Fourth & Goal: College Football

This week we are giving you not one but two Fourth and Goal episodes this week. On this episode we look into the College Football Playoff and Bowl season for the four biggest headlines from the weekend. We look into Notre Dame and why it will be hard for them to return to the playoff. Then what fanbase could drive their coach to the NFL and wrap it up with why the 2019 season could be one for the ages.

ChipWreck: Is This Chip Kelly’s Last Year in Philly?

The Eagles have landed. In a year where the NFC East was ripe for the taking, the Philadelphia Eagles 2015 season has been a disaster. After

chip-kelly-glare

After two 10 win seasons, Kelly’s Eagles are 4-6 in 2015

back-to-back 10 win seasons Chip Kelly was the toast in the city of brotherly love. Now, those same fans who once praised Kelly are sharpening their pitchforks to run the third year coach out of town.

At 4-6 the Eagles are still in the NFC East, but after rookie quarterback Jameis Winston threw five touchdowns and Doug Martin ran for over 200 yards, the Eagles playoff chances are fading fast. This tension has been building in Philadelphia since Kelly took over football operations. In that time Kelly has let successful players such as Lesean McCoy, Desean Jackson, Nick Foles, and Jeremy Maclin go while bringing in players that made the Philly faithful scratch their heads. While Nick Foles played at a pro-bowl level, Kelly brought in the extremely fragile and unproved Sam Bradford who shockingly couldn’t make it through another NFL season.

The main problem? Kelly’s once dominant and playmaking offense is

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Desean Jackson (left) and Lesean McCoy (right) were shipped out of town and since their departure the Eagles offense hasn’t recovered.

staler then a two week old cheesesteak. Chip’s confidence that his system was greater then the players has come back to haunt him as the Eagles have struggled to move the ball all season while his former players are making splashes in their new NFL homes. Fans have to wonder what kind of team the Eagles would be if those players still donned the green.

So what now? It would shock me if the Eagles fired Chip Kelly especially one year into giving him complete control. However, I predict that Chip Kelly will leave Philly at the end of this season. Why? He’s always been an opportunist, and their are just too many great opportunities out there. Don’t believe me?

Consider this. Chip Kelly was dying to get Marcus Mariota in this past draft and couldn’t pull off a deal. The Titans need a new coach and would probably give Chip full control if he became the coach. Also given the state of the AFC South, Kelly could see an easier road to the playoffs as well.

Still, there’s always college. With so many great college jobs that are available, or may become available he may go back to college football and

Colorado v USC

Could Kelly return to the PAC 12 as the Head Coach at USC? (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

look to win a National Championship. Possible jobs that could open include Texas and LSU while jobs that are already enticing include USC and the University of Miami. We know that Kelly can coach in college, and in recent years coaches like Saban and Harbaugh have thrived in their returns to the NCAA.

Could the Eagles make the playoffs? Sure. Could Kelly return next season? Of course. Still the way this season has gone and how the team has appeared to quit on Kelly, or at least the defense in the game against Tampa Bay, all eyes will been on Philadelphia as the soap opera plays itself out. Once thing is for certain, it certainly isn’t sunny in Philadelphia right now.

 

 

Can Penn State Fix the Big 10 After Ban?

With the news that Penn State will have both full scholarships and playoff rights returned to the program next season, the question now is can the Nittany Lions  save the Big 10 Conference. While the Big 10 still remains one of the power conferences in college football, it has been losing ground over the past decade. Conferences such as the Pac 12, ACC, and Big 12 have all significantly improved in terms of talent and yearly recruiting. These three conferences have even begun to close the gap on the best conference in the land, the SEC. While the rest of college football is on the upswing, the Big 10 has been heading in the wrong direction.

Can Penn State Save Big 10?

Can Penn State Save Big 10?

After this past weekend the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans have gone from favorites to compete in the college football playoff to long shots. The reason? The strength of schedule is the biggest concern especially with the quality of teams in the conference.  While the Spartans at least played a national power like Oregon, Ohio State continues to schedule cupcake non conference games which makes a loss even more devastating. Now with both schools having one loss apiece it now looks like both teams will now have to run the table if they want any shot at making the playoff.

How does Penn State help the fledgeling Big 10? Despite the limitations set by the NCAA the Nittany Lions have been able to still have very good recruiting classes and more importantly continue to win. Already off to a 2-0 start this season if Penn State can return to being a consistent top 25 program over the next few seasons they could bring back some much-needed respect to the Big 10.

Time for the Nittany Lions to roar again?

Time for the Nittany Lions to roar again?

Let’s face it, outside of Michigan State and Ohio State everybody else in the conference has just been average at best. Rutgers could be a dark horse program that may eventually boost the conference, but right now as a whole especially is average at best. With the Michigan Wolverines being a disaster while Wisconsin and Nebraska have stalled over the past few seasons.

One thing that Penn State does over it’s fellow conference opponents is some very good young quarterbacks coming into the program through recruiting including one of the best young signal callers in the country Christian Hackenberg. Despite Hackenberg getting off to a slow start this season, you can expect to hear his name associated next with the NFL Draft.

Penn State has weathered the storm admirably and has continued to build a very good program despite their limitations in recruiting. Now with their full scholarships all back it could be time for Penn State to go from surviving to thriving.

