The Pregame Warm-Up AA Team


I have watched as many college football games over the past 4 months as physically possible, taking notes and rewatching games along the way.  After all the games have been watched, here is my attempt at an All-American Team for The Pregame Warm-Up.  The PGWU team features the most players from the Nebraska Cornhuskers with 4.  Auburn, Oregon and Florida each had 2.

Head Coach– Jim Harbaugh Stanford Cardinal

OFFENSE

Player of the Year- Cam Newton Auburn Tigers

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Cam Newton  of the Auburn Tigers celebrates after their 56-17 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2010 SEC Championship at Georgia Dome on December 4, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

QB- Cameron Newton Auburn Tigers

RB- LaMichael James Oregon Ducks

RB- Jordan Todman Connecticut Huskies

WR- Justin Blackmon Oklahoma State Cowboys

WR- Ryan Broyles Oklahoma Sooners

TE- Michael Egnew Missouri Tigers

OT- Gabe Carimi Wisconsin Badgers

OT- Derek Sherrod Mississippi State Bulldogs

OG- Rodney Hudson Florida State Seminoles

OG- Justin Boren Ohio State Buckeyes

C- Chase Beeler Stanford Cardinal

DEFENSE

Player of the Year- Da’Quan Bowers Clemson Tigers

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 18: Da'Quan Bowers  of the Clemson Tigers against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

DE- Da’Quan Bowers Clemson Tigers

DE- Ryan Kerrigan Purdue Boliermakers

DL- Nick Fairley Auburn Tigers

DL- Jared Crick Nebraska Cornhuskers

LB- Justin Houston Georgia Bulldogs

LB- Mason Foster Washington Huskies

LB- Luke Kuechly Boston College Eagles

CB- Prince Amukamara Nebraska Cornhuskers

CB- Patrick Peterson LSU Tigers

S- Eric Hagg Nebraska Cornhuskers

S- Ahmad Black Florida Gators

SPECIALISTS

K- Alex Henery Nebraska Cornhuskers

P- Chas Henry Florida Gators

RET- Cliff Harris Oregon Ducks

AP- Randall Cobb Kentucky Wildcats

PGWU Power Poll: Week 7


Last week brought us some shake ups in the week 7 Power Poll.  Here is a look at how the Pregame Warm-Up Crew ranks the Top 15 this week.

1. Oregon Ducks 112 points (five 1st place)

2. Ohio State Buckeyes 108 points (one 1st place)

3. Boise State Broncos 106 points (one 1st place)

4. Nebraska Cornhuskers 93 points (one 1st place)

5. TCU Horned Frogs 90 points

6. Alabama Crimson Tide 71 points

7. Auburn Tigers 69 points

8. South Carolina Gamecocks 63 points

9. Oklahoma Sooners 61 points

10. LSU Tigers 57 points

11. Utah Utes 36 points

12. Michigan State Spartans 34 points

13. Arkansas Razorbacks 14 points

14. Iowa Hawkeyes 11 points

15. Stanford Cardinal 10 points

Others Receiving Points:   Florida State Seminoles 8 points, Missouri Tigers 6 points, Arizona Wildcats 5 points, Nevada Wolfpack 5 points, Michigan Wolverines 2 points

Pac 10 Report: Week 7


If there is anything that Week 6 taught us, it’s that nobody is safe in the Pac-10. There were some hard fought games last Saturday in the West, but things will be quieter this week, as Oregon, Arizona State, Stanford and UCLA are on byes.

I’ll start with Oregon, who of all the teams remaining undefeated in college football, I have the most confidence of making the BCS title game. And that’s saying a lot when you take into account that I consider the Pac-10 the best conference in the country (yes, even including the SEC). When you win by twenty points on the road and in conference, even against lowly Washington State, that’s impressive. I get the feeling that most people think the Ducks should’ve won by more. It’s safe to say that Oregon has arrived.

California met expectations by letting their season slip, and then dismantling UCLA when everybody has written them off. And UCLA’s offense finally came back to bite them, amassing only 144 yards against the Bears. California’s recipe for success is quite simple: run the ball.

As for UCLA, they can obviously beat anybody (just ask Texas), but are just too inconsistent. Quarterback Kevin Prince was 13-31 against the Bears and only put up seven points, and that was the first time all season that Prince had double-digit competitions. Backup Richard Brehaut made an appearance, but make no mistake: if the Bruins are going to win, Prince has to be the guy and he has to step up.

