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Jet Put Together One Hell Of A Horror Show In A Halloween Lose To Packers

How bad were the Jets Sunday afternoon? So bad that I'm going to string together some angry statements on their 9-0 loss that may or may not flow correctly. But at this point, I don't care.

The Jets were pathetic against the Packers. Pathetic actually doesn't even do it justice. And that is for the offense and special teams because the defense played great. Anytime you hold Aaron Rodgers to nothing, that's a great performance. The defense, on their own, allowed three points. The other six was set up by the offense and special teams. The defense finally played like they did last year, when they were the top unit in the NFL, and it went for naught.

This is on the offense and namely Mark Sanchez, Jericho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes and Brian Schottenheimer. I'm not sure what Sanchez was doing in the pocket all game long. He pumped faked on almost every play, and hardly ever did it work. The receivers were embarrassingly bad as well. Cotchery, the most dependable pass catcher on the team, had probably the worst game of his career. His biggest drop, of several, came on a nicely-thrown pass that would have given the Jets the ball at midfield with a chance to win the game late. Holmes dropped a pass on a crossing pattern that would have went for a touchdown. Braylon Edwards actually made a great catch for a big play, but Sanchez never really looked in his direction.


The play-calling by Schottenheimer was horrendous. I love passing the ball as much as anyone, but there is no reason why Shonn Greene should get just six carries in the game. Greene, when given the chance, looked great and was running better than LaDainian Tomlinson. But the Jets kept Greene away from the ball. And it wasn't like Tomlinson got a boat-load of carries either. He got just 16 for 54 yards. The play-calling was boring and predictable. That extra week to prepare for this game did nothing for the game plan.

The Jets also had to deal with horrendous officiating. The officials in the NFL are quickly becoming a bigger joke than umpires in baseball. Both interceptions Sanchez threw shouldn't have counted. Both times the Jets receiver was on the ground, down by contact, and the ball was then ripped away by the Packers defender. Both times the officials made the wrong call and, even with instant replay, couldn't reverse the calls because of the terrible replay rules the NFL has in place. Both interceptions cost the Jets dearly, and probably cost them the game. That should never happen, but it's become commonplace because the officials in the NFL are terrible.

Special teams did the Jets in as well against the Packers. Nick Folk missed a field goal attempt that would have tied the game and punter Steve Weatherford made what could be the biggest blunder of the season. On a fourth-and-18 play from their own 20, Weatherford made the call on his own to pull down the snap and run for the first down. Adding the 10 yards for the snap, Weatherford had to run 30 yards to pick up the first down. There is no way he should have the power to do that, especially after that questionable thinking. At the least he should have a color-coded system when he goes on the field. Green means go for it if it's open. Red means just punt the ball. This would have been a red situation, even though he came up just one yard short. That failure gave the Packers the ball in Jets territory and they turned it into a field goal.

The offense, special teams and coaching had a nightmare of a game on Halloween. Hopefully this is just a one week bump in the road and doesn't become a theme for the rest of the season. No fan wants this to become another Same Old Jets season. But after this performance, that is on everyone's mind. The Jets, however, can put that to rest next week against the Detroit Lions. Next week can't come soon enough.
(AP photos)

College GameDay Rewind Week 9: Oregon Still Top Team In Nation, Plus Does Football Beat Baseball?

Watching another great slate of college football games Saturday afternoon and night, I noticed on one of the score-tickers on the bottom of the screen that the Texas Rangers led the San Francisco Giants 3-0 in the sixth inning. I thought for a moment about the score and that it could be a great finish to Game 3 of the World Series. Unfortunately, that was about all I did – think for a few seconds about the game. I had no interest in changing the channel from Oregon-USC to the baseball game, even though I consider myself a huge fan of the national pastime.

So, why didn’t I change the channel? I know most will say it has everything to do with following my college football game selections. But that isn’t it at all. In fact, the week I went 0-7 (man, that still hurts), I didn’t watch a single college football game in full because I was at the Yankees-Twins ALDS Game 3. On that night, I didn’t care about college football. Even if I wasn’t at Yankee Stadium, I would have been in front of the television with baseball on the screen and the remote nowhere to be found.

So, again, why didn’t I change the channel? Well, the answer is something I believe is the real reason why baseball ratings consistently lose to football. I hear all the time that it has to do with gambling and fantasy sports, and while I’m sure that has something to do with it, it isn’t the most prevalent reason for your typical sports fan.


Baseball is a sport that is based on your rooting interest of one team, and when that team isn’t playing, the sport doesn’t have the same appeal. Like it or not, football is a faster-paced sport with action on every single play. Baseball is a great sport to watch when you have a rooting interest, but when it’s two random teams, the slow nature of the game just doesn’t hold the same appeal.

I watched at least part of probably every single Yankee game this season. In big games and especially in the playoffs, I live and die with every pitch. When the Yankees are in the playoffs, there is nothing that will take my attention away from the game. But when it comes to the Giants and Rangers playing for a world title, I really could care less who wins, so I don’t watch. If I don’t have a rooting interest, and there is a football alternative, I’m not watching baseball. You could say when the Yankees are eliminated from the playoffs, so I am. And I believe your typical sports fan feels the same way.

The best example I can come up with is way back in 2001 when the Yankees played the Diamondbacks in the World Series. Game 7 was played on a Sunday night in competition with a Sunday night football game featuring the Jets and the Saints. All of you loyal readers of this blog realize how big a fan I am of the New York Jets. And guess what, I didn’t turn on the Jets game until something happened in the Yankees game that I won’t ever talk about or write about. Now, if that World Series Game 7 featured the Giants and Rangers, I would check the game out during commercials of the Jets game – at most.

Football has greater appeal to your typical sports fan. Whether real or perceived, the game is faster, more exciting, and always gives you something to root for, whether or not you’re a fan of either team. It’s not the same with baseball.

But with all that said, and contrary to what has been talked about, baseball isn’t dying. It’s still the national pastime and always will be. Football is simply the better spectator sport – unless your team is playing baseball.

Here are a couple of quick notes before we head to the breakdown.

Everyone reading this should watch at least the first two minutes of this week’s web episode of Brad Carroll’s GameDay, which is at the top of the web page. I’m really proud of our Halloween-themed opening, so make sure you check it out and hopefully you’ll have a good laugh. By the way, we’re still doing the whole show in one take, but we’re getting to the point where we’ve created a nice flow, which makes for a better show and something we’re proud to have other people view. That doesn’t mean the show is perfect, because we still flub our words every now and again, and I did this week late in the show, but we’re proud nonetheless. So, check out this week’s episode and pass the word along to those you think would enjoy it.


I wrote last week that Joe Girardi wasn’t going anywhere as Yankees manager (not shocking news), and it was made official this week with him signing a three-year deal. We all know how I feel about Girardi and the job he did this season, but with that said, he did win a championship last year, and made it to the ALCS this year, so he deserves another year. But if the team doesn’t make the World Series next year, I don’t believe I’ll be the only one ready for the Yankees to fire the former catcher. I think the Steinbrenners will be leading that charge. With that said, let’s go Yankees!

Finally, the diva Brett Favre is going to play against the Patriots Sunday. We all know it. He just wanted to make it as dramatic as possible so all the attention is on him. It’s interesting, though, that he would do it when this whole Jen Sterger mess is still going on. You would think he’d want to keep a low profile and keep himself out of the news as much as possible, but the man just can’t help himself. The guy is really, really sad. Don’t believe me, just listen to the messages he allegedly left for the former Jets game hostess.

Now, on to the breakdown:

My Weekend: 5-2 (spread); 6-1 (overall); 1-0 (upset picks)
My Season: 37-26-1 (spread); 49-15 (overall); 4-0 (upset picks)
My Money: UP $840 (season)
Craig Carroll's Weekend: 4-3 (spread)
Craig Carroll's Season: 33-30-1 (spread)
Craig Carroll's Money: $0 (season)

No. 5 Michigan State +6.5 at No. 18 Iowa
My Pick: Iowa 28, Michigan State 20
Actual Score: Iowa 37, Michigan State 6
In my expert analysis, I said and wrote that Michigan State didn’t stand a chance against Iowa, but even I didn’t expect this bad of a beatdown by the Hawkeyes. The Spartans are a solid team, but nowhere near great, and that was the reason for me picking Iowa without hesitation. The Hawkeyes didn’t disappoint and put this game away in the first quarter. Craig and I both start the week with a victory, while Anthony gets the loss.


No. 6 Missouri +7.5 at
No. 14 Nebraska
My Pick: Nebraska 33,
Missouri 30
Actual Score: Nebraska 31,
Missouri 17
This was about as frustrating as a game can get. Nebraska raced to a 24-0 lead and looked to be a no-doubt loss for those picking Missouri plus the points. But the Cornhuskers slowed considerably from there, lost quarterback Taylor Martinez to injury, and gave the Tigers every opportunity to make it a game. But Missouri could never get within seven, despite all the help Nebraska was giving it. Obviously, Missouri came up just one touchdown short of covering. Craig pointed it out during the game, and afterward it was easy to see that Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert was skittish in the pocket, and if his first option wasn’t open he clearly panicked and ran into tacklers instead of away from them. If the Tigers had a capable quarterback, there is no doubt they could have at least made this game closer. Gabbert was 18-for-42 for 199 yards. He was sacked six times. The three of us take losses with this pick.


