Archive for the 'College Football' Category

Where can Terrelle Pryor get the most playing time?

If you haven’t seen highlights of Terrelle Pryor playing football, just search YouTube. I have, and let me tell you the hype seems to be accurate. Pryor doesn’t seem to have the same level of fanfare as last year’s Rivals #1, Jimmy Clausen. Clausen was the youngest of a trio of solid QB brothers (joining Rick and Casey). Some say he is destined to become better. I don’t remember enough about ’06 #1 Percy Harvin’s decision or much about ’05 #1 Derrick Williams decisions. Looking back at those two, Williams had an amazing freshman year but has been lackluster since. Harvin seemed to breakout this year as sophomore and could be a Heisman contender this year. Clausen was hurt and had a horrible O-Line so we don’t know what his deal will be. But back to Pryor.

The Vince Young comparisons seem fair. Pryor was a lot bigger than I expected to be and seemed like a much better passer than you would expect an 18-year old who is that big to be. The consensus seems to be he is more “polished” at this age than Young was, but as Brian from mgoblog eloquently put it, Young improved about 1,000x at Texas. One thing about Young that a lot of people take for granted, is that he redshirted his first year (how often does the #1 recruit do that?), then only started 7 games as a redshirt Freshman. Even then it wasn’t until the end of his 3rd year that he really broke out (see the Michigan Rose Bowl as what I consider his breakout game). The rest is history.

Pryor’s situation will likely be different. If he goes to Michigan he will start from day 1. He will take his lumps and learn on the job. The college game is obviously different, but this doesn’t often work in the pros. The thing is, Michigan will be learning a new offense and have nothing to lose. If he goes to Ohio St. he won’t start in ’08 because Todd Boeckman will be using his experience to lead a MNC contender. In all likelihood Pryor would own the job in ’09 after a year as backup (Antonio Henton is his best competition and it’s not a lot). We have heard Florida, LSU, Oregon and Penn St. are still in the mix.

Obviously Florida means he has at least one year to wait behind Tim Tebow. My gut says Tebow comes back in ’09.  Even so, they recruited two solid guys in ’07, Cameron Newton and John Brantley. Newton will be a sophomore in ’08, Brantley a redshirt freshman. Meaning unlike UM and OSU, if he goes to Florida he will have some serious competition in ’09, even if Tebow leaves.

At LSU, he would spend at least one year behind Ryan Perrilloux who has bided his time and earned his chance. He has two years of eligibility left but might be cocky enough to test the pros next year. If he’s smart he stays through ’09. LSU has picked up 4-star QBs in both ’07 and ’08 so there would be some competition here, but Pryor still would be the front-runner as soon as Perrilloux left. Although it’s worth nothing that Perrilloux doesn’t own the job as tightly as Boeckman or Tebow so I guess Pryor could work his way in somehow.

Oregon has redshirt sophomore Jason Roper has the likely QB in ’08. He’s nothing to get crazy about, and they do have a solid 4-star dual threat, Darron Thomas, coming in this year. He is likely the future without Pryor. Pryor wouldn’t be handed the job here but could probably come in and win it, if nothing else by midseason. The downside to Oregon is that they don’t have the same level of talent Michigan does, and they play in a tougher conference.

Penn St. will have a new starter at QB in ’08, likely redshirt junior Daryll Clark is the guy. Redshirt sophomore Pat Devlin is the only other likely option. Pryor would have a shot in ’08, but would have a very solid chance in ’09 to be the starter.

So realistically LSU and Florida seem out due to lack of playing time. Oregon is a longshot because of the talent level and distance. So it’s really the three Big Ten schools.


Norm Chow: What now?

Norm Chow is out as Titans offensive coordinator. The quick question is, does Hawaii have a coach yet? Supposedly they are about to announce defensive coordinator Greg McMackin as new head coach as early as tomorrow. The question is, will they backpedal and hire Chow? Chow was born in Hawaii and has been a coveted head coaching candidate in college and the NFL. If Hawaii doesn’t hire him, Chow is likely out of luck for ’08 in the NCAA.

He could become a candidate elsewhere in the NFL for an offensive coordinator, but since he only lasted three years before getting fired, the odds aren’t good. My prediction is that he takes the offensive coordinator position somewhere and then gets a head coaching job next year (Washington perhaps?).

