Friday, August 17, 2012

Catching up is stupidly going independent

First things first: Apologies for an unplanned midweek hiatus. I've got a lot of things going on that unfortunately supersede my blogging desires. It will never probably will happen again.

Maryland wwwhheeeee: The Randy Edsall Experiment is so doomed:
Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown will miss the entire 2012 season with a knee injury, a severe blow to a team that now must rely on two untested freshmen to run the offense.

Brown, a redshirt junior, tore his right ACL during a non-contract practice session Tuesday night.
Yeesh. The problem for Maryland isn't so much that Brown was awesome -- although he did represent a large majority of the returning running game, starting for most of the second half of last season and running for 547 yards and five touchdowns while going 82 for 166 with seven touchdowns and six picks -- as much as it is that there's really no replacement. The options now: true freshmen Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe, with Hills the nominal leader by virtue of being the previous No. 2 guy on the depth chart. Neither one got a whole lot of guru love coming out of high school.

Brown wasn't a great passer but at least provided Maryland something to work with on offense
(and provided other teams something to have to gameplan against) since he has/had 1,000-yard
ability. Alas. The offense most likely will not be good at anything given the loss of its leading returning rusher and the probable lack of a passing game.

Again: The Randy Edsall Experiment is so doomed.

Honey Badger update: There were reports circulating the other day that Tyrann Mathieu wanted to stick it out at LSU and try to get back on the team next year; LSU's compliance director totally shot that down ...
"He's permanently ineligible to play football at LSU," Bahnsen said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. "That's definite. That's what was said Friday."
... before LSU's associate athletic director sort of corrected him and left a little leeway:
"He can come back to LSU as a student, but we're not even going to speculate beyond that," Herb Vincent said.
I see. LSU's drug policy (which is reportedly what Mathieu violated; surprise!) explicitly states that a third failed drug test results in "permanent ineligibility," but it's the SEC yadda yadda yadda. From Mathieu's standpoint, getting back on the field at LSU would probably be the best-case scenario since it'd generally assuage any character concerns and allow him to actually, you know, play meaningful games and stuff. I still consider it extremely unlikely given the uncertainty of a hypothetical year-from-now return as opposed to the certainty of going to the FCS.

Either way, he'll have to decide pretty soon since the deadline for enrollment at most schools is right around September 1. ESPN says he's been contacted by about 20 schools (all FCS, presumably) but hasn't visited any of them other than McNeese State. Another potentially complicating factor:
Former LSU star Tyrann Mathieu has entered a drug rehabilitation program in Houston since being dismissed from the Tigers, according to a television report.

Tyrone Mathieu says his son is committed to restoring his health and won't play football until he is confident that his rehab is complete. That may rule out the possibility of Mathieu transferring to a school at the FCS level and playing this season, after which he would be eligible for the NFL draft.
I suppose that's good news from a getting-his-life-together standpoint, although any extended rehab stint would make it almost impossible to play at all this year; what that means for his future is anybody's guess.

Penn State you know the drill: Former Penn State wideout Devon Smith, who actually left the
team/was dismissed from the team back in June, is headed to Marshall:
Wide receiver Devon Smith has transferred from Penn State to Marshall. Marshall coach Doc Holliday announced Smith's transfer Thursday.

Smith, a senior, will be eligible to play this season because of the NCAA's penalties against Penn State. The 5-foot-7, 147-pound Smith caught 25 passes for 402 yards and two touchdowns at Penn State last season. He also returned kicks.
As noted, Smith is hilariously small and thus isn't exactly a No. 1 receiver; he'll presumably find a home in the slot and terrorize (or something) Conference USA this season, which will be his last since he's a senior. You don't care about what it means for Marshall since, I mean, it's Marshall.

As for Penn State, it's worth pointing out (even though Smith was already gone regardless) that the top four receivers, top two tight ends and top two running backs are all gone due to either transfer, graduation or dismissal. There is nobody on the roster who had more than four catches last year; that honor belongs to sophomore wideout Shawney Kersey. Go, team.

NEED MOAR BEEF: Nebraska apparently won't have its starting left tackle come the
start of the season (and beyond):
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini confirmed on Saturday that sophomore left tackle Tyler Moore has left the team and that his return is still in question.

"Tyler Moore has left the team temporarily," Pelini told reporters following a scrimmage on Saturday. "We'll see where that goes. I'm not exactly sure if that's going to be permanent or not permanent. He's working through some things personally."

Pelini would not go into specifics about why Moore had left the team but said he was leaving the door open for his return.

On Monday, Moore's father told the Tampa Bay Times that his son "just wasn't enjoying himself" and is taking a semester off.

He had some things he wasn't happy about at Nebraska, and he's going to come home to get his head straight," Moore told the paper. "He'll take classes at St. Pete College, and then in January he'll make a decision."
That's ... uhh ... odd. Anyway, Moore was the projected starter this year after starting the first four games last year at right tackle as a true freshman (!) and then giving way to Marcel Jones. Given the apparent unlikelihood of an immediate return, it appears that either junior Brent Qvale or junior Andrew Rodriguez will slide into the starting lineup, although it's possible that they'll do so at right tackle while Jeremiah Sirles slides over to the left side, where he started last year (Y U SWITCH SWIDES?).