Florida +2.5 at Georgia
My Pick: Florida 23, Georgia 21
Actual Score: Florida 34, Georgia 31 (OT)
Anytime I pick an upset to happen, the game holds special meaning and has my full attention – and that was the case in this game. Luckily, the second half and overtime was exciting as it gets and, better yet, Florida improved my upset special record to 4-0 on the year with the victory. The Gators pulling out the win was great, but talking on the phone to Craig while it was happening was even better, as he had the Bulldogs. There is obviously nothing better than the double-victory. The fact that Florida controls its own destiny to play in the SEC title game, however, is a joke. But that’s a topic for another day. I was the only one to go with Florida, so I improve to 2-1 after the afternoon games. Craig drops to 1-2 with the loss, while Anthony falls to 0-3.

No. 3 Auburn -7 at Ole Miss
My Pick: Auburn 30, Ole Miss 20
Actual Score: Auburn 51, Ole Miss 31
All you need to know is Auburn quarterback Cam Newton caught the team’s first touchdown pass of the game on a fantastic play in the corner of the end zone. If that doesn’t cement his claim to the Heisman trophy, I don’t know what else will. For the Tigers, this game proves the team is for real. To put up 51 points on a solid team playing at home is a big statement. The 31 points allowed might be troublesome, but when you’re playing on the road, it’s all about survival. This game only reinforced my claims from a few weeks back that I like Auburn and Oregon to play in the title game. I improve to 3-1 on the day with the win, while Craig gets the win to improve to 2-2. Unfortunately for Anthony, but hilarious to the rest of us, he drops to 0-4.

Michigan -3 at Penn State
My Pick: Michigan 34, Penn State 28
Actual Score: Penn State 41, Michigan 31
If Michigan scores 31 points on the road against a big-time rival it should be an automatic win, right? Well, not when you have the worst defense in the country on the field. That defense allowed 41 points in yet another embarrassing display, and the talented and explosive Michigan offense had to watch another game go in the loss column. Is it the players? Is it defensive coordinator Greg Robinson? Who knows? But Robinson should be fired as soon as the season ends. Start over and maybe next year could be special for the Wolverines. All they need is a run of the mill defense to succeed. Craig and I both take losses here; I’m 3-2 and Craig is 2-3. Anthony finally gets a win to improve to 1-4.


No. 1 Oregon -7 at No. 24 Southern Cal
My Pick: Oregon 45, Southern Cal 30
Actual Score: Oregon 53, Southern Cal 32
What more can I say about the Oregon Ducks that I already haven’t? They scored 53 points against a talented Southern Cal team. They turned a second-half deficit into another blowout victory. They used their defense to close the door on the Trojans, with an interception in the end zone on a drive that could have cut their lead to seven. They proved to everyone on national television that it will take a monumental defensive effort to shut them down. Oregon is simply impressive. The Ducks are fittingly my top team in the nation and my favorite to win the national championship – and that is going back a few weeks as well. Unless you’re a USC fan, you have to love watching Oregon play football, and I look forward to what the rest of the season will bring for one of GameDay’s seasonal favorites. The three of us take home victories in this game. I’m 4-2 against the spread and 5-1 straight-up with one game to play. Craig improved to 3-3 and Anthony moved his record to 2-4.

Colorado +23.5 at No. 11 Oklahoma
My Pick: Oklahoma 52, Colorado 24
Actual Score: Oklahoma 43, Colorado 10
There is nothing better than ending the night not having to worry about a loss. Oklahoma rolled to an easy victory against Colorado to give me a 5-2 record against the spread and 6-1 straight-up for the week. I have had a winning record every single week except for one this season, which is still an amazing feat. Craig Carroll finished with the win as well, to post a winning 4-3 record. Anthony continued his slide with his fourth straight losing week. He lost with Colorado to end with a 2-5 record. Now that is scary. Make sure you watch our very special Halloween edition of Brad Carroll’s GameDay at the top of the web page, and check out a brand new episode setting up Week 10 of the college football season next Friday.
(AP photos)

GameDay Live: Plainville At Fermi

Plainville 35, Fermi 13
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Plainville's Chris Kuzia scores on a 26-yard run.

NOTES: Plainville's Adam Foster had 227 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries. ... Kevin Waite's 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown tied a Plainville school record. ... Make sure to vote in our poll on the left side of the page asking who is the best running back out of our area teams. ... Check out our special Halloween edition of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the website.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
None
Second Quarter
P-Adam Foster 81 run (Nick Moshier kick), 8:16
P-Foster 3 run (Moshier kick), 1:04
Third Quarter
P-Foster 67 run (Moshier kick), 3:17
Fourth Quarter
F-Joe Marcotte 5 pass from Dalton Brantner (kick failed), 11:43
P-Kevin Waite 90 kickoff return (Moshier kick), 11:37
F-Taylor Donzie 72 pass from Brantner (Andrew Wilcox kick), 11:10
P-Chris Kuzia 26 run (Moshier kick), 9:25

Week 9 College Football Picks Column: Oregon, Auburn March Toward BCS Title Game

Executive Sports Editor Brad Carroll takes a look at the top games of the day
Last Week: 5-2 (spread); 5-2 (overall); 1-0 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Week: 3-4 (spread)
This Season: 32-24-1 (spread); 45-14 (overall); 3-0 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Season: 29-27-1

No. 1 Oregon at No. 24 Southern Cal, 8 p.m., ABC
The Skinny: Before we jump into this week’s column, I have to plug our latest web episode of Brad Carroll’s GameDay, as it’s a very special Halloween show, so make sure you check that out. In this Pac-10 matchup Saturday night, the top-ranked Oregon Ducks bring their high-powered offense into Los Angeles for a big-time matchup with the Trojans. USC is down this season, but that doesn't mean the Trojans aren't a talented team, because they are. But Oregon is the best team in the nation for a reason, and even though USC will play well at home, don’t look for an upset. The Pick: Oregon (-7) wins it 45-30.

No. 7 Missouri at No. 14 Nebraska, 3:30 p.m., ABC
The Skinny: Missouri impressed me a whole lot last week with its relatively easy win over Oklahoma, the former top-ranked team in the BCS standings, last week. But going into Lincoln and beating a very good Nebraska squad could be asking a lot for the undefeated Tigers, especially coming on the heels of a very emotional-charged performance and victory on national television. The Cornhuskers are actually big favorites in this game, and with a tremendous defense and explosive quarterback Taylor Martinez (who was anything but against Texas a few weeks back), I see Nebraska playing like big favorites. But the Tigers will keep it close until the end. The Pick: Nebraska (-7.5) wins it 33-30.

No. 5 Michigan State at No. 18 Iowa, 3:30 p.m., ABC
The Skinny: Michigan State has been living a charmed life this season, pulling out thrilling victories over Notre Dame and Northwestern to name two, to remain undefeated and garner a No. 5 ranking in the polls. That, however, is going to change this week. Iowa, which lost last week at home to Wisconsin, will not lose two games in a row on their home field. On top of that simple analysis, Iowa has a great defense that will keep the Spartans in check. The Pick: Iowa (-6.5) wins it 28-20.

No. 3 Auburn at Ole Miss, 6 p.m., ESPN2
The Skinny: Auburn has now become a serious national championship contender, and with Heisman favorite Cam Newton leading the offense from the quarterback position, the Tigers may just win it this year. But the Auburn defense is going to have to shore up its weakness in the passing game. Auburn is ranked 101st against the pass, which could play into Ole Miss’ favor with quarterback Jeremiah Masoli throwing the ball. Still, I’m all about the Tigers, and that doesn't change here. The Pick: Auburn (-7) wins it 30-20.

Michigan at Penn State, 8 p.m., ESPN
The Skinny: Even though these two Big 10 rivals are unranked, this is still a big time matchup in primetime tonight. Michigan has dropped two games in a row after starting the season 5-0, and the Wolverines are hoping a repeat of last year’s collapse won’t happen again. Penn State has struggled this year, as its 4-3 record and underdog status tell you all you need to know about the Nittany Lions. Michigan will end its losing streak in Happy Valley Saturday night. The Pick: Michigan (-3) wins it 34-28.

Colorado at No. 11 Oklahoma, 9:15 p.m., ESPN2
The Skinny: One of these weeks Oklahoma is actually going to show up and play to the level everyone pegs them to be. Besides a big win over Florida State, the Sooners have been very ordinary this season, and that finally caught up to them in a loss to Missouri last week. But there might not be a better opponent to cure their struggles than Colorado. The Sooners should be able to put up a ton of points and easily outdistance the Buffaloes. The Pick: Oklahoma (-23.5) wins it 52-24.

Florida vs. Georgia, 3:30 p.m., CBS
The Skinny: This is another battle of two big rivals that find themselves unranked and struggling this season. Hopefully I'm not basing this decision on reputation, but I believe that Florida will get the job done. The Pick: Florida (+2.5) wins it 23-21.
Here are Craig Carroll’s picks for the week: Oregon, Missouri, Iowa, Auburn, Michigan, Oklahoma, Georgia.
(AP photo)

GameDay Live: Eastern At Berlin

No. 4 Berlin 40, Bristol Eastern 24
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Bristol Eastern's Mitch Wheelock scores on a 27-yard pass from Mat Yopp.

