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rock flag and eagle


Member since 17 June 2013 | Blog

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Comment 21 Aug 2015
In addition to making the playoff with a new starting QB, They also won the 2009 and 2011 national championships with new QBs under center (McElroy and McCarron, respectively.) Alabama has proved they don't need especially experienced QBs to succeed. If they experience a drop off, it likely won't be because of the QB situation. Of course, that's assuming Kiffin doesn't exacerbate the problem with reckless, pass happy play calling.
Comment 03 Jul 2015

Well...I don't know.  I mean, you're right that it's not really about Fisher vs. Dantonio.  It's just that Dantonio doesn't strike me as top five.  Dantonio is 1-3 against Brian Kelly.  That's an instant disqualification for top 5 consideration where I come from.  

Comment 02 Jul 2015

I think Dantonio is a fine coach, but I don't really understand his inclusion on these sorts of lists over someone like, say...Jimbo Fisher?  I try not to weigh national championships too heavily when thinking about coaching ability/ranking, because not every coach is fortunate enough to have A+ resources.  But, Fisher generally has a very strong argument over someone like Dantonio.  Dantonio finally got MSU to the upper echelon in 2010, and he is hailed as having four 11 win seasons in five years.  However, since MSU's rise in 2010 (the same year Fisher took over at FSU), Fisher actually has the BETTER winning percentage (84% vs 76%.)  Fisher has the better overall win percentage (84% vs 66%), better bowl record (4-1 vs. 5-4), more conference championships, despite less time coaching (3 ACC vs. 2 B1G) 

Of course, Fisher has the National Championship on his resume that Dantonio doesn't.  He also has a 29 game winning streak (2012-2014) and he is the man who ended the seven year SEC reign of terror by beating Auburn.  He is also 1-0 vs. Urban Meyer. 

While Dantonio is regarded as a defensive master, it's actually Fisher's Seminoles that have been ranked higher in total defense 3 out of 5 years (2010, 2011, 2012).  And, if one wants to tout Dantonio as a masterful program builder, it's not like Fisher doesn't have that on his resume too.  He took over a Florida State team that went 30-20 from 2006-2009.  (60%)  He instantly took a 7-6 team to 10-4, and has since won 84% of his games.

Comment 29 Jun 2015

Agree.  This says more about the scheduling powers that be than ESPN's agenda.  In fact, with the #3 Auburn playing #4 Ole Miss, ESPN was exceptionally evenhanded even showing up in Morgantown.  They could have been very justified going back to Oxford, but they chose to go to Big 12 country despite a b-list headlining game.

Comment 29 Jun 2015

Harbaugh did bring John Baxter in as Michigan special teams coach.  Baxter is well known throughout the coaching ranks for his development of a system, Academic Gameplan, geared toward student-athlete strategies for succeeding in the class room.  He has a Master's in Higher Education and takes education very seriously.  This addition to the staff seems to suggest that Harbaugh also takes academics (somewhat) seriously.  

Comment 28 Jun 2015

Why the confidence in Oregon St?  They are playing Michigan on the road, and are something like 14 point underdogs (according to Vegas).  Last year they missed a bowl (5-7) and went 2-7 in the Pac 12.  Like Michigan, they replace a head coach and a QB.  You said you don't see Harbaugh turning it around in year one.  What are you projecting for Gary Andersen and Co?    

Comment 25 Jun 2015

Alabama technically replaces a lot.  But, they had really solid depth with experience.  Guys like Henry (is he the 1/2 you reference?) and OJ Howard are not returning starters, but may as well be.

Comment 25 Jun 2015

I suspect you're overestimating the impact losing a QB has for Oregon.  The last time they had a QB transition was between 2011-2012.  In 2011, they finished 12-2 and #4 in the country with the #4 offense in the nation. The next year, with a new QB, they finished 13-1 and #2 in the country, with the #5 offense in the nation.

Comment 25 Jun 2015

Very true.  There are 5 Power conferences, and only four spots.  One of the conference champs was going to get left out and OSU was in line to get left out until the 11th hour.  You want the benefit of the doubt that Oregon, Alabama and FSU had.

Comment 25 Jun 2015

Yeah, TCU returns 18 players.  Probably should be more lopsided than last year, but I bet home field will let MInnesota keep it within 21 or so.

