Florida State Claims ACC Title To Return To Orange Bowl

Florida State is back in a BCS bowl.

For the first time since the 2006 Orange Bowl, the Seminoles will return to the group of five bowls that make up the BCS after an absence that knocked them from the ranks of the traditional BCS combatants.

The Seminoles’ 21-15 victory over Georgia Tech in Saturday’s ACC Championship Game will send Florida State back to the BCS as the recipient of the ACC’s automatic BCS bowl bid. And because the Seminoles are not vying for the BCS national title, they will represent the conference in the Orange Bowl this year.

The Seminoles can anticipate an at-large opponent or the Big East’s BCS representative, Louisville, to meet them in the New Year’s Day night game.

Florida State went to a BCS bowl in six of the first eight years of the BCS era, but after Virginia Tech took over the Seminoles’ mantle as the perennial BCS combatant from the ACC, Florida State had a long break from the Bowl Championship Series.

Road to Glendale 2011: Five Marquee Matchups Headline Week Ten

ryan williams

As part of BCS Know How’s 2010 college football season preview, we will be breaking down each week’s most important games that could have BCS and postseason implications in the “Road to Glendale 2011”.

Let’s move on to a jam-packed week ten filled with huge matchups around the country.

Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech: Thursday Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. ET

Despite losing four marquee names from the team that won the ACC title last season, Georgia Tech seems primed to make another run at the conference crown in 2010.

However, standing squarely in their way are the Hokies of Virginia Tech. Shut out of the ACC Championship Game last season, the Hokies are the prohibitive favorite in the 12-team conference and will start the season ranked among the best in the nation.

Both teams have simple conference schedules before this game and could very easily be undefeated in the ACC when the square off for a Thursday night battle in Blacksburg.

The Hokies will be hoping that the game will serve as a sort of passing of the guard from the Yellow Jackets to themselves, as a win here could send either on the fast track to the ACC Coastal Division crown and a berth in the 2010 ACC Championship Game.

The game could also be an opportunity for both teams’ quarterbacks — the Hokies’ Tyrod Taylor and Yellow Jackets’ Josh Nesbitt — to state their case for ACC Offensive Player of the Year, as both will be preseason favorites for the award.

TCU at Utah: Saturday Nov. 6, 3:30 p.m. ET

What has become an annual conference battle that oftentimes tops the pressure and excitement of some BCS conference rivalries will make its final appearance in 2010 as Utah is headed to the Pac-10 in 2011.

And there’s no doubt — this rivalry could go out with a bang in 2010.

Both teams have high aspirations this year, conference championship and a BCS bowl game bid included, however this game might end up being an elimination style battle for both opportunities.

TCU quarterback Andy Dalton will look to pick apart a young Utes defense that only returns four of its 11 starters from the 2009 team that finished 10-3. Utah will counter with Jordan Wynn, who started 2009 on the bench but took over for Terrance Cain midway through the season.

Alabama at LSU: Saturday Nov. 6, 8:00 p.m. ET

For a preseason national title favorite, the Alabama Crimson Tide will have a terribly difficult time returning to the BCS National Championship Game with the caliber of opponents on their schedule.

Week ten will be no different for the Tide, as they head to Baton Rouge to face off against the Tigers of LSU in another classic SEC matchup.

By now you know the story of the defending champion Crimson Tide — returning most of the core that brought them their first national championship in 2009 since 1992.

The Tigers are looking to improve upon an underwhelming nine-win season in ’09 with a team full of potential, but a schedule that could prove daunting for a team that will rely on a defense that only returns four starters and an unsure quarterback situation.

Both teams could be undefeated when the early November meet up occurs, or they could both have two losses — the SEC schedule is that tough and unpredictable. But no matter what the records are when the game rolls around, you can definitely expect fireworks and high quality football.

Washington at Oregon: Saturday Nov. 6, TBA

Depending on who you ask, any of four (or even five) teams seem to hold the preseason position as Pac-10 favorite for 2010.

Both Washington and Oregon are among those teams, and when they meet up for this Pacific Northwest battle in week ten, both will likely be gunning for a Pac-10 title and Rose Bowl bid.

Yet, despite both receiving some preseason national praise, the quarterback situations in Eugene and Seattle could not be more different.

Washington returns preseason Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year favorite Jake Locker after the senior quarterback decided to forgo the NFL draft and stay with the Huskies one final year. The Ducks, on the other hand, lost their star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli after he was kicked off the team and transferred to Ole Miss.