NOTES: Berlin's Max DeLorenzo rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. ... Berlin's Tevin Grant had 97 total yards and a touchdown. ... Bristol Eastern's Mitch Wheelock had four receptions for 84 yards and a score. ... Eastern QB Mat Yopp was 13-for-22 for 162 yards and a touchdown. ... Late in the fourth quarter, Bristol Eastern's Taylor Wrice (80 rushing yards, two total touchdowns) suffered an injury and was taken away on a stretcher and left in an ambulance. According to Eastern coach Mike Archangelo, Wrice should be fine and said it was a precautionary measure. ... Eastern fumbled three times and all were turned into touchdowns by Berlin. ... Make sure to vote in our poll on the left side of the page asking who is the best running back out of our area teams. ... Check out our special Halloween edition of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the website.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
BER-Tevin Grant 27 run (Mason Powers pass from Zach Zulkiewicz)
BE-Nicholas Randles 27 field goal
Second Quarter
BE-Taylor Wrice 1 run (run failed), 8:23
BER-Max DeLorenzo 17 run (Grant pass from Zulkiewicz), 6:28
BE-Wrice 9 pass from Mat Yopp (Randles kick), :16
Third Quarter
BER-Zulkiewicz 1 run (DeLorenzo pass from Zulkiewicz), 9:54
BER-Zulkiewicz 1 run (Grant pass from Zulkiewicz), 1:25
Fourth Quarter
BER-DeLorenzo 5 run (Powers pass from Zulkiewicz), 4:27
BE-Mitch Wheelock 27 pass from Yopp (Dylon Ouellette run), 2:14

GameDay Live: Manchester At Canes

Manchester 21, New Britain 6FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: New Britain's Martez Newby scores on an 18-yard run.

NOTES: New Britain's Martez Newby had 64 yards rushing. ... New Britain's Matt Martinez had 65 yards receiving. ... New Britain QB Larry Garcia was 14-of-40 for 162 yards. ... Manchester's Seth Devalve had 131 yards rushing and 172 passing. ... New Britain had minus 37 yard rushing and 21 yard passing at the half. ... Check out our special Halloween edition of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the website. ... Make sure to vote in our poll on the left side of the page asking who is the best running back out of our area teams.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter

M–Seth Devalve 16 run (Matthew Cassidy kick), 4:49
Second QuarterM–Marquis Jimenez 13 pass from Devalve (Cassidy kick), 5:32
Fourth Quarter
M–Devalve 61 run (Cassidy kick), 9:58
NB–Martez Newby 18 run (pass failed), 7:58

GameDay Live: Knights At Simsbury

Southington 41, Simsbury 28
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Southington's Matt Scarpati scores on a 6-yard run.

NOTES: Southington's Matt Scarpati suffered an injury late in the game and was taken away by ambulance. ... Check out our special Halloween edition of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the website. ... Make sure to vote in our poll on the left side of the page asking who is the best running back out of our area teams.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
SO-Jordan Chapman 81 kickoff return (Chapman kick), 11:46
SI-Kyle Decker 4 run (Andrew Melanson kick), 7:20
SO-Zachary Wholley 50 pass from Stephen Barmore (Chapman kick), 4:44
SI-Kyle Decker 1 run (Melanson kick), 2:12
Second Quarter
SO-Barmore 1 run (Chapman kick), 2:47
SO-Andrew Walowski 40 fumble return (Chapman kick), 1:54
Third Quarter
SI-Andrew Girard 5 run (kick failed), 9:17
SO-Tyler Dube 5 pass from Barmore (Chapman kick), 3:27
SI-Decker 4 yard run (Josh Helmkamp conversion good), 2:10
Fourth Quarter
SO-Matt Scarpati 6 run (kick failed), 8:20

GameDay Live: G'bury At Newington

Glastonbury 48, Newington 8
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Glastonbury's Kevin Jack scores on a 32-yard run.

NOTES: Newington scored its lone touchdown on a fourth down pass from Jonathan Snyder to Jeremy Rodriguez. ... Check out our special Halloween edition of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the website. ... Make sure to vote in our poll on the left side of the page asking who is the best running back out of our area teams.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
G-Malcom Crosson 5 run (Bobby Solecki kick), 9:30
Second Quarter
G-Cory Santor 1 run (Solecki kick), 10:39
G-Ben Berry 34 pass from Santor (kick failed), 2:43
G-Santor 5 run (Anthony Offiaeli run), 1:00
Third Quarter
G-Santor 7 run (Solecki kick), 7:38
N-Jeremy Rodriguez 6 pass from Jonathan Snyder (Alex Lomaglio conversion), 3:53
G-Crosson 36 run (Solecki kick), 1:45
G-Kevin Jack 32 run (kick failed), :37

GameDay Live: St. Paul At Woodland

Woodland 36, St. Paul 7
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Woodland's Matt Zaccaginni scores on a 5-yard run.

NOTES: St. Paul's DeV'anti Gardner had 79 yards rushing. ... Woodland's Jack DeBiase rushed for 224 yards and four touchdowns and passed for another 86 and a score. ... St. Paul QB Logan Marchi was 12-of-29 for 168 yards. ... Check out our special Halloween edition of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the website. ... Make sure to vote in our poll on the left side of the page asking who is the best running back out of our area teams.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
W-Jack DeBiase 2 run (kick failed) 7:00
W-DeBiase 6 run (kick failed), 5:37
Second Quarter
W-Rhami Roundtree 15 pass from DeBiase (conversion failed), 9:55
W-DeBiase 6 run (kick failed), 1:00
SP-DeV'anti Gardner 7 run (Geun Park kick), 0:09
Third Quarter
W-DeBiase 70 run (kick failed), 6:12
Fourth Quarter
W-Matt Zaccaginni 5 run (conversion failed) 9:28

GameDay Live: Conard At Central

Conard 36, Bristol Central 6
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Conard's Jon Esposito scores on a 5-yard run.

NOTES: Bristol Central’s Matt Esposito had 39 yards rushing. … Central QB Andrew Laviero was 3-for-11 for 89 yards. ... Check out our special Halloween edition of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the website. ... Make sure to vote in our poll on the left side of the page asking who is the best running back out of our area teams.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
C-Reid Gustafson 27 run (Hutch Fisher kick), 8:23
Second Quarter
C-Gustafson 25 run (Gustafson run), 8:13
BC-Mike Benites 68 pass from Andrew Laviero (kick failed), :29
C-Rick Cotton 80 kick return (Fisher kick), :15
Third Quarter
C-Jon Esposito 37 run (Fisher kick), 9:55
C-Esposito 5 run (Fisher kick), 7:06

College GameDay Rewind Week 8: Wisconsin, Michigan State Get Dramatic Victories; Blame Girardi

When picking games against the spread, in any sport, things happen in a season that can make you jump out of your seat in joy or sink back in depression as tears roll down your face. It doesn’t happen very often, so when it does, it’s pretty special. One of those moments happened Saturday in the Michigan State-Northwestern game.

Northwestern, a 5.5-point underdog, led 17-0 early and 27-21 in the final minutes. I had Michigan State minus the points and things weren’t looking good for the pick. But the Spartans scored a touchdown with two minutes left to take a 28-27 lead. Sure, it would be great to get the straight-up win, but it’s all about the points.


After four straight incompletions, Michigan State got the ball back. Yet, it would have taken a small miracle for the Spartans to score another touchdown from 31 yards out to win the game against the spread. But on 3rd-and-4 from the 25, Edwin Baker broke through the line of scrimmage, dodged tacklers in the secondary, and finally fell over the goal line with a defender around his waist for a touchdown. Michigan State won the game 35-27 in what was the most improbable victory of the season.

When Baker crossed the goal line I let out a big cheer and threw my fist in the air and gave an enthusiastic high-five to the Evil One, who I was watching the game with Saturday. He got to experience the joy as well, as he went with MSU. Almost immediately I got a text message from Brad Carroll’s GameDay co-host Anthony Della Calce ripping into the final outcome, as he had Northwestern in the upset. It was the best of both worlds. It was an unlikely win for me and a devastating loss for a competitor.

Those moments are very rare, so it’s always enjoyable when you’re on the victorious side.


Here’s a question for you. Who is to blame for the embarrassing performance the Yankees put forth in the American League Championship Series? Simple, it’s Joe Girardi. Yes, the offense was horrific and the pitching was horrendous (save for the great Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte), but this loss to the Rangers and the disappointing season as a whole falls on the shoulders of the manager. Even though it won’t happen, Girardi should have managed his last game as a Yankee in the ALCS. But, of course, that would mean the Steinbrenners (Hal and Hank) and general manager Brian Cashman would have to admit they made a gigantic blunder in choosing Girardi over Don Mattingly. They won’t. And Yankee fans have to suffer through another season, at least, of Girardi mismanaging the team. The Yankees will win despite Girardi next season and beyond. If only the team made the right choice in the first place, I would be writing about the Yankees opening the World Series with Mattingly as manager.

