As the 2016-17 college football bowl season was winding down, only two teams still had perfect records. One of those teams was a highly unlikely one, the Western Michigan Broncos. Out of the Mid-American Conference, the Broncos finished the regular season with a record of 13-0.
Led by their young and exuberant head coach P.J. Fleck, the Broncos rolled through their schedule which included road victories over two Big Ten teams, Northwestern and Illinois. The Broncos had never cracked the AP Top 25 rankings before this season but in week seven they did, coming in at No. 24.
By the end of the season, Western was ranked No. 15 and was selected to play in The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic against another Big Ten team, the Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers made it to the Big Ten championship game before losing to Penn State and finished the regular season with an 10-3 record.
Hoping to complete their perfect season, Western would need to slow down the Wisconsin running game, always one of the Badgers strengths. The Broncos run defense was one of their strengths all season but in the first half they allowed 156 rush yards to Wisconsin and couldn’t seem to stop them from what they do best.
Wisconsin took a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter on two rushing touchdowns. Western came back with a score of their own when quarterback Zach Terrell ran one in from two yards out. But before the half, the Badgers added a field goal to make it 17-7 at halftime.Shop Wisconsin Cotton Bowl Gear
The Broncos added a field goal in the third to cut the score to 17-10 but Wisconsin extended the lead to two touchdowns early in the fourth on a touchdown pass from Alex Hornibrook to Troy Fumagalli. A late touchdown from Western made the game close but it wasn’t enough as the Broncos took their only loss of the year.
In Kalamazoo, Fleck is a bit of a rock star. The 36-year old coach brought the mantra “Row the Boat” to the Western program and has taken the team from 1-11 in his first season to 13-1 this year. His bubbly personality and his catch phrases like, “Have an Elite Day”, have energized the players and fans and the national media has caught on.
The Broncos were featured on College Gameday prior to their game against Buffalo on November 19th and the broadcast featured a piece on Coach Fleck that highlighted his unique bond with his players and the community.
Fleck is currently signed with Western through the 2020 season but the school has been discussing an extension. As of this article nothing has been completed. Speculation has had him taking a higher profile position but he has insisted he wants to return to Kalamazoo and continue to coach the Broncos. Given the success of the program it is most likely only a matter of time before Fleck is headed to a school that can offer him more money with greater opportunities.
For Broncos fans, the hope is that he stays right where he is. Fingers crossed.
Shop Western Michigan Cotton Bowl Gear!
We have reached the end of week 9 of the college football season (wow does time fly) and there are several teams who are in position to secure a berth as one of the four programs to reach the College Football Playoffs.
With four weeks to go in the regular season as well as conference championships to be played, there is nothing etched in stone for any of those teams. In this article we’ll look at 5 of those teams vying for a spot in the final four and assess their chances to get there.
Alabama Crimson Tide
You have to marvel at a program that has the amount of talent going to the NFL each season and continuing their dominance. The Tide is starting a true freshman at quarterback in Jalen Hurts and how not missed a beat as Hurts has led the team to a perfect 8-0 record so far.
Head Coach Nick Saban is a big reason for Alabama’s excellence not just for his coaching but also for his stellar recruiting. The Tide get to play three of their remaining four games at home with only next week's game at 19th ranked LSU being played on the road.
Prediction: They are pretty much guaranteed to return to the playoffs.
I guess coaching does make a big difference in the college game. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh took over a rather dormant program at his alma mater and in two years has them in a position to play for a national championship. Known as a quarterback guru of sorts, Harbaugh is grooming current starter Wilton Speight and the results have been good so far.
The Wolverines are also one of the best defenses in the country led by Jabrill (I’ll play any position) Peppers. However, Michigan still has a daunting schedule with road games against Iowa and Ohio State ahead. This will keep Michigan Wolverine fans at the edge of their stadium seats.
Prediction: 50/50 Chance for the playoffs
Ohio State Buckeyes
Do we see a theme here? Buckeyes Head Coach Urban Meyer also lost big to the NFL after last season; the Ohio State Buckeyes are in a position to reach the playoffs again this year after last season's disappointment.