Finally a BCS game that doesn’t suck

It’s been a while since I posted. I hope to get back to it more frequently in the near future. We will see how that goes.

In the meantime, it took me a while but I finally got into watching some bowl games. I just wasn’t motivated. I don’t know what it was. I spent New Year’s Day dedicated to the bowls and it started well. I saw my Michigan Wolverines pull out a big upset against Florida. Congrats to Lloyd Carr. He needed that to really end his legacy the right way. Now that he is gone it’s a lot easier to reflect on the fact that was a great coach. Carr coached for 13 seasons, won 5 conference titles and 1 National Championship.

Then I watched Illinois get their butt handed to them by USC. It wasn’t a shock. Vegas had them as two touchdown underdogs. The worst part for me was that it gives the anti-Big Ten folks more fodder. I will tell you though, USC looked really good. Subtract the disaster loss to Stanford and they are playing for and probably winning the National Title. That’s how good they looked. Joe McKnight looks like a terror in waiting and Mark Sanchez and Mitch Mustain give them great options at QB.

Then we saw Hawaii try to prove that the small schools belong with the big boys. It didn’t work out so well. It sucked for me because my pre-game prediction of Colt Brennan’s emergence failed. I said that by the time the game was over he would be a first round NFL pick. Instead he had one of the worst games of his life and Georgia dismantled them. Another team to watch next year.

Next the Mountaineers decided that RichRod’s departure wasn’t enough to hold them down and they went out and crushed Oklahoma. The Sooners lost another Fiesta Bowl. That’s four straight BCS bowl losses for OU.  Must be disappointing.

But last night we finally got ourselves a game. After 4 games that weren’t even close, we got Kansas/VaTech which was a pretty good game. Kansas proved they weren’t Hawaii or Illinois, teams that “didn’t belong” and beat a pretty good VaTech team that was ranked #3 before this game.

I gotta tell you, this to me, is just what makes us need a new system. They feel like we need to have this “bowl” structure. That a playoff system de-values the regular season or bowl games. And look where we are: two blowouts that were over by halftime and another game that got away in the 3rd.

Stop screwing around and FIX ITTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!

Christmas came early!!!

To quote the philosopher Harry Dunn from the critically acclaimed film Dumb and Dumber, “Just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this…and totally redeem yourself!” That’s what I would say to Bill Martin if I could.

Reports are coming in from everywhere that Rich Rodriguez has taken the job at Michigan. It’s kind of unreal that this happened. If you could go back to the day Carr announced his retirement and asked them who their top four candidates are, after you remove the unattainables (Urban, Carroll, Stoops, Spurrier), you would probably get the following four guys. This is how I ranked them personally:

  1. Les Miles – He is a proven winner at multiple places. He can recruit. And most of all Michigan is his dream job meaning he would have been a lifer. You know he would have given 110% too.
  2. Jeff Tedford – Genius X’s and O’s man who won at a  place where people don’t win.  Created  future NFL QBs Kyle Boller and Aaron Rodgers. He has ties to the fertile recruiting grounds of California. Personally I think he is holding out hoping Pete Carroll bails.
  3. Rich Rodriguez – Another apparent genius at the X’s and O’s. He turned 3-star players Pat White and Steve Slaton into stars. Recruited in a relatively tough place. Won where it didn’t happen much. My fear is that since he is only 44 he might get tempted by the NFL around 50.
  4. Greg Schiano – Won at Rutgers a bit. Seems loyal. Solid coach. But I always considered him a fallback guy (and was stunned when he said no).

So for me we got my third choice. Maisel made a great point in his article, saying Rich Rod had to take this job because it could be the last big job available for a while. Funny, I was saying the same thing last week. This is a major coup for “Bumbling” Bill Martin. When the dust settles and the sailing season is over, he will have gotten the best man for the job. A guy who is going to completely change Michigan football (for the better) and win some freaking ballgames.