Finally, don’t forget to check me out on the CBS-Connecticut sports studio show Game Time with John Holt and Joe Zone Thursday night at 7 p.m. on Channel 185 on Comcast and Channel 144 on Cox. I talk about Berlin-Bristol Eastern, New Britain football and the blog, so make sure you tune in. I’ll be doing another television spot for the network Thursday afternoon, but I’m not sure when that will air.

Now, on to the breakdown:

My Weekend: 5-2 (spread); 5-2 (overall); 1-0 (upset picks)
My Season: 32-24-1 (spread); 45-14 (overall); 3-0 (upset picks)
My Money: UP $560 (season)
Craig's Weekend: 3-4 (spread)
Craig's Season: 29-27-1 (spread)
Craig's Money: DOWN $70 (season)

Syracuse +14 at No. 20 West Virginia
My Pick: West Virginia 38, Syracuse 21
Actual Score: Syracuse 19, West Virginia 14
I don’t even know what to write about this game. West Virginia is exactly what the Big East is – terrible. How the Mountaineers could lose to the Orange I’ll never know, but they did, and I start the day 0-1. Craig does the same.

No. 8 Michigan State -5.5 at Northwestern
My Pick: Michigan State 31, Northwestern 20
Actual Score: Michigan 35, Northwestern 27
I improve to an improbable 1-1 with the surprising finish. Craig also gets to celebrate a 1-1 start.

No. 14 Nebraska -5.5 at No. 17 Oklahoma State
My Pick: Nebraska 28, Oklahoma State 21
Actual Score: Nebraska 51, Oklahoma State 41
It’s too bad Nebraska bottomed out against Texas two weeks ago, which basically ruined its chances for a national championship, because the Cornhuskers have the potential to be very good. They proved it against Oklahoma State, which many had pegged for the upset win at home. But Nebraska came through with the win. I improve to 2-1, and Craig does the same.

No. 10 Wisconsin +5.5 at No. 13 Iowa
My Pick: Wisconsin 27, Iowa 24
Actual Score: Wisconsin 31, Iowa 30
Craig is still screaming about the fake punt Wisconsin pulled off midway through the fourth quarter when it trailed by six points. He was yelling that it was a terrible call and a lucky conversion. I say it was tremendous all around. The Badgers converted the fake punt, converted another fourth down, and took 7:29 off the clock to take the lead after a touchdown run and extra point. Iowa was left with just a minute to drive the field and couldn’t pull off the comeback, giving me the upset victory. I remain perfect on upsets for the season, although I’ve picked just three all season long. I’ll try to fish more out as we move on. I move to 3-1 on the day, while Craig drops to 2-2.


No. 6 LSU +5.5 at No. 5 Auburn
My Pick: Auburn 35, LSU 14
Actual Score: Auburn 24, LSU 17
I had a lot riding on this game personally as I guaranteed Auburn would win. So it was a big relief when the Auburn Tigers put the game away on Onterio McCalebb’s 70-yard touchdown run with five minutes to play. Auburn outplayed LSU, but Les Miles’ crew stayed in the game the whole way. Auburn, however, got the win and quarterback Cam Newton took over the top spot in the Heisman running. There is nobody better right now than Newton and it would take a dramatic collapse for him not to win the award at the end of the year. Like I said on last week’s college football show, Auburn and Oregon are my picks to play for a national championship – and that holds true a week later. Craig and I both get victories with Auburn. I improve to 4-1, while Craig moves to 3-2.

No. 7 Alabama -17 at Tennessee
My Pick: Alabama 37, Tennessee 14
Actual Score: Alabama 41, Tennessee 10
I went back and forth with this pick before finally going with the Crimson Tide to cover the big spread. And Alabama made that decision look good. Alabama outscored Tennessee 28-0 in the second half to cruise to the easy win. I improve to 5-1 against the spread. Craig went with the Vols, and drops to 3-3.

No. 3 Oklahoma -3 at No. 18 Missouri
My Pic
k: Oklahoma 33, Missouri 24
Actual Score: Missouri 36, Oklahoma 27
I really wanted to pick the upset, but I just didn’t believe Oklahoma would lose this game after topping the first BCS standings. But Missouri defended its home field and took it to the Sooners the entire game. Oklahoma just isn’t one of the best teams in the country and unfortunately it took this game for that to finally sink in for me. I haven’t believed in the Sooners all season, and I should have used that thought-process in this game, but I didn't have the guts to go with Missouri. I finish the week with another winning record, 5-2 against the spread and 5-2 straight-up. Craig takes the loss as well to finish with a 3-4 record. I’ve increased my season lead to three games in the battle for Carroll supremacy. Don’t forget to check out the latest episode of Brad Carroll’s GameDay, which will be posted Friday afternoon. Maybe Michael Myers will make an appearance.
(AP photos)

GameDay Makes A Television Appearance Thursday

Just got back from the CBS-Connecticut studios where I taped a guest spot on the sports show Game Time with John Holt and Joe Zone. The episode will premiere Thursday at 7 p.m. on Channel 185 on Comcast and Channel 144 on Cox. I talk about the Bristol Eastern-Berlin football showdown, the struggles of New Britain football, the new playoff system, with a shout-out to Plainville football, and, of course, the blog and our GAMEDAY LIVE coverage, which is all the rave around the state.

The five or so minute segment went by real quick, so forgive me if I missed your favorite player or team. Either way, let's give the show a big boost in viewers to support our area teams now and in the future - and GameDay of course.

GameDay Live: Kennedy At St.Paul

St. Paul 28, Kennedy 22
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Kennedy's Devon Petty scores on a 17-yard run.

NOTES: Falcons come up with a fourth-down stop at the goal line as time expires in the second quarter. ... Check out our poll on the left side of the website asking who is the best running back from our area teams. ... Also, check out the brand-new episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the website, with, yes, lots of head movement in the beginning.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
None
Second Quarter
SP-DeV'anti Gardner 23 run (Geun Park kick) 11:50
Third Quarter
SP-David Shaw 17 pass from Logan Marchi (Park kick), 9:15
SP-Justin Gonzalez 34 pass from Marchi (Park kick), 2:32
Fourth Quarter
SP-Gardner 1 run (Park kick) 8:17
K-Travis Johnson 15 run (Brian Overton run), 4:38
K-Devon Petty 1 run (Overton run), 3:40
K-Petty 17 run (conversion failed), 2:57

GameDay Live: EO Smith At Plainville

Plainville 35, E.O. Smith 6
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Plainville's Kevin Waite scores on a 25-yard run.

NOTES: After two long Adam Foster runs, Kevin Waite punches it in for Plainville. ... After E.O. Smith fails on a fourth-down play, Plainville goes with a halfback pass that goes for 57 yards. Ross Zettergren passes to Mark Demartinis. ... Plainville's Dan Bates makes a tremendous leaping catch for the touchdown. ... Check out our poll on the left side of the website asking who is the best running back from our area teams. ... Also, check out the brand-new episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the website, with, yes, lots of head movement in the beginning.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
P-Tony Lopizzo 87 run (Nick Moshier kick), 1:29
Second Quarter
P-Dan Bates 25 pass from Lopizzo (Moshier kick), :48
Third Quarter
P-Chris Kuzla 1 run (Moshier kick), 6:56
Fourth Quarter
P-Kevin Waite 5 run (Moshier kick), 11:12
E-Josh Hill 27 reception (conversion failed), 5:41
P-Waite 25 run (Moshier kick), 4:20

Week 8 College Football Picks Column: Auburn, Wisconsin Will Reign This Week With Victories

Executive Sports Editor Brad Carroll takes a look at the top games of the day
Last Week: 4-3 (spread); 4-3 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Week: 2-5 (spread)
This Season: 27-22-1 (spread); 40-12 (overall); 2-0 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Season: 26-23-1

No. 6 LSU at No. 5 Auburn, 3:30 p.m., CBS
The Skinny: If you’ve read College GameDay Rewind at all on my blog you know exactly where I’m going with this breakdown. LSU, with a terrible head coach in Les Miles, is the worst undefeated team in the country and will have no chance — that’s right, no chance — today against an Auburn squad that has quickly become a national title contender. The Cam Newton-led offense scored 65 points against Arkansas last week and will have no problem scoring today. The Pick: Auburn (-5.5) wins it 35-14.

No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 18 Missouri, 8 p.m., ESPN
The Skinny: Oklahoma hasn’t done anything this season to deserve its No. 1 ranking in the BCS standings, but that is exactly where the Sooners sit heading into this Big 12 showdown with Missouri. I’m not high on the Sooners at all, as four of their six wins have been by narrow margins. Missouri is 6-0 on the season and has made its mark on defense, which could pose a big problem for Oklahoma. But I see the Sooners, finally, playing like a national title contender and winning this big, road game. The Pick: Oklahoma (-3) wins it 33-24.

No. 10 Wisconsin at No. 13 Iowa, 3:30 p.m., ABC
The Skinny: Wisconsin knocked off the top-ranked team in the nation last week as Ohio State fell victim to the Badgers and their rabid home crowd. This game against Iowa could pose an even bigger challenge, however. Iowa, led by quarterback Ricky Stanzi and a very good defense, could be the best team in the Big 10 — and that’s saying a lot. But I see the Badgers continuing their momentum with a big upset. The Pick: Wisconsin (+5.5) wins it 27-24.