With an experienced quarterback under center in J.T. Barrett and defense that continues to perform at a high level, don’t count them out of contention. It will all come down to the regular season finale against Michigan to see who has the edge.
Prediction: 50/50 Chance for the playoffs
The Tigers passed their biggest test with their 37-34 victory at Florida State on Saturday. With remaining games against the likes of Syracuse, Pitt, Wake Forest and South Carolina to go, it looks like clear sailing for Clemson.
Prediction: Pencil the ClemsonTigers into the Final Four
Head Coach Chris Petersen has turned this program around and has them undefeated after 8 games. They can also thank Quarterback Jake Browning who is in the Heisman Trophy discussion. If they can only avoid a loss to rival Washington State on the road in their finale, we should the Huskies in the playoffs.
Prediction: Better than 50/50
It seems like the Ohio State Buckeyes have always been a great football program. You can go back to the days of the legendary Woody Hayes who coached the team from 1951 through 1978, a period in which Hayes led them to 5 of their 8 National Championships.
Hayes was followed by Earle Bruce, John Cooper and Jim Tressel who all had varying degrees of success with the Buckeyes. But none of them were able to bring another National Championship home to Columbus except Tressel whose 2002 team did it.
Coach Urban Meyer
Fast forward to November 28th, 2011 when former Florida coach Urban Meyer accepted the position as the team’s new Head Coach. Meyer had won two National Championships as the Florida coach but ended up leaving the program for health reasons in 2010.
When the opportunity arose for Meyer to return and coach his alma mater he jumped at the chance. Born in Toledo, Ohio and a graduate of Ohio State, Meyer's first full season as Buckeyes coach began in 2012.
Since then, the team has an amazing 50-4 record and a 2014 National Championship to its credit. Last season, the team had an impressive 12-1 season with a 44-28 Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame.
However, the team was hit hard by graduations and NFL departures as only six starters will return for the 2016 season, three on each side of the ball. One of them is Quarterback J.T. Barrett. Now a junior, Barrett is without question the number one returning starter and will again be one of the team's best players. The Buckeyes will also need to find a replacement for the program’s No. 2 all-time rusher in Ezekiel Elliott. Redshirt freshman Mike Weber should emerge at that position with H-back Curtis Samuel also available. The team also took some hits at wide receiver and along the line. There is no question that Meyer has the talent but most of the replacements are as yet unproven.
Defensively, Meyer brought in Greg Schiano as Defensive Coordinator and Associate Head Coach. With Schiano’s college and pro credentials, expect the defense to be strong once again. Middle Linebacker and All-Big Ten player Raekwon McMillan returns to anchor the defense. Other talented players to watch include ends Tyquan Lewis and Sam Hubbard as well as cornerback Gareon Conley.
With the team breaking in a lot of new talent, Meyer may have to do one of his best coaching jobs yet. The experts think he can do it as the Buckeyes were ranked 6th in the initial Associated Press rankings.
Remember it was actually Michigan State that took the Big Ten title last year and went to the College Football Playoff. In addition, Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines are also expected to have a strong season so it won’t be easy for OSU.
A quick look at the schedule shows an early test against the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman on September 17th. The Sooners played in the playoff last season and are currently ranked No. 3 heading into this year. They will need to travel to Michigan State on November 19th but they get Michigan at home to end the regular season a week later.
It will be interesting to see how quickly some of the new talent rises to the top for the Buckeyes and how far it can take them. Stay tuned.
The Michigan State Spartans made it all the way to the college football playoffs in 2015.
Unfortunately, they were paired up with Alabama in a News Year's Eve semifinal matchup and saw their season come to an end with a 38-0 defeat to the Crimson Tide.
So what is the outlook for the Spartans heading into the 2016 season? How are they ranked? After all, the defending Big Ten champions seem to get better each year under Head Coach Mark Dantonio.
First, let’s take a look at some of the key losses the Spartans will need to replace heading into this season.
All-time leading passer Connor Cook has graduated so a new quarterback will need to be found. In addition, receiver Aaron Burbridge and offensive lineman Jack Allen and Jack Conklin have also left East Lansing.
