A full slate in the MAAC on tap tonight, with a showdown for first place being the marquee event. A week after Fairfield went to Albany and failed to take down the defending chanmps, 3-0 Rider gets their shot at the Times Union Center in a rematch of last year's MAAC Tournament final. Of course two of the main characters in that chapter are gone (Rider's Jason Thompson and Siena's Tay Fisher) but both teams stand to be a factor in the title chase until the end of the regular season.
It's halftime and the offensive explosion that many of us anticiapted hasn't come to pass yet. Florida and Oklahoma head into the locker room tied at seven, with both defenses making critical stops to steal some of the offensive momentum. The two quarterbacks have combined for three interceptions so far, but the offenses have been unable to take advantage of the good fortune. A few points that I saw in the first thirty minutes:
1. Percy Harvin's ankle looks fine. And with Chris Rainey going down it had better hold up for another thirty.
For those of you not looking forward to the BCS National Championship Game there is a full slate of games in the NEC (LIU is off after beating future NEC member Bryant the other night) that'll most likely do more to muddle the conference picture than provide clarity. Monmouth may be the league's hottest team after impressive wins over Sacred Heart and CCSU over the weekend, and they'll head north to take on a struggling St. Francis (NY) club.
The biggest game on the college football landscape is finally here, with the media days (should there really be a Super Bowl-like media day for a college football game? But we're all supposed to eagerly go along with the NCAA's assertion that these are student-athletes. When the schools and governing body treat them as such I'll truly believe that.) finally done and all the talking stopped. It's time for Florida and Oklahoma to settle this on the field once and for all.
America East: Despite their loss at Binghamton on Monday night it was a good week for Stony Brook, who won games at Air Force and defending America East champ UMBC. Junior Muhammad El-Amin shared the conference Player of the Week award with New Hampshire's Alvin Abreu, and freshman Bryan Dougher was named America East Rookie of the Week. While El-Amin accounted for 19.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in the two wins, Dougher averaged 20.5 points per game.
Seemed like just another Sunday before the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl within the college football world, with the focus going to the NFL Playoffs and college basketball. Well, the NFL brought college football into the news in a way that has to be a shock to some. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the powers that be at Boston College have thrown a possible deterrent to head coach Jeff Jagodzinski interviewing with the Jets on Monday in regards to their head coach opening: if he goes through with the interview he'll possibly lose his job.
Happy New Year! The first day of 2009 offers up some intriguing matchups on the gridiron, but given the recent phenomena of spreading out bowl games over an entire month New Year's Day can seem a bit barren to some. Bragging rights for conferences are on the line as well, most notably in a couple of matchups between the Big Ten and SEC along with a traditional showdown in Pasadena. The league/team with the most to lose: Virginia Tech, champions of the ACC.
The final days of 2008, for most of the teams in the area (save the Ivies and NJIT), mean a transition into full-time conference play. Some schools still have a game or two outside of conference play later in the season, but for the most part it's all about focusing on the direct way of getting to the NCAA Tournament. Big East play begins early this week, and despite a big win over FDU Seton Hall fans have to wonder what the opener at Syracuse will bring for a team that lacks bodies inside. St.