Tag Archives: college football

Five things to do or watch over Fall Break

Photo by Kate Zuverink

Story by J.D. McKay

Fall break is finally here, and as is customary, I will be writing my column telling all of my readers what I will be watching and what they should be watching too. Some of them will be local high school sports. Others will be on TV. But, regardless, they will be events I will be watching and that I expect to be interesting. 

  1. Football vs Bedford Oct. 11

This is Senior Night and a game that is starting to become a rivalry game. It is usually very close and often has a few side stories that go along with it (just ask head coach James Bragg). However, it always makes for interesting football and typically keeps fans on the edge of their seats during a close game. Plus, it is Senior Night, so come support some seniors. 

  1. Volleyball vs Jeff Oct. 3

If I am going to write this honestly — I cannot say that volleyball has had a terrific year. However, they are very young this year. They have also shown a lot of potential during most matches. They led at times and played very well against Providence, a top 25 team in the nation. If they can play like that again, a home game against Jeff should be our first big rivalry win of the season. 

  1. Girls’ soccer sectionals Oct. 8, 10, 12

This girls’ soccer team is very talented. Earlier this year, they won the Hoosier Cup tournament. They have also already defeated New Albany and Providence, so their talent is clearly showing itself on the field. Girls’ soccer sectionals have almost become a tradition at FC, and winning this year would give the seniors their fourth straight sectional championship.

  1. Virginia versus Notre Dame football Sept. 28

Here is the first non-local sporting event. However, I expect there are plenty of Notre Dame fans reading this because Notre Dame fans are everywhere. Notre Dame is very good and played one of the best teams in the country, Georgia, to a six-point loss. Virginia is ranked 18, so I expect the Irish to finally get a top 25 victory this week. 

  1. Colts versus Chiefs Oct. 6

This should be a very good football game. The Colts have been one of the best teams in the NFL, even without Andrew Luck. The Chiefs also have Patrick Mahomes, potential the best QB in the NFL. If the Colts defense shows out, they should get a tough win on the road. The Colts will definitely be looking to get their hands on the Chiefs again after being knocked out of the playoffs by them last year.

Sports unite America after biggest tragedies

By J.D. McKay

Eighteen years ago today, America was physically hit as hard as when the British burned down Washington, including the White House in 1814. America was very different at that point in time, of course. America was missing something that I believe Americans associate with our country, sports. 

It is early to say, but probably the biggest tragedy of my age group’s lifetime will be 9/11. Sports were also affected. There was not another sports game until Sept. 16. But 10 days after 9/11, the Mets Mike Piazza hit one of the most memorable home runs in baseball history. The game was the first pro-baseball game played in New York after the attacks. The Mets were down 2-1 in the eighth inning, but Piazza hit a two-run home run, putting the Mets ahead 3-2. The American flags that were already around the stadium started fluttering. Mets fans erupted. It gave the country and New Yorkers a chance to cheer about something after such a tragic time.  

However, that season was a good year to be a fan of the other New York team, the Yankees. In game three of the World Series, the Yankees were hosting the Diamondbacks at Yankee Stadium. President George W. Bush was scheduled to throw out the first pitch. The game was sold out. Bush knew he needed to look good on the mound, but the pressure only rose when Derek Jeter warned him not to bounce it. When Bush stepped out of the dugout, U.S.A. chants echoed around the stadium. He threw in a beautiful pitch, and the handheld flags waved around the stadium. His pitch was a great moment for New Yorkers, showing that America was too tough to let terrorists win. 

But 9/11 is not the only moment where Americans united over sports. In 2005, New Orleans was hit by Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans Saints were in a time of turmoil. They were terrible, considering relocating, and without a true quarterback. Now we know the Saints did not move. They found the answer to the other two questions in one man, Drew Brees. Brees did not only led the Saints back to the playoffs, but he also helped rebuild the city. Specifically, his Brees Dream Foundation helped rebuild schools, parks, and athletic facilities. The Saints did not play a game in New Orleans until 2006. But in their first game back, they had one moment that has been memorialized. Steve Gleason blocked a punt early in the game that was returned for a touchdown. The announcers were silent for almost a minute as the stadium erupted, and the Saints players pointed back at the fans, as if telling them that was for them. Gleason diving to block the ball will forever be outside of the Super Dome, and the title on the pedestal could not be any better: Rebirth. 

Sports have united America during other tragedies. The Astros won the World Series just two months after Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017. All of Boston sports rallied after the Boston Bombing. That was best seen at the Boston Bruins game on April 17, 2013. The fans took over singing the National Anthem from Renee Rancourt, who was brought in to sing that night. 

Terrorist attacks try to bring America down. However, we typically come back stronger. Sports are not always the events that bring America together, but they help create strength and toughness in a city and a country that desperately need it. 

 

Previewing the NCAA and NFL seasons

By J.D. McKay

We made it. Saturday Florida and Miami play to start the college football season. Now, to those of us in Indiana, that game does not really interest us. But, it is the first televised game to matter. That should hopefully hold us over to Thursday, when we get to see Clemson and their QB Trevor Lawrence play for the first time after winning the National Championship last January. 