Cook should be replaced by fifth-year senior Tyler O’Connor who actually replaced Cook in the pivotal road victory over Ohio State last season.
The offensive line will be a bit more inexperienced with the losses of Allen and Conklin and they will need the replacements to step in and be productive sooner rather than later.
However, it is at wide receiver where the Spartans will need the most assistance from their young players. R.J. Shelton returns as the only player with at least seven catches last year. They do, however, have a highly acclaimed recruit in Donnie Corley and a sophomore talent in Felton Davis III who should get plenty of playing time.
Defensively, the Spartans are expected to remain strong even though they only return five starters. Defensive tackle Malik McDowell is expected to reach All-American status and promises to be one of the country’s top players.
At linebacker, Riley Bullough leads a strong core of players competing for positions. The defensive backfield will be a definite strength with Montae Nicholson and Demetrious Cox leading an experienced and talented group.
Which leads us to the question we asked in the beginning. Can the Spartans get all the way back to the college football playoffs.
Most analysts don’t believe so. Playing in the same division with rivals Ohio State and Michigan will definitely make it tough and many are picking MSU third behind those two teams. Don't tell that to the Spartan fans and alumni.
The Spartans will get both the Buckeyes and Wolverines at home this year which should give them an advantage.
A quick look at the schedule shows a mid-September matchup in South Bend versus Notre Dame. That game will go a long way in determining if the Spartans have a chance to go into their key games undefeated.
With Dantonio, Michigan State has always been a team that has a way of exceeding expectations. Although they usually don’t get the top recruits, he has a way of coaching them up and getting the most out of all of his players, especially in big games.
With the odds and the expectations low, this gives Dantonio the perfect scenario to run the table and get back to the playoffs.
Not everyone thinks it will happen, but don’t tell that to the Spartans.
Create your own custom college football jersey, read more:
Well, here we are. The college football season concludes on Monday evening, January 11, 2016 at 8:30 PM at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Alabama and Clemson are the two teams still standing after winning their semifinal games on New Year's Eve. Clemson started the day by beating Oklahoma 37 - 17 while Alabama started slow but ended up with a blowout win versus Michigan State 38 - 0. Suffice it to say that the two best college football teams from 2015 will indeed play to decide the national championship.
A true national championship game in college football only began a few short years ago in 2014. After years of discussion around the format, it was finally decided that a 4 team “tournament” would be held with the semifinal winners playing for the title. Although there is still debate regarding the 4 teams selected in the polls, it is nice to see that the champion is finally decided on the field of play.
So let’s take a look at the two teams…
Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama comes into the game with an overall record of 13 - 1. After victories in its first two games, a surprising home loss to Mississippi (43 - 37) threatened to take them out of national championship consideration. However, the Crimson Tide went on the reel off 11 straight wins which included the SEC championship game against Florida as well as the convincing victory over Michigan State in the semifinal Cotton Bowl Game.
Alabama has a storied program in college football and has won 15 previous national championships. They have a total of 29 conference championships and made an NCAA record 62 bowl appearances.
They are coached by Nick Saban who is in his 9th year at Alabama. Saban has a remarkable 99 - 18 (.846) record in his tenure with the school. He is widely considered one of the top coaches in college football.
The Crimson Tide are led by running back Derrick Henry who was this year's winner of the Heisman trophy as the top player in the nation. At quarterback is senior Jake Coker who had an excellent year culminating with a terrific passing performance in the Michigan State game. True freshman receiver Calvin Ridley is their top receiving threat while punt returner Cyrus Jones returned 4 kicks for touchdowns this season including one against Michigan State.
On defense, their front seven is far and away their biggest strength. The defensive front led the nation by allowing an average of only 2.3 yards per carry and averaged 3.57 sacks per game.
Clemson was undefeated in 2015 with a perfect 15 - 0 record. Included were wins over Notre Dame, Florida State, South Carolina and Oklahoma in the semifinal.
Clemson also has a strong history in college football. They have had a total of 5 undefeated seasons with 21 conference championships. They do have one national championship on their record which occurred in 1981. The Tigers also boast a total of 95 All-Americans and 194 NFL players who claim Clemson as their alma mater.
