The According to Carp podcast will dive into a variety of sports, political and pop culture issues. NCAA Football and NFL will be featured, but NBA, MLB and NHL will also be discussed, as well as any other pertinent sport's topics.
Any pop culture or burning social issues are fair game as well. As we will be covering such TV shows as Game of Thrones and True Detective to name a few.
Big 10 and Ohio State football and basketball will be covered as well
Episode 050: Can the Buckeyes stop Deshaun Watson? Will players skipping bowl games become an epidemic?
The College football season is nearly complete. It has been an exciting bowl season as it usually is, but not its time for the main event. The College Football Playoff is here. With Alabama vs. Washington and Clemson vs. Ohio State, fans get to see some of the biggest brands in the sport. The only problem is both the Peach and Fiesta Bowl are on New Year’s Eve.
Duke has long be one of the NCAA hoops Blue Bloods. Coach K runs a clean program and while you may not like them, Duke is always good. However, the Grayson Allen kicking situation has caused me to scratch my head and wonder why more hasn’t already been done to this kid.
Alabama v. Washington
With how Washington looked against the USC defensive line, they have very little chance to win this game, unless their offensive line has improved considerably. Alabama is tough, fast and physical upfront and will wear down the Huskies if Washington cannot control the clock.
Clemson v. Ohio State
The Clemson Defensive front and Wide Receiving groups are the strength of their squad. Yes, Deshaun Watson is good, but he looks a whole lot better when WR Mike Williams is winning every 50/50 jump ball 30+ yards down the field. However that plays into the Buckeyes’ strength, with four solid corners and 2 ball hawking safeties, Ohio State is equipped to handled the Tiger’s weapons. The Defensive Line is a different animal, with the Buckeyes’ struggles up front this season it could be a long day. There are a couple of solutions the offensive staff could use to remedy this problem.
Skipping Bowl Games
College Football Semifinal
Episode 049: THE GAME, The Rankings & Jabrill Peppers: Sizzle or Substance?
What a wild and wonderful weekend in college football. Sure, outside of THE GAME there really weren’t any terrific games, but sometimes that happens. Nearly every favorite won over the three day college football feast, that started on Thanksgiving and poured long into Saturday night. The status quo was preserved on the final weekend of the regular season, but now it is Championship Saturday and the real fun begins.
Alabama, Clemson, and Washington
The three amigos hanging around in the top 5, none were expected to lose and they did not disappoint. Alabama looked particularly impressive in their Iron Bowl win over rival Auburn. Auburn might be the second best team in the SEC, and that game displayed whom far the conference has fallen. Three years ago this would have been a slugfest, but it is now clear that the SEC is Alabama and then everyone else.
The Clemson Tigers have been a difficult team to figure out this season, but were able to easily dismantle a rebuilding South Carolina squad that has been searching for offense all season. With the departure of Steve Spurrier, it could be a long time before this in-state rivalry could be competitive again.
Washington did the most to help their cause this weekend among the teams ranked from 3 to 7. Michigan lost a double overtime game to their archrival, but Washington smoked a ranked Washington State team in the Apple Cup. The Huskies looked very impressive are dominating the 1st half with a final score that was much closer than the actual game.
Peppers won the B1G Defensive Player of the year award, and while he may have been the most electrifying player in the conference he wasn’t the best on defense. He was exposed a number of times by Curtis Samuel and other Buckeyes in the their biggest game of the season. Make no mistake about it, Peppers is a dynamite playmaker with the ball in his hands, but he has some serious limitations in man coverage.
Very few experiences in life live up to their perceived hype. The 2016 Edition of THE GAME was a terrific exception. It was an old fashion slugfest that would have made Woody and Bo proud. In an era where rarely less than three wide receivers are ever seen on the field; Michigan deployed two and three tight end set nearly every play. While Ohio State lines up in the spread, there was no debate over their game plan. Quarterback JT Barrett carried the ball 30 times himself with the Buckeye offense rushing it 50 times as a unit.
It was a defensive battle that featured two of the nations best defenses, and it was a defensive score that allowed the Buckeyes to crack the goose egg on the scoreboard. Both lines defensive lines are stacked with future NFL talent and each won their share of battles.
However, in the end it was Jim Harbaugh who lost his composure and it affected his team in the fourth quarter.