No. 14 Nebraska at No. 17 Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
The Skinny: Nebraska was brought back to reality last week after its embarrassing loss to Texas that knocked it out of the national title picture. Everyone was high on the Cornhuskers, including GameDay, but we were all left wondering what we were thinking after that terrible loss. Now, Nebraska has to go to No. 17 Oklahoma State to take on an undefeated rival. Even with all that written, I still see the Huskers winning. The Pick: Nebraska (-5.5) wins it 28-21.

No. 8 Michigan State at Northwestern, 12 p.m., ESPN
The Skinny: Michigan State has surprised just about everyone this season, as its 7-0 record is the team’s best in 44 years. But the Spartans haven’t played their best against inferior opponents, which Northwestern is. Michigan State trailed Illinois last week before pulling away in the second. If the Spartans do the same today, Northwestern will pull off the upset. But I don’t see MSU struggling two weeks in a row. The Pick: Michigan State (-5.5) wins it 31-20.

No. 7 Alabama at Tennessee, 7 p.m., ESPN
The Skinny: Alabama has played poorly two weeks in a row now, one a victory over Ole Miss in which the Tide scored just 23 points, and the other a stunning loss to South Carolina that knocked them out of the top spot in the polls. But Tennessee may be the perfect opponent for Alabama. The Tide can’t take the Vols lightly, which means we should see a big offensive day from Mark Ingram and company. The Pick: Alabama (-17) wins it 37-14.

Syracuse at No. 20 West Virginia, 12 p.m., ESPN2
The Skinny: It’s all Mountaineers. The Pick: West Virginia (-14) wins it 38-21.
Here are Craig Carroll’s picks for the week: Auburn, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, MSU, Tennessee, West Virginia.
ALL NEW: THE LATEST WEB EPISODE OF BRAD CARROLL’S GAMEDAY IS LIVE AT THE TOP OF THE WEBSITE RIGHT NOW.
(AP photo)

GameDay Live: Berlin At Rocky Hill

No. 5 Berlin 50, Rocky Hill 14
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Berlin's Ras Morgan scores on a 24-yard run.

NOTES: Berlin's Max DeLorenzo rushed 11 times for 199 yards and three total touchdowns. ... Berlin's Ras Morgan had 83 rushing yards on nine carries and Mason Powers had 59 yards rushing on four carries. ... Rocky Hill's Adam Marzilli had 137 rushing yards. ... Check out our poll on the left side of the website asking who is the best running back from our area teams. ... Also, check out the brand-new episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the website, with, yes, lots of head movement in the beginning.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
B-Max DeLorenzo 50 run (Ras Morgan run), 8:27.
Second Quarter
RH-Adam Marzilli 1 run (run failed), 10:42.
B-Morgan 38 run (run failed), 9:59
B-DeLorenzo 4 run (Tom Undercuffler pass from Zach Zulkiewicz), 3:26
RH-Marzilli 2 run (Marzilli run), :10
B-DeLorenzo 70 kickoff return (Mason Powers run), :00
Third Quarter
B-Powers 3 run (pass failed), 8:03
B-Powers 34 run (kick good), 4:31
Fourth Quarter
B-Morgan 24 run (kick good), 6:47

GameDay Live: Simsbury At Canes

Simsbury 20, New Britain 14
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: New Britain's Daequone Clark scores on a 32-yard pass from Larry Garcia.

NOTES: New Britain's Martez Newby had 88 rushing yards on 16 carries. ... New Britain QB Larry Garcia was 16-for-25 for 152 yards. ... New Britain's Damien Rosado, Kian Downes, Daequone Clark and Matt Martinez each had four receptions. ... Check out our poll on the left side of the website asking who is the best running back from our area teams. ... Also, check out the brand-new episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the website, with, yes, lots of head movement in the beginning.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter

NB-Luis Colon 2 run (Juan Usuga kick), 2:54
Second QuarterS–Kyle Decker 2 run (kick failed), 10:07
Third QuarterS–Josh Gowdy 6 run (run failed), 8:08
Fourth QuarterS–Decker 14 run (Andrew Girard run), 1:48
NB–Daequone Clark 32 pass from Larry Garcia (Usuga kick), :13

GameDay Live: E.Catholic At Eastern

No. 14 Bristol Eastern 35, East Catholic 7FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Bristol Eastern's Dylon Ouellette scores on a 12-yard run.

NOTES: Bristol Eastern's Dylon Ouellette had 94 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. ... Bristol Eastern's Taylor Wrice had 79 rushing yards and a 91-yard TD reception. ... Bristol Eastern QB Mat Yopp was 4-of-5 for 136 yards. ... Check out our poll on the left side of the website asking who is the best running back from our area teams. ... Also, check out the brand-new episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the website, with, yes, lots of head movement in the beginning.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
EC-Jordan Bridges 65 pass from Corey Edsall (Edsall kick), 9:58
BE-Dylon Ouellette 20 run (Nicholas Randles kick), 7:54
BE-Taylor Wrice 14 run (Randles kick), 5:18
BE-Wrice 91 pass from Mat Yopp (Randles kick), :00
Second Quarter
BE-Wrice 20 run (Randles kick), :43
Third Quarter
BE-Ouellette 12 run (Randles kick), 8:31
Fourth Quarter
None

GameDay Live: Knights At M'chester

No. 18 Southington 28, Manchester 14
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Southington's Jordan Chapman scores on a 36-yard run.

NOTES: Southington's Matt Scarpati ran 25 times for 110 yards and a touchdown. ... Southington QB Stephen Barmore was 8-of-12 for 81 yards and a TD. ... Southington's Tyler Dube had three catches for 37 yards and Jordan Chapman had 65 total yards. ... Check out our poll on the left side of the website asking who is the best running back from our area teams. ... Also, check out the brand-new episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the website, with, yes, lots of head movement in the beginning.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
S-Zach Wholley 11 pass from Stephen Barmore (Jordan Chapman kick), 6:58
M-Seth Devalve 4 run (Matt Cassidy kick), :30
Second Quarter
S-Wholley 5 run (Chapman kick), :58
Third Quarter
M-Marquis Isaacs 5 pass from Devalve (Cassidy kick), 8:28
S-Matt Scarpati 4 run (Chapman kick), 4:21
Fourth Quarter
S-Chapman 36 run (Chapman kick), 11:07

City Stunned As Collegiate Baseball Club Bolts Muzzy Field For Groton

Here is the full story on the Bristol Collegiate Baseball Club leaving the city for Groton, Conn. to play on a high school field at Fitch. Read the posts below for the Bristol team's statement, my conversation with NECBL commissioner Mario Tiani and the original story that made all this happen.

BRISTOL — In the aftermath of learning that the New England Collegiate Baseball League’s run in the city is over after just one season, Mayor Art Ward could come up with only one word to describe his feelings — stunned.

"I am stunned that the team has opted for this action," the mayor said. "As late as Oct. 2nd, I received a request from the Collegiates requesting consideration to utilize temporary outfield signage for the upcoming season as a means of enhancing their revenue."

The organization’s request was put on the park board agenda for discussion.

But now, with the recent developments, there’s no longer anything to discuss.

The NECBL’s Board of Directors approved the team’s move to the Mystic/Groton area at a league meeting on Sunday, according to league Commissioner Mario Tiani.

The team’s decision, the commissioner said, was based purely on finances.

"It was strictly a financial situation," he said. "The team lost a substantial amount of money."

The difficulties have to fall on the team’s own shoulders, Ward said, due to what he described as its own mismanagement of operations.

A letter signed by Bristol Collegiate President Kevin Kelleher made it clear that its one season in the Mum City indeed left the organization in serious financial trouble.

"Our principal problem is the lack of means to generate the dollars necessary to provide the funding which would support the sustainability of our organization in the long term," Kelleher said. "Our product, the game, is our primary link to the community and also our principal revenue generating event."

In fact, the financial struggle became so great that the organization was unable to foot the bill for the use of historic Muzzy Field.

Bristol Collegiate Vice President Paul Fredette said that the financial burden was something the organization would not be able to survive if it happened again this summer.

"No one anticipated this would be necessary at the end of one year. And it’s easy to see where some people may be surprised at this decision [to leave Bristol]," he said. "The organization was determined not to let the financial burdens damper an otherwise successful season on the field. At owners’ expense, the organization gave the players and fans the best show at the best value it could. However, moving forward under the same conditions in 2011 would not be fiscally possible or responsible."

At $1, $2 and $4, Bristol offered the lowest ticket prices in the NECBL.

Bristol Park and Recreation Superintendent Ed Swicklas wasn’t made aware the team was even considering a move until Wednesday when he was informed by Ward — who also serves as the chairman of the park board commission.

"I am surprised," Swicklas said. "I wasn’t aware of the team leaving Bristol until the mayor informed me he received a letter today."

The letter, signed by Kelleher, proposed that the organization settle its debt by transferring ownership of all the equipment it purchased for Muzzy Field over to the city.

A sales order supplied by Kelleher shows that the equipment cost the organization $8,586. The invoice from the parks department for the use of the field stands at $9,543.

"I can tell you we worked very hard with the team and to help it succeed but apparently they had other plans," Swicklas said. "But Bristol will be fine; we have a good core of teams that continue to represent Bristol in a positive way."