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 04: Running back Jacquizz Rodgers  of the Oregon State Beavers at Cowboys Stadium on September 4, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The game of the week was Oregon State going into 9th ranked Arizona and winning 29-27. Boise State fans, rejoice. The Beavers may be 3-2, but those two losses were against great competition, and their rough non-conference schedule sets them up to be formidable in the Pac-10. Eventually, they were going to beat somebody, as Arizona found out.

It was a weird game with three failed PATs, and the combined 1,027 total yards meant a whole bunch of fun for the viewer. What will be interesting is how Arizona bounces back. They dropped eight spots in the rankings, and should be able to refocus against Washington State.

USC and Stanford played a crazy one. Both quarterbacks looked great, but I expected that from Andrew Luck. I was more impressed with Matt Barkley, who stepped up big on the road against a good team. I have been down on USC’s secondary all year, so it was no big surprised that they got torched by Luck, who averaged nearly 12 yards per pass. With back-to-back losses, Trojan fans have got to fear that their team lacks focus for the rest of the year. They played well, but there is no postseason future and a conference championship is unlikely now.

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Jake Locker  of the Washington Huskies passes against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on September 18, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Cornhuskers defeated the Huskies 56-21. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Is it time to start worrying about Jake Locker? It’s not that his numbers are that bad (except the Nebraska game), but for such a highly touted NFL prospect, he isn’t winning games. Granted, the Huskies have problems elsewhere, but Locker isn’t picking up the slack. Washington can only go as far he he does, and Locker isn’t showing any signs of getting better. Getting outplayed by Steven Threet at home is not a good sign.

On to week 7.

California vs USC

This is an interesting game, because the season is basically over for whoever loses. The matchup is interesting as well. Cal needs to run to win, but USC is vulnerable in the passing game. If the Bears struggle to figure out what they want to do, the Trojans may be able to get out to a lead early, and Cal isn’t constructed to play from behind. I like USC in a close game.

Arizona vs Washington State

Just what the doctor ordered after a tough loss at home for Arizona, Not much to preview, as the Wildcats should roll as 23.5 favorites on the road.

 

Oregon State vs Washington

Do or die for the Huskies. The Beavers are horrible against the pass, so if Locker can’t shine here, his stock will drop for good. Oregon State is the better team, but the matchup favors Washington. The Huskies are only 1-2 at home, and you have to think that will improve. I like Washington slightly in this game, as I will ride the Locker bandwagon all the way into the ground.

Written by Jay Fisher.  Follow him on Twitter @jfishsports.

PGWU Power Poll: Week 6


Every week the writers at Pregame Warm-Up will get together for our top 15 schools, or as we like to call it, the “Power Poll”. Each individual writer gives their top 15, then we assign the 1st place team 15 points all the way down to the 15th place team with 1 point. The points are combined and here is how week 6 ended up:

  1. 1. Alabama Crimson Tide- 88 points (five 1st place votes)
  2. 2. Oregon Ducks- 84 points (one 1st place vote)
  3. 3. Boise State Broncos- 67 points
  4. 3. Ohio State Buckeyes- 67 points
  5. 5. Nebraska Cornhuskers- 65 points
  6. 6. TCU Horned Frogs- 63 points
  7. 7. Oklahoma Sooners- 50 points
  8. 8. Auburn Tigers- 46 points
  9. 9. Utah Utes- 31 points
  10. 10. South Carolina Gamecocks- 26 points
  11. 11. Arizona Wildcats- 25 points
  12. 12. Arkansas Razorbacks- 21 points
  13. 12. LSU Tigers- 21 points
  14. 14. Michigan Wolverines- 20 points
  15. 15. Michigan State Spartans- 12 points

Others Receiving Points:      Iowa 8 points, Miami 6 points, Stanford 5 points, Missouri 4 points, Nevada 2 points, UCLA 1 point

Indy Report


Army 35 – Duke 21

Army took a 14-7 lead at the end of the 1st Quarter and scored 21 unanswered points to roll past Duke 35-21.

Army kept up its rushing attack and took advantage of 5 Duke turnovers to make the game result all but academic by the beginning of the final stanza. Trent Steelman passed for two touchdowns and ran in for another score to push Army’s record to 3-1. Army continues its time of possession dominance by winning that battle 2:1 and running for 244 total yards.