Week 13 College Football Wrap Up
Week 14 Preview
The 5th CFP Rankings
Episode 048: Thirteen week of Football down, it now all hinges on THE GAME? Are the Bucks Prepared?
The Wolverines were able to fend off a tough Indiana team under a blanket of snow Saturday afternoon. However it was a game that left much to be desired. John O’Korn filled in for the injured Wilton Speight, but it couldn’t have been encouraging for the Michigan faithful. Outside of a few throws and a terrific 3rd and long scramble, O’Korn was largely ineffective and relied on a heavily on De’Veon Smith to power the offense. Will Speight play this week? Harbaugh would like everyone to believe so, but it is doubtful it will happen. He may even enter the game to take a few snaps, but if he has a crack clavicle or even a separated AC joint, one week off will not be enough.
Colorado and West Virginia
Colorado faced their first big test since early in the season. A Mike Leach coached Washington State team was scoring points seemingly at will. However the Buffalos are for real. Their quarterback, Sefo Liufau, is maybe the most underrated signal caller in the nation. He is more athletic than expected and has great poise. With a win this week against Utah, Colorado will seal their spot in the PAC 12 Championship Game.
West Virginia finally lost, and lost in a terrific fashion. Oklahoma has always been the best team in the Big 12, and now it is looking to come to fruition. The Mountaineers ‘ defense has been suspect all season and it finally was exposed big time on a prime time state. Oklahoma has looked much better after starting the season 1-2, but that’s what happens when schools schedule tough non-conference games.
Ohio State v. Michigan State
It was supposed to be easy and a 17-16 win is about as rough as it could get in East Lansing. Sparty did everything we talked about last week. Shifts, motions, unbalanced sets, all to run the same handful of plays. Dantonio knew OSU had the better team, that’s why he wanted to move the pocket for their quarterback and keep the Buckeye defense off balance. The LJ Scott affect wasn’t overrated either, he came to play and we will break down is long screen TD reception from early in the game.
Offensively the Buckeyes struggled late. After a nice opening drive pounding Mike Weber down the field, the Bucks went away from him and then began to struggle. JT didn’t throw the ball particularly well, but I will cut him a small amount of slack due to the wind. He needs to play better, but the offensive line protected him fairly well on four man rushes and only had some issues on blitzes.
This will be a classic OSU/ Michigan slugfest. Two great defenses, squaring off against offenses that love to run the ball. The X Factor will be Peppers, he will be the guy that can provide the Wolverines explosive gains on offense. For OSU, it will rest with JT Barrett. If he can get his arm going and make a throw or 2 down the field? Game for OSU, if not it will be a long game.
Week 12 College Football Wrap Up
Week 13 Preview
The 4th CFP Rankings
Ohio State v. Michigan State: Survive and Advance
Ohio State v. Michigan
Episode 047: College Football Chaos, but does Ohio State have the juice to make it into the Playoff?
The blood letting in college football finally happened… it wasn’t pretty for the top three or the top five in the CFP rankings. Michigan was upset to an Iowa team that has greatly underachieved this season. In the midst of the loss it appears the Wolverines lost their quarterback Wilton Speight for the season. A three point road loss on the road didn’t appear to have much of an effect on their CFP Ranking.
Clemson and Washington
Clemson and Washington suffered much tougher losses, Clemson’s loss being particularly since they lost to an unranked Pitt team in Death Valley. Dabo Sweeny was able to avoid a last second loss against NC State, but the Tigers’ luck finally expired against the Panthers. It has been a curious season for the Tigers, one where they have never really seemed to regain their 2015 form except against Florida State and Louisville. They have consistently played down to the level of their competition and that has shown through.
Washington now looks to be what most critical college football pundits thought they were throughout much of the season, a Paper Dragon. Chris Peterson’s team is loaded with talent, but they’re are young and most likely a year away from being a true contender. The USC defensive line exposed the youth and inexperience of the Huskies up front and they severely inhibited the performance of signal caller Jake Browning. His inexperience showed on a prime time stage against a very talented Trojan defense. Washington and the PAC 12 are still in the CFP hunt, but now it is going to take some convincing wins to prove they belong.
Ohio State’s New Offense
The Ohio State Buckeyes appear to have regained their offensive prowess from early in the season. After the Nebraska shellacking, some in Buckeye nation were curious to see if the offense put together successive performances. JT Barrett has been under center again and now the playbook is beginning to expand. There was a classic play action pass play that led to a shot down the field. The shifts and motions have increased in frequency leading to better matchups with some of the best skill players of the Buckeye offense. It has particularly helped Curtis Samuel allowing him to line up as a true #1 wide receiver in a variety of sets. This forces the defense account for him in more than just the slot and backfield and limits defensive play calls.
