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NCAA football open thread (plus Tashard Choice discussion)

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Tick, tick, tick...like, um, is someone slowing down time in the universe? Can it take any longer for Sunday afternoon to finally arrive?

This is an open thread for today's NCAA championship games.

Tashard Choice is ready. Since Georgia Tech is my alma mater I watched almost every game Tashard played in college. If he has to start or take over at some point in the game, the challenge won't be too big for him because he attacks a football game. His energy and passion for playing are always at the surface ready to erupt. So you will see a confident kid giving maximum effort. I'm sure he'll make a few mistakes along the way, but it won't be from lack of effort.

Tashard isn't a dancer. He's looking for the hole and trying to get through to the second-level quickly. That doesn't mean he's not patient, he will allow the hole to form but once he sees it he's going for it quickly. He's a north-south runner. In open field he does have some wiggle, he can make a guy miss, but it's not the core of his game. Balance and vision are the keys for him. He doesn't have the home-run speed you'd want, I've seen him get rundown from behind, but he's got enough juice to bust off some long runs. And when he gets tackled, he's almost always going forward picking up the extra yard or two.

Choice is a workhorse back, too. At GT, we had plenty of games where we fed him the ball 25+ times. I don't think he will come close to that in this game, but he's a tough runner and can be a time-eater late in games if his team has the lead.

Also, as Rafael pointed out, Choice is not a bad option as a pass-catching back.

Someone asked me if Choice is a ‘mudder' since the field and weather in Pittsburgh could be less than ideal. I can't say for sure, the home turf at GT was never an issue and I can't recall any specific games where a ‘mudder' was needed. But given his running style which is north-south and his nice balance, I think he'd fare well on uncertain turf.

Ice_Bowl

The latest on the weather forecast. At 4 PM EST on Sunday, the temp should be around 24 degrees with winds at 17 mph. That means it will feel like 11 degrees. Burrr. The chance of snow showers falls off heavily by 2 PM, but overnight/morning snow the day of the game seems likely. The winds are expected to remain in the 13-17 mph range for the game.

<-- At least it won't be Ice Bowl cold.

Troy Polamalu, fear the hair!

Bradie James is busting out

An interesting view of the five key Cowboys in the game, according to our SB Nation friend and Steelers blog, Behind the Steel Curtain.