Archive for the ‘Div 1-A’ Category

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ARCHIVES: What we mean when we say “Fight On!” or “Roll Tide” or “War Eagle” or…

May 8, 2008

Hello Fellow Football Fiends!

(This post originally ran on September 20, 2007)

This is gonna be a different kind of post for Gridiron Goddess. It focuses on the intangible feeling alums of certain universities get when they say “Roll Tide” or “War Eagle” or, of course “Fight On.” So read on, I hope you enjoy it and WAHOO Another weekend of football is nearly upon us. Oh, and I happen to think this picture of all the USC fans doing their Fight On thing here is a beautiful, sacred thing.

Some people have a security blanket. Some people have a teddy bear.

I have a security sweatshirt.

On Saturday morning, er, almost afternoon actually, as I crawled out of bed close to noon and grabbed my white hooded USC sweatshirt, it suddenly occurred to me just how many events in my life that particular sweatshirt has been witness to.

In February 1987 my father and I went on a road trip. It was my Senior Year of high school and we were off on the obligatory father-daughter bonding college campus trip. We loaded up the banana mobile (a yellow Oldsmobile station wagon that was the bane of my existence until I embraced it for its gigantic 8 cylinder engine) and set out for Southern California.

On our agenda: University of Southern California, California State University Long Beach and the University of San Diego, where one of my best friends was a freshman.

First up was USC, being the closest. It was also not a school I intended on attending. We got lost. We got lost in such a bad neighborhood that when we got to USC, its neighborhood seemed good. Anyone who knows about SC knows this is so far from the truth that it is laughable.

I wanted to go to Long Beach and major in Art. LBSU has a great art program. And if not there, to USD where Didi was and Jodi was going to go. USC was a VERY distant third.

Until I stepped foot on campus. Just seeing the carved rock entrance signs that say University of Southern California gave me chills. And they still do. Seeing the red brick campus and all the students and everything going on there— it was what college was supposed to be. At least to me. So I marched us to the bookstore and bought a sweatshirt. A white hooded sweatshirt with USC on it in Cardinal and Gold.

And it was this moment that I knew this was where I was going to college.

It was this sweatshirt I wore to my Long Beach State visit. It was this sweatshirt I wore to my USD visit. It was this sweatshirt I was wearing on the drive home when we got snowed in at Mountain Pass and had to backtrack to Baker to find a room for the night. And wore to bed because there was a hole in the window, the heat did not work, and the advertised cable television out front that we were so relieved about—well, every time the lobby TV changed channels, so did the one in our room. My Dad and I laughed and laughed and laughed that night.

It was this sweatshirt I wore to nearly every football game of my collegiate career. It was this sweatshirt I wore on every break home—just so that everyone knew I no longer lived there, that I’d gotten out and was going to a fabulous school.

It was this sweatshirt that was at the ready when my parents told me they were getting divorced. It was this sweatshirt that was there when nine years later, they remarried each other.

It is this sweatshirt I am wearing in my first ever picture with my newborn niece. She is now 15 and looking at USC in her future.

It was this sweatshirt I wore when I moved to San Diego. It was this sweatshirt I wore when I moved back to LA. And nearly every weekend for twenty years. It’s been to Chicago, to Las Vegas, to New York, to San Francisco, to Phoenix, to Tucson, to D.C., to Orlando, to Hawaii, to Philadelphia, to tiny Ely, NV; to Paris, to Cabo San Lucas, to St. Thomas, Antigua, Anguilla and St. Martin.

It was this sweatshirt that I wore when I went thru the not changing my clothes phase of breakups with the most serious and loved of my exboyfriends.. It was this sweatshirt that I again turned to when I made the difficult choice to leave The Philly Fan because it was healthier for me. It is this sweatshirt that until recently, I did not even realize had been such a witness to my life. And such a talisman of comfort and home and family. When I chose USC, I took the first step into my adult life. And it is fitting that this first purchase at my school would become my oldest surviving and still in use and most beloved sweatshirt.

Linus ain’t got nothin’ on me with his blanket.

FIGHT ON!

-Your Gridiron Goddess, who will replace this picture tomorrow with one of her in that aforementioned 20 year old sweatshirt. When I am not, you know, drunkity.

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A Harem of the Gridiron Goddess post: Byron’s midseason look at the SEC

October 15, 2007

Alabama–Too lucky for too long. You may beat UT next week, you may not, but don’t get too excited about this year. You still don’t have the talent you need to compete.

Arkansas–Goodbye Houston Nutt…Goodbye Heisman Trophy…Hello upset by an upstart SEC West team.

Auburn–That Byrum kid is spooky good…but #2 in the West is not a bad place to be this year.

Florida–*gags on words* dangit, y’all are good but you need to go ahead and beat this Kentucky team before the Apocalypse comes and Kentucky wins the East. *shudders at the thought*

Georgia–Sorry dawgs, Stafford just isn’t there yet. Alabama may have been a fluke.