Offense will be a key in this matchup, as Locker will be tested against an experienced and skilled Ducks defense while the Ducks will contend with a less than spectacular Washington defense — which has especially large holes at defensive line and in the secondary.

Arkansas at South Carolina: Saturday Nov. 6, TBA

If the Alabama-LSU matchup is the game of the week in the SEC, this battle is a close second.

Both teams finished distant fourth places in their respective SEC divisions in 2009, but look to 2010 as a year to break out and make some real noise in the nation’s toughest conference.

South Carolina is looking to take advantage of an unusually open East Division in the SEC and make a surprise run at the SEC Championship Game and will need quarterback Stephen Garcia and the offense to perform at a high level to have a shot.

Arkansas has a Heisman hopeful in quarterback Ryan Mallett and could be a surprise contender in the West Division if they can survive a daunting early-season schedule.

Current NCAA Football Investigation Summaries UPDATED 9/2

Alright, lets take a quick break from the season preview to address a trend that has emerged just as conference media days began.

Following the conclusion of the investigation into the University of Southern California, Reggie Bush and the Trojan athletic program, a rash of allegations against other Football Bowl Subdivision schools regarding violations of NCAA regulations came to light.

The following schools are the schools under investigation and each contains a short summary of the problems/allegations facing the institution:

Miami Hurricanes

The NCAA is probing the Hurricane football program after allegations arose of improper benefits exchanged between Miami players and convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro.

Update 8/16/11: Yahoo! Sports reports there were “thousands” of NCAA violations committed from 2002 to 2010 and that seven coaches from Miami football and basketball were directly involved with known booster Nevin Shapiro.

Update 8/26/11: Miami has declared a number of players ineligible in order to begin the process of reinstatement for the first game of its season. Quarterback Jacory Harris is believed to be among those suspended.

Update 8/29/11: Miami President Donna Shalala released a video stating there is no timetable for the ongoing probe into the reported violations. Miami has also delayed the release of its depth chart to await word on the eligibility of its players.

Update 8/30/11: Twelve Hurricanes have been suspended between one and six games for accepting improper benefits, according to Yahoo! Sports. Jacory Harris and Olivier Vernon are among those suspended.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Various players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, were found to have exchanged autographs and memorabilia for money and tattoos. There is some evidence that higher-ups knew about the infractions and did little to stop it. Coach Jim Tressel resigned on Memorial Day 2011.

Update 7/8/11: Ohio State has self-imposed vacation of the 2010-11 season and will await further word from the NCAA.

Update 7/22/11: An NCAA report states investigators found no new violations at Ohio State and former coach Jim Tressel was the only coach or official with knowledge of the violations and did not report them. Therefore the school will not be hit with the “failure to monitor” penalty that has hit so many of the other schools under the microscope of the NCAA.

Oregon Ducks

Controversy surrounds scout Willie Lyles and his relationship both with the university and coach Chip Kelly. Lyles has purported ties to running back LaMichael James.

Update 7/1/11: Scouting service provider Willie Lyles told Yahoo! Sports that Oregon coach Chip Kelly personally approved a $25,000 fee that may have violated NCAA rules by using Lyles as an influence on potential recruits. The investigation is on-going.

Update 7/26/11: The University of Oregon released a statement at Pac-12 media day expressing their faith in the NCAA’s investigation and coach Chip Kelly refused to address the situation head on during the news conference.

Auburn Tigers

Multiple sources are reporting that Heisman hopeful junior transfer quarterback Cam Newton has been implicated in a scheme to secure his commitment signature in return for a payment by Auburn. The investigation has been ongoing since July of 2010, and Newton’s father, Cecil Newton, has submitted financial documents to the NCAA in response.

Newton has moved on to the NFL.

Update 11/11/10: Kenny Rodgers, who allegedly had sought the funds necessary for Mississippi State to sign Newton, told ESPN Radio in Dallas that Cecil Newton put a price tag on Cam’s commitment in the range of $100,000 to $180,000 — although he does not know if Cam Newton knew of the arrangement.

Update 7/14/11: The New York Times reports that the Tigers are still under investigation regarding the recruitment of Newton.

Central Florida Knights

The NCAA is investigating the involvement of Ken Caldwell, a former AAU basketball coach, in Central Florida’ recruitment of both basketball and football players.

Update 8/17/11: ESPN reports UCF has been served its official notice of allegations for the matter and that Caldwell and his son, Erik, might have committed violations.

North Carolina Tar Heels

The NCAA is investigating whether defensive tackle Marvin Austin and wide receiver Greg Little received improper benefits from an agent. Neither player has made any comment regarding the situation, however Tar Heel coach Butch Davis was expected to make his first comment on the investigation during upcoming media appearances.

