College Football: Still 60-Some Odd Days Away

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College Football: Still 60-Some Odd Days Away

I was carefully reading through the college football page on ESPN.com to see if I had somehow missed anything interesting to read, and luckily for me, I had—a great article by Pat Forde about the dead zone that is the month of June in college football, and Mark Schlabach's uselessly early bowl prediction...both of which apparently had been recently added or went unnoticed the last time I checked the site.

I also re-read Schlabach's preseason top 25, which has LSU at No. 12.  That doesn't bother me, given the quarterback situation and the tough road schedule.  What does bother me is that Clemson and Texas Tech are ranked ahead of the Bayou Bengals.

Not to discount the...ahem...other Tigers, or the Red Raiders, but when is the last time Clemson actually lived up to preseason expectations?  And really Mark?  Texas Tech?  An adequate QB in a spread formation with a flashy wide receiver and a supposedly "improving" defense doesn't impress me.

I'm not saying they don't deserve to be in the Top 25, but they aren't in the same league of talent that division rivals Texas and Oklahoma inhabit, while LSU most certainly is.

Anyway, back to Schlabach's bowl predictions.  He predicts Georgia and Ohio State (ugh) for the national championship game.  He also thinks LSU will play Texas in the Cotton Bowl, which I think is an accurate estimation of what both teams should expect this year: good, but one win short of a BCS game.

Check out the links of the day for the articles mentioned, or go to the college football page on ESPN.com and look for "midsummer night's dream," " revised top 25," and "bowl predictions."

 

In other sports news, Germany will play Turkey tomorrow (or I guess today) at 1:45 in a Euro 2008 semifinal.  It's either on ESPN, ESPN2, or ABC. I've lost track since apparently ESPN and ABC are the same channel (if you don't know what I'm talking about, look for the channel logo on the screen during the game tomorrow—you'll see what I'm talking about).

This game is interesting because of the Turkish squad that will not go away.  In the group stage of the competition, they were the only team to come from behind to win in a meaningful game, beating host country Switzerland with two second-half goals after being dominated in the first half.  (Spain did it to Greece in their last game, but Spain had already won their group and Greece had been eliminated.)

They followed that up by climbing out of a 0-2 hole against the Czech Republic with three unanswered goals, two of which came very late.  This knocked the Czechs out of the tournament and secured the Turks' spot in the next round.

They played Croatia in their Quarterfinal matchup.  The two teams went scoreless through 90 minutes of normal time and 29 minutes of extra time before Croatia scored what appeared to be the game-winner with less than a minute to play.

But in soccer the clock never stops, so a thing called stoppage time is added on to the end of the game to make up for the lost time when the ball goes out of play or if there is an injury.  So in this game, some time was added on to the end to make up for the lost time because of the Croatians' celebrations.

During stoppage time, the Turks pressed to tie it up, and so the ref undoubtedly decided to give them one last chance when the ball was cleared by the Croatian defense about a minute in.  The Turks took advantage by scoring on what would be the last kick of the game, sending the game to penalty kicks.

Turkey won the PKs easily and completed their third straight come-from-behind win, in a sport that rarely sees lead changes...check out the vids at the bottom of the page to see highlights.

With all that said, I'll be rooting for Germany...heh.

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