Kentucky–yeah, nobody saw you coming…congratulations…but you haven’t beaten Florida yet. It may come down to a 3-way tie for the East after you beat my Vols like a stepchild.

LSU–tough loss and I hated it…but didn’t I say at the beginning of the year that I questioned Miles’ X’s and O’s? 4 plays up the middle…and 4th down was the backup…not your stud RB? Uuuuhhhhhhh…ok.

Ole Miss–get over it. ‘Bama beat you. It was the right call. Enjoy going 0-8 in the SEC. Maybe next time you’ll get a real coach.

Mississippi State-The positives: Good game…over the next 2-3 years, you’ll get better and better. It’s coming. Stay with Croom. He’s the best guy for the job. The negatives: Tell your fans to shut the #$%^ up. Comments like “hope the Music City Bowl likes that call” should not be uttered from fans who haven’t played in December since 2000. Biased Upset Call here….State’ll beat either ‘Bama or Arkansas.

South Carolina–Spurrier won’t go all the way with the Special Ed offense he has now. It’ll bite them…possibly October 27th.

Tennessee–Look guys. Just win, ok. Win out and we go to Atlanta. You can beat ‘Bama. South Carolina doesn’t have the offense this year…pull something out of your butt for Kentucky (because that’ll take a miracle). Oh yeah…and when it’s 2nd and 6 and the other team only has one decent receiver…don’t line up 7 yards from the line and then start backpedaling. It’s called a hitch route…they will use it and get the 1st down…everytime. We learned this in Jr. High football.

Vanderbilt–dangit, guys, I want to believe…I want y’all to go to a bowl (but not beat Tennessee) so bad…but you just manage to be…Vanderbilt. Sorry guys…not happening this year…but, there is always next year.

Harem Member Byron

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CFB wrapup: MADNESS, I tell you, MADNESS

October 14, 2007

Hey there football fiends-since my BRONCHITIS (lovely, right?) is keeping me up I figured why not write the CFB wrap up now? A win-win…at least until I start coughing up internal organs with this painful bronchial cough thing I have. Ah…fun times here on the couch of your Gridiron Goddess. Fevered dreams of Matt Leinart being madly in love with me aren’t bad, though….

But I digress. I blame the Ny-Quil and diet Coke combo.

College Basketball season kicked off last night around the country with Midnight Madness. Now, had your Gridiron Goddess not been coughing up a lung, I would have trucked my butt down to Southern California’s Galen Center to report on all the O.J. Mayo goodness. But there is plenty of time for that once CFB season is over.

Two weeks ago we had the Wacky Weekend of Upsets. Then #3 Oklahoma lost to an unranked Colorado. Then #7 Texas fell to an unranked Kansas State. Then #10 Rutgers took a dive against unranked Maryland. Then #21 Penn State got beat by unranked Illinois. #22 Alabama got beat by unranked Florida State. Then #4 ranked Florida fell to unranked Auburn. #11 Oregon got beat by then #6 Cal. And my then #1 ranked USC Trojans squeaked past UDub.

At the end of the weekend the top 25, but the top 10 especially, were in disarray and heading into the 5th weekend of the CFB season the top 10 were:

1. LSU

2. USC

3. California

4. Ohio State

5. Wisconsin

6. South Florida

7. Boston College

8. Kentucky

9. Florida

10. Oklahoma

Then LAST WEEKEND, tragedy struck in the heart of Your Gridiron Goddess and her fellow Trojan fans. And I am sure other things went on too, like Florida losing to the hated LSU, but all was eclipsed by my melodramatic heartbreak.

Heading into this weekend, the top 10 was:

1. LSU

2. California

3. Ohio State

4. Boston College

5. South Florida

6. Oklahoma

7. South Carolina

8. West Virginia

9. Oregon

10. USC

Today, more insanity occurred. LSU lost to Kentucky. Cal lost to 3-3 Oregon State. Oklahoma handed Missouri their first loss today in Norman. Penn State drilled Wisconsin. Ohio State and BC won–but Ohio State’s quality win comes against one of the teams at bottom of the Pac-10 ladder: UDub. And who has BC played to convince us they are as strong as they look? No one yet. South Florida beat Auburn at Jordan Hare and beat WVU, so IMO have a more legitimate claim on the #1 position this week.

Now, concerning USC, interestingly enough we’re in about the same position as 2003. 1 loss, ranked 10th. That was the year we ended up winning the AP Nat’l Championship while fellow 1 loss teams LSU and Oklahoma played in the BCS Title game.

Um, deja-vu anyone?

This Trojan team we have now is not as strong as 2003’s squad but only for one reason: INJURIES. Our vaunted O-Line is now made up of back ups and in many cases the back ups back up. Our D is decimated, and today we lost the lynchpin of our defense in Rey Maualuga after primo O-Line go to guy Sam Baker went down for duration of the game.

