocks thrown by an under performing offensive line. Two starters return up front, but the unit should be stronger, led by G Landon Dickerson. Alec Eberle will be the center, with Cole Minshaw and Brock Ruble at the other guard. Derrick Kelly has a leg up on Josh Ball for a tackle spot while Rick Leonard comes back over from the defensive line to take the right tackle spot. Ryan Izzo, at TE, is potentially All ACC at the position.  Francois will have a talented backfield. Jacques Patrick will be at tailback, no doubt sharing time with talented freshman newcomer Cam Akers. Amir Rasul and Ryan Green are the backups. Jonathan Vickers, an outstanding and versatile player, will be at fullback.  Nyquan Murray leads a strong but thin receiving core. Murray is primed for a breakout season, which could garner All America honors. Auden Tate is a tall target with deceptive speed, a dangerous weapon in the red zone.Keith Gavin and George Campbell are backups. Davante Phillips was a guy much was expected from at the position, but he ran afoul of the law and his status remains unclear. The unit has great promise, but has some holes that could open up, mostly surrounding depth.  The running game, although decent, figures to back up without Cook, so Francois will have to pick up the load. He can do it, but there is little room for error. We look for about the same as a year ago with respect to production, netting about 35 points per game.


Tarvarus McFadden
CB/Florida State
Last season, the unit started out slowly, giving up a bunch of points to a high powered Ole Miss offense, but when Derwin James went down early in game two against a cupcake team, it was not quite noticeable how big a loss he was, not just from a talent standpoint, but much more importantly from a leadership standpoint. The Seminoles were sandblasted the following week at Louisville in as ugly a defensive display I have ever witnessed following FSU football. It took several weeks to get it corrected, and sadly it cost FSU another game with North Carolina passing their way to a high scoring win in Tallahassee. Will the unit regroup and return to dominance in 2017. Good question.Up front, the Seminoles could be stout. A pair of strong tackles in Derrick Nnadi and Demarcus Christmas are flanked by a pair to quarterback terrorizing ends in Brian Burns and Josh Sweat. All four are potential All ACC candidates if not more. Matthew Thomas returns at linebacker along with Roderick Hoskins. Thomas has missed a lot of fall camp, and without him the 'Noles will have a set back. Emmett Rice backs up Thomas. Jacob Pugh mans the SAM spot. Derwin James will anchor a very strong secondary, perhaps the nations best. Tarvarus McFadden was among the nations leaders in interceptions in 2016, earning All America honors. McFadden is back and primed for a big season. Trey Marshall, Kyle Meyers, Ermon Lane and AJ Westbrook are among the quality backups, as is Nate Andrews who is expected back after injury. Levonta Taylor, backed by Calvin Brewton, are at the opposite corner. The unit has a chance to be quite salty, with talented players are each level. Significant improvement from the uncharacteristic 25ppg given up in 2016 is expected, and will be necessary if FSU expect to return to the playoff.


Kicker Ricky Aguayo was solid in 2016 but not outstanding, even giving way on some 50+ efforts. He is not automatic, finishing 19-26. More will be expected from him. Punter Logan Tyler was again solid, but he will need to seek improvement as well, averaging just 40 yards per punt. The return game was also less than spectacular, especially  puzzling given the Seminoles array of fleet footed shill people. Tarvarus McFadden and Nyquan Murray look to handle punt returns. Several candidates are aiming to return kickoffs. Keith Gavin has a big, game changing return against Michigan in The Orange Bowl. Derwin James will give it a go, with WR George Campbell and FR RB Khalan Laborn also ready. Increasing the gains in the hidden yardage department can go a long way, and this is an area FSU can make some gains.


Although the Seminoles closed strong last season, with only last minute home loss to eventual National Champion Clemson in the seasons second half, there is a bad taste in the mouth of many in the program after consecutive 3 loss seasons. The talent level appears quite solid, so the goals continue to be set high. The team seems to have a nice blend of experience with new emerging talent. The kicking game is strong as well. Although the schedule is a bear, no significant back to back contests are on the schedule. As is the case with most teams, the health of starting quarterback Deondre Francois is most important.


