Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Catching up has an unfortunately placed tattoo

The thing about freshmen: JOHNNY FOOTBALL RABBLE RABBLE HEISMANZEL RABBLE RABBLE. Serious question: Is it really possible given the historical voting bias for a freshman (even of the redshirt variety) to win the Heisman? Survey (and by "survey" I mean "Heisman Pundit straw poll") says ....

1. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State -- 26 (6)
2. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M -- 18 (3)
3. Marqise Lee, WR, USC -- 10 (2)
4. (tie) Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State -- 4
4. (tie) Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame -- 4
6. (tie) Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon -- 2
6. (tie) Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon -- 2

... plausible. I don't think there's any chance he actually wins the thing as long as Collin Klein doesn't implode -- doubtful considering the two defenses left on the schedule -- but even a second-place finish would be tied for the highest ever for a freshman, with only Adrian Peterson in '04 having done it previously (and he was pretty far back of Matt Leinart).

Probably more of an issue for Manziel is the schedule: A&M finishes against Sam Houston State and Missouri and won't play in the SEC title game barring an Alabama loss to Auburn (lol no), so he'll be off the national radar for the rest of the year. As mentioned above, his only hope is that Klein has a disastrous game and nobody else does anything significant enough to move ahead of him.

This seems unbiased: Good news: It is not necessary to be able to distinguish Alabama from Mississippi in this case since the map distinguishes Alabama from everybody.

No additional insight necessary. Keep fightin' the good fight.

No more Hope (or hope?): This week in "Oh I'm so surprised" comes via Purdue, which is expected to fire Danny Hope at some point in the very near future, according to Bruce Feldman:
Yes, I expect Purdue to fire Danny Hope in the next month or so. I've heard from a source that the school is preparing to find its next coach.
To be fair, that news actually dropped last Friday before Purdue beat a terrible Iowa team, and seeing as how the last two games are at Illinois (downright awful) and at home against Indiana (blah), getting to 6-6 is still possible. Would that be enough to save him? Ehhh ... probably not. That 6-6 record would be tied for his best in four years at Purdue and would get him to a whoop-dee-doo 22-27 overall. And considering how unimpressive all of the last three hypothetical wins would be in that scenario, it's not like that 3-0 finish would be a legitimate sign of progress.

As for possible replacements, Feldman suggests (on a "hunch") Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren, who was the D-coordinator at Wisconsin for five years before getting the NIU job two years ago. He's gone 20-4 in that time; that's pretty good. He's also still only 40, which dang, and is openly acknowledging that he'll have to "listen to" other offers. There are other names out there -- Cincinnati's Butch Jones being one of them, although going from Cincy to Purdue would be a lateral move at this point -- but none as logical and gettable as Doeren at this point.

On a related note: Jeff Tedford "expects to meet" with Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour the day after the season ends. Whether that meeting will be an actual meeting or a "YA FIRED" meeting is unknown; the consensus seems to be the latter. Matt Hayes is already reporting that Charlie Strong would be at the top of a hypothetical list, FWIW.

An interesting tidbit:
After a bright start to his tenure with seven wins his first year, a school record-tying 10 wins in 2004 and a share of the conference title in 2006, things began falling off the rails during what started as a promising 2007 campaign.

The Bears won their first five games that season and were poised to move into the top spot in the AP poll before losing at home to Oregon State. Starting with that loss, Tedford has a 34-36 mark over his last 70 games.
Cal was a legit national title contender six years ago yet has been a collectively sub-.500 program ever since and is headed for 3-9 this year. Wha happen? Better question: Why has Jeff Tedford been unable to produce a decent quarterback in that time? Considering what Clancy Pendergast has done with the defense, the lack of production at quarterback is what will ultimately be his downfall (assuming he has one), as Cal hasn't finished higher than 64th nationally in pass efficiency or 44th in total offense in any of the last five years. Explain, plz.

Paging everybody to Aisle Defense: Oregon needs help. Seriously.