BUT, while our loss last week to Stanford shows the world we ARE beatable, doesn’t this week’s loss by Cal to Oregon State show the same thing and shouldn’t they fall to 10 or below in the rankings while we move up to 9 or higher? I don’t know. LSU, I’d keep them in the top 6 or 7 at the lowest, since their sole loss comes from a strong Kentucky team.

Consider this–every single AP pre-season top 10 team now has at least one loss and it is only October. This is the craziest college football season ever, people.

The first BCS rankings come out in the morning.

It’s not going to be pretty for many of our teams. I have a feeling traditional power houses like LSU and Oklahoma will fare better than South Florida and BC, even though those two teams remain unbeaten.

Is it fair? Nope. But when did I ever proclaim the BCS fair? LSU and Auburn fans would agree with the USC crowd, though for their own reasons, on that statement.

Oh, but I did go 11-5 today, which considering the #1 and #2 ranked teams losing, is pretty flipping good IMO. And now, I must sleep.

-Your Gridiron Goddess, signing off with a picture representative of how I feel right now with this bronchitis thing

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You can’t start College Game Day without Gridiron Goddess.net

October 12, 2007

As always 32 teams. 16 games. 16 winners. 16 losers. Today’s record 11-5

GA Tech over Miami GA Tech wins 17-14

Mizzou over Oklahoma – Chase Daniel/Mizzou’s QB is without Tony Temple, his leading rusher due to a sprained ankle Temple received in their game vs. Nebraska. And originally I had OU winning this, but I just have a feeling that Mizzou is gonna win. Let’s see if I am right. Oklahoma won 41-31

Illinois over Iowa Iowa wins 10-6

Michigan over Purdue Michigan wins 48-21

Ohio State over Kent State Ohio State wins 48-3

USC over Arizona – Mark Sanchez gets his first start at QB USC won 20-13

LSU over Kentucky woo hoo! Kentucky won 43-37 in triple OT

UVA over UConn – Happy Homecoming to Mammy and Brethren UVA won 17-16

Cal over Oregon State woo hoo! Oregon State won 31-28

Auburn over Arkansas Auburn won 9-7

South Florida over Central Florida South Florida wins 64-12

Penn State over Wisconsin Penn State won 38-7

Cincinnati over Louisville L’ville won 28-24

UGA over Vanderbilt UGA won 20-17

Texas over Iowa State Texas wins 56-3

BC over Notre Dame BC won 27-14

-Your Gridiron Goddess, still battling this cold/flu but getting better

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CFB wrap up #2: Further thoughts on the Wacky Weekend that was

September 30, 2007

Hello fellow football fiends, my Ny/Day-quil haze has lifted a bit and in thinking about the CARAZY day that Saturday was for the top 25, hell, especially for the top 10, I have a few thoughts:

1. Urban Meyer’s vaunted offense is being exposed as a one-trick show. He relies on athletic QB’s. That seems to be it. Florida has no truly reliable stand out receivers or running backs despite recruiting such blue chip players as Percy Harvin. Shut down Tim Tebow as Auburn’s defense did on Saturday, and the Meyer offense stalls. But look back to Meyer’s days at Utah, it was all about Alex Smith and what he could do and the most talked about running back spoken of in the same breath as Smith/Utah was USC’s Reggie Bush and how he and Smith played on the same High School team in San Diego.

Tebow is a mightily talented athlete. But he cannot carry an entire offense on his shoulders and he should not have to.

2. The only team that can beat USC is USC. How else do you explain 16 penalties for 160 yards, the loss of two key offensive players and a respectable opponent in the vastly improved Washington Huskies and yet they still manage to eke out a win? Now, should USC play like that against Cal, or Oregon or ASU or LSU–would they be able to eke out that win? Maybe, maybe not, but let it be known, Washington did not even come close to outplaying USC last night. What they did was take advantage of the uncharacteristic mistakes USC made.

3. Speaking of USC: they need 2 things right now. A receiver to emerge as the dominant go to guy. Right now Fred Davis, the tight end is Booty’s go to guy. And while Patrick Turner had a better than usual for this season night last night, he still drops too many balls for this Trojan fan’s liking. You can’t do that at this level. Secondly, our defense needs to get to work on creating turnovers like the 2004 and 2005 squads did. Man, those defenses were exciting to watch.

4. LSU is not looking as freakishly dominant as they did in their first few games. They had to battle back from a 3-9 deficit at halftime to post that final 34-9 score that looks like they were in charge the whole time. QB Matt Flynn does seem to be the weakest link thus far, having none of former starting QB JaMarcus Russell’s firepower to date.

