Sunday, December 31, 2006

MCR – Meat & Potatoes

Continuing with our Matchup Comparison Rating we take a look at the games on New Year’s Day. A January 1st bowl is supposed to be the measuring stick of a successful season – if you make to a bowl game then you’ve done well. With that in mind here are this year’s teams that have supposedly done well. As always we start by defining our criteria.

Tennessee (9-3) vs. Penn State (8-4)
Jan. 1, 11 AM - ESPN

What sick bastard scheduled a football game before noon after the biggest drinking night of the year (next to St. Patrick’s day). Anyway, this is a matchup of contrasting styles. Tennessee will look to air it out and Penn State will ride the capable shoulders of Tony Hunt. Tennessee’s rushing defense is 70th in the country and the Nittany Lions will look to exploit it. Robert Meachem may be the best wide receiver Penn State has faced all season and will provide matchup problems for their undersized secondary. An added bonus will be the possibility of Joe Paterno turning donuts on the sideline in a golf cart.

+1 strong offense vs. strong defense
+1 good running back vs. weak rushing defense
+1 JoePa and his golfcart/walker

-1 start time (kegs & eggs anyone?)

MCR 2 (Microwave Dinner)

AT&T Cotton
Auburn (10-2) vs. Nebraska (9-4)
Jan. 1, 11:30 AM - FOX

NU Coach Bill Callahan’s pass happy offense is finally taking hold in Huskerland, QB Zac Taylor threw for 3071 yards and 25 touchdowns running the 16th best pass and 8th best overall offense in the nation. The Blackshirts haven’t been spectacular but the front four do a good job of pressuring the quarterback. The secondary is a question mark but Auburn’s strength it hardly a potent passing attack. The time off should do wonders for Tigers running back Kenny Irons who has played through multiple injuries. If QB Brandon Cox can have limited success Auburn may be able to exploit Nebraska’s defensive weaknesses. Auburn has a quick swarming defense that has been relied upon for most of the Tigers victories. Auburn is 7th in the nation in scoring defense and 5th in kickoff returns which translates into field position for a less then spectacular offense.

+1 pass-happy offense vs. strong defense
+1 not covered by ESPN
+1 healthy Kenny Irons

-1 same time as Outback bowl

MCR 2 (Microwave Dinner)

Toyota Gator
West Virginia (10-2) vs. Georgia Tech (9-4)
Jan. 1, 1 PM - CBS

The Mountaineers throw for roughly the same number of yards per game as the Yellow Jackets but are second in the nation in rushing offense. Georgia Tech does have the 10th best rushing defense and are 18th overall but they haven’t faced a back like Steve Slaton. For the Tech side of the argument, West Virginia hasn’t faced a wide receiver like superstar Calvin Johnson but the Jackets are without Reggie Ball due to academic ineligibility. That may not be a bad thing considering Ball’s 44% completion percentage and 14 ints – can his backup really do much worse? West Virginia was able to knock off Rutgers without emerging super-stud QB Pat White who will be back for this game. This game wouldn’t be worth tuning in for if not for Johnson, White, and Slaton. There could be a few less couches in Morgantown by the end of New Year’s day.

+1 superstar power – tune in to see White, Johnson, and Slaton
+1 not on ESPN – ALWAYS a plus

-1 blowout possibility

MCR 1 (Woman’s Heart)

Capital One
Arkansas (10-3) vs. Wisconsin (11-1)
Jan. 1, 1 PM - ABC

How good is Wisconsin? The only ranked opponent they played (Michigan) they lost to, but they beat everyone else. Their defense is statistically stout checking in as the best at pass efficiency, 4th in total, and 3rd in scoring. Arkansas is similar to Wisconsin in philosophy and skill but they’ve played a MUCH more difficult schedule. The Razorbacks got destroyed by USC but bounced back to beat Auburn and Tennessee and make it to the SEC championship game. Runningback P.J. Hill is a load and Wisconsin hopes to get quarterback John Stocco back from a separated shoulder that kept him out of the last two games. Razorbacks jack of all trades Darren McFadden is always fun to watch and a nightmare for opposing D coordinators.

+1 Heisman finalist
+1 Big Ten conference leading RB
+1 two smash mouth running teams

-1 possible inflated record

MCR 2 (Microwave Dinner)


gerry said...

Your post is way too full of wit and good humor....loved reading it. Do drop by my blog coz I have many fun stuff posted in there.

Galen said...

Interesting blog Gerry, some fun stuff I may have to use for St. Patty's day.