Let me also be the second one (after my good friend who should remain nameless) to say let’s see if Rich Rod can bring Terelle Pryor with him. Obviously we know that he already has a connection with the UM basketball coach…

Another coach can’t cut it in the NFL

Bobby Petrino abruptly quit his job as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and returned to the college ranks, this time with the Arkansas Razorbacks. Now while I will agree that the Falcons was one of the worst situations to be in, this is ridiculous. The Falcons traded backup quarterback Matt Schaub in the offseason and then lost their starting QB to some sort of legal problem (I am not really sure what this was about so if anyone can fill me in, let me know).

Petrino won’t even finish out the season as Falcons coach, meaning he didn’t even last one full season in the NFL. I think the biggest fallout from this will be a heavy reluctance for NFL teams to go after college coaches. After Nick Saban lasted just two seasons before bailing out (but not before emphatically denying he was leaving 9,823 times). Now Petrino can’t even last one season before jumping back to the college ranks. The trend is typically to hire coordinators from other teams for head coaching jobs but on occasion you get these college coaches who make the jump. We saw Steve Spurrier and Butch Davis both fail quickly. Spurrier lasted 2 seasons, Davis 3. From my calculations the only head coach left in the NFL that came directly from college is Oakland head coach Lane Kiffin. It could be a while before another one gets a shot. They seem to fail miserably or run away before they can.

As for Petrino, he inherits a good team in Arkansas in probably the best conference in CFB, the SEC. It will be his biggest challenge and give us a chance to see how good he really is as a college coach. Arkansas is arguably the best job available this year (and yes I say that even as a diehard Michigan fan) and while the expectations will be somewhat high, I am sure he will be given 5 years or so to make something of it.

Meanwhile the Falcons will continue on with whoever as their coach in what is one of the most disastrous seasons ever.  They will officially start over this offseason. They haven’t had a winning season since 2004 and Michael Vick was one of the most overrated players ever (seriously why did everyone think he was so good?). Now this team has no QB and basically not a lot else to get excited about. With Petrino it was almost a lock that they took Brian Brohm in the draft, now they might make a smarter choice. If Darren McFadden is there, he should be their guy. We should see.

Heisman Pundit took the words right out of my mouth

The great site Heisman Pundit has their picks for the 2008 Heisman Trophy and had a lot of guys I had in mind:

1. Chris Wells
2. Pat White
3. Chase Daniel
4. Percy Harvin
5. Jamaal Charles
6. Colt McCoy
7. C.J. Spiller

I told my friend at work this week that Chris Wells was my pick for next year’s Heisman. I also think Jamaal Charles is going to be the dark horse. I think regardless if Tebow wins it this year, he, Pat White, and Chase Daniel (if he actually returns) won’t win it. Finalists have such bad luck the next season. Ohio St. is going to be good again next year and “Beanie” is the guy to watch out for.

Michigan Freshman: Who got a redshirt?

 Here is the list of  Michigan’s 2007 recruiting class and who has and hasn’t played this year. I used Michigan’s Official website (mostly the player participation pages of each game). I have some notes on the guy’s who haven’t redshirted yet,

  • Zion Babb
  • Artis Chambers
  • Toney Clemons
  • Marell Evans
  • Vince Helmuth
  • Junior Hemingway
  • Brandon Herron – A 3-star LB was probably not ready to contribute yet.
  • Avery Horn – No surprise here, Horn is a 3-star back without a lot of potential as a starter. With Hart, Minor and Brown he had no chance of playing. I doubt he will see much playing time next year either.
  • Mark Huyge – 3-star offensive lineman, Michigan can be counted on to always redshirt OL unless the situation is dire (read: Justin Boren)
  • Ryan Mallett
  • David Molk – See Mark Huyge
  • Austin Panter
  • James Rogers
  • Renaldo Sagesse
  • Ryan Van Bergen – I looked hard to find this guy and was very surprised he didn’t play. Maybe someone has a better idea why. I guess we have 4 other DEs but seriously this is usually the kind of guy Michigan wastes.
  • Donovan Warren
  • Steve Watson – A 3-star guy at a position with tons of depth already. Especially after Carson Butler came back. I thought after Massey went down it might happen but as far as I can tell, he didn’t.
  • Martell Webb
  • Michael Williams – Another guy I thought for sure would play. Recruited as a 4-star safety, I think he might end up at CB because he’s small. If he is going to play safety I thought he would play by now because Adams and Englemon are both gone after this year.
  • Troy Woolfolk