Sean Renfree passed for 261 yards, but threw 3 picks in a losing cause.

Next week Army has a resurgent Temple at home while Duke faces another ACC foe in Maryland.

Stanford 37 – Notre Dame 14

Stanford rolled off 24 straight points after Notre Dame pushed the game closer at 10-6 in the 2nd Quarter.

Andrew Luck went 19-32 for 238 yards, but threw two picks in the win. He’ll need to have marquis games in the next two weeks against Oregon and USC if he wishes to be the 2nd Cardinal to grace the New York stage. Today’s game belonged to Owen Marecic. He rushed for one score and made a pick-6 to put the game away for Stanford.

Next week Stanford faces Oregon at Autzen stadium while Notre Dame hopes to avoid 1-4 when travelling to Chestnut Hill to face Boston College.

Thoughts? Criticism? Upset at plucking down $50 for UFC 119? Be sure to let me know on Twitter @prttimesouthpaw.

PGWU Podcast: Week 4


This week we discuss the legal troubles at Florida, talk about the big stories in each conference in The Breakdown, make our selections in the PGWU Pick’Em segment and finish the show off with the World Famous Prospect Quick Fire. Enjoy!

The Independents in Week 4


On the Independent scene, Army and Notre Dame both have games this week. Both come in as underdogs this week. I believe one team will come out victorious.

Army vs. Duke

The Black Knights move in to hostile territory on Saturday afternoon when they face a Duke team looking to recover from the trouncing they received courtesy of the #1 team in the nation.

Army brings a rushing attack that has all but abandoned the passing game. Last week they managed to rush for 292 yards while shutting out bottom feeders of the entire FBS, North Texas. This would seem to be a small accomplishment, but Army has rushed for at least 250 yards in its prior 2 games against Hawaii and Eastern Michigan.

Duke will rely heavily on 1st year starter Sean Renfree to continue to air it out. Renfree is a legitimate passing talent, but lacks a go-to receiver. Each of his 3 starts had a different receiver reach the century mark, only to be a minor footnote the subsequent week.

Army lost to Duke 35-19 last year. I am expecting the rushing attack of Army to control the clock and keep the young Duke quarterback from catching his rhythm. In a minor upset, I will pick the Black Knights over Duke.

Stanford (16) vs. Notre Dame
In the shadow of Touchdown Jesus, Notre Dame fights to keep its losing streak from reaching 3 in a row. The Kelly era looked hopeful after an easy win against Purdue, but two heartbreaking losses in a row against the state of Michigan have many of the faithful recalibrating their expectations.

Andrew Luck makes his first case to the Heisman Voters that he belongs in the Gang of Five in New York City. I expect the offense to be hitting all cylinders this week as Stanford takes advantage of the Fighting Irish’s national exposure (and television contract with NBC).

I expect the Notre Dame defense will continue its slide. In South Bend, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Notre Dame continues its march to 6-6 with another loss at home. This time, I expect a 2 touchdown win by Stanford.

The Cardinal may take a step forward in this game, but Oregon and USC are ready to strike in the following two weeks.

Going forward I will also be covering the best of Division I-AA as well. If any of you have recommendations of players to follow outside the scope of the Top 25, let me know. I can be found on Twitter @prttimesouthpaw.

Week 4 Power Poll


Every week the writers at Pregame Warm-Up will get together for our top 15 schools, or as we like to call it, the “Power Poll”.  Each individual writer gives their top 15, then we assign the 1st place team 15 points all the way down to the 15th place team with 1 point.  The points are combined and here is how week 4 ended up:

1. Alabama 74 points(4 1st place)   same as last week

2. Ohio State 70 points(1 first place)    same as last week

3. Oregon 65 points   one spot from last week

4. Boise State 61 points   one spot from last week

5. TCU 54 points   one spot from last week

6. Nebraska 46 points   ↑  four spots from last week

7. Oklahoma 45 points   ↓ two spots from last week

8. Arkansas 40 points   ↑  five spots from last week

9. Texas 38 points   ↓  one spot from last week

10. South Carolina 31 points   ↓   one spot from last week

11. Florida 17 points   ↔   same as last week

12. Utah 15 points   ↑   two spots from last week

13. LSU 10 points   ♦  New to the Power Poll

14t. Arizona 9 points   ♦   New to the Power Poll

14t. Wisconsin 9 points  ↓   two spots from last week

Others Receiving Points: Michigan 7 points, Stanford 6 points, Auburn 2 points, West Virginia 1 point

Week 4 in the Pac 10


If you hear a rumbling, that’s the sound of everybody jumping off the Jake Locker bandwagon all at once. The biggest game of Week 3 for the Pac-10 was Nebraska vs Washington, and Locker’s 4 for 20 performance left a lot to be desired.