The College Football Playoff
The CFP Playoff rankings didn’t change as much as anticipated. With Bama holding on to the top spot and Ohio State taking control of number two. Michigan and Clemson rounded out the top four slots with Louisville, Washington, Wisconsin and Penn State. Two take things to take away, there are four Big Ten teams in the top eight and the reasons Kirby Hocutt gave for every team’s location. They are fascinating.
Week 11 College Football Wrap Up
Week 12 Preview
The 3rd CFP Rankings
Ohio State v. Maryland: A Growing Playbook
Ohio State v. Michigan State
Episode 046: The CFP Unexpected Movement & The Buckeye Offense is back, can it still get better?
The College Football Playoff
After the first CFP rankings came out, everyone was left scratching their collective heads. How could a one lost Texas A&M team be ranked ahead of an undefeated Washington squad, who had been destroying the entire PAC 12? The Aggie experiment was short lived as they were knocked off by Mississippi State and lost their quarterback, Trevor Knight, in the process.
Under the old AP and Coaches Polling system Washington would have naturally slid into the #4 spot and Ohio State at #5. This logic appeared to be flawed due to the heavy emphasis on the strength of schedule metric that kept the Huskies out of the Top 4. After the most recent ranking Ohio State did not jump Washington. It begs the question, why? Ohio State has played a much tougher schedule and their non-conference opponents aren’t close to the level of the Washington’s.
The short answer is, the CFP Committee makes it up… and they can continue to do this until they have to submit their final four teams.
BIG 12 & PAC 12
Across the nation the Oklahoma Sooners have continued to look strong. I thought they would win the Big 12 and despite their early losses, the Sooners are in the driver’s seat after handling Iowa State. Colorado might be the biggest surprise out west. After beating up the Bruins they control their destiny in the PAC 12 South, even though they will be outmatched in the title game.
Top 10 Action
Alabama survived a motivated LSU squad in Baton Rouge, but the offense looked like more of the same under former coach Les Miles. The Big Ten looks extremely impressive with 4 teams squaring in the top 10. Michigan rocked Maryland, Penn State surprisingly drubbed Iowa 41-14 and James Franklin may have finally turned the corner.
Ohio State v. Nebraska Wrap Up
Ohio State looks to have rebounded nicely after a two week hangover from their loss in Happy Valley. The offensive line has played much better the past two games, it has allowed Barrett to hang in the pocket and in turn has improved his mid-range accuracy. There were still plays to be made deep, but the offense keeps taking shots. The creative play calling was better than it has been since early in the season, but the formation variation and player location within those formations is making the difference. Moving around Curtis Samuel and Noah Brown will pay huge dividends as the Michigan matchup approaches.
The scoring Silver Bullets are back and it’s been a joy to watch. Enough said about the Defense.
Week 10 College Football Wrap Up
Week 11 Preview
The 2nd CFP Rankings
Ohio State v. Nebraska: The Offense Everyone has been waiting on
Ohio State v. Maryland
Episode 045: The 1st CFP Poll & Can the Buckeye Offense finally return to early season form?
Northwestern was supposed to be the game that put the Buckeye offense back on track. It looked like that would be the case. With the 1st drive Ohio State drove down quickly down the field for a touchdown. However the rest of the game wasn’t that easy and while the offensive line played much better; some of the same issues arose in the passing game.
The Silver Bullet Defense
Even though the Buckeye defense yielded 17 points against the Wildcats, it was a solid performance as usual. Northwestern did a few things to help stop the Buckeye pressure:
Moved the pocket Quick passing game Effective play action
The College Football Playoff Selection Committee
The 1st rankings are out and there was only one large surprise. It was collectively accepted that after Alabama there next three spots would contain some combination of Clemson, Michigan and Washington. Two of the three were in, but the PAC 12 leader was replaced by Texas A&M. It was a curious move to say the least, but does it really matter? And what evidence did the committee see to justify placing the Aggies and the Huskies?
Week 9 College Football Wrap Up
Week 10 Preview
The 1st CFP Rankings
Ohio State v. Northwestern: The offense is improving
Ohio State v. Nebraska