S Derwin James
Back from an injury which sidelined him for almost all o 20-16, safety S Derwin James returns as a concensus All America player in the defensive backfield. James is a top five NFL pick. Deondre Francois was so impressive as a redshirty freshman at quarterback that he could challenge for conference honors, if not national honors. Add WR Nyquan Murray to that list as well.  Derrick Nnadi will seek national honors as well., Tarvarus McFadden is a preseason first team All America selection. Ryan Izzo is sneaky good at TE. Others with opportunities are for possible All ACC honors candidates are DE Josh Sweat, LB Matthew Thomas, OG Landon Dickerson and DE Brian Burns.  RB Cam Akers should make some serious noise as a freshman.


RB Cam Akers is the prominent name on this list. While he will not likely start at running back, he will see plenty of action right from the get go.  Akers will be a household name among Nole fans in short order. The defensive coaching staff loves S Hamsah Nasirildeen, but he is playing a stacked position, and legacy CB Stanford Samuels III is penciled in at second team. DE Josh Kaindoh should see action, as should DT Marvin Wilson, who is a man among boys. LB Adonis Thomas, RB Khalan Laborn, LB Leonard Warner and WR DJ Matthews are others that appear good enough to find the field.


Florida State is a very good football team and has a chance to win it all, They are thin in certain areas and will need for things to break right; get balls bouncing their way. The schedule is very tough, but the rough games are sufficiently spread out. FSU opens against Alabama in Atlanta, in a clash of titans. Bama is favored, but FSU is quite capable of winning and a win would set a serious tone for what can be accomplished. Nobody likes to lose, but the loser of the game will not be harmed if they take care of their business the rest of the way. We think FSU can win it, but we know Alabama can, so we will think 0-1. That is OK. A very much improved Miami comes to Tallahassee two weeks later, and that is a must win. A very dangerous NC State visits DOAK, but the Wolfpack have won here before and are not intimidated. It will not be easy, but we will say 3-1, before FSU wins at Wake and at Duke before Louisville visits. The 'Noles owe the Cards some payback, so we expect FSU 6-1 here. At Boston College on a Friday Night will be a win, as will the following visit from Syracuse. 8-1. FSU then travels to Clemson, and while the Tigers are top ten, without Deshaun Watson, we think FSU wins this one. Delaware State is handled as FSU prepares to beat Florida down in Gainesville to finish up 11-1. Reaching the ACC championship game is the goal, and we have FSU in it, and winning it. So, we have FSU 12-1 with a playoff trip. Maybe a rematch with Alabama?


Speak Forcefully

Sunday, August 27, 2017

2017 Nebraska Cornhuskers Preview


DeMornay Pierson-El
WR Nebraska
Nebraska seemed in a lull offensively in 2016, failing to establish an identity. Once conference play got going, the offense bogged down lacking any consistency. Part of that fell on the shoulders of Tommy Armstrong, who had his ups and downs. Additionally, the offensive line failed to live up to expectations. While Armstrong was a talented player, and great leader, he was not well equipped to run the offense Mike Riley and Danny Langsdorf seek to employ. Enter Tanner Lee, a transfer from Tulane who sat out last fall and won the starting quarterback job going away. Lee, an experienced and intelligent player, fits the scheme perfectly and seems primed for a breakout season. Patrick O'Brien is the backup. Tristian Gebbia, who is a future star, needs some weight but I sure do like what I see in him. Lee has some weapons to work with to be sure. Two returning starters return who should see dramatic increases in their production. Stanley Morgan, Jr is ready to challenge for All B1G honors, while Demornay Pierson-El, who appears back 100% healthy, is a game breaking talent. Coming off an redshirt is slot receiver JD Speilman, a perfect compliment to the control passing game Lee will be directing.  Additionally, Keyan Williams, Bryan Reimers and the speedy Connor Young will figure in. Freshman Tyjon Lindsey will figure prominently, and could be an impact player Nebraska has not had in some time.  Tyler Hoopes may net 35 catches at TE, a spot which figures to increase involvement in the offense in 2017. SO Matt Snyder may get time as well.  The running back position seems ripe for a committee, as for whatever reason, nobody has separated themselves. Each have distinctive talents, so this may not be a detriment. Devine Ozigbo is a tough runner between the tackles who catches the ball well out of the backfield. Tre Bryant is the closest to the Nebraska tailbacks of old, and Mikale Wilbon is a combination of both.  Each will play, until someone loses the opportunity. True freshman back Jaylin Bradley has flashed skills which may make in impossible to leave him off the field. Traditionally a pillar of strength, the offensive line at Nebraska has fallen off in recent seasons, and for the Big Red to get back to national prominence, the unit simply has to play better. The good news is the majority of the line returns in tact. Tackle Nick Gates, who played hurt much of 2016 but got abused in the Music City Bowl, must step things up. Gates was a top recruit, and he should be challenging for All B1G. Guards Tanner Farmer and Jerald Foster will be counted on to raise their game, both capable of conference mentions. Cole Conrad appears to have edged out Michael Decker at center, but both are worthy.  T David Knevel had a poor season in '16, and needs to pick it up. He could be pushed, perhaps by Branden Jaimis, a true freshman excelling on fall camp. Lee figures to release the ball quickly, so the line will have an opportunity to gain from that. Many of the skill components are new and unproven, but the foundation appears solid and there is a palpable level of excitement. We look for dramatic improvement offensively from Nebraska, with the 'Huskers showing effective balance. The line should improve, and the running game gaining from that and the effectiveness of the passing game. We expect Nebraska to far exceed the embarrassing 26.5 points per game average from 2016, rising up to 34 points per game.


