Posts Tagged ‘denard robinson’

New Year’s Day = College Bowl Games!

If you’re a football fanatic like us, New Year’s Day is synonymous with college football and the tradition of bowl games.  There are some lesser known games today, like the TicketCity Bowl featuring Northwestern and Texas Tech.  There are also some “ho-hum” games, like the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl with Connecticut and Oklahoma that we just cannot seem to get too excited about.  But thankfully there are also some great bowl games, which we highlight below. 

Outback Bowl – Featuring Penn State and Florida, 1 PM  EST, ABC

Two college football coaching giants meet in Tampa today – Joe Paterno, the legendary icon who, at 84, dismisses all ideas about retirement and Urban Meyer, who has announced (for the second time) that he is retiring from the college gridiron. 

While both teams are 7-5 and have had mediocre seasons, it should still be a great game to watch.  Here’s our take on the contest..

If the Gators play inspired football, determined to win one last game for their outgoing coach, they can probably pull off a victory.  What will the Gators’ attitudes be like?  It is hard to say, but even Urban Meyer himself recognizes that it is a key component of the game.  This week, he said, “I think the older players will play like there’s no tomorrow; they’re the invested group. I hope the younger guys carry the torch.”  He went on to say that this season is the first time in 10 years, “we have not followed the plan to win.”  All season long the Gators have played uninspired football, so it is a real concern for Meyer and a possible make or break factor in the game.

Another major element in today’s game is the injuries that are plaguing Florida.  Florida will be missing 5 starters, most notably corner Janoris Jenkins, which should give Nittany Lions QB Matt McGloin an offensive edge.   Even without all the injuries, Florida’s pass defense was poor.  The Lions will have to exploit this weakness if they want to pull off a victory.

Neither team has any superstars, which means the game may come down to the intangibles.  Motivation is certainly one intangible, but weather is another.  With game time temperatures expected to be in the upper 70s, Penn State may struggle keeping up with Florida’s speed. 

Prediction:  Florida 24, PSU 17

Capital One Bowl – Featuring Alabama and Michigan State, 1 PM EST, ESPN

Alabama began the season with high hopes.  A national championship seemed a real possibility as the Crimson Tide started the season with a 5-0 record and a #1 ranking.  In the last 6 games against Division I opponents the Tide went 3-3 and they found themselves out of national championship contention and relegated to a bowl game they are not very excited to be part of.

On the other side of the field, Michigan State ended the season as Big Ten champs (sharing the title with Wisconsin and Ohio State).   The 11-1 Spartans feel slighted since they were not invited to one of the elite BCS Bowl games and would love to walk away with a victory against the defending national champions.

Will Michigan State’s desire to prove they belonged in a more prestigious bowl game be enough of a motivator to win?  Or will Alabama look at this game as a way of salvaging a disappointing 9-3 season?  I think Alabama’s offense will be the deciding factor in this matchup.  QB Greg McElroy has thrown for nearly 2800 yards and just 5 INTs this season.  The Spartans will have to respect the run and crowd the line of scrimmage to contain last year’s Heisman winner Mark Ingram and running back Trent Richardson.  That will give McElroy the opportunity to showcase his arm.  Look for wide out Julio Jones, the Tide’s leading receiver with over yards this season, to be a critical factor in the game.

Prediction:  Alabama 30, Michigan State 21

Gator Bowl – Featuring Mississippi State and Michigan, 1:30 PM EST, ESPN2

The bowl season just wouldn’t be complete without one of our very favorite college players – Michigan QB Denard Robinson.  One last chance to see this dynamic, dual-threat player with the untied cleats is simply irresistible!

The game plan for Mississippi State is basic and simple – STOP DENARD ROBINSON.  The 8-4 Bulldogs have a strong run defense, but have struggled against the pass.  Expect Robinson to show that he is not merely a running, scrambling QB (over 1600 yards and 14 TDs this season), but an efficient passer (over 2300 yards and 16 TDs) as well.