I wouldn’t be too alarmed for Locker, though. Yes, he was bad, but it’s not like everyone just missed the boat on him and he went from #1 overall pick to being a schlub. The Nebraska defense is really good, and the Huskie defense didn’t exactly do Locker any favors. I’ll wait to hold judgement, and the bye week should help Sarkisian and company refocus.

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Jake Locker  of the Washington Huskies passes against defensive end Pierre Allen  of the Nebraska Cornhuskers on September 18, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Then there was Arizona’s trouncing of Iowa. This was an odd game for a few reasons. Iowa’s first possession ended in a punt block, the end result being a Wildcat touchdown. Iowa’s next possession ended with a pick-six. After Iowa scored its first touchdown, the ensuing kickoff was returned for a score.Now, I give Arizona all the credit for being opportunistic and creating turnovers, but how much can you really gauge from this game? After those first few drives, were the Hawkeyes really that into it?

It was 27-7 at half time, with those three touchdowns resulting from a blocked punt, interception and kick return. The high powered Arizona offense, when having to face the Hawkeye defense with a long field, could only muster two field goals. I’m not completely sold on Arizona just yet.

Some quick notes on a few other games:

I continue to watch USC with an eye of skepticism. They just don’t seem to possess the ability to overwhelm inferior opponents. Winning is the name of the game, but I’m just not sure the Trojans have what it takes to knock a good team out. Still watching, still waiting for some signs.

Arizona State almost shocked the world by going on the road and coming within a blocked extra point of tying #11 Wisconsin late. I had this one nearly pegged last week, but I’m still surprised. Might not be the last time I say that about the Sun Devils this year.

I take nothing away from UCLA beating a Case Keenum-less Houston team. But you beat who is in front of you, so kudos to the Bruins. Now on to Week 4…

USC vs Washington State

Here you go, Lane. While most people won’t figure there is anything to learn from this game, I’ll be watching. I want to see the Trojans whoop up on somebody, and who better than the worst team (by far) in the Pac-10. This is the time to send a message.

Stanford vs Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish are coming off two hard to swallow losses, and now they face one of the top quarterbacks in the country, Stanford’s Andrew Luck. I would be fearful of the Cardinal players being caught looking forward to next week’s Oregon matchup, but does anybody really look past Notre Dame?

I really don’t see the Irish stopping Luck. And by the way, the drinking game for this one will be all puns that include the words “Luck” and “Irish” by NBC commentators.

UCLA vs Texas

Texas might boast the best defense in the nation, and UCLA has serious offensive issues. You get blanked at home against Stanford, then what are you going to do on the road against Texas?

What they need to do is make sure the Longhorns don’t get any kind of running game going. Then take a page from Arizona’s book and look to special teams and turnovers early to knock the wind out of Texas’ sails. If this were a home game for the Bruins, I could see something like that happening, but a road game against a top ten team? I’d be surprised if the score didn’t end in double digits favoring Texas.

Oregon State vs Boise State

This week’s Pac-10 game of the week. Here’s something I find interesting: The Beavers painted their practice field blue this week to prepare for a trip to Boise. I find this very funny, but at the same time, a possibly genius move by Mike Reilly.

It also helps the Beavers that they are coming off a bye week. Then again, Boise State’s game last week against Wyoming might as well be considered a bye.

The Broncos are the better team, but the matchup favors Oregon State slightly. You want to run the ball on the Beavers, and Boise is a pass-happy team. However, OSU quarterback Ryan Katz cannot get into a shootout with Kellen Moore.

The Beavers have to make this a low-scoring game. Even if they are down, say, 17-3 at half, that’s better than having Moore and the Broncos start lighting up the scoreboard, even if OSU is keeping up early. They won’t be able to sustain that, and Boise will.

California vs Arizona

The Bears seem to be a team that does well when everybody counts them out and folds under pressure. Well, after getting mauled by Nevada last week, and Arizona picking up a signature win, the pressure is off.