I have already started college football, and it is coming sooner so I will start there. I expect 50 percent of the playoff from last year to be back. It will be the same 50 percent I predicted last year, Clemson and Alabama. The other two spots are much more open. However, Oklahoma has been very good over the past few years and always seem to slide into the playoffs, so they will be my third. The fourth spot is also pretty open. Georgia could get in. However, that would mean keeping the Big Ten out for a third straight year, and their last appearance, Ohio State, in 2016, was forgettable. They were blanked by Clemson, losing 31-0. I really do not think anyone from the Big Ten will get out of the conference. Ohio State has a new coach, so it should take them a year to get going. Michigan is always good until they play Ohio State, where they will inevitably get destroyed. Michigan State has a chance I guess, but when you could compare them to a one loss SEC team, they probably are not in. The rest of the conference has some good teams not typically thought of as powerhouses, like Iowa, Nebraska, or Penn State. However, none of those teams have the prestige Georgia has to get in. 

In the first round, Clemson will beat Oklahoma in one versus four game, and Alabama will beat Georgia in the two versus three game. For the third time in four years, Bama and Clemson will play for the championship, and for back-to-back years, Clemson’s stud QB, Trevor Lawrence, who will be coming off a Heisman trophy winning season, will win the title. 

Moving to the NFL, this will also be at least semi-predictable. The Patriots will win their division. Shocking, I know. The Saints will also win their division behind Drew Brees’ first MVP season in a career that should have produced two or three MVPs. 

I will skip through the regular season, but the playoffs will have the Colts, Chargers, Patriots, and Browns winning their divisions in the AFC. The Wildcards will be the Jaguars and Chiefs. The Chargers and Browns will have the first round byes, but the Browns will go into the bye in a sharp decline after losing their last three and be beat in their first playoff game by the third seeded Colts. The Chargers will lose to the Patriots, and Tom Brady will once again be in the AFC Championship game. However, I might be biased here, but the Colts will get over the hump and beat old man Brady. 

The NFC will also look pretty similar to last year. The Bears, Saints, and Rams will all repeat as division champs. However, the Eagles will win their division instead of the Cowboys. The Wildcards will be the Falcons and 49ers. The Bear and Saints will get the bye. After the Eagles and 49ers get knocked out in the first round. Both the first and second seeded teams will advance to the NFC Championship game. The Bears will somehow quite Brees and go to the Super Bowl XLI rematch. 

It will be a match up of a great Colts offense versus a great Bears defense. That often does not go well for the offenses. But Frank Reich, one of the NFL’s best coaches will figure out the Bears and win the Colts third Super Bowl, and second against the Bears in my lifetime.

 

Debating college football’s post season bowl games

By Ty Elliot

Co sports editor

“Playoffs?!”

The month of December is arguably the best month of the year. There is Christmas break, Christmas day, and college football bowl games. Yes, there is nothing better then watching bowl games. Well, except for the NFL playoffs, and the NBA playoffs and the college basketball tournament. There are better sports’ post seasons better than the college football bowl system. But, if the NCAA were to adopt a college football playoff it would be much more intriguing.

College football’s post season is much different than other sports. In 2010, 35 bowl games will be played represented by 70 teams, the most important game being the Bowl Championship Series National Championship. The championship game features the number one and number two ranked teams in the nation. Despite the simplicity of the BCS system, every season seems to bring drama as to which two teams deserve to play in the title game where there are usually more than two teams that are worthy of those two positions. There is also criticism of how the teams are chosen due to the “BCS formula.” All of the six BCS conferences (Big East, SEC, ACC, Big Ten, PAC 10, and the Big 12) are allowed to have one team represent them in the BCS bowl games, which is awarded to the conference champions. The formula is made of three components, 1/3 is the Harris Poll which is compiled by Harris Interactive, which is a market research company in which specializes in internet research; 1/3 is the Coaches Poll which is voted on by the coaches; and the other 1/3 is the computer rankings. The computer rankings have brought the most criticism. Allowing computers to choose a team to play in a game is ridiculous. A computer for one can not physically watch or see a team play football. A computer has no knowledge of football.

This formula has brought many unfair situations to teams that are not in those BCS conferences. In past years, teams like Utah, Boise State, and TCU have been given harsh criticism from the BCS formula. All of those teams are not in the “BCS qualifyingconferences.” They are looked down upon because they do not play a tougher schedule of games as those in the BCS conferences. But, in fact, in recent years those teams have proven they can hold their own while playing tough teams.

In 2004, an undefeated (11-0) Utah team played Pittsburgh (8-3) in the Fiesta Bowl. Utah was lead by the eventual number one pick in the NFL draft in 2005: Alex Smith. Utah showed to be the better team as they won in dominating fashion 35-7. Utah also played in the Sugar Bowl in 2008 against Alabama. Utah defeated Alabama 31-17 which opened the door for question. Should Utah have played in the title game?

In 2006, undefeated Boise State (12-0) played Oklahoma (11-2) in the Fiesta Bowl. In one of the most exciting games of all time, Boise State won in overtime 43-42, but earned little respect from the rest of the nation.

 What is a better solution for the NCAA? The NCAA should adopt a 16 team single elimination playoff. There are a total of 11 college football conferences. All 11 conference champions should receive an automatic berth into the playoff. Then, the top five ranked teams who did not win their conference will receive a wild card berth. The NCAA can seed the teams based on their BCS rankings with the number one team playing the number sixteen team. With this playoff system, the teams that are in small conferences can have a chance at winning the prestigious national title. Teams like Boise State and Utah will get that chance that they have never gotten in the past, which is to win the title.

 Come on NCAA, change this system to a playoff before the guys on capitol hill do. Do you really want Barack Obama to determine the fate of the college football post season?