Where are they now? Thad Castle BMS

No matter what he does, Thad Castle leaves a mark

No matter what he does, Thad Castle leaves his own mark of Football

Thad Castle is a lightning rod, period. Whether it’s on or off the field, no football player has brought more attention and controversy to the game of football. Beginning with his glory days at Blue Mountain State, where he was the premier defensive player in college football, Castle has provided both jaw dropping playmaking ability and controversy. For a four-year period he was one of, if not the most dominating defensive force that college football has ever seen. However, despite his greatness, Castle is known more for his off the field shenanigans then his actual football play. Whether it’s complaining to NCAA officials that defensive players don’t win the Heisman trophy, a drug scandal on a boat that resulted in a one game suspension, threatening opposing players, and of course his arrest for a house party. Oh, not to mention he did his best Brett Favre impression and sent pictures of a certain body part to female BMS students.

After his senior year the question was where would he be selected in the NFL Draft? Would a team overlook the rampant off the field issues and draft Castle on his pure talent alone? When it was announced that Castle would be the cover athlete for NCAA Football 2012, it sparked a firestorm. Thousands of emails and letters were sent to EA Sports demanding that Castle be removed from the cover for being a terrible representation of the college athlete. When EA Sports announced that they would release a second copy with Mark Ingram on the cover Castle responded: “I knew it! These people just don’t get how great I am!” Surprisingly, the Castle cover became the highest selling copy of an EA video game to that point. After the cover controversy, Castle would be drafted by the New York Jets.  However, Castle thought it was criminal because he was a first round talent and that team’s had made the biggest of their lives. Hey went to Twitter say “Tebow’s a first round pick and I’m not? What is this a conspiracy? #WTH”. While Castle was furious about not being selected in the first round, and even threatened to not attend training camp at all, Rex Ryan was excited to have Castle on the team. Ryan: “He’s a ferocious and aggressive football player. Did we know about the off the field issues? Of course, but we know this kid loves to play football and that he can be a playmaker on our defense. I love  his swagger and know that he’ll bring the attitude to our defense”. Castle would make an instant impact with the Jets by knocking out Mark Sanchez in training camp for the season. At first this seemed like a bad thing, until people realized that this was a blessing in disguise since Mark Sanchez couldn’t play quarterback. In his rookie season Castle would have 145 tackles, 15 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and 4 interceptions. Leading the number 1 defense in football, Castle propelled the Jets to a 17-7 victory in the Super Bowl where he was the MVP with a defensive touchdown and 15 tackles.

But once again, Castle’s biggest opponent wasn’t an offense, but his own success. Following the Super Bowl, Castle was arrested for possession of drugs and was found naked in his hotel room holding the Lombardi trophy. When asked about this behavior, NFL star Rob Gronkowski told Sports Illustrated : “jeez and I thought I liked to party. Castle makes me look like Tim Tebow!” After a tumultuous sophomore year in the league, which included two suspensions for the drug use in the off-season and for biting Tom Brady’s leg, Roger Goodell went on the war path stating that if Castle did not change his ways, he would be out of the NFL. Of course, this is Thad Castle we are talking about. That night he tweeted “Goodell is just jealous because he wishes he was a football star and not some loser wannabe #ThadRules”. We all know what happened next. Thad got suspended, Goodell got his way, and Castle went to twitter to infamously tweet: “FU NFL”. Despite the suspension, Castle still was still in the mainstream. He tried to become an action star in his own movie, Road Rage. The movie was a disaster from Castle’s terrible “acting”, and was critically panned by critics. But was this really a surprise? Really? Thad plus acting is not an equation that ends well. It didn’t help with all of the negative publicity about Castle getting into fights on the set and constantly pranking the director. At least he made millions off of his “Guck Foodell” t-shirts.

When he returned to the grid iron, he would once again help to lead the Jets to a second Super Bowl victory. However, after he flipped off Goodell when he took the Lombardi Trophy and told him to “suck it”, Goodell snapped. On the Super Bowl podium in front of the world he told Castle that he was done in the NFL.

Today, Castle is 29 years old and playing in the Canadian Football league. There he is trying to jumpstart his NFL and acting careers, both so far unsuccessfully. Currently he is in a heated battle in court trying to fight his NFL suspension to be reinstated. Castle’s main defense that while his actions, while idiotic, weren’t criminal. While he continues to fight the NFL ban and try to find a director gullible enough to give him an acting role, Castle has continues to play in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Rough Riders. There, he has led them to two consecutive championships and has won the defensive player of the year twice. While his antics have continued north of the border, one anonymous GM told me that Castle will never be banned from the CFL. “Are you kidding me? Of course they wouldn’t suspend him. He’s the main attraction for the CFL right now and has brought countless revenue and media attention to this league. Now the CFL is a headliner because of Thad Castle. Now were in the same conversation with the NFL! He’s too big in the CFL and could get away with anything”.

While Goodell has made it known that he is trying to clean up the NFL, he might consider the Castle suspension because of the media magnet he’s become. Hey negative attention is better than no attention at all am I right? Whatever happens to Thad in the future two things are for certain. He is one of the best football players in the game today, and that he will be a media lightning rod. Heck just look at his twitter. Why else does he have over 15 million followers.  Hey it’s Thad’s world, and all we can do is just sit back and wait to see what he is going to do next.