The Wildcats jumped ten spots from #24 to #14 in the AP poll. Not sure if I agree with that kind of movement in the polls with the kind of game that went on last week. And really, that was the only real game Arizona has played so far, and it was over early. This is also the last game before the bye week for the Cats. I smell “trap”.

Shane Vereen of California scores a touchdown during the game against UC Davis at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California on September 4th, 2010.  California defeated UC Davis, 52-3. Photo via Newscom

What Cal needs to do is run the ball with a vengeance. Shane Vereen needs about 25 carries for the Bears to win. Keep the ball, stop Arizona from airing it out, and you give yourself a chance. I think they will keep it close late, but Nick Foles and the Arizona passing attack will find seams against a questionable Cal secondary, and make enough big plays down the stretch to put the Bears away.

Oregon vs Arizona State

While the loss was painful, Arizona State should feel pretty good about their performance against Wisconsin. This is also Oregon’s first real game. Kind of smell an upset here, as it has all the ingredients, but there’s only one problem: Oregon is really, really good.

And should be good enough to blow the Sun Devils out. Perhaps the game will remain close in the first half, as the Ducks get up to speed, but Oregon is the best team nobody is talking about, and ASU still has a ways to go before they can be seriously thought of as a threat.

Written by Jay Fisher @jfishsports on Twitter

PGWU Heisman Watch


Every Monday we will be giving out the top 5 Heisman candidates based on their performance so far in the season.  Last weekend gave us some strong showings, from some of the top candidates.  Michigan Wolverines QB Denard Robinson continues to impress the voters.  Terrelle Pryor has put up some tremendous stats, so has Kellen Moore from Boise State.  Here are the top 5 Heisman candidates after week 3.  They are ranked in reverse order.

5th Taylor Martinez QB Nebraska Cornhuskers

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Taylor Martinez  of the Nebraska Cornhuskers rushes against Nate Williams  of the Washington Huskies on September 18, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Cornhuskers defeated the Huskies 56-21. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
He has led the Cornhuskers to a 3-0 record, and done so in a convincing manor.  He has rushed 40 times for 421 yards and 8 TD averaging 10.5 per rush.  In what isn’t a strong part of his game, he has thrown the ball for a 65% completion percentage and  392 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  He runs the Nebraska offense extremely well, and if they keep winning he will keep climbing on this list.
 
4th Andrew Luck QB Stanford Cardinal
PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Andrew Luck  of the Stanford Cardinal in action against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Stanford Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Luck has played flawlessly so far this season.  He has led Stanford to a 3-0 record with a TD-INT ration of 10-0.  He has thrown for 674 yards this season and has a completion percentage of 64%.  He is no slouch on the ground either.  He averages 10.8 yards per carry and has another score on the ground.
 
3rd Patrick Peterson CB LSU Tigers
ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 04: Patrick Peterson  of the LSU Tigers breaks up a touchdown reception to Joshua Adams  of the North Carolina Tar Heels in the final seconds of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Georgia Dome on September 4, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Peterson has played his role perfectly as a shutdown corner, he already has 2 INT.  He is also an incredible return man for the Tigers.  He is averaging 31.7 yards per kick return and 23.9 per punt return.  He is as good as they come for what he does.
 
2nd Ryan Mallett QB Arkansas Razorbacks
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Quarterback Ryan Mallett #15 of the Texas A&M Aggies at Cowboys Stadium on October 3, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Mallet has done an incredible job leading the Razorback offense this season.  The Hogs have a huge game this weekend with number 1 ranked Alabama.  If Arkansas and Mallett come out of this game with a W, I could see a magical season for Mallett and his team.

1st Denard Robinson QB Michigan Wolverines

 

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 11: Denard Robinson  of the Michigan Wolverines pushes off a tackle attempt by Manti Te
This kid has been a huge surprise this season.  Very few had any idea about him before he exploded against UCONN.  I figured it would slow down after that game, but he has continued to impress.  He has a 69% completion percentage, has thrown for 671 yards, 4 TD and 1 INT.  That is impressive, but here is where it gets ridiculous, his running stats are that much better.  He leads the nation in rushing with 559 yards and a 7.6 average yards per carry.  Add in another 4 TD on the ground and you can tell why Michigan has played so well this season.
Written by Jason Madson @isbnJMAD on Twitter