The team has an all-time record of 703 - 455 - 45 (.603). They are coached currently by Dabo Swinney who is in his 8th year in that role. Swinney has a Clemson record of 75 - 26 (.743).
The Tigers are led by their own Heisman candidate, sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson (who was 3rd in the Heisman vote) is a true dual threat quarterback who can beat you with his arm or his feet. He passed for 31 touchdowns and 3,699 yards and ran for another 1,032 yards and 12 touchdowns. Quite impressive.
Clemson also features running back Wayne Gallman who totalled 1,469 rush yards and 12 touchdowns. On defense, the top two playmakers to watch for Clemson will be Shaq Lawson and Ben Boulware. Lawson accounted for 10.5 sacks on the season. The secondary is littered with future first round picks and helped the defense rank as the 6th best in the country.
Overall, this looks on paper to be an exciting and extremely competitive game. Both teams have the ability to move the ball on offense and score points. Then you look at the strength of the defenses and it would not be surprising to see more of a defensive battle come out of it.
The hope here is that the score remains close and competitive (unlike the semifinal games) and the nation is treated to an exciting game that goes down to the wire.
Most betting lines are listing Alabama as a 6 to 7 point favorite at this time. Remember that Alabama made it to semifinals last season but lost to Ohio State. I’m betting they are not interested in losing again this year, especially in the final game.
Prediction: Alabama 27, Clemson 20
If you are interested in the apparel for this National Championship, check out this site:
Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy
Lоuіѕіаnа Stаtе Unіvеrѕіtу іѕ a public соеduсаtіоnаl unіvеrѕіtу lосаtеd іn Bаtоn Rоugе, Lоuіѕіаnа. Thе Unіvеrѕіtу wаѕ fоundеd іn 1853 іn whаt іѕ nоw knоwn аѕ Pіnеvіllе, Lоuіѕіаnа, undеr thе nаmе Lоuіѕіаnа Stаtе Sеmіnаrу оf Lеаrnіng & Mіlіtаrу Aсаdеmу.
Lоuіѕіаnа Stаtе Unіvеrѕіtу іѕ оffісіаllу knоwn аѕ Lоuіѕіаnа Stаtе Unіvеrѕіtу аnd Agrісulturаl аnd Mесhаnісаl Cоllеgе. Lоuіѕіаnа Stаtе Unіvеrѕіtу Agrісulturаl & Mесhаnісаl Cоllеgе hаd іtѕ оrіgіn іn ѕеvеrаl lаnd grаntѕ mаdе bу thе Unіtеd Stаtеѕ gоvеrnmеnt іn 1806, 1811, аnd 1827 for uѕе аѕ a ѕеmіnаrу оf lеаrnіng. It wаѕ fоundеd аѕ a mіlіtаrу асаdеmу and іѕ ѕtіll tоdау ѕtеереd іn mіlіtаrу trаdіtіоn, gіvіng rіѕе tо thе ѕсhооl'ѕ nісknаmе "Thе Olе Wаr Skulе."
Current LSU Campus
Thе сurrеnt LSU mаіn саmрuѕ wаѕ dеdісаtеd іn 1926, аnd соnѕіѕtѕ оf mоrе thаn 250 buіldіngѕ соnѕtruсtеd іn thе ѕtуlе оf Itаlіаn Rеnаіѕѕаnсе аrсhіtесt Andrеа Pаllаdіо. Thе Olmѕtеd Brоthеrѕ Fіrm оf Brооklіnе, Mаѕѕасhuѕеttѕ, dеѕіgnеd thе сurrеnt саmрuѕ аrоund 1921 whеn LSU wаѕ рlаnnіng tо mоvе іtѕ саmрuѕ frоm dоwntоwn Bаtоn Rоugе.