Comment 21 Jun 2015

Turnovers didn't make much difference to the NCG bottom line.  No argument here.  If you want to make arguments about the overinflated value analysts place on turnover margin, only cite the NCG.  The Sugar Bowl example does not support your argument. 

Comment 21 Jun 2015

That's not entirely accurate.  You can apply for a medical redshirt earlier in your career.  For instance, Jabrill Peppers took a medical redshirt last year.  I think what you mean is that one cannot ask for a 6th year (based on medical hardship) until the end of their career (like OSU's Tyler Moeller)

Under normal circumstances, if you play at all, even just a couple of snaps on special teams, you are not eligible to use a redshirt that year to save eligibility for future years.  That's called "burning a redshirt" when a guy plays a few meaningless snaps.  But, if you play just a small portion of the year, then are injured, you can apply for a redshirt that year for medical reasons.

The student-athlete must not have competed in more than 30% of the season or three contests, whichever is greater. (I got this from a website dated 2012, so I assume they still use the same 30% rule.)

Comment 21 Jun 2015

I don't think you understand this latest development.  Auburn isn't asking him to redshirt to mitigate risk.  What happened is that the NCAA is forcing him to sit out a year because he is a transfer student.  Read the article again.

He asked for a hardship waiver, but was denied by the NCAA.  Essentially, he wanted to be eligible to play this year because he felt his departure from OSU was a special circumstance.  But, the NCAA didn't grant him an exception to the rule.  Like everyone else transferring within Division 1, he needs to wait a year before suiting up.  Him using a redshirt isn't based on Auburn's risk management.  It's the NCAA's decision.

From the article: "he has been informed by the NCAA that he will have to sit out the 2015 season and take a redshirt instead.  Dean had applied for a hardship waiver that would’ve granted him immediate eligibility but was ultimately denied."

Comment 21 Jun 2015

The Sugar Bowl's bottom line was hugely impacted by turnovers.

Alabama lost the turnover battle 3-2.  It's especially significant considering one of Alabama's INTs was returned for an Ohio State touchdown, and Ohio State won by one score.  

It's not a coincidence that Alabama won the first half turnover battle 2-0 and went into the locker room with the lead, then lost the second half battle 0-3 and lost by one score.   

Comment 18 Jun 2015

Rich Rodriguez did not coach WVU against Oklahoma.  His last coaching act at WVU was losing to the unranked Pitt Panthers (at home) and losing the chance to play for the national championship. He resigned Dec. 18th, 2 weeks before the Oklahoma game.  Bill Stewart coached the bowl game.

Comment 13 Jun 2015

Drew Sharp made a mistake.  Harbaugh didn't say "new kid on the block."  He called them "the big kid on the block."  I believe Drew Sharp is flat out wrong.

HIs colleague Mark Snyder at the Detroit Free Press wrote this article about two weeks ago "Jim Harbaugh: MSU is the big kid on the block, not U-M" and I believe that is what Sharp meant to reference.  

Sharp mentioned calling MSU the new kids on the block in the same sentence where he is describing the way that Harbaugh is trying to downplay expectations.  Why would Harbaugh taunt his rival if he is trying to downplay expectations?  He didn't taunt them, he complimented them.

This is what Harbaugh said at the end of May, and I think this is what Sharp butchered:

"We know we're not the biggest guy on the block – Michigan State's the biggest guy," Harbaugh said.

"Rightfully so," he said early in his 15-minute speech, which was preceded by an extended video presentation of still frames from spring practice set to music. "They have done a tremendous job. We respect the job they've done, but we want to be that."

As Sharp said, Harbaugh is downplaying expectations and he knows UofM is behind MSU.  Unless someone can show a more recent quote  from a reporter where Harbaugh actually said "new kid," this one has to be chalked up to a Freudian slip by Drew Sharp. 

Comment 12 Jun 2015
I believe they are complaining about the timing of game 6, not game 5. The poster is most likely a Cleveland fan and assumes that the Cavs have a better chance of winning home games. They most likely feel it's unfair that when it's the Cavs turn to host, they get less rest than Golden State does before hosting game 5
Comment 29 May 2015

Perhaps, OSU-Stillwater does return something like 8 starters on defense, and they do get Oklahoma, TCU and Baylor at home.  I guess that could be a recipe for success.