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ESPN Garbage

I found this dribble on ESPN this morning.

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (December 10: 15 points; December 14: 22 points)
New Orleans, Louisiana
December 21, 8:00 p.m. ET
Florida Atlantic Owls versus Memphis Tigers


Howard Schnellenberger's Florida Atlantic program has only been playing football since 2001, so earning a league title and bowl berth this soon is very impressive. The Owls upset favored Troy on the road to close the season in what was essentially the Sun Belt championship game. Now the Owls are bowling in the Big Easy, facing a Memphis squad that won five of its last six to earn a fourth postseason trip in five years. Both teams bring potent passing attacks to the table in this matchup, and it's unlikely that either defense will be able to do much to slow the opposition. Defense has been a huge problem for both sides, and neither team has mounted much of a running game all year. A high-scoring game is in the offing, especially as both teams have protected the passer very well while neither defense has mounted any sort of pass rush all season. Florida Atlantic leads the nation in turnover margin, but the Owls feature the worst special teams of any bowl-bound team. It's worth noting that the Sun Belt representative has actually played a tougher schedule, thanks to non-league tilts with Florida, Kentucky, USF, Oklahoma State and Minnesota. Memphis, meanwhile, has lost to two Sun Belt teams already this year, and the Tigers' best win came against a subpar Southern Miss squad. Tommy West's team has been bowling before, however, and won the New Orleans Bowl back in 2003. The Owls may be a little overwhelmed by their first bowl trip, especially in as distracting a setting as the Crescent City. On paper, these teams are similar, but the Tigers have senior leadership at quarterback and more relevant experience. Memphis 48-41

Dec. 14 update: I still like the Owls as a "just-happy-to-be-here" candidate. Schnellenberger is no fool, and he's trying to build a program. Everybody wants to win, of course, but Schnellenberger knows well the opportunities provided by a program's breakthrough bowl berth. He knows that Florida Atlantic's situation calls for prioritizing longer-term gains right now. Hence, he's spending a lot of time recruiting and most of the practices have been devoted to getting a look at the younger players. FAU backers, try this one on: "We know that we need to push the tempo in practice if we expect to go in and get a win." That's not what I'd want to hear from my team's quarterback after the team's fourth practice, but those are the words of Rusty Smith as reported on FAU's official Web site on Dec. 12. It is true that this game is a bigger deal for FAU than for Memphis. Fan enthusiasm isn't even comparable, and Memphis is only expected to sell about a quarter of the tickets that it did to the 2003 New Orleans Bowl. Still, the Tigers are enthusiastic about this game. Overconfidence is normally the Conference USA entrant's enemy in this bowl, but the Tigers are 0-2 against Sun Belt foes this year. The bottom line right now is that Memphis looks like a team that's about to play well in a bowl and Florida Atlantic doesn't. The Tigers are a climber on my board. Memphis 48-27
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Re: ESPN Garbage

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I want to know what this guy has based his on?  Everything you read and hear says that the Owls are not merely happy to be in the bowl.  The players have said it, the coaches have said it.  It seems the complete opposite is true.  I guess we'll just have to go out and prove this guy wrong on Friday.  Hopefully this article makes its way to the team bulletin board.
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Re: ESPN Garbage

Not sure where on the site you found that but I found this when I was on the site. This one says FAU wins

Memphis Offense vs. Florida Atlantic Defense
The Tigers' offense has put up some of the best numbers in school history this season thanks in part to the arm of QB Martin Hankins. Hankins leads an aerial attack that ranks 13th in the nation for pa$$ing yards and has been efficient throwing 22 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions. Hankins has had a pair of receivers in Duke Calhoun and Carlos Singleton. Calhoun has turned into the team's go-to receiver this year while Singleton stands 6-foot-8 and has been a dangerous red zone threat with a team-leading 10 touchdown receptions. Hankins and Co. will be challenged this week by an outstanding secondary with experience and speed. Tavious Polo, Corey Small and Taheem Acevedo combined for 17 interceptions this year.

The Owls' defense has had a knack for creating turnovers this season and they possess the No. 1 ranking in turnover margin at +19. It will be crucial that the Tigers take care of the ball and establish a ground-game threat. The Tigers will rely on RB Joseph Doss to handle most of carries, but it will be tough sledding for Doss as the Owls' run defense has been stingy. Look for a group of talented LBs in Frantz Joseph and Cergile Sincere to keep Doss corralled, making the Tigers' offense one dimensional allowing the Owls to pin their ears back and try and get after Hankins. This will be easier said than done as the Memphis offensive line has been stout in pa$$ protection, allowing just 13 sacks all year.