Joshua Kalu
DB Nebraska
Under defensive coordinator Mark Banker, the Nebraska defense improved statistically from 2015, allowing 24 points per game. It should be noted 2014 was a defensive nightmare, but even with the statistical improvement, there was no fire within the unit. A unacceptable thrashing at Columbus has Ohio State at 62 (could have been 84) led to disasters at Iowa and in the bowl versus Tennessee. Riley, who had employed Banker for decades, let his personal friend go prior to the bowl. For Nebraska to reach the goals Riley and Husker Nation have for he Big Red, it had to happen. Bob Diaco, who was terminated as head man at UConn, come to Lincoln to take over as DC, a job he held at Notre Dame prior to heading to UConn. Diaco brings fire and intensity, and a highly regarded level of teaching, to the Blackshirts.  Most everyone who has a stake in the program has already come to place a high value on Diaco and his abilities. With Riley's blessing, Nebraska will switch to a 3-4. This move seems the right one, particularly looking at the personnel currently on the team. Attacking offenses with a solid line, fleet footed linebackers and a swarming secondary appears the correct defensive mindset. As always, it starts up front. Mick Stoltenberg has beefed up and will assume the nose tackle spot. Freshman Deontre Thomas has dazzled in fall camp and looks to get time.  Carlos Davis, who showed promise last fall, looks better in 2017 and will be at tackle, backed by brother Khalil Davis. Freedom Akinmoladun returns at DE, and his primary job will be to get to the quarterback, but he must improve on the paltry 4 sacks picked up in 2016. Daishon Neal and Peyton Newell will back up, along with Guy Thomas. Marcus Newby will take an outside linebacker spot, while Luke Gifford and Alex Davis will battle to the end for the other spot. Sedrick King will back up. Inside Dedrick Young will have a spot, while Chris Weber, who played well in '15 but got limited time (?) in '16, will anchor the middle. Mohammed Barry, Tyrin Ferguson and perhaps Avery Roberts will also see time. Chris Davis is an honors candidate at corner, but he tore a meniscus and will be out till at least October. Eric Lee will take over, while Lamar Jackson is at opposite corner with Jeremiah Stovall backing. Joshua Kalu, a very good player, will patrol at free safety with Aaron Williams taking strong safety. Keiron Williams and Antonio Reed are quality backups, with emerging DiCaprio Bootle playing nickel and Marquel Dismuke looking for time. This unit has potential to really be fun, and it would seem there would be significant improvement almost by default. We expect to get around 20 points per game, but down a FG from a year ago, which could be the difference in a few games, The unit appears to have room to grow, and could be down right salty as the year concludes.


Drew Brown
PK Nebraska
Coming off an injury in '15, DeMornay Pierson-El was unable to capture the magic in 2016. However, he appears healthy and will start out returning punts. If healthy, Pierson-El could be among the tops in the nation, offering opportunities to flip fields and score big wins in hidden yardage. Tyjon Lindsey and Stanley Morgan appear set to handle kickoffs, with Tre Bryant perhaps joining in. Caleb Lightbourn was thrust into the starting job last year after the tragic death of Sam Foltz, having a fair to midland season averaging 39.7 per punt. Not great. But, we think with the year under his belt, improvement will follow. Drew Brown is very solid at placekicker, and could challenge for national if not conference honors.