The NCAA has already visited Chapel Hill to begin their investigation.

Coach Butch Davis has been fired.

Update 8/26/10: The NCAA has expanded their investigation to include the possibility of academic impropriety. Austin, defensive end Robert Quinn and linebacker Bruce Carterf are alleged to have received ineligible tutoring from coach Davis’s nanny.

Update 9/17/10: Austin will appear before the Secretary of State’s office to give testimony after he was subpoenaed by the office on September 5. Austin will be testifying about whether agents violated the Uniform Athletes Agents Act.

The act prohibits agents from giving any athlete not under contract with an agency from furnishing said athlete with anything of value. The act also requires notification of a school’s Athletic Director within 72 of reaching an agreement with any athlete.

Update 9/23/10: Among the 12 players under investigation by the NCAA, the first two have received their punishments. Kendric Burney will receive a six-game suspension, while Deunta Williams will receive four. The NCAA found that Burney received improper benefits equivalent to $1,333 and Williams received the equivalent of $1,426.

In order to regain eligibility, Williams and Burney must repay their benefits in full.

Update 9/30/10: A Yahoo! Sports investigation has revealed ties between former North Carolina assistant coach John Blake and NFL agent Gary Wichard which seem to indicate that Blake was paid to steer Tar Heels in the direction of Wichard’s firm.

Update 10/1/10: Williams and Burney’s appeals to the NCAA were unsuccessful and both will serve out the entirety of their suspension.

Update 10/11/10: Marvin Austin has been dismissed from the North Carolina football team. Greg Little and Robert Quinn have been ruled permanently ineligible.

Updtae 11/11/11: The University of North Carolina has released a letter stating that student athletes were provided “impermissible” financial and academic support by Jennifer L. Wiley, a family friend of coach Butch Davis, who had been tutoring his son.

Update 6/16/11: UNC will release important phone records in the case, as requested by a variety of media sources.

Update 7/26/11: At ACC media day, UNC coach Butch Davis said he took responsibility “fully and completely” for the events that led to UNC being served its notice of allegations last month. Davis, however, said he has no plans of quitting the position.

Update 7/27/11: UNC has fired coach Butch Davis just two days after he said he had no intention of leaving the job.

Boise State Broncos

Boise State’s football program is being investigated for improper benefits given to potential recruits.

Update 5/2/11: The benefits allegedly given to potential recruits adds to $4,934 for housing, transportation and meals provided to 63 potential Broncos, reports the Idaho Statesman.

Update 9/2/11: Three Broncos will be forced to miss the Broncos game against Georgia pending a review of the three player’s eligibility.

Tennessee Volunteers

The NCAA is reportedly investigating the single season former Volunteer coach Lane Kiffin was in Knoxville — specifically his recruiting practices during his short stay. Previously the school was being investigated for the use of “hostesses” to attract players to the team, however now the investigation has asked to talk with former Volunteer Bryce Brown.

Brown was recruited to Tennessee under Kiffin, but decided to rescind his commitment after Kiffin took a job with the University of Southern California in January 2010. The NCAA hopes to question Brown about Kiffin’s recruiting practices.

Update 6/11/11: The NCAA has begun its hearing on the case.

Update 8/24/11: The NCAA announced it had insufficient evidence to hand down punishment for major infractions, but was “troubled” by the plethora of secondary violations under former coach Lane Kiffin.

Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia and former USC linebacker Jarvis Jones was named in a police report saying he received benefits from a state Parks and Recreations officer with ties to Jones’ AAU basketball team. These benefits are estimated to be worth $828.40, which might have been used to fly Jones from Atlanta to Los Angeles.

Update 7/18/11: Jones is still eligible to play, and it is unclear whether or not the NCAA is in fact investigating. Georgia is handling its own investigation at this time.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Demaryius Thomas’ eligibility had been called into question following an apparent gift of clothing valued at $312. Morgan Burnett, who was allegedly at the event at which Thomas recieved the gift, did not receive any himself. Both deny either received any improper gifts.

Update 7/14/11: The NCAA has placed Georgia Tech under four-years probation and vacated its 2009 wins. The school was also fined $100,000. The punishment stems from what the NCAA called “uncooperative and manipulative” behavior during their investigation into the claims.

Update 7/28/11: The university will file an appeal to the NCAA to restore it 2009 ACC title.

LSU Tigers

The NCAA is investigating whether the recruitment of a certain play violated NCAA regulations. An assistant coach is being investigated for providing the recruit with transportation, lodging and a phone.

