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Thursday, September 30, 2010

College Football Picks, Week 5

7 Florida @ 1 Alabama                                                     2 Ohio State @ Illinois
Big Bra's Pick: Florida, 31-21                                        Big Bra's Pick: Ohio State, 45-10
Little Bra's Pick: Alabama 34-24                                  Little Bra's Pick: Ohio St. 41-17

3 Boise State @ N.M. State                                             9 Stanford @ 4 Oregon
Big Bra's Pick: Boise State 38-13                                   Big Bra's Pick: Stanford 41-38
Little Bra's Pick: Boise St. 45-14                                    Little Bra's Pick: Oregon 38-24

5 TCU @ Colorado State                                                 21 Texas @ 8 Oklahoma
Big Bra's Pick: TCU, 52-3                                          Big Bra's Pick: UPSET Texas, 33-24
Little Bra's Pick: TCU 52-6                                         Little Bra's Pick: Okalhoma 27-21

LA-Monroe @ 10 Auburn                                               11 Wisc. @ 24 Mich. State
Big Bra's Pick: Auburn, 34-0                                           Big Bra's Pick: Wisconsin, 31-16
Little Bra's Pick: Auburn 35-3                                        Little Bra's Pick: Wisconsin 28-24

Tennessee @ 12 LSU                                                       16 Miami @ Clemson
Big Bra's Pick: LSU, 39-17                                             Big Bra's Pick: Miami, 39-17
Little Bra's Pick: LSU 31-17                                            Little Bra's UPSET Pick: Clemson 27-24

22 Penn State @ 17 Iowa                                                 Washington @ 18 USC
Big Bra's Pick: Iowa, 31-24                                              Big Bra's Pick: UPSET Wash., 24-21
Little Bra's Pick: Penn State 28-20                                   Little Bra's Pick: USC 31-17

19 Michigan @ Indiana                                                    Va. Tech @ 23 N.C. State
Big Bra's Pick: Michigan, 55-12                                       Big Bra's Pick: UPSET Va. Tech, 31-23
Little Bra's Pick: Michigan 45-14                                    Little Bra's Pick: UPSET Va. Tech 34- 20

25 Nevada @ UNLV                                                        BYU @ Utah State
Big Bra's Pick: Nevada, 49-28                                          Big Bra's Pick: BYU, 24-13
Little Bra's Pick: Nevada 52- 14                                      Little Bra's Pick: BYU 27- 17

Some in Arizona calling to give Max Hall a chance

Austin Collie has been a huge success in Indiana, and BYU fans wonder who will be the next BYU alum to be given a chance for a breakout season. With the questionable play of Arizona QB Derek Andersen, some in Phoenix are suggesting that the Cards give Max Hall a shot. Andersen has 3 TDs and 3 INTs with a QB rating of 67.6. he has led the Cards to a 2-1 record, but the wins came against the lowly Rams and Raiders with the Cardicals having to overcome halftime defecits. Their loss was a 41-7 blowout to the hawks where Andersen threw two picks.

So, as this writer for the Phoenix New Times points out, why not give the rookie a shot? After all, in his limited opportunities in the preseason he outplayed all other QBs in completion percentage, yards per attempt, and QB rating.

Click here to read the article and vote for Max to get a shot at the starting job.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

BYU's offensive struggles start with play calling woes


The anemic offense of the BYU Cougars has one person to blame, and one person only:  Robert Anae, the Cougars' Offensive Coordinator. 

Anae lost every skill position an offense can lose. Austin Collie left for the NFL 2 years ago. Dennis Pitta, BYU's all time leader in receiving yards and catches, is now catching passes for the Ravens of the higher league. Harvey Unga, the Cougars all time rushing leader, is sidelined in the NFL for the bears. BYU's all time leading winner at the QB poition, Max Hall is now second stringer for the Arizona Cardinals. I don't care who you are, that's a lot of talent to lose in 2 years, most of them leaving after last years campaign.

That being said, they had promising recruits come in to take their place. Jake Heaps, often regarded as the best QB coming out of high school, committed to the Cougars. Bringing along with him a nice big wide receiver in the likes of Ross Apo out of Texas. Josh Quezada was a star running back in high school in 5A California ball. Three offensive recruits that were expected to contribute right away.

BYU thought they had a rebuilding year ahead of them, but they didn't think they would have a 3 game losing streak after 4 games. All in all, BYU's play calling has been the reason for this current awful play.

Yesterday, during the Cougars 27-13 loss of high powered Nevada, Anae decided to go for 4 fourth downs. One of which BYU was in Nevada territory on a good drive. 4th and 4 and Heaps and the Cougs hurry to the line, hoping to catch Nevada off guard, and hand the ball off to Bryan Kariya? Are you kidding me? You don't hurry to the line, threatening to score, on a 4th down, and hand the ball to your blocking back in hopes that he hits the whole. Needless to say, Nevada's defense stopped the run, and the drive was killed.