Memphis vs. FAU
Memphis    vs.    FAU

When: Dec. 21, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Where: New Orleans
Preview: FAU looks for win in first bowl berth

Florida Atlantic Offense vs. Memphis Defense
The Owls have had a very potent offense this year thanks to the emergence of sophomore QB Rusty Smith and an improved ground game anchored by an experienced offensive line. RB Charles Pierre is a strong runner with adequate size (210 pounds) and is averaging 4.6 yards per carry. This does not bode well for a Tigers defense that ranks in bottom 20 against the run this year. ILB Jake Ka$$er is the leader of this Memphis defense and is the lone remaining LB from the original three starters at the beginning of the year. The other two have been lost to injuries during the year, bringing youth and inexperience to this unit. This will put added pressure on the Tigers' defensive line to be stout up front. Also look for DS Brandon Patterson to continue to come up and help out in run support as he has 71 tackles this season.

As if there isn't enough to worry about with the running attack, the Tigers will have their hands full with Smith, who has put up outstanding numbers this season. Smith has thrown for 3,352 yards with 27 touchdowns compared to just seven interceptions and has done a great job of managing the game. Smith will be throwing to a receiving corps that has plenty of speed, led by WR Cortez Gent who has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark receiving this year, along with nine touchdowns. Smith will also look for his TE Jason Harmon, who has been productive in the pa$$ game as well. Look for big plays out of Smith and Co., especially if the Tigers have to drop Patterson near the box to help out in run support, leaving corners Lakeitharun Ford and LeRico Mathis on islands against an explosive receiving corps.

Special Teams
Key individual matchup
Memphis WR Carlos Singleton vs. Florida Atlantic CB Tavious Polo
Polo possesses short area quickness and with his team-leading seven interceptions has shown solid ball skills. Polo will be tested though, as he stands just 5-foot-10, 160 pounds and gives up a substantial size advantage to the 6-foot-8, 215-pound Singleton. Polo should have no problem sticking with Singleton out of his breaks, but could have trouble in the red zone, where Singleton excels going up and high-pointing the fade. Look for the Owls to counter, helping out Polo with safety help over the top in the red zone. This could open up holes for the Tigers' ground game near the end zone. Polo will have to do a solid job of getting a jam on Singleton, not allowing him a clean release and disrupting the timing between him and Hankins. If Polo fails to get a good jam it could allow Singleton to add to his 10-touchdown total.
Memphis PK Matt Reagan has hit on just 15 of 22 attempts this year and has yet to show he can hit from long range as he has missed all three attempts from 40 yards and beyond. Reagan will also handle the kickoffs and has not shown a big leg in that department either recording just one touchback in 48 kicks. Owls KR DiIvory Edgecomb is averaging just 22.8 yards per return and will have to work hard for his yards this week as the Tigers' coverage has been up to par this year. The Tigers' punt unit has struggled this year as a whole, ranking 118th statistically, but fortunately for them they will be facing a very mediocre Owls return unit.

Owls' PK Warley Leroy has struggled with his accuracy hitting on just 18 of 26 attempts, but has shown solid range with a long of 46 yards. Leroy will also handle the kickoff duties; he has been very average, recording just three touchbacks in 37 attempts. Owls' P Keegan Peterson is averaging 40.5 yards per punt, but has struggled with his accuracy, placing just six of 39 punts inside the 20.

There is concern for the Owls, as both of their coverage units have struggled. They have allowed a combined three touchdowns this year and rank near the bottom statistically in both categories. Tigers return men Earnest Williams and Michael Grandberry have been productive with their returns and will look to break a big play against the mediocre coverage of the Owls.

Scouts' Edge
This will be one of the more exciting games to watch all bowl season as both teams possess explosive offenses that have the ability to put up a lot of points. Expect a back-and-forth, high scoring battle with very little defense. In the end, though, the Owls' defense will be able to create enough turnovers to make the difference and come up with a close, hard-fought victory.

Prediction: Owls 48, Tigers 42

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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Re: ESPN Garbage

Jab, I saw that also.  I believe I posted it in the FAU v. Memphis thread.  Obviously, different contributors to ESPN have different oppions, and most don't know their head from their rear end.  I listened to their fantasy football advice and benched Lawrence Maroney in favor of Chester Taylor….now I am out of the playoffs and a chance at $500.  Most of their reports have FAU on top, but I thought this entry was a little off base. 
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Re: ESPN Garbage

Baller07 said

I found this dribble on ESPN this morning.

