1. Teddy Bridgewater is your 1st overall Pick next April (or is it May now?)
This guy is incredibly polished as a passer already. He shows incredible guts to take a shot while delivering down field. Eastern Kentucky isn’t the biggest bully on the playground, I understand, but they made it a point to blitz Bridgewater early and often and he stood in there and fired to the tune of 23-32 for 397 yards and 4 TDs.. oh and 0 interceptions. That kind of poise is tough to find. Yes he needs to keep this up against the big guns on the schedule… like… um… well… Templ…. okay well maybe there aren’t any big guns on the schedule. At Kentucky next week is probably the biggest name, as well as a couple of sleeper Florida teams (FIU and USF). Okay Louisville is probably running the table…so when he plays ‘Bama we’ll really see!
2. Pick the biggest lame duck coach: Rex Ryan, Lane Kiffin, Mac Brown
Mac Brown is the only one who might survive a bad season, but frankly if he does it’ll be a minor miracle. His Texas squad has under-preformed massively since the departure of Colt McCoy and it cannot be because of recruiting. If anything they are drowning in too much talent, but so is every Florida team and the Gators, Miami and FSU all look good this year. Ash was the 6th rated quarterback of his recruiting class according to rivals. McCoy was 24th (but the brother of a successful one). Brown’s inability to develop a progression and under performing in the high expectations of Austin looks likely to run him out.
Meanwhile, Kiffin has refused to pick from two very mediocre quarterbacks and I think most coaches would tell you that while you can have a lengthy battle for a job, but if you don’t settle on one it wears down and causes both to tighten up instead of play, which is exactly what I think we’re seeing with USC. Here’s some numbers for you:
Cody Kessler: 8-13 41 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT (returned for a TD)
Max Wittek: 3-8 13 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT (returned for game winning FG)
Sure, I wouldn’t want to pick between those two, but you have to. Personally I believe this reluctance is because Kiffin wants Wittek but Wittek is not capable of doing the job right now. Kessler looks petrified of making a mistake (though both do) and with Marquis Lee on the outside there should be better numbers here. These two didn’t complete a pass beyond 8 yards (other than the pick 6) and are quickly running Lane Kiffin out-of-town… but don’t worry he’ll probably land a job coaching the New England Patriots because that’s just how he seems to roll.
3. Cam Cameron (and I cannot believe I’m saying this) has fixed the long dormant LSU offense
Remember all the days of sweating and stressing and cursing and bemoaning close games involved with LSU? They appear to be gone. Cameron’s arrival has given this offense rhythm and precision that I would not have thought capable of an offense run by him (having studied him extensively at Baltimore). Zach Mettenberg has become ruthlessly efficient behind a multi-headed running back group and that should scare a lot of SEC teams. LSU has always thrived on defense and if they can finally put points up it’s going to make for some very interesting games late season at Georgia, Bama, Florida, and Texas A&M. It’s a tough road, but they could also spoil a lot of hopes.
4. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Notre Dame needs to get off its high horse and join the Big 10, not the ACC
Anyone watching last nights finale in Michigan missed an excellent game and a perfect reason why so much of realignment sucks. Since we’re trapped in that world however, I will again stand on my soap box and say the Irish belong in the Big 10. Let’s rattle off some major rivalries that this would satisfy: Michigan, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Michigan State, and somewhat Northwestern, Penn State and if you really look deep, Nebraska. Are those more important than Stanford and USC? No, and I get that, but with the Big 10 you maintain so much more of that class of history and you can’t tell me the Big 10 wouldn’t be willing to allow Notre Dame to play at least one of those other big rivals a year. You could probably get at least a rotation of two every year. Is NBC a problem? Yes. Can Notre Dame continue to survive alone? Yes. Is their arrogance that they deserve their own everything annoying? You betcha, but last night was a game to remember and I’d like to keep those going. It’s what makes college football beautiful. History, not championships.
5. Miami’s win was the biggest of the weekend for any program
Al Golden has been… well not quietly but not loudly enough… lamenting the shadow of sanctions over his program for a long time. We’re several years in on what looked like an open and shut case for sanctions against Miami, and yet because of NCAA incompetence we’re still waiting for it. Will they have to wait 5 years for the statute to wear off before Miami can go out there and recruit? Johnny Manziel’s case is settled in almost a week and Miami’s is still going? You either have the evidence or you don’t. Meanwhile Golden continues to fight Florida and FSU telling those high-priced Florida recruits that Miami will be ineligible soon and knocking off Florida was a great way to keep the U alive in that battle. It wasn’t electric on offense, but it was good enough and on a big enough recruiting stage for this to echo for a while.