Robinson enters the game rested and healthy.  Since he is the workhorse on the team and carries much of the offensive load, he takes a lot of hits and suffered various injuries this season.  A healthy Robinson will likely put up points for the 7-5 Wolverines, but it may not be enough to win the game.  The Michigan defense has struggled all season and were ranked 102nd in points allowed and 108th in yards allowed.  Statistically, it was the worst defense in the history of Wolverine football. 

The Bulldogs offense is solid and will be a challenge for the Wolverines.  MSU lost by only a field goal to #1 ranked Auburn and their other losses were to ranked opponents.  For Michigan to win, the Wolverine defense will need to finally step up this season.  

An interesting aspect of today’s game is how it may impact the future of Wolverine Head Coach Rich Rodriquez.  He has been on the hot seat all year.  In his 3 seasons at Michigan, he has a 15-21 overall record and is an embarrassing 6-18 in the Big Ten and 1-10 against ranked teams.  In addition, under Rodriquez the team had a number of NCAA violations related to practices and offseason workouts.  The outcome of today’s game may very well determine whether Rodriguez will return as the Michigan Head Coach.

Prediction:  Mississippi State 31, Michigan 27

Rose Bowl – Featuring Wisconsin and TCU, 5 PM EST, ESPN

Unbeaten TCU enters the Rose Bowl, referred to as “The Granddaddy of them All”, looking for validation.  As a Mountain West team playing in one of the elite BCS games, and after losing in the Fiesta Bowl last year to Boise State, TCU wants to prove it can play with the “Big Boys”.  Indeed, the 11-1 Badgers have a roster full of big boys.  Their offensive line is gargantuan with every starter over 300 pounds and at least 6’ 4”.  This massive line has allowed 3 different Badger running backs to rush for at least 860 yards each this season. 

Will this offensive line prove to be too enormous for TCU’s defense?  While the Horned Frog defense IS smaller, they are also renowned for their speed.  Combine that with solid tackling and leverage and TCU may just be able to handle the big boys.  After all, TCU has the top ranked defense in the nation!

While the Badgers’ ability to put up big points (averaging 43.3 points per game) is notorious, TCU’s offense is powerful as well and ranks 4th in scoring and 9th overall.  In fact, TCU’s offense also averages 43.3 points per game!  Both teams have scored an identical number of points – 520.  The Badger’s defense will be challenged with this dynamic, balanced offense led by senior QB Andy Dalton, who can both pass AND run.

With the Badgers ranked #4 and the Horned Frogs #3, today’s Rose Bowl looks to be the marquee matchup of the day.  These eerily, evenly matched powerhouse offenses will undoubtedly provide an exciting contest.  But games like this are won in the trenches, which should give the Badgers the edge and their 4th consecutive Rose Bowl victory.

Prediction:  Wisconsin 38, TCU 27

Sit back and enjoy today’s games.  With less than two weeks of college football remaining, soak up every moment you can! 

Happy New Year! 

From Your Gridironglamourgirl Team!

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Five Fabulous Reasons to be Thankful this Football Season…

As we pause to reflect upon the people and things in life that we are grateful for, we of course think of our families, special friends – both near and far – and other wonderful blessings.  As football fans, we are also thankful for the 2010 season and the excitement it has brought us thus far.  Here is our top five list of what we are most thankful for this football season…

#5 –  The Hokie Bird

Thanksgiving has a variety of traditions, like turkey and football, and what better turkey to represent the day than the Virginia Tech mascot?  The maroon and orange turkey may not be as ferocious as a lion or tiger, but he does have spectacular spirit as he struts his stuff around Lane Stadium.  In the 4th quarter as he dances the “Hokie Pokie”, you must admit there’s really no other mascot quite like him!