LSU’s campus оссuріеѕ a 650-асrе (2.6 km²) рlаtеаu оn thе bаnkѕ оf thе Mіѕѕіѕѕіррі Rіvеr.Thе саmрuѕ іѕ knоwn fоr thе 1,200 lіvе оаk trееѕ thаt ѕhаdе thе grоund оf thе unіvеrѕіtу. Durіng thе 1930ѕ, lаndѕсаре аrtіѕt Stееlе Burdеn рlаntеd mаnу оf lіvе оаkѕ аnd mаgnоlіа trееѕ, whісh аrе nоw vаluеd аt оvеr $50 mіllіоn. Mаnу оf thе аzаlеаѕ, сrере mуrtlеѕ, lіguѕtrum, аnd саmеllіаѕ рlаntеd іn thе ԛuаdrаnglе wеrе аddеd tо thе саmрuѕ іn thе 1970ѕ. Thrоugh thе LSU Fоundаtіоn'ѕ "Endоw аn Oаk" рrоgrаm, іndіvіduаlѕ аnd grоuрѕ аrе аblе tо еndоw lіvе оаkѕ асrоѕѕ thе unіvеrѕіtу'ѕ саmрuѕ.
Thе fоllоwіng соllеgеѕ аrе аffіlіаtеd wіth LSU:
• Cоllеgе оf Agrісulturе
• Cоllеgе оf Art & Dеѕіgn
• Cоllеgе оf Humаnіtіеѕ & Sосіаl Sсіеnсеѕ
• Cоllеgе оf Sсіеnсе
• E.J. Ourѕо Cоllеgе оf Buѕіnеѕѕ
• Cоllеgе оf Muѕіс & Drаmаtіс Artѕ
• Cоllеgе оf Humаn Sсіеnсеѕ & Eduсаtіоn
• Cоllеgе оf Engіnееrіng
• Pаul M. Hеbеrt Lаw Cеntеr Unіvеrѕіtу Cоllеgе
• Rоgеr Hаdfіеld Ogdеn Hоnоrѕ Cоllеgе
• Grаduаtе Sсhооl
• Mаnѕhір Sсhооl оf Mаѕѕ Cоmmunісаtіоn
• Sсhооl оf Vеtеrіnаrу Mеdісіnе
• Sсhооl оf thе Cоаѕt & Envіrоnmеnt
• Sсhооl оf Sосіаl Wоrk
• Cоntіnuіng Eduсаtіоn
LSU is a member of NCAA and Southeastern Conference. This university has won 47 team national championships for both men's and women's team sports. Fans and alumni's both are proud of LSU academics and sports legacy. Support this university with team gear: http://recreationandsportsworld.com/lsu-football-jerseys-for-the-whole-family and http://recreationandsportsworld.com/college/lsu-tigers-custom-football-jersey
Save Money When Hosting Events
Football season has arrived, which means many of you might want to host a Saturday or Sunday afternoon football party. Don't let the cost of hosting a get together stop you from having friends over.
Here are some tips that will help you save money over the football season.
Host a Potluck
If you plan to host regular events serve snacks and beverages. You will have just as much fun as to if you were to offer a complete meal. If food is a major highlight of your events make sure that you make meal preparation a group thing. You are already providing the house and entertainment for the event and many guests would love to bring over their favorite dish. You could provide the main meal and ask everyone else to bring a side dishes and desert. Send out the invitation on a group email or text so that everyone can "reply all" as to what they might want to bring. This is a nice way to ensure that you don't have duplicates such as 5 desserts and no salads.
Stay Away from Pre-packaged Foods
Popping items in the microwave may be convenient; however, they tend to be more expensive than making appetizers from scratch. Appetizers are not required either.
Alcohol is expensive and you may have friends who drink a lot. Have a "bring your own" beverage party and you will find that reduces your expenses greatly. This way your friends can have their own preference so everyone is happy. Think about it, it is already impossible to have what every friend prefers to drink available.
Shop at the Dollar Store
It is okay to purchase utensils, plates and cups from the Dollar Store. You can even get cleaning supplies and other items from there too. Brand names are not a requirement and it is very unlikely that your guests will notice anyways.
Save Money Buying Sports Apparel
It is always fun to host a party when everyone is wearing their teams jersey or sweatshirt. Suggest to your friends that they wear their team's apparel, even if they are rooting for the other team! One college site that provides great selection and prices is http://recreationandsportsworld.com/.