With a new DC and shifting schemes, there is the expected learning curve. However, the 3-4 seems to accentuate Nebraska's personnel. Same thing on offense, as Tanner Lee is the type of signal caller Riley and Langsdorf have sought after.  Both units figure to be more cohesive and improvement is expected from both. The question is how rapidly the team not only comes together around the new philosophy, but how quickly they can take it a new level. We expect the team to really get clicking as the season progresses, and a springboard for a potential strong 2018 can be set.


OT Nick Gates
Overall, this is a young football team, so there are not many players on the national radar for honors. CB Chris Jones was an All B1G player, but, if not redshirting, he is out about half the year with a knee injury. A healthy Nick Gates at OT has a chance of conference recognition. K Drew Brown and FS Joshua Kalu certainly should draw some national recognition. Demornay Pierson-El could get return honors, and Tyjon Lindsey may make some all freshman teams. Chris Weber is another that may get some all conference consideration.Of course, if the hype is real, Tanner Lee kay get some national love.


Although Nebraska is probably a year away from really benefiting from a step up in recruiting efforts, the Big Red will find a lot of new faces securing plenty of playing time. This list starts with junior quarterback Tanner Lee, a Tulane transfer who firmly entrenched himself as signal caller, a perfect fit for the type of offense Mike Riley and Danny Langsdorf are aiming for. Redshirted players from 2016 who figure to make significant impacts are WR JD Speilman, OL Boe Wilson, LB Greg Simmons, S Dicaprio Bootle and CB Tony Butler. Incoming freshman are getting opportunities. LB Avery Roberts may will play a lot. DT Deontre Thomas is having a whale of fall camp. DE Guy Thomas may play, and RB Jaylin Bradley will likely play. Tyjon Lindsey will play a bunch, and could be a game breaking player for the Big Red. OT Brenden Jamis is looking to contribute on the line. Ben Miles may also play and has special team warrior skills.


There are so many variables coming into the season, thoughts about Nebraska's won loss record have been all over the map, from an 11-1 season all the way to a 4-8 year. One thing seems solid; given the numerous changes, from schemes to personnel, there is very little room for error, and certainly, injuries. On the negative side, the offensive line must improve, as they were ineffective on way too many occasion in 2016. The coaches can champion the running back committee theme, and that can be successful, but it sure would be good to have somebody step up and become a player that can challenge for conference honors. The defense is going to have to gel quickly, and limit the missed tackles that have plagued the unit in previous seasons. Additionally, a winning culture must be re-established. On occasions, it seemed members on the team in recent seasons were not all that bothered by losing, which is not how we do things in Nebraska. However, there is reason for optimism. At quarterback, Tanner Lee looks the part, and did nothing in the spring to curb the enthusiasm regarding his talents and the potential type of season he may have. The offensive line returns basically intact, so one would certainly improvement. The receiving core is talented, and might just light fire to the field.  A balanced offensive attack should keep opposing stop troops off balance. The 3-4 gives the 'Huskers a chance to better utilize their personnel. There are quality players at each level, and the opportunity to create more turnovers exists, which has been poor, particularly in conference, for the unit. The game at Oregon is big. The Ducks had all sorts of issues defensively in 2016, but now have Jim Leavitt as DC. Leavitt can flat coach, but can the unit get it in gear by game two? Doubtful. So, the game is winnable, and somehow we think Red gets it done. Nebraska would then be 5-0 when Wisconsin visits, another winnable game if the mental game is won.  Ohio State appears to have way too much going on for Nebraska, even in Lincoln. The Huskers finish with Northwestern at home, at Minnesota and Penn State, then home to Iowa. The Big Red should be getting better each week as a young team gain experience and familiarity of the new schemes advance. Nebraska could beat Oregon, lose to Ohio State, and win the rest of them. The 'Huskers could beat both Oregon and Wisconsin, but not likely. A loss to Ohio State, and more than likely at Penn State, seems probable. Although 8-4 is probably conventional wisdom, we will go with 9-3. If Nebraska beats Oregon and Wisconsin, then the West is in their control.