5. USC plays Cal at Cal and Oregon at Autzen Stadium. Autzen Stadium scares me.

6. The Florida-Auburn situation creates an interesting SEC possibility. Florida was beaten by Auburn focusing on controlling Tebow. Auburn does not have remotely the kind of strong defense that LSU does. Offensively, LSU is showing some chinks in their armor. Can Auburn beat LSU? Hmmmm. Can Flordia beat LSU? One looks possible, the other one, not so much.

7. Did you notice something in FSU’s win over Bama? When Bowden took slow, plodding, boring, QB Drew Weatherford out and put Xavier Lee in, their offense came to life. Could this signal a new era for the ‘Noles? It SHOULD.

8. Did you notice how Notre Dame managed to find an offense and score a whopping 19 points once Coach Weis took QB Jimmy Clausen OUT and put Evan Sharpley in? Note to Demetrius Jones, maybe you jumped ship a bit quickly?
-Your Gridiron Goddess, trying NOT to focus on the fact that the Eagles are losing.

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Tap those kegs, it’s time for some CFB action

September 28, 2007

Hey there Fellow Football Fiends!! Happy Friday!!! I just got home from my stint on the radio and it was so much fun!! Many many thanks to the gang over at KROQ and The Kevin and Bean show for having me in. And, if you’ve found your way here after listening to me dork out on all things football on 106.7 this morning–WELCOME to my corner of Al Gore’s Internet. I hope you enjoy it!!!

Let’s get down to the business of my college football picks for the weekend.

32 teams. 16 games. 16 winners. 16 losers. Here’s how I think it will all shake down:

Purdue over Notre Dame — The season of atrocity continues for fans of the Irish UPDATE: Pudue wins 33-19

LSU over Tulane – Like taking candy from a baby, this pick is. UPDATE: LSU wins 34-9

Penn State over Illinois – JoePa and his Nittany Lions keep on rollin’ along. UPDATE: Illinois wins 27-20

Michigan over Northwestern – You know, I would not be too surprised if Northwestern pulls off the upset. UPDATE: Michigan wins 28-16

Oklahoma over Colorado – The Sooners look stronger and stronger and Sam Bradford is developing into way more of an offensive leader than former Heisman winning QB Jason White was. UPDATE: Colorado wins 27-24

Rutgers over Maryland – Greg Schiano’s Scarlet Knights are a force to be reckoned with in the Big East. UPDATE: Maryland wins 34-24

Michigan State over Wisconsin – I just have a feeling about this one. UPDATE: Wisconsin wins 37-34

Texas over Kansas State – Bevo’s Boys will rack up another win UPDATE: KSU wins 41-21

Louisville over NC State – Look for the Cardinals to stop their downward spiral and avenge their loss to Syracuse. UPDATE: L’ville wins 29-10

Bama over FSU – some hoopla is being made about Alabama Native Son Bobby Bowden coaching against Bama for the first time in his career. But Saban’s Crimson Tide will be too much for FSU’s broken offense to handle UPDATE: Florida State wins 21-14 and welcomes in the era of QB Xavier Lee.

UCLA over Oregon State – Olson returns to the lineup as QB as Cowan has a partial tear of his MCL. UPDATE: UCLA wins 40-14

UVA over Pitt – Al Groh and the Cavaliers are off to a 3-1 start this season. UPDATE: UVA wins 44-14

USC over Washington – does anyone out there doubt this one? The spread is USC -21. ‘Nuff said. UPDATE: USC wins 27-24 and looks like crap doing it.

Florida over Auburn – Tim Tebow and the Gators will preside in this SEC matchup. UPDATE: Auburn wins 20-17

Ohio State over Minnesota – Buckeyes are too much for the Golden Gophers to handle. UPDATE: Ohio State wins 30-7

Oregon over Cal – I struggled with this one, it could go either way and should be a HELL of a good game. UPDATE: Cal wins 31-24

Special Bonus Friday Night Pick ‘Em:

South Florida over West Virginia – yeah I said it. USF did it last year, and are a stronger team this year so I am throwing my support behind the Bulls of South Florida. UPDATE: USF wins 21-13

Those are my picks, as usual I will update them tomorrow as the day develops. And now my football fiends, I am off to San Diego with Nacho Friendly to see the Dave Matthew Band concert tonight. If there is one thing I love as much or almost as much as football, it is DMB concerts.

-Your Gridiron Goddess

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Wednesday Wackiness and Rest: A Gridiron Goddess Administrative note and factoid.

September 19, 2007

Notre Dame is the only I-A team with no offensive touchdowns. Among the BCS teams, ND and Syracuse are the only squads without a win this season.

Interesting, eh?

 Today is Wednesday, so that means I am taking the night off from posting. Have a fantastic day and evening fellow football fiends and I’ll be back tomorrow with something good for your reading pleasure.

-Your Gridiron Goddess, pictured below with one of her best friends, Maria, at the USC-U of Arizona game last fall.