#4 – Mid-Season Coach Firings

After watching two of the most incompetent NFL coaches bumble along this season, we are grateful that the Cowboys and the Vikings had the courage to fire their head coaches.  Minnesota’s Brad Childress lost control of the team early in the season.  But his handling of Randy Moss truly epitomized his incompetence.  Now at 3-7, it will be interesting to see if interim head coach Leslie Frazier can salvage the season.  The Cowboys also made the bold move of firing head coach Wade Phillips mid way through the season.  Newly appointed Head Coach Jason Garrett seems to have shaken things up, as the Cowboys are playing much more motivated, disciplined football compared to when Phillips was coach.  It remains to be seen if these coaching changes will result in any real improvement in team play.  But, at the very least, we are thankful that we no longer have to endure the awkward and embarrassing behaviors of Childress and Phillips.

#3 –  Fantasy Football

While my team may not exactly be winning (ok, ok..we are in next to last place), entering a fantasy league for the first time this season has been one of the most fun and exciting things I have done in a long time.  Each week, as I set my starting line up in hopes of achieving the perfect team to annihilate my opponent, I love the strategy involved.  With players on my roster from throughout the league, I am interested in more games than ever before.  It is a great, new way to enjoy the gridiron and I am so thankful to be in such a great league (Go, HokieHokieHokie!)

#2 – Denard Robinson

He may not be as popular as Heisman hopeful Cam Newton of Auburn, but there’s something about Denard Robinson that makes us smile!  The University of Michigan QB, known as “’Shoelace”, is just plain fun to watch.  As he leads the Wolverines with his untied shoelaces and signature dreadlocks, he poses a dual threat to opposing defenses.  He alone has accounted for nearly 70% of Michigan’s total offense.  He is the first quarterback in NCAA history to pass for more than 1500 yards AND rush for 1500 yards in a single season.  At 7-4, Michigan’s season has been disappointing, which is one of the reasons Robinson may not be as highly touted as other Heisman candidates.  But nothing beats his pure athleticism and raw talent.  He is truly one of the most dynamic players in college football today and one of our very favorite things about this football season!

#1 – Michael Vick

Is there a better story in football this year?  After 21 months in federal prison because of his involvement in dog fighting, most people wrote Michael Vick off.  He lost his QB position with the Atlanta Falcons, declared bankruptcy and became one of the most despised figures in America.  Upon release from prison, most people expected him to return to his old lifestyle and friends and fade into obscurity.  But with the help of former Colts coach Tony Dungy, who mentored him while in prison, Vick changed his attitude, his work ethic, and in the end, his life.  His story is one of redemption and should give each of us hope.

As the starting QB for the Philadelphia Eagles, Vick’s performance this season has been phenomenal.  He is a serious contender for this year’s MVP.  Under the watchful, fatherly eye of Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid, Vick appears to be thriving both on and off the field.  With his unparalleled physical abilities, he is arguably the best overall athlete in the NFL.  Like our #2 favorite, Denard Robinson, we just love watching Vick play!  That immeasurable, distinctive ability to make plays with both his arm and his legs are simply magical and make him our VERY FAVORITE thing about the 2010 season so far!

Happy Thanksgiving fellow football fans!  Enjoy the rest of the season!

Denard “Shoelace” Robinson Brings Style to the Gridiron

Have you seen University of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson this college football season? His speed and ability to make defenders miss tackles are amazing things to watch.  Raw talent and athleticism aside, we at Gridironglamourgirl find him fascinating from a style standpoint too.

Denard’s nickname is Shoelace because, as hard as it is to fathom, this phenom’s blazing speeds are achieved with his cleats untied! Not only do his shoelaces flap in the wind as he drives down field, but his dreadlocks do as well. We like his personal fashion statement and look forward to watching him confound opposing defenses for the next few years.

“Dread the Dreads” is the newest Wolverine catch phrase, with images of a dread-laden Heisman Trophy popping up all over the web. Robinson’s fashion sense is affecting pop culture too. Many youth and high school football coaches are reporting that their players want to emulate Denard and play in untied cleats. We say, way to go Shoelace! Keep being a trail blazer both on and off the field!

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