Update 7/19/11: The NCAA has placed LSU on a one-year probation and classified the violations as major, also hitting LSU with recruiting and scholarships.

South Carolina Gamecocks

Gamecock tight end Weslye Saunders, who is good friends with Tar Heel Marvin Austin has been questioned in regards the inquiry into North Carolina.

No immediate allegations were levied against South Carolina, sources told ESPN that they were looking into the time Saunders and Austin spent in Florida this spring, seemingly in relation to the party Georgia’s Green was present at.

Update 8/13/10: Further investigations have taken place into the living arrangements of certain players, especially those who may have stayed at the Whitney Hotel in Columbia, South Carolina. Saunders is among the at least three players with rooms at the Hotel.

Update 8/16/10: The NCAA is insisting its investigation is squarely on Weslye Saunders, and not the Gamecock program as a whole, reports The Big Spur.

Florida Gators

Both Florida and NCAA investigators are looking into suspicious relationships between former Gator offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey and an agency representative or “runner”. The alleged activity includes a $100,000 payment made to Puncey between last season’s SEC Championship Game and the Sugar Bowl.

If the charges hold, the Gators may be forced to vacate their victory over Cincinnati in the 2010 Sugar Bowl.

Alabama Crimson Tide

Defensive lineman Marcell Dareus is alleged to have attended the same party as A.J. Green, Marvin Austin and Weslye Saunders and both NCAA and Alabama investigators are looking into the situation. The investigators aim to determine who supplied or paid for food, transportation and accommodations during the extended weekend stay of the players.

Update 10/3/10: Further Yahoo! Sports reports have alleged that former North Carolina assistant John Blake recommended agent Gary Wichard to Dareus during the summer of 2009. This would further earlier allegations of Blake steering college players to Wichard and his Pro Tect Management agency.

West Virginia Mountaineers

On August 5, West Virginia admitted that it was under investigation for hiring practices and the activities of “graduate assistant” coaches. The time period in which the investigation is looking spans from 2005-2009 and includes both current coach Bill Stewart and former coach Rich Rodriguez.

Update 7/12/11: The NCAA has approved West Virginia’s self-imposed punishment for their violations: two-years probation and the elimination of two graduate assistant positions.

2010 BCS Conference Profiles: Atlantic Coast Conference

This is first in a series of conference profiles as part of BCS Know How’s season preview.

Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

Active Since: 1953

Current Member Schools: Boston College Eagles, Clemson Tigers, Duke Blue Devils, Florida State Seminoles, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Maryland Terrapins, Miami (FL) Hurricanes, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Carolina State Wolfpack, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons. (12)

Bowl Affiliations: Orange Bowl (BCS), Independence Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, EagleBank Bowl, Music City Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl, Sun Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl. (8)

2009 Results:
Conference Champion – Georgia Tech (Coastal Division)
Conference Runner-up – Clemson (Atlantic Division)
BCS Bowl Result: 2010 Orange Bowl – Iowa 24 vs. Georgia Tech 14
Overall Bowl Record: 3-4
Heisman Vote Recipients: Clemson RB CJ Spiller (6th Overall)

2010 Outlook: Georgia Tech’s reign as ACC champs may be short lived after losing four of their top-flight players from last season’s conference champion squad. This may end up being a year of the return to the strength of the ACC, as traditional powers Miami, Boston College and Florida State all look to be on the way up.

For the Seminoles, a new era could begin with a division title, as this will be coach Jimbo Fisher’s first season at the helm of FSU, taking over for Bobby Bowden.

Clemson loses its star back from last season, CJ Spiller, to the NFL, but expect to contend for the Atlantic Division crown once again.

The surprise however could come from Tobacco Road — a traditional basketball power strip — with North Carolina a serious contender for the division and conference crown and a BCS bowl bid to boot. Duke could also begin making noise in the conference.

2010 Heisman Hopefuls: Miami (FL) QB Jacory Harris; Virginia Tech RB Ryan Williams.

BCS Know How’s 2010 Predictions:
Conference Champion – Virginia Tech Hokies
Conference Runner-up – Florida State Semionles
BCS bids – One: Virginia Tech – Orange Bowl
Heisman Finalists – None

Stanzi, Iowa Dominate Georgia Tech, Capture Orange Bowl 24-14

Ricky Stanzi limited his mistakes – and got help from his run game – and the Iowa defense contained the Georgia Tech triple-option as the Hawkeyes beat the Yellow Jackets 24-14 to capture the 2010 Orange Bowl.