BTW, Moore (according to his dad) plans to visit Florida and Florida State and does have a redshirt available that he'll presumably be taking this season.

On a related note, Nebraska redshirt freshman guard Ryan Klachko announced this week that he's transferring to Illinois, where Tim Beckman apparently is accumulating young linemen from around the Big Ten. Klachko wasn't on the depth chart at Nebraska but was a decently rated recruit (Nebraska offensive lineman duh), so his loss isn't totally irrelevant from a looking-way-ahead standpoint. He also used his redshirt last year -- hence redshirt freshman -- and thus will be down a year of eligibility come 2013.

Colorado picks a starter: It's not the guy everybody thought it'd be:
Jon Embree has tabbed former Kansas quarterback Jordan Webb to lead the football program in the Buffs' 2012 quest for a bowl game.
After you're done laughing at that last segment, note that Texas transfer and former big-time recruit Connor Wood took all the first-team snaps in spring and was the presumptive starter even after Webb arrived over the summer following his graduation from Kansas. That apparently changed in 10 days of camp.

The thing Webb has that Wood doesn't: experience, even if it's not particularly exciting experience. Webb was one of the few decent aspects of last year's abomination of a Kansas team, completing about 64 percent of his passes for 6.7 yards per attempt with 13 touchdowns and 12 picks. His numbers as a redshirt freshman were similar, BTW. He wasn't awful. He wasn't great. He was OK. And (oddly enough) he's got two years of eligibility left even though he's already graduated; he redshirted in 2010 and got his degree in three years, which dang. FYI, Webb's presence at Kansas became unnecessary when Charlie Weis went ham recruiting free-agent-y quarterbacks, getting Dayne Crist (who's eligible immediately as a grad transfer) from Notre Dame and Jake Heaps from BYU in the span of a couple weeks.

Wood is a redshirt sophomore who was reportedly awesome in the spring game and had on his side that performance, a bunch of recruiting stars/hype and the allure of being 6-foot-3, 225 pounds with an NFL arm; Webb is somewhere in the ballpark of 5-foot-10 and not even much of a runner. This is from a Denver Post non-column thing after spring ball:
... you can likely pencil Wood's name in the starting lineup for the Sept. 2 opener against Colorado State.
Not so much.

The good news: Either guy/both guys will probably be at least as good as Tyler Hansen was last year, and the bar is set pretty low on offense after CU finished 109th nationally (guh) in scoring last season.

A&M picks a starter: What the headline says:
Former Houston coach Kevin Sumlin said Johnny Manziel will start Texas A&M’s opener against Louisiana Tech on Aug. 30 as the Aggies prepare for their first season in the Southeastern Conference.
Manziel is a redshirt freshman who beat out sophomores Jameill Showers and Matt Joeckel. Combined, the three of them have thrown five career passes, with all of those belonging to Showers last year and none of them being relevant. Manziel was relatively highly touted in his day (Rivals had him as the No. 14 quarterback in the country in 2011) but will still be getting thrown to the SEC wolves as a freshman, which yikes. At least he'll have some help thanks to Christine Michael, Ryan Swope, Uzoma Nwachukwu and the entire O-line returning.

So the offense should still be effective (albeit maybe not consistently). I'm less certain about the team as a whole.

Good luck with that: Idaho lolwut:
The University of Idaho is hoping to join the ranks of college football teams with independent status. School officials on Friday will make their case to the Idaho State Board of Education that playing outside of a formal conference is in the best long-term interests of the Vandal football team.

Idaho athletic officials are also seeking permission to join the Big Sky Conference for non-football sports. The Vandals now play in the Western Athletic Conference, but the league has been withering amid conference realignment.
LOLOLOLOLOL. How is Idaho gonna get a TV deal that brings in any substantial amount (or at least an amount that's somewhat comparable to what the Mountain West schools will be pulling in)? And who will be on the schedule other than the various teams willing to shell out a million bucks for a sacrificial lamb during the nonconference portion of the schedule? I don't see how this is feasible for a school like Idaho that has zero national following and roughly the same amount of scheduling appeal. Just give it up and take it to the FCS, man.

Jinxy jinx: So some Michigan people got freaked out when SI put Denard on the cover of one of the regional preview issues because of the jinx and whatnot. Here's the picture:

And here's a picture of the last Michigan guy on one of the regional previews:

Yeeeaaaaahhh. But any concerns are no more because of this (note the captioning to the left):


And just because: I'm gonna assume that this is every Alabama wedding:

Amazing. Also amazing is this, which is the best YouTube comment in the history of ever:
The groom later claimed the ring was 14 carats.
That's some EDSBS-quality zing right there.

The AP poll: There will be one Saturday. That is all.


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