Heaps, who has struggled with accuracy so far this year, is having trouble hitting out routes. To get his grove going, run the ball on first down, get a couple, do some short dump off passes to the backs or quick receiver slants. Get him some completions to get his confidence going. Don't throw the ball on first down, incomplete the pass and have a second in long, where then you call a run, to only get 3 or 4 yards and give your freshman quarterback a long third down.

Anae has to realize that bringing in a highly touted freshman in Heaps means the fans are going to be expecting him to throw a touchdown every series. The expectations the fans alone are going to put on Heaps are exponential. He needs to be groomed to start out little and work his way up. That is Anae's responsibility to train Heaps how to manage the game, by giving him manageable situations to work with.

Heaps has shown great arm strength, as well as throwing accuracy while on the run. Heaps has shown he can lead the cougars on scoring drives, given most of them have been field goals. Heaps needs to be able to punch the ball into the endzone in order for the Cougars to be successful.

Robert Anae has got to simplify the play book for Jake Heaps, and let the game come to him, not make Heaps live up to the hype. Anae is the reason the cougars offense has been so terrible this year. He needs to call the game allowing Heaps to make the Cougar faithful trust him, as well as the team he now will control for the next 4 years.

If Anae can't figure out how to do that, BYU has got to start thinking about alternatives for the position of offensive coordinator.

For the first time in a while, BYU's problem is offense

The rap against BYU in the past has always been that its offense can put up numbers against the, but that its defense can't hold anyone. In Gary Crowton's first, 2001, year they averaged 45 points/game but gave up 30 or more points to the likes of UNLV, Utah State, Air Force, Colorado State, Wyoming, Mississippi State, and Hawaii (who racked up 72 points). After ticking off 12 straight wins to start the season, the BCS announced that BYU would not be considered for a BCS bowl game because of its weak schedule and pourous defense. The Cougars went on to lose to Hawaii and Louiville, so perhaps the BCS bosses weren't far off.

In recent years the trend has been toward a more balanced team. In the past four seasons they have only given up 30 points or more 6 times (2 fewer than the entire 2001 season) while averaging a respectable 34 points/game. The Bronco era in full effect, BYU's generally defense keeps the Cougars within striking distance in games where the offense has trouble.

This year the Cougs find themselves in unfamiliar territory. The defense is playing decently, but the offense is completely inept. in four games, With the exception of JJ DiLuigi, they look like they're running in quicksand with vegetable oil on their hands. Just about every series has been a nightmare of dropped passes, bad throws, fumbles, sacks, and 3-and-outs.

The result: BYU's defense is on the field far too much. In their three losses, BYU has lost the time of possession battle by an average of 12 minutes. That means that the defense is getting short breaks between long drives. This is a receipe for disaster when up against the capable offenses of Air Force, Florida State, and Nevada.

If BYU can close the TOP gap then their defense will be able to keep the games winnable in the fourth quarter. Even if the offense is unable to post the 30-40 points per game that they're used to, I think that keeping the defense off the field will give them the fresh legs to make 6-7 wins possible.

This Week's Picks

College Football picks are all tied up between Big and Little Bra.

Upset picks: Little Bra picked Auburn's "upset" over South Carolina, which came down to a last minute interception in the endzone to seal the win for the Tigers. His Holtz-like optimism for Notre Dame came up short as the Irish got their shorts handed to them by Stanford. My bold pick of Kentucky to beat Florida was way oof the mark and Cal gave up a last-minute touchdown to lose to the ranked Arizona Wildcats.

BYU picks: I tied the score by picking against my loyalties. As much as I tried to by optimistic about the Cougar's chances, something told me that BYU's stagnant offense would not make enough improvements to go toe-to-toe with a team who posted 50 against Cal last week. More insight to come on the Cougars soon.

Little Bra - 17-3
Big Bra - 17-3

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mark Ingrams impact

So, Mark Ingram has played in 2 games out of 4 possible for the top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. He has a total of 33 carries and a total of  338 yards. thats an average of over 10 ypc. His first carry of the season was a 54 yard romp against the lowly Duke defense.

In his first 2 games he has had runs of over 50 yards. In his first 2 games he has scored 2 touchdowns in each of the games. Watching this guy operate wit hthe ball in his hands is truly a delight. He not only has power, weighing in at 215 pounds, but agile feet and amazing vision.

His patience at the line and discipline to hit the holes is worthy of his Heisman from last year. His ability to make the first man miss is uncanny. He is able to make a 3rd and long seem so much shorter.

Alabama ran the wildcat with Ingram taking the snap at least 4 times during crucial third down conversions late in the game. Each time, the defense knew he was going to be taking the ball the whole way. One time, Alabama's quarterback McElroy was actually left alone by the Arkansas defense to add a guy to the box to defend the reining Heisman winner. McElroy actually started waving his arms because he was so wide open. 10 on 11, in Arkansas favor, on a third and short, Ingram took the snap, and ran up the guy for 5 hard earned yards and the first down on their way to the leading touchdown.