By following these steps, hosting football events will not send you to bankruptcy.
Florida State Seminoles (6-0) (4-0 ACC)
The Seminoles have shown the nation that they don’t plan on falling off anytime soon. They are showing everyone that they’ve quickly moved on from the Jameis Winston era. They found a new superstar quarterback in Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson. He has thrown for 1449 yds., 11 TDs and no picks in his first year with the Seminoles, and running back Dalvin Cook is having great with 955 yds. and 10 TDs. Florida State is in the middle of the pact defensively as their ranked 24th overall in the nation. They will battle it out with Clemson on November 7 for the #1 spot in the ACC, and they may see each other in the ACC Championship Game. But, the winner of that game could determine which ACC team is in one of the playoff spots. For a customized football jersey view: http://recreationandsportsworld.com/customized-college-football-jerseys
After a huge victory at Texas Tech, TCU looks to prove all of the doubters wrong on their road to the Final Four. TCU felt like they got snubbed from the playoffs last year, and they will look to prove this year that they belong in it. Let’s take a look at some of the key factors in TCU’s run for the playoffs in 2015.
Trevone Boykin needs to be elite- The most important part of this TCU team right now, quarterback Trevone Boykin needs to keep his level of play at a very high level if TCU wants a chance at the final four. He has improved with every game, as he has only been playing QB for two years now after making the transition from CB. He is an excellent athlete and has a very good arm as well. His touch on deep throws is impeccable, and he can make a lot of throws that other QB’s in the nation cannot. He already has 1470 passing yards and 14 passing TD’s on the season, as he looks to break most of the passing records set at TCU. Look for Boykin to continue his dominance as TCU’s offense will roll through this season as undoubtedly one of the most potent offenses in the nation.
The ground game needs to take pressure off of Boykin- Starting RB Aaron Green has done an excellent job of keeping defenses honest as he has rumbled for 434 yards and 6 td’s on 73 carries this season. Many critics went into this season thinking that TCU was one-dimensional with only a good passing game that could be exploited by smart defenses. However, Aaron Green has proven them wrong with his relentless running style and TCU’s strong run blocking. TCU will keep feeding Aaron Green as long as he keeps running the way he has, as they look to take some of the load off of Trevone Boykin.
Josh Doctson needs to stay healthy- TCU’s best receiver has also been one of the best receivers in the whole nation, as he has amassed 593 receiving yards and 6 td’s on 35 reception. He is always Trevone Boykin’s first read on every play, and for good reason. Doctson has consistently shown that he can burn CB’s with a wide array of routes. He also has elite height, at 6’4 tall he is an absolute nightmare in the red zone, where Boykin will look his way on most plays inside the opponent’s 20 yard line. If Doctson can play through this whole season, The connection between Boykin and him will be a fun one to watch.
TCU’s offense will be elite this year, there is no question about that. The defense will need to step up if they want a legitimate chance at a national championship, something I think that they are capable of doing.
If you are a fan of TCU, wear your Horned Frogs football jersey with pride on game day! Other TCU apparel and accessories are available.
Before embarking on your tailgating event someone needs to make sure that everyone knows the rules of the venue. There will be regulations and pre-registering requirements. You need to plan in advance where you’re going to park and who is going to get there first to save the spot.
You will find everyone dressed casually at tailgate events. Die-hard college fans will have these items in their wardrobe, the team jersey, hat T-shirt and even flags to wave.
Jerseys can be special ordered, personalized with your name on them and the number of your favorite team player. In fact you can choose just about any name you want to put on your jersey, it doesn’t have to be your own first or last name. The number can also be of your own choosing, perhaps a birthday or even your own lucky number.
There are a few universities that offer personalized football jerseys; including:
Michigan State Spartans
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Texas A&M Aggies
For more information on sizes, colors and where to buy custom/personalized football jerseys view: http://recreationandsportsworld.com/personalized-jersey
Order your jersey today! Tailgating has become part of the American landscape and it is here to stay.
I love college sports, especially football. You may not always agree with me, but you will see I'm passionate.