According to The Oregonian, Oregon is seriously considering playing Thomas at cornerback Saturday against Stanford because of a wave of attrition in the back four.
Unlike the Marqise Lee thing last week (which didn't actually happen, BTW), Oregon is so sadly desperate that putting Thomas out there might actually be a viable move; keep in mind that he was considered a corner recruit by some schools, including USC, where he committed before flipping to Oregon on Signing Day. 
Oregon will be without two of its four game-experienced corners (including starter Dior Mathis), safety John Boyett (who's missed the entire year) and nickel guy Avery Patterson, who had moved over to Boyett's spot but tore his ACL last week. The secondary: It's empty. This is an apt assessment from Matt Hinton:
If we see much of Thomas in the Ducks' secondary this weekend, it will be as much a sign of their desperation there as his talent.
What's really problematic is that the defensive line is in similarly crappy shape, with starters Dion Jordan, Isaac Remington and Ricky Heimuli (a former uber recruit filling in for done-for-the-year nose tackle Wade Keliikipi) all questionable after sitting out last week. The only starter who did play last week, defensive end Taylor Kelly, left in the first half with some kind of leg injury and didn't come back, meaning it's entirely possible that Oregon will be down more than half its starting defense against Stanford. More from Hinton:
For much of the night, the front four consisted of three true freshmen, Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Alex Balducci (who was forced to burn his redshirt) and newly converted tight end Koa Ka'ini, who spent the first two months of the season on offense.
Yikes. It'd be pretty lame if what might be the best team in the country gets knocked out of the national title game due to having to field its second-string defense in one of its more difficult games of the year. I don't think it'll happen given what Oregon's offense has been doing but could definitely see it.

Man down at Louisville: Sinorise Perry, Louisville's leading rusher, is done for the year with a torn ACL, the injury added to insult in last week's pathetic bajillion-point loss to Syracuse.

The good news: Perry had basically been platooning at running back with Jeremy Wright; Perry has 705 yards and Wright has 680, with Wright actually getting a few more carries over the course of the year. And with the offense pretty reliant on Teddy Bridgewater's arm anyway, the drop-off in the running game with Wright just picking up a few more carries a game shouldn't be significant.

The bad news: There's no other running back on the roster with more than one carry in his career, so ... yeah. Anything resembling depth is nonexistent. And Louisville's regular-season finale is a home game against Rutgers (17th nationally in both rushing defense and pass-efficiency defense) that will probably decide the Big East title. Losing your nominal starting running back less than two weeks before your biggest game of the year is obviously suboptimal.

Woo Big East! The Big East has divisions now, and they actually make some geographical sense outside of one of the Easternmost schools in the conference getting stuck in the West and therefore being forced to pay for a bunch of 2,000-mile road trips.
For the purposes of football, the conference will be divided into a western division of Boise State, Houston, Memphis, San Diego State, SMU and Temple, and an eastern division of Central Florida, Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers and South Florida.
Wouldn't it have made more sense to stick Cincinnati and Louisville in the West and let Temple and Memphis play in the East? I dunno. Regardless, these are temporary divisions since the Big East will be adding teams again in a couple years, and the future divisions will unquestionably be as nonsensical as you and I and everybody else knew theyd be:
Sources told ESPN in September that the league would prefer another team from the West as its 14th member, most likely BYU or Air Force.

League officials already have discussed how to split the divisions when the Big East grows to 14 teams. Sources said the most popular 14-team model would then be Red and Blue divisions that are nongeographic.

The proposed Red Division in 2015 would consist of Louisville, UConn, Memphis, Navy, San Diego State, USF and SMU, while the Blue Division would consist of Boise State, Cincinnati, UCF, Houston, Rutgers, Temple and the 14th team.
Because of course San Diego State and UConn should be divisional rivals.

Poor Temple: This had escaped my attention because it's Temple, but due to the MAC-to-Big East move and the size of the respective conferences, there were only 11 games on Temple's schedule this year: Solution: A tentative deal to finish the season (this season) at Hawaii. Problem: That deal was never actually finalized and fell through the other day on Hawaii's end, meaning Temple will be the only team in the country playing fewer than 12 games this year.
"We felt that we had an agreement in place with the University of Hawaii, but in the end its administration was unable to fulfill it due to unforeseen circumstances."
This is relevant because, with Temple sitting at 3-6, the best-case scenario is now 5-6, meaning Temple can't possibly go to a bowl game this year because a standard 12th game couldn't be arranged with a school that will gladly host anybody (and throw in a pig AND A HOT PLATE) under normal circumstances. Poor Temple.

That's some solid blockin': I'm not sure if Virginia Tech's Marcus Davis is unfamiliar with the general concepts of offense or if he's just terrified of touching people:


Way to man up: A realistic-but-probably-very-drunk Texas A&M fan lost a bet with some of his fanboi roommates and will have this engraved on his backside for all of eternity:

To be clear, "probably very drunk" does not necessarily refer only to his status at the time of the bet.


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.