Tiani said the city seemed to be an ideal place for one of the country’s top collegiate summer leagues to call home.

"Muzzy Field in Bristol is a great place to play baseball," the commissioner said. "It would be the best of both worlds to have the team stay there. But there was a great loss of money."

He’s hoping for better financial success for the organization in the Mystic/Groton area.

"The area approached the league in the past about putting a team there," Tiani said. "It’s a good area for expansion or a relocation situation. It is a touristy area, with the seaport and aquarium. We envision it to be like Newport, which draws over 2,000 fans a game. Hopefully this new location will fill the seats. Ballplayers want to play in front of large crowds and we’re hoping that happens with this."

The team is expected to play its home games at Fitch High School in Groton, although the facility will have to meet upgrades and NECBL guidelines before that can officially be deemed its new diamond. Groton Town Manager Mark Oefinger was not available for comment on Wednesday.

Fewer than 4,000 people came out to support the Bristol team over the course of its 22 home games this summer. Four teams averaged over 1,000 fans per contest including 2,300 for every affair in Newport, R.I. The Keene Swamp Bats, Holyoke Blue Sox and Vermont Mountaineers all finished below Bristol in the standings, but dwarfed it in attendance figures.

Ward is anything but happy the city’s NECBL days have so abruptly come to a close.

"I would like to extend the best wishes to the future success of each and every Collegiate player, manager and coach on the Collegiate staff, thank them for their contributions to the youth of Bristol and their involvement in our community and do not hold any animosity toward any one of them," the mayor said. "As for the owners and management, it has become quite obvious that the Bristol citizens and fans were utilized as a stepping stone for the organization, that their operations were mismanaged and that the organization is now attempting to shrink its responsibilities on their way out of town."

Bristol Collegiate Team's Statement



This statement was released by the Bristol Collegiate Baseball Club today. My discussion with NECBL commissioner Mario Tiani is below, in the original story.

“Unfortunately Muzzy Field with all its charm and history did not provide enough of the necessary ingredients for a viable business model. Much the same way many new businesses struggle in this economy, a lack of effective revenue streams combined with high expenses are difficult, if not impossible to overcome. The financial losses sustained by the team in the first year could not be sustained into the 2011 season. Team ownership in discussion, concluded the financial losses could not be reversed in 2011 by playing at Muzzy Field in Bristol. As a result, additional capital sources and venues needed to be considered to continue operation. Mystic Ct. had expressed a strong interest in the past to host a team within the NECBL and was viewed as a possible area for relocation of a team or the possibility of league expansion in the future. Discussions were held between team ownership and community leaders within the Mystic/Groton area. A presentation was presented to the NECBL Board of Directors on October 17, 2010. After the presentation and discussion, the Board of Directors approved the re-location of the team to Mystic/Groton dependent upon league requirements being fulfilled.

No one anticipated this would be necessary at the end of one year. And it’s easy to see where some people may be surprised at this decision. The organization was determined not to let the financial burdens damper an otherwise successful season on the field. At owner’s expense, the organization gave the players, and fans the best show, at the best value it could. However moving forward under the same conditions in 2011, would not be fiscally possible or responsible.

Bristol Collegiate would like to thank the town officials and Chamber of Commerce for the chance to succeed. We also want to thanks host families, volunteers, fans and sponsors for their support. This is not the outcome anyone intended."

GameDay Live: Knights At Coventry

Girls Volleyball
No. 2 Coventry 3, No. 1 Southington 0
FINAL

HIGHLIGHTS: The Coventry High girls volleyball team proved that bigger should never be construed as better.The Patriots, their faces stained with tears a year ago when Southington ended their 84-match win streak, were all smiles Wednesday. Class S Coventry, ranked second to defending LL champion Southington in the latest coaches poll, left no doubt how next week’s would look, storming to a 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-12) win over the stunned Blue Knights before a supportive crowd at the Patriots’ gym. Full story on the Press and Herald websites.

GAMES
Game 1: Coventry, 25-14
Game 2: Coventry, 25-20
Game 3: Coventry, 25-12

Bristol NECBL Team Moving Out

By Brad Carroll
Executive Sports Editor

UPDATE: NECBL commissioner Mario Tiani confirmed to me today that the Bristol Collegiate Baseball Club will be leaving the city for Groton, Conn. next season. The nucleus of owners remains the same.

"It was strictly a financial situation," Tiani said. "The team lost a substantial amount of money."

Tiani would not reveal how much money the Bristol club lost.
The move to Groton was approved by the board of directions at the league's meetings on Sunday, although the Fitch High School playing grounds still must meet requirements set by the league. That, however, is not expected to be an issue.

According to Tiani, the Bristol club's ownership did meet with the city to work out a deal to better suit the team's need financially. Tiani offered to attend a meeting between the two, but that never came to fruition.

"Muzzy Field in Bristol is a great place to play baseball," Tiani said. "It would be the best of both worlds to have the team stay there. But there was a great loss of money."

The commissioner is excited about the move to Groton, which was an enticing area for the league.

"The area approached the league in the past about putting a team there," Tiani said. "It's a good area for expansion or a relocation situation. It is a touristy area, with the seaport and aquarium. We envision it to be like Newport, which draws over 2,000 fans a game. Hopefully this new location will fill the seats. Ballplayers want to play in front of large crowds and we're hoping that happens with this.

"We want the team to succeed in the Mystic/Groton area. They are part of the family."

That will be something the same ownership group did not accomplish in Bristol.

-------

The Bristol Collegiate Baseball Club of the NECBL is leaving the city after just one season to play ball at Fitch High School in Groton next year, according to sources within the team and in southeastern Connecticut.

A source within the team said he was told by the organization that the deal was done.

According to one source, representatives from the Bristol team met with Groton Board of Education members a few weeks ago to talk about possibly moving the team to the area. Since then, the two groups have agreed to a partnership that would include improvements to the playing field at Fitch High School, which would begin in March, 2011. Those improvements will include upgrading the field's lights, dugouts and adding seating for roughly 1,000 additional fans. Groton will only have to provide housing for players and make the field available to the team.

Calls to Bristol team president Kevin Kelleher, Bristol team secretary Paul Fredette and NECBL commissioner Mario Tiani were not returned as of Tuesday night.

The group of Kelleher, Fredette, Dan Kennedy and Paul Trudnack purchased the Pittsfield American Defenders from Dan Duquette last December and moved the team to Bristol to play at Muzzy Field. The Bristol team qualified for the NECBL postseason after a 23-win season, but lost in the first round of the playoffs.

In recent weeks both Kennedy, the team's general manager, and Pat Hall, the team's manager, have left their positions. And now, the entire organization is leaving the city of Bristol after just one season.

NBA Bans Sneakers Designed To Increase Vertical Leap


  By Brad Carroll  
These sneakers (above) were banned by the NBA Tuesday because they apparently increase a player's vertical leap. "Under league rules, players may not wear any shoe during a game that creates an undue competitive advantage," the NBA said in a statement.

The shoes, called Concept 1, are designed to increase lift by using a spring-based system.

Junior Seau Drives SUV Off Cliff


After being arrested on a charge of felony spousal asasult with injury, according to police, former Patriots and Chargers linebacker Junior Seau drove his SUV off a cliff early Monday morning. Seau, who was found in his car after 3 a.m. on the beach 30 feet below roadside, suffered minor injuries. Carlsbad police said Seau was the only person in the vehicle. He was conscious and remains hospitalized with minor injuries, including cuts and bruises.

Seau was arrested around midnight after a report was called in around 10 p.m. The victim was his 25-year-old live-in girlfriend, police said in a statement. She told police that Seau assaulted her during a verbal argument. The police said that she sustained minor injuries that did not require medical attention. Seau was not at the residence when police arrived. He later spoke with police by phone and agreed to return to his home. He was arrested without incident when he approached the residence, police said in a statement.
(AP photo and information)

College GameDay Rewind Week 7: More Coaching Blunders In A Bounce Back Week; Boycott This Commercial

Lots of things to get to today on College GameDay Rewind, so I’ll jump right in. My biggest pet peeve in the world of sports is when I know how to handle end-game situations better than a high-profile head football coach. Even though I pride myself on knowing as much about the game as I do, including how to work the clock and play-calling in the final moments, I should never know more than a head coach. But, again, that wasn’t the case this past Saturday.

The latest culprit was South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier. Spurrier has all the credentials in the world as one of the best coaches on the planet. But his decision in the final seconds against Kentucky was stunning – almost as stunning as the Gamecocks win over Alabama the previous week.

Let’s break down the final moments in Kentucky. The Wildcats rallied from 18 down with a touchdown and 2-point conversion to take a 31-28 lead with 1:15 to go in the game. South Carolina took control of the ball needing only a field goal to send the game to overtime.


The Gamecocks got the ball at their own 31 and worked the ball all the way to the Kentucky 20 with 11 seconds left. That is where Spurrier made his first mistake – he called timeout after an 18-yard completion that gave his team a first down. If he has his team rush to the line of scrimmage and spike the ball, two or three seconds would have elapsed at most, as the clock stops on the first down. That would leave the Gamecocks roughly nine seconds to run one play, anywhere on the field, and then use a timeout to set up the game-tying field goal.