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (December 10: 15 points; December 14: 22 points)
New Orleans, Louisiana
December 21, 8:00 p.m. ET
Florida Atlantic Owls versus Memphis Tigers


Howard Schnellenberger's Florida Atlantic program has only been playing football since 2001, so earning a league title and bowl berth this soon is very impressive. The Owls upset favored Troy on the road to close the season in what was essentially the Sun Belt championship game. Now the Owls are bowling in the Big Easy, facing a Memphis squad that won five of its last six to earn a fourth postseason trip in five years. Both teams bring potent pa$$ing attacks to the table in this matchup, and it's unlikely that either defense will be able to do much to slow the opposition. Defense has been a huge problem for both sides, and neither team has mounted much of a running game all year. A high-scoring game is in the offing, especially as both teams have protected the pa$$er very well while neither defense has mounted any sort of pa$$ rush all season. Florida Atlantic leads the nation in turnover margin, but the Owls feature the worst special teams of any bowl-bound team. It's worth noting that the Sun Belt representative has actually played a tougher schedule, thanks to non-league tilts with Florida, Kentucky, USF, Oklahoma State and Minnesota. Memphis, meanwhile, has lost to two Sun Belt teams already this year, and the Tigers' best win came against a subpar Southern Miss squad. Tommy West's team has been bowling before, however, and won the New Orleans Bowl back in 2003. The Owls may be a little overwhelmed by their first bowl trip, especially in as distracting a setting as the Crescent City. On paper, these teams are similar, but the Tigers have senior leadership at quarterback and more relevant experience. Memphis 48-41

Dec. 14 update: I still like the Owls as a "just-happy-to-be-here" candidate. Schnellenberger is no fool, and he's trying to build a program. Everybody wants to win, of course, but Schnellenberger knows well the opportunities provided by a program's breakthrough bowl berth. He knows that Florida Atlantic's situation calls for prioritizing longer-term gains right now. Hence, he's spending a lot of time recruiting and most of the practices have been devoted to getting a look at the younger players. FAU backers, try this one on: "We know that we need to push the tempo in practice if we expect to go in and get a win." That's not what I'd want to hear from my team's quarterback after the team's fourth practice, but those are the words of Rusty Smith as reported on FAU's official Web site on Dec. 12. It is true that this game is a bigger deal for FAU than for Memphis. Fan enthusiasm isn't even comparable, and Memphis is only expected to sell about a quarter of the tickets that it did to the 2003 New Orleans Bowl. Still, the Tigers are enthusiastic about this game. Overconfidence is normally the Conference USA entrant's enemy in this bowl, but the Tigers are 0-2 against Sun Belt foes this year. The bottom line right now is that Memphis looks like a team that's about to play well in a bowl and Florida Atlantic doesn't. The Tigers are a climber on my board. Memphis 48-27

Pa$$ the crack pipe!  Where has this person been all year?  Must be a closet Memphis fan!

GO OWLS!
'91

* Sun Belt Champions & New Orleans Bowl Champions-2007
* Motor City Bowl/Little Ceasers Pizza Bowl Champions-2008
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Re: ESPN Garbage

well we will see soon enough…..Friday is just 3 days away!!!!  I cant wait!!!
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Re: ESPN Garbage

Baller07 said

Jab, I saw that also.  I believe I posted it in the FAU v. Memphis thread.  Obviously, different contributors to ESPN have different oppions, and most don't know their head from their rear end.  I listened to their fantasy football advice and benched Lawrence Maroney in favor of Chester Taylor….now I am out of the playoffs and a chance at $500.  Most of their reports have FAU on top, but I thought this entry was a little off base.

Baller that stinks, was it their "fantasy expert" lol, that guy knows as much as you and I do. I'm glad that more then just 1 guy is talking about our game. Even if they think Memphis will beat us it only gets our name out there even more. Remember Troy was favored by 15.5 FAU is used to being the underdog. How much was USF favored by and look what happened there? I actually prefer all the so called experts to pick Memphis so FAU can show everyone when they win they were underrated and they deserve respect

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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Re: ESPN Garbage

"Fantasy Expert"= Any guy who got a job in their fantasy dept.

I know a "Fantasy Expert" at another dot-com who was writing about high school softball before he got his new job.

President of the No Homers Club. Keepin' it real since 2001.
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Re: ESPN Garbage

CanadianOwl said

"Fantasy Expert"= Any guy who got a job in their fantasy dept.

I know a "Fantasy Expert" at another dot-com who was writing about high school softball before he got his new job.

Me too.  And I can't take him seriously either…

Like things, love people.
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