Iowa raced out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on the arm of the quarterback Stanzi, who was starting his first game after missing the later part of the Hawkeye’s regular season.

However, Stanzi’s rust did begin to show, as his lone mistake of the game, an interception, was returned for a touchdown late in the first quarter.

After a scoreless second quarter, Iowa tacked on another field goal in the third to extend their lead to ten.

In the fourth quarter the Yellow Jackets finally put together a scoring drive, as Georgia Tech’s quarterback Josh Nesbitt finally found a grove while running the triple option.

However, after stopping a fake field goal, leaving the Jackets down just 3, Georgia Tech was unable to capitalize, punting the ball and then allowing the Hawkeyes to drive right down the field and score the game-clinching touchdown.

Stanzi finished the game with 230 yards and two touchdowns, while the Hawkeye rushing offense went for a combined 178 yards and a touchdown led by Brandon Wegher.

Nesbitt and the triple option offense were shut down, the Hawkeye offense holding the Jackets to just 155 net yards on the night.

Iowa’s victory was the Big 10’s second in the BCS, helping to mend a broken image of the Big 10 being an inferior conference when it came to the BCS.

2010 BCS Bowl Matchups

The 2010-11 BCS bowl matchups have been announced, take a look HERE.

bowlprojections1The BCS Bowl matchups have been announced and are as follows:

Winners in RED

Rose Bowl – January 1st 2010

Oregon Ducks 17 vs. Ohio State 26 F

FULL PREVIEW

Comment: We’ve known this matchup for a while, and this may be the best game on the slate of BCS bowl games when all is said and done. Oregon comes into the game as one of the nation’s hottest teams after clinching the Pac-10’s BCS bid in their “Civil War” against Oregon State. Ohio State hasn’t played in quite some time, but the Buckeyes are used to taking long breaks between their final game and their bowl game due to the early end to the Big 10 schedule.

Sugar Bowl – January 1st 2010

Florida Gators 51 vs. Cincinnati Bearcats 24 F

FULL PREVIEW

Comment: All season the goal for Florida was to repeat as National Champions. The Gators will not get a chance to do that after losing in the SEC Championship Game, but they still receive a bid to the Sugar Bowl to face off against the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bearcats come off a last minute comeback victory against Pittsburgh which secured the Big East crown for Cincinnati. This will be the Bearcats second straight BCS bowl game.

Fiesta Bowl – January 4th 2010

Boise State Broncos 17 vs. TCU Horned Frogs 10 F

FULL PREVIEW

Comment: For the first time in the history of the BCS, TCU is headed to a BCS bowl game. Also a first, two non-BCS schools have received BCS bowl bids. The two teams ran through their seasons without much competition, completing undefeated seasons and winning their conferences. This might as well be considered as the non-BCS National Title game and is sure to be a shootout.

Orange Bowl – January 5th 2010

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 14 vs. Iowa Hawkeyes 24 F

FULL PREVIEW

Comment: The ACC Champion Yellow Jackets and the Big 10 corunner-up Iowa Hawkeyes meet in Florida to decide the Orange Bowl champ. Georgia Tech needed to hold of CJ Spiller and the Clemson Tigers to get the ACC’s automatic BCS bowl bid as the conference champion. Iowa gets one of the BCS’s four at-large bid mainly on the strength of their early season success, which led to the Hawkeyes best season in a few years and a BCS bowl bid for the first time since 2003.

BCS National Championship Game – January 7th 2010

FULL PREVIEW

Alabama Crimson Tide 37 vs. Texas Longhorns 21 F

Comment: The nation’s two best teams according to the BCS are the Tide and Longhorns, and the two will meet in Pasadena to figure out just who is the best in the nation. The Tide clinched their spot here with a victory over Florida in the SEC Championship Game, while Texas needed a field goal with all zeros on the clock in the Big 12 Championship Game to secure their spot here. Both teams have struggled at times during the season, but did just enough to finish the season undefeated and make their way to the National Title Game.

BCS Know How will have full previews of these games in the coming days. Stay tuned!

Georgia Tech Clinches Orange Bowl Bid

georgiaTechLogo2With their victory over Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, Georgia Tech has clinched the ACC Championship and a bid to the Orange Bowl. The Yellow Jackets clinch the ACC’s automatic bid to the BCS with their late victory over the very game Clemson Tigers and CJ Spiller. Although Josh Nesbitt and the Georgia Tech offense was good, CJ Spiller was better.

In fact, Spiller was the MVP of the game despite losing.

The Yellow Jackets will likely face either an at-large team or the Big East winners, Cincinnati.