But the timeout was taken, leaving the team one play to work with before, hopefully, having enough time for a field goal attempt. It does put immense pressure on the quarterback, especially a college quarterback. He either has to complete the ball for a first down or a touchdown or throw the ball incomplete. Even if he completes the ball for a first down, that sets up a rush to the line to spike the ball and hope for a second or two to be left on the clock.

The call, in my video-game play-calling wisdom, should be to look for an open man quickly, but if nobody is open, throw the ball out of the end zone. That seems simple enough. Of course that didn’t happen Saturday night in Kentucky.

South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia forced a ball into coverage in the end zone that ended up being intercepted. Game over. No field goal. No touchdown. It was just a devastating way to lose a game for the Gamecocks. It should have never come to that. In this case, from 20 yards out with 11 seconds to play, you have to play smart. South Carolina didn’t and Kentucky was the one celebrating.


Switching to the NFL for a moment, the Jets win over the Broncos Sunday afternoon was so much more than a simple road victory. A lot has been said by coach Rex Ryan and the team that these are not the Same Old Jets. But that will always be something Jets fans talk about and believe in. Slowly, that thought process is melting away. The victory over the Broncos was huge for the psyche of the organization and the fan base. The game, more likely than not, would have been a loss a year ago, and almost assuredly a loss two years ago. It was the Jets way. But this year, so far, has been completely different. The Jets have won five games in a row and are being talked about as the top team in the NFL. There is no denying they are in the discussion. Ryan and the Jets are on the right track, but there is a lot of season left to be played. Heading into the bye week with a 5-1 record, however, isn’t a bad place to be.

File this next item in the “we should boycott” file. The Sprint commercial with the doctor treating a player who is out for the season with an apparent knee injury isn’t funny – it’s disgusting. The “doctor” is embarrassingly callous, even for a commercial. With so many players being injured in the game, some seriously, the commercial should be pulled from television. I truly can’t believe people watched that at Sprint and thought it was funny. I don’t know anyone who has Sprint as their cell phone carrier, and that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t buy anything from them based on that commercial alone. Disgusting.


One last thing before we get to the breakdown. The Yankees game Monday against Cliff Lee and the Rangers is huge, but not a must. If they did beat Lee and the Rangers, however, that could end the series right there. So, the pressure is on the Rangers to win and take the ALCS lead. That should work in the Yankees favor. And with Andy Pettitte on the mound, the Yankees have a great shot to go up 2-1. At the least, the Yankees need to take two of three to head back to Texas needing to win one of two games to advance to the World Series. One thing is for sure, the Yankees are going to have to play a whole lot better than they did in Games 1 and 2 if they want to repeat as world champions.

Now, on to the breakdown:

My Weekend: 4-3 (spread); 4-3 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
My Season: 27-22-1 (spread); 40-12 (overall); 2-0 (upset picks)
My Money: UP $280 (season)
Craig Carroll's Weekend: 2-5 (spread)
Craig Carroll's Season: 26-23-1 (spread)
Craig Carroll's Money: UP $70 (season)

Boston College +21.5 at No. 16 Florida State
My Pick: Florida State 41, Boston College 28
Actual Score: Florida State 24, Boston College 19
I talked about it briefly on this week’s web show, which is at the top of the website, and it turned out to be a key storyline. Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder, for some reason, doesn’t play well against Boston College, and on Saturday he had four turnovers to give the Eagles a great shot at the upset. But the Seminoles survived and took home the victory. The close game throughout made for easy watching for me, as I had Boston College plus the points. So, I start the week 1-0, putting that 0-7 record to bed very quickly. Craig went with FSU and begins 0-1.

Texas +9.5 at No. 5 Nebraska
My Pick: Nebraska 35, Texas 17
Actual Score: Texas 20, Nebraska 13
I guess the burning lights of national television on a Saturday afternoon were just too much for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. And, with it, another poser went down and eliminated itself from the national title picture. Nebraska needed a big victory on this stage, but came up lame, and was upset by a struggling Texas squad. I drop to 1-1 on the week, while Craig falls to 0-2.

No. 15 Iowa -3.5 at Michigan
My Pick: Iowa 32, Michigan 24
Actual Score: Iowa 38, Michigan 28
Michigan scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, but the Hawkeyes held on for the victory, their first win in Ann Arbor since 2002. The Wolverines actually played well, but Iowa was just too good and put the game away late with a field goal. I improve to 2-1 with the win, while Craig gets on the board for the first time to move to 1-2.


No. 12 Arkansas +3.5 at No. 7 Auburn
My Pick: Auburn 28, Arkansas 20
Actual Score: Auburn 65, Arkansas 43
Auburn is quickly becoming one of GameDay’s teams, as it scored a whopping 65 points in beating Arkansas Saturday afternoon to give me another victory. Right now, GameDay has Auburn and Oregon, to go along with the old standard, Michigan, on his bandwagon list. After Arkansas took a 43-37 lead in the fourth quarter, the Tigers scored the final 28 points to make a close game into a surprisingly easy win. Auburn quarterback Cam Newton has to be at or near the top of the Heisman list after this game. He is at the top of my list right now. I improve to 3-1 with the win; Craig improves to 2-2.

No. 10 South Carolina -5.5 at Kentucky
My Pick: South Carolina 38, Kentucky 24
Actual Score: Kentucky 31, South Carolina 28
I still don’t understand the play call at the end of the game made by Steve Spurrier. Why throw the ball into the end zone in that situation? It just doesn’t make sense. And Kentucky was the beneficiary, pulling off a huge upset at home. What a terrible showing for the Gamecocks a week after their stunning win over Alabama. I still don’t know how this game became a loss, but it did. I fall to 3-2 on the day, while Craig drops to 2-3.


No. 1 Ohio State -4 at
No. 18 Wisconsin
My Pick: Ohio State 27,
Wisconsin 24
Actual Score: Wisconsin 31,
Ohio State 18
Wisconsin jumped, jumped, jumped all over Ohio State in the first half, rolling to a 21-0 lead in the first half. But Ohio State didn’t go away and actually put together an impressive comeback to cut the lead to 21-18 in the fourth quarter. But the Badgers weren’t about to let their lead evaporate and took control of the game after that to upset the No. 1 team in the nation. This was a victory for me with the points, as I improve to 4-2 on the day with one game to play. Craig drops another game, to fall to 2-4.

Ole Miss +21 at No. 8 Alabama
My Pick: Alabama 52, Ole Miss 20
Actual Score: Alabama 23, Ole Miss 10
If the Alabama defense holds an opponent to 10 points, then it should go down as an automatic victory picking them with the points. But that wasn’t the case here as Alabama struggled to score, putting up just 23 points against Ole Miss. I thought for sure the Tide would respond in a big way after their stunning upset against South Carolina last week, but that wasn’t the case at all. This should have been an easy win, but it goes down as a loss. I end the week with a winning 4-3 record, which is big considering my 0-7 mark a week ago. I’ve been on the winning side each week except for last, so hopefully the positive continues. Craig takes the loss to drop to 2-5 for the second week in a row. With the two-game swing, I take over first place in the battle for Carroll supremacy. We are both in the positive money-wise for the season, which is a good thing. We’ll both make sure that continues next week right here on the blog and on our latest web show. So check that out in the coming days. See you then.
(AP photos)

GameDay Live: Eastern At Newington

Bristol Eastern 33, Newington 21
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Newington's Jeremy Rodriguez scores on a 19-yard pass from Jonathan Snyder.

NOTES: Bristol Eastern's Tyrell Holmes had 105 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He also had a 71-yard kickoff return for a score. He injured his ankle late in the third quarter and didn't return. He was on the sidelines with crutches later on. The extent of the injury is unknown. ... Eastern's Dylon Ouellette had 51 rushing yards and two scores. ... Newington's Jonathan Snyder had 61 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He was 18-of-26 for 166 yards passing. ... Newington's Jeremy Rodriguez had 52 rushing yards and added 33 yards and a touchdown receiving. ... Eastern QB Mat Yopp was 6-for-6 passing for 88 yards. ... Newington's Freddy Burgos had 109 yards on eight receptions. ... Check out our brand new episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the web page.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
N-Jonathan Snyder 5 run (Christian Beauford kick), 3:57
BE-Tyrell Holmes 71 kick return (Nick Randles kick), 3:40
Second Quarter
BE-Holmes 35 run (Randles kick), 11:04
Third Quarter
BE-Holmes 7 run (Randles kick), 6:58
Fourth Quarter
BE-Dylon Ouellette 1 run (kick failed), 6:53
N-Snyder 55 run (Beauford kick), 5:52
BE-Ouellette 3 run (conversion failed), 2:37
N-Jeremy Rodriguez 19 pass from Snyder (Beauford kick), :26


GameDay Live: Knights At E.Catholic

Southington 47, East Catholic 14
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: East Catholic's Tre Morrison scores on a 7-yard run.

