National Signing Day

Today is the day. Whether you cheer for the University of Texas, Florida, Notre Dame, Nebraska Syracuse all the way down to Abilene Christian and Mt. Union, the first Wednesday in February is the life blood for every football program.

Coaches are important and fan bases are important but the games are won and lost with the players recruited into the program. Sure you have to coach them up and sure you have to develop them but procuring talent is what makes a program successful.

Now to the players as today is the culmination of a lot of dreams and I can’t isolate that to the players. It’s the parents and family that are paying for camps, driving hundreds of miles to seven-on-seven and purchasing everything from meals to eye black to cleats to flights to everything else needed to build the exposure needed to garner a football scholarship.

So this fall when you are in your favorite stadium watching your Alma mater or your favorite team play, remember it started for a lot of teams today.

I still laugh when I think about the fact that there are grown men with families, money, power and the like with their lives are tied to the wishes of 17 and 18-year olds that decide to come play football for them.

You want to know how good your favorite team is going to be over the next few years, check out today.

Do you still need to run the ball to be successful?

With #24 San Jose State beating Bowling Green (who were oddly wearing Red, not one of its official colors) in the Military Bowl yesterday after having a grand total of -15 yards on 23 carries, I began to wonder if running the ball is really all that necessary to win in this new pass-happy era of football.

Teams like Texas Tech and Houston have had no problems being successful with spread offense pass attack, but they’ve also been able to run the ball decently (and for more yards then -15), which had led to comparable success for both programs. The Green Bay Packers are relying on Aaron Rodgers for almost all their offense and it’s working quite nicely for them as well.

Has the offensive environment in football changed? It has more to do with the personnel than anything. Why run the ball with Ryan Grant or James Starks when you have Aaron Rodgers? Why put the game in the hands of a bad run-blocking scheme when you have Tony Romo who can air the ball out for 400 yards a game? 400 yards passing used to be a rarity in the NFL, when now we’ll likely have 13 players with over 4,000 yards passing on the season in 2012. There’s no doubt guys like Drew Brees, Tony Romo, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers are a better core than Manning, Jeff Garcia and Elvis Grbac — the only three to break the 4,000-yard mark in 2000. Receivers are bigger and stronger too, and we’re a game away from seeing Calvin Johnson rack up 2,000 yards receiving on the season.

Another reason might be defenses that are becoming self-fulfilling prophecies of not being able to stop the pass. Even on 3rd and 3 you’ll see a defensive back giving nine yards of cushion because they’d rather give up the first down then leave the possibility open of being burned deep. Keeping the chains moving is an QB’s dream, and defensive coordinators look to be hurting themselves more than helping stop the opposing offense.

The day of the one-back backfield is long gone, and you very rarely see a star running back stay on the field on 3rd down anymore. With less emphasis being put on having that one running back (see: Patriots) and more on moving the ball down the field through the air, the game has changed and we’re no longer in a rushing era of football. 4,000 passing yards won’t be the mark very much longer — it’ll be 5,000. Accept the change and you’ll enjoy the game… deny it’s already happening and you’ll be the grumbling old man that still hates cell phones.

The Showdown in the Big D

AT&T Cotton Bowl — No. 9 Texas A&M vs. No. 11 Oklahoma

Outside of the BCS games and the BCS National Championship game this is the game that me and everyone else want to see.

Texas A&M with their Heisman winning freshman Johnny Manziel bring the SEC to Dallas to take on Bob Stoops and his Sooners. Manziel has been all over the place on the banquet and talk show circuit and everyone is saying that he has been doing everything but concentrating on Oklahoma. By most accounts he has missed only one day of practice.

The Sooners should be scorned after being bounced from the BCS so Northern Illinois could get beat by Florida State. This game will keep them from being scorned. They want to take on the Aggies who defected from the Big 12 conference starting with this season. When Bob Stoops has something to concentrate on like a Heisman winner, this team will be very ready to play and will play with great passion.
I can’t wait to get to the game. Regardless of all of the storylines I thought Florida and Texas A&M were the two schools that I would want no part of if a playoff were in place and I’m staying with it.
Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel’s feet and moxie are too much for the Sooners. Aggies roll.

Texas A&M 31, Oklahoma 27

The Fiesta in the Desert

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl – January 3, 7:30 PM

Now that we have had one of our top three meals of the year, had enough pie to last a month, spent time around family member that we see once a year (thank God) we all actually know what Christmas signifies. It signifies that the best of the best bowls are about to start.

The Holiday Bowl between Baylor and UCLA is tonight from San Diego. Not only do they have the best flyover of all of the bowls, the game always promises high scoring and exciting games. This year will be no different. Don’t miss that.

Colin Klein will try to outrun the Oregon offense

But back to our bowl preview; there will not a be a bowl contested this year with two teams that are more opposite than the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Tempe between No. 4 Oregon and No. 5 Kansas State. Kansas State is a power football team that is not in the Top 20 ranked teams in the country when you line up their talent against other in that group. They play together, play hard and they don’t make mistakes. They play and coach with a chip on their shoulder. Oregon is the team that would be in that talent conversation. They may not have the front seven talent on defense that some of the other teams may have but when it comes to offensive skill position, they have one of the fastest teams in the country. When you couple that with one of the most innovative minds in all of football in their head coach and play caller Chip Kelly it becomes one of the best offenses that I have seen in years.

You never want to walk out of the room and go to the bathroom when Oregon is on offense. Kansas State will try to lull Oregon to sleep by slowing down the game and keeping the Oregon defense on the field for long stretches of time.

You do not want to miss this game. Even with the way Kansas State plays I still say that talent and the team that is Oregon in 2012 will win the day.

Oregon 45, Kansas State 24

Where to Sit for Your Team’s Bowl Game

Bowl season is in full swing and ticket demand is still high. If you haven’t gotten your game tickets, let TicketCity  help you. Wanting to know where to sit with your fellow fans? We’ve detailed seating sections by team below to help. And we’re around 7 days a week to help answer any questions. Call 1.800.SOLD.OUT or visit www.TicketCity.com.