he grew a beard
So, we have 2 weeks to prepare for Penn State - road game, at night, white out and an electric PSU student section.
PSU seems beatable and I think we will win.
Would it be wise to use Tate? Start Denard, but if the offense becomes stagnant put in Tate with his slightly different style and skill set. I felt that we should have done that against MSU and it will be hard for opponents to prepare for both Denard and Tate.
PSU has young QBs, try to stop the run and force him to beat us in the air...maybe a few ints?
I meant to post this earlier, but just now got around to it. I just had to get it ... so far my car has not been damaged here in Columbus! A few fans noticed it at the game yesterday and made me feel it was worth the risk :)
This is not an anti-Rich Rod post. but rather just an observation.
The man that was given a profile in cronyism is in the midst of his second reclamation project, this time at San Diego State (first time at Ball State, which has promptly returned to the gutter). Yep, that's the same San Diego State that Chuck Long ran hard and fast into the ground.
Perhaps we were a bit to hard on him and the AD when he got an interview at Michigan. However, I'm not saying that he should have gotten the Michigan job or that we made a bad hire.
Now if I can stop saying his first name like Cartman...
Something that has not been noted regarding some of the passes over the middle that he could not cover is that DJK caught some of not all (I need to go back and check) of those passes. We are talking about the all-time receptions leader at Iowa making those catches. I doubt we have people in our secondary that could have covered those drag patterns. With that being said, he also did not get the chance to warm up with pre-conference schedule so I anticipate more improvement in this area with additional playing time.
Before yesterday's set of games, it looked like MSU and OSU had the opportunity to go undefeated through the season. OSU would have won the bid to the Rose Bowl because of the 3rd tiebreaker in the conference (BCS). OSU lost last night, so now it looks like MSU is in position to go to the Rose Bowl. Even if they have a Sparty, No! game against a lesser opponent, tie breakers give them the go ahead for the Rose Bowl.
Here are the rules for determining the Rose Bowl bid:
1. Conference record
3. Overall record
4. BCS rank in final poll.
Here are the teams that could still potentially win the Big Ten, i.e. they have 1 loss are undefeated in the Big Ten:
MSU 3-0 (7-0)
Iowa 2-0 (5-1)
Purdue 2-0 (4-2)
Wisconsin 2-1 (6-1)
OSU 2-1 (6-1)
NW 1-1 (5-1)
I don't think anyone would argue against taking Purdue and NW out of the discussion. One looks horrible and the other lost to the first one. This isn't to say they can't have an effect on the other teams, but that they are unlikely to win the rest of their games in the conference.
So, now we have MSU, Iowa, Wisconsin, and OSU. For the purposes of this post, let's assume that none of them lose to any teams not in this list. Obviously, this can happen, but it is unlikely and has a small probability of happening.
Between these 4 teams, there are 6 possible matchups. 2 have been played (MSU vs. Wisconsin, Wisconsin vs. OSU), 1 will not be played (MSU vs. OSU), and 3 are still to come (Iowa vs. MSU, Iowa vs. OSU, Iowa vs. Wisconsin). As you may have noticed Iowa has not played any of the other 3 teams, therefore, they can essentially decide who goes to the Rose Bowl with which games they win and lose.
If Iowa loses to MSU, MSU goes to the Rose Bowl. MSU would have Head-to-Head advantage over the other 3 teams, not to mention a 1 game lead.
If Iowa beats MSU, there are 4 possibilities:
Beat OSU, Beat Wisconsin: Iowa is the only undefeated team in the Big Ten. They are in the same situation that MSU is if MSU wins their matchup.
Beat OSU, Lose to Wisconsin: Three-way tie between MSU, Wisconsin, and Iowa in conference record and Head-to-Head. Iowa gets eliminated for their loss to Arizona. MSU wins the Head-to-Head against Wisconsin.
Lose to OSU, Beat Wisconsin: 3-way tie between OSU, MSU, and Iowa. OSU wins the Head-to-Head round.
Lose to OSU, Lose to Wisconsin: 3-way tie between MSU, OSU, Wisconsin. MSU wins the Head-to-Head round.
In 6 of 8 scenarios, MSU wins the Big Ten. If Iowa beats MSU, the only way they win the Big Ten is if Wisconsin beats Iowa. OSU is hoping for the perfect storm where Iowa takes down MSU and Wisconsin for them and also bends over for them. Wisconsin's only hope right now is for MSU to Sparty, No! this season. Ironically, Wisconsin's Big Ten hopes were probably over before they started.
I posted this to thank everybody who gave me tips a couple weeks ago, when I posted "my youth FB team stinks." We lost yesterday 7-0, but we played by far our best game of the year, following up the week before when we scored our first touchdown. We have struggled against a ridiculously tough schedule which hasn't helped the kids get confident but we were sharp yesterday.
-Most of the tips involved making practice more fun for the kids. We have a lot of fun built in to the practice already so it was good to see that was a universal, but what really helped us was getting more serious with discipline. We now deliver five unconditional up downs to the team in the event of a false start, offsides or fumble in practice. Maybe I've been reading too much Rick Reilly, but I didn't like the idea of being the coach who calls for running or pushups or whatnot for mistakes...I don't want to lead through fear. But I've found the kids really improve when that kind of threat is on the line, and it's not scarring them (in fact I think they like knowing we are serious about our boundaries. As Bo said, they WANT you to coach them).
-I'm also sort of a demanding hardass in my regular life, so I wanted to dial it back while coaching the kids. As it is, I've found that being demanding works if it's fair and consistent and I don't give any sign that I'm emotionally invested. We also NEVER, ever punish kids for poor performance - only for practice mental mistakes or disrespecting (e.g. not paying attention, screwing around or walking when they should be running).
-We only have 15 players so scrimmaging is impossible. However, on the advice of a friend, I started running mini-football games, six or seven men to a side on a shrunken field with down and distance and everything. THAT really helped them understand that you have to go to the whistle, you can't just stop once you've made your block, how to compete each play, etc. Plus it's easier to keep an eye on everybody's technique when it's not 22 players at a time.
-We've also made some strategic moves - we've figured out who's really able to tackle on defense, so we put those kids in position to contain and to make plays, and we put two of our most aggressive kids at running back beacuse that way we can sometimes get yards even if the blocking doesn't pan out. We may have a shot at a win before the year is out, but at any rate I think our kids are starting to get the game of football. I appreciate the support.