NOTES: Southington QB Stephen Barmore was 13-of-17 for 298 yards and five touchdowns, all in the first half. ... Southington's Tyler Dube had four receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half. ... Southington's Matt Scarpati had 82 rushing yards on 16 carries. ... Check out our brand new episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the web page.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
S-Tyler Dube 60 pass from Stephen Barmore (kick failed), 10:40
S-Jordan Chapman 19 pass from Barmore (pass failed), :16
S-Zach Wholley 33 pass from Barmore (pass failed), :00
Second Quarter
S-Dube 57 pass from Barmore (kick failed), 7:16
S-Wholley 1 run (Chapman kick), 2:20
S-Dube 17 pass from Barmore (Chapman kick), :00
Third Quarter
S-Chapman 29 field goal, 7:21
EC-Kelvin Sims 36 pass from Corey Edsall (Edsall run), 3:20
Fourth Quarter
S-Jarrid Grimmett 15 run (kick failed), 6:11
EC-Tre Morrison 7 run (no PAT attempted), :00

GameDay Live: New Britain At Platt

Platt 20, New Britain 0
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Platt 's Justin Potts scores on a 17-yard run.

NOTES: New Britain's Lamar Bowsky had 51 yards rushing. ... New Britain QB Larry Garcia was 5-for-22 for 72 yards. ... Platt's Justin Potts had 110 yards rushing and three scores. ... Check out our brand new episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the web page.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
None
Second Quarter
None
Third Quarter
P-Justin Potts 44 run (run failed), 5:46
P-Potts 5 run (Potts run), :37
Fourth Quarter
P-Potts 17 run (run failed), 7:27

GameDay Live: Plainville At Bulkeley

Plainville 27, Bulkeley 20
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Bulkeley's Larry Penn scores on a 40-yard run.

NOTES: Plainville's Rob Foster had 82 rushing yards and a touchdown. ... Plainville's Tony Lopizzo had 72 rushing yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns. ... Check out our brand new episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the web page.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
None
Second Quarter
B-Dyshawn Macon 16 pass from Izet Krdic (kick failed), 11:53
Third Quarter
P-Kevin Waite 1 run (kick failed), 6:36
P-Adam Foster 60 run (Tony Lopizzo run), 5:17
Fourth Quarter
B-Macon 59 pass from Krdic (Jorge Mena pass from Krdic), 8:24
P-Lopizzo 48 run (Nick Moshier kick), 7:12
P-Lopizzo 1 run (conversion failed), 1:43
B-Larry Penn 40 run (conversion failed), :38

GameDay Live: Berlin At Simsbury

Berlin 43, Simsbury 0
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Berlin's Ras Morgan scores on a 34-yard run.

NOTES: Berlin's Max DeLorenzo rushed 10 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns. ... Berlin's Ras Morgan had 62 rushing yards and 78 yards receiving. ... Berlin's Mason Powers had 45 rushing yards and two scores. ... Check out our brand new episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the web page.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
B-Max DeLorenzo 24 run (pass failed), 10:05
B-DeLorenzo 7 run (pass failed), 5:24
Second Quarter
B-Mason Powers 10 run (Zach Zulkiewicz pass to DeLorenzo), 8:49
B-DeLorenzo 1 run (Zulkiewicz pass to DeLorenzo), 1:20
Third Quarter
B-Powers 9 run (Zulkiewicz pass to Morgan), 6:38
B-Ras Morgan 34 run (Frank Murphy kick), 1:39
Fourth Quarter
None

GameDay Live: S.Heart At St. Paul

Sacred Heart 28, St. Paul 21
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Sacred Heart's Rohan Ifill scores on a 2-yard run.

NOTES: St. Paul's DeV'anti Gardner had 24 carries for 147 yards and two scores. ... Sacred Heart QB Rohan Ifill was 24-for-41 for 374 yards and three touchdowns. ... Ifill also threw three interceptions. ... Sacred Heart's David Coggins caught 13 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns. ... St. Paul's Logan Marchi had a pass intercepted with 1:33 to go. ... Check out our brand new episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the web page.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
SH-David Plaza 37 pass from Rohan Ifill (Dave Coggins reception), 3:33
Second Quarter
SP-Tucker Bachand 1 run (Guen Park kick), 10:24
SH-David Coggins 15 pass from Ifill (conversion failed), 7:46
SH-Coggins 15 pass from Ifill (conversion failed), :15
Third Quarter
SP-DeV'anti Gardner 4 run (Park kick), 7:39
SP-Gardner 11 run (Park kick), 6:28
Fourth Quarter
SH-Ifill 2 run (Ifill run), 8:16

GameDay Live: Maloney At Central

Maloney 27, Bristol Central 18
FINAL

LAST SCORING PLAY: Bristol Central's Tom Dusenberry scores on a 7-yard pass from Andrew Laviero.

NOTES: Bristol Central QB Andrew Laviero was 10-of-24 for 180 yards with a touchdown and an interception. ... Central's Mike Benites caught three passes for 79 yards and Matt Lydem had three catches for 71 yards. ... Central's Tim White rushed 11 times for 56 yards. ...Check out our brand new episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay at the top of the web page.

SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
None
Second Quarter
M-Karim St. Luce 4 run (Dale Harrison kick), 4:07
BC-Matt Esposito 5 run (kick failed), :23
Third Quarter
BC-Mike Benites 83 kickoff return (run failed)
M-St. Luce 3 run (Giovanni Nives run)
M-Nives 1 run (kick failed), :09
Fourth Quarter
M-Riley Lefevre 1 run (kick failed), 6:48
BC-Tom Dusenberry 7 pass from Andrew Laviero (pass failed), 3:29

Week 7 College Football Picks: Ohio State, Auburn Will Get Big Victories

Executive Sports Editor Brad Carroll takes a look at the top games of the day
[All new episode of Brad Carroll's GameDay is at the top of the website]
Last Week: 0-7 (spread); 2-5 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
Craig's Week: 2-5 (spread)
This Season: 23-19-1 (spread); 34-9 (overall); 2-0 (upset picks)
Craig's Season: 24-18-1 (spread)

No. 1 Ohio State at No. 18 Wisconsin, 7 p.m., ESPN
The Skinny: This is the first true test of the season for the top ranked team in the nation. Ohio State, which moved up a spot in the rankings after Alabama’s loss to South Carolina, will have its hands full at Camp Randall as Wisconsin waits for the Buckeyes. Ohio State quarterback Terrell Pryor finally played like the Heisman candidate he is last week against Indiana and he’ll have to continue that today against the Badgers. Wisconsin has a tremendous offense that will keep up with the Buckeyes, so this one will be close. The Pick: Ohio State (-4) wins it 27-24.

No. 12 Arkansas at No. 7 Auburn, 3:30 p.m., CBS
The Skinny: This game features two of the best quarterbacks in the country with Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett and Auburn’s Cam Newton. Mallett was the Heisman frontrunner just a few short weeks ago until he had a late-game meltdown against Alabama that cost his team the game. Newton could be making his way to the top of the Heisman list as he leads the SEC in rushing and is fourth in the nation in passer rating. This huge SEC game will be won by the bigger playmaker of the two quarterbacks – and that is Newton. The Pick: Auburn (-3.5) wins it 28-20.

Texas at No. 5 Nebraska, 3:30 p.m., ABC
The Skinny: Nebraska has all the makings of a national championship contender. The Cornhuskers have a tremendous defense, a solid running game, and a talented quarterback in redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez. Texas has won eight of the nine meetings between the two schools, including last year’s controversial, last-second win in the Big 12 title game. The Longhorns, however, are nowhere near as good as they were last year. The Pick: Nebraska (-9.5) wins it 35-17.

No. 10 South Carolina at Kentucky, 6 p.m., ESPN2
The Skinny: The South Carolina offense, which finally looked like a Steve Spurrier-coached unit last week in its shocking win over Alabama, will have every opportunity to continue that momentum tonight against Kentucky. But this game has all the makings of a letdown as the Gamecocks are probably still thinking about knocking off the No. 1 team in the nation last week. Spurrier has never lost to Kentucky in 17 tries, so don’t expect anything different here. The Pick: South Carolina (-5.5) wins it 38-24.

Ole Miss at No. 8 Alabama, 9 p.m., ESPN2
The Skinny: Alabama had been on top of the college football world for the past year and a half, so it will be very interesting to see how the Tide respond after being dethroned in shocking fashion by South Carolina last week. Luckily for Alabama, Ole Miss is up next. The Rebels have lost nine straight meetings in Tuscaloosa and won’t pose an upset threat. This is the perfect opponent to get Alabama back on track. The Pick: Alabama (-21) wins it 52-20.

No. 15 Iowa at Michigan, 3:30 p.m., ABC
The Skinny: Michigan’s magical ride through the early part of its schedule quickly evaporated with a big loss to Michigan State last week. Now, an even better squad in Iowa comes into the Big House. That is not good news for the Wolverines. Iowa has one of the best defenses in the country, which doesn’t bode well for the explosive Michigan offense. Sure, Michigan will score, but it won’t be enough to make up for the defensive lapses against the Hawkeyes. The Pick: Iowa (-3.5) wins it 32-24.

Boston College at No. 16 Florida State, 12 p.m., ESPN
The Skinny: FSU wins, but Boston College keeps it close enough. The Pick: Florida State (-21.5) wins it 41-28. Here are Craig Carroll’s picks for the week: Ohio State, Auburn, Nebraska, South Carolina, Alabama, Iowa, Florida State.
(AP photo)