Tuesday Afternoon Inside Linebacker

tailSince “Monday Morning Quarterback” and “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” are taken and uninspired, and because I’m preempting my own exhaustion of “Monday“-themed alliterations, ALDLAND’s regular football/weekend roundup will move to Tuesday afternoons, which also permits incorporation of the Monday night NFL game. With week two of college football and week one of the NFL in the books, here goes:

College Football

Pregame:

  • Brendan and Physguy were in Ann Arbor for ESPN College Gameday, and the only evidence is a couple cryptic tweets from Brendan.

The games — No surprises:

  • I was able to find Michigan State’s game against South Florida on television in the Southeast, which may be thanks to USF’s participation in the game, but which also felt like finding a unicorn in the wild. MSU’s defense continues to outscore their offense, and that’s with three quarterbacks! Even Sparta only ever had two kings at once. Michigan State 21, South Florida 6.
  • I also found Vanderbilt-Austin Peay on TV, which is a reminder that it’s week two for the broadcasters as well. VU had no problem with its Middle Tennessee neighbors, winning 38-3.

NFL Quick Hits 2013: Ziggy Ansah

After making the playoffs two seasons ago, the Detroit Lions are trying to rebound from a frustrating 4-12 mark in 2012. While the numbers provide a reason to believe the Lions won’t be as bad– or unlucky– as they were last year and the spotlight rightly belongs on stars like Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush, and Ndamukong Suh, plenty will be asked of the team’s first-round draft pick (fifth overall), DE Ziggy Ansah. The question is not whether Ansah presents himself like a young, professional athlete– he answered that in the affirmative on draft day— but whether he will be able to avoid serving as the second coming of Darko Milicic. (After all, Darko thought he knew a thing or two about style too.) Ansah has played twenty-three games of football ever, all of them at BYU, and many of them on special teams. Ansah’s ability to develop his body, which he describes as “a delicate flower,” into one that can help solidify a talented but perpetually raw NFL defense will go a long way in determining whether the Lions will improve on their 2012 season. Coach Jim Schwartz said “the best is yet to come with . . . Ziggy.” When your team spends the fifth overall pick on a player as inexperienced as Ansah, that had better be true.

Rivalries and Penalties

In honor of the general chippiness of the Georgia-Vandy game this weekend and the swings Spartans DE William Gholston took against Wolverine players, resulting in suspensions to players (see here and likely here), but interestingly not coaches (see here or here), the WSJ took a look at the “dirtiest” college football rivalries, based upon the number of behavior-related penalties per game.  Interestingly, Georgia popped up again: number one on the list was the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.  Michigan/Michigan St. wasn’t far behind.

RIVALRY PER GAME BIGGER OFFENDER
Auburn-Georgia 5.4 Georgia 59%
Duke-North Carolina 5.2 N. Carolina 69%
UCLA-Southern California 4.8 UCLA 54%
N. Mexico-N.Mexico St. 4.6 N. Mexico 65%
Kansas-Missouri 4.2 Missouri 76%
Michigan-Michigan St. 4.0 Michigan St 80%
C. Michigan-W. Michigan 3.8 Western 58%
Brigham Young-Utah 3.6 Utah 61%
NC State-North Carolina 3.4 N. Carolina 59%