If taking that corner off on the spread out quarterback, and bringing him into the box on an pass option play isnt respect towards Mark Ingram, I dont know what would be. And yet, he still gained the yardage necessary for that crucial third down keeping the drive, and essentially the game alive.

Mark Ingram will win the award again this year for best college football player, baring some sort of injury that sidelines him again, or someone else shows that they are more deserving. His performance over the last two games, has proven that he is the best player college football has to offer. Did I mention that he has run over 100 yards in the last 10+ games against top 25 teams?

Ingram is the real deal. Watch and enjoy while you can on Saturdays, because he won't be there much longer. Sundays are calling his name, and a lucky team is waiting patiently for him to blossom in their backfield.

Friday, September 24, 2010

College football Picks

#1 Alabama                                                                 E. Michigan
#10 Arkansas                                                              #2 Ohio State
Little Bra's Pick: Alabama 34-17                                 Little Bra's Pick: Ohio State 45-10
Big Bra's Pick: Alabama 38-28                                   Big Bra's Pick: Ohio Stae 48-13

#24 Oregon State                                                        #5 Oregon
#3 Boise State                                                               Arizona State
Little Bra's Pick: Boise State 31-24                               Little Bra's Pick: Oregon  38-21
Big Bra's Pick: Boise State 45-21                                 Big Bra's Pick: Oregon 55-17

South Dakota State                                                       #7 Texas
#6 Nebraska                                                                 UCLA
Little Bra's Pick: Nebrask 45-10                                    Little Bra's Pick: Texas 38-13
Big Bra's Pick: Nebraska 35-3                                       Big Bra's Pick: Texas 42-21

#8 Oklahoma                                                                  Kentucky
Cinncinati                                                                       #9 Florida
Little Bra's Pick: Oklahoma 27-17                             Little Bra's Pick: Florida 34-14
Big Bra's Pick: Oklahoma 38-35 OT              Big Bra's Pick: UPSET PICK Kentucky 35-28

Austion Peay                                                                   #12 South Carolina
#11 Wisconsin                                                                 #17 Auburn
Little Bra's Pick: Wisoncon 45-13                            Little Bra's UPSET PICK: Auburn 24-20
Big Bra's Pick: Wisconsin 35-10                              Big Bra's Pick: South Carolina 17-7

San Jose State                                                                  California
#13 Utah                                                                           #14 Arizona
Little Bra's Pick: Utah 38-20                                         Little Bra's Pick: Arizona- 27-21
Big Bra's Pick: Utah 48-10                                 Big Bra's Pick: UPSET PICK: Cal 28-24

#22 West Virginia                                                             #16 Stanford
#15 LSU                                                                           Notre Dame
Little Bra's Pick: LSU 27-24                       Little Bra's UPSET PICK: Notre Dame 30-17
Big Bra's Pick: LSU 32-17                                        Big Bra's Pick: Stanford 45-21

Ball State                                                                           #20 USC
#18 Iowa                                                                            Washington State
Little Bra's Pick: Iowa 35-17                                               Little Bra's Pick: USC 56-10
Big Bra's Pick: Iowa 38-10                                                 Big Bra's Pick: USC 55-13

Bowling Green                                                                    Temple
#21 Michigan                                                                       #23 Penn State
Little Bra's Pick: Michigan 30-13                                Little Bra's Pick: Penn State 41-14
Big Bra's Pick: 55-16                                                     Big Bra's Pick: Penn State 28-24

N. Colorado
#25 Michigan State
Little Bra's Pick: Michigan State 35- 7
Big Bra's Pick: Michigan State 33-30 O

Little Bra's Pick:  BYU 28-20
Big Bra's Pick:  Nevada 28-23

The Beginning

So, after much debate and discussion with my brother (Andy) we have decided to create a sports blog. The blog will cover mainly college football and basketball, as well as NBA with a little bit of baseball. We will throw in some thoughts here and there about the Tiger Woods stories, hockey thoughts, and maybe from time to time a soccer thought. Don't count on many soccer posts though. Sorry world, we are trying to cater to the American crowd that cares about fun sports to watch.

We will post really whenever we find a story that we have thoughts on. Something we care about or that other people care a lot about. Its going to be a place where we share our agreements with decisions on trades, our disapproval of the BCS format, and express our thoughts on anything we see fit.

Now, lets describe the name of our blog, so those of you who can't pick up on it don't comment on it thinking its something about woman's body parts being held up during a workout session.

I am sure many of you have heard people refer to a close buddy as "bro." Its a common greeting among buddies getting together to play ball or hook up the COD MW2 coop play together. Well, recently there has developed a slang of this "bro" term, in which people now say "bra." Not sure if this is because of ignorance on how to pronounce the word, or just trying to be funny. Either way, "bra" and "bro" represent the same entity, in essence, your pal.

Now, considering Andy and I are brothers, bro being the short, we decided to use this slang term to our advantage and have it be our title. Throw in the kicker that sports bras are real, and since what they are used for come in pairs, it makes for a great resemblance to what we are going to be doing.

Two brothers talking about sports!

Looking forward to feedback