Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Denver remains No. 1 in the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings, but New England moves up to No. 2 and has taken over as our Super Bowl favorite.

25 Nov 2010

SDA: Heaping Helpings

by Bill Connelly, Brian Fremeau, and Robert Weintraub

It is easy to go overboard with Thanksgiving metaphors this week, especially with the degree to which Thanksgiving and football have become intertwined. But there is a heaping helping of great college football on the plate this weekend. The ACC Atlantic, Big 12 North and South, and Big Ten titles will all be decided (and the Big East will have some fireworks battles over the biggest piece of turkey as well, if you are into that sort of thing). Games like Auburn-Alabama and Oklahoma-Oklahoma State have rarely been bigger. And best of all, the action is spread out over three days. The fun starts in the Big 12 Thursday night, expands throughout the country on Friday, and finishes in Oklahoma Saturday night.

Oh yeah, and what seems like about 90 percent of college football's rivalries kick up this weekend as well, whether there is anything really at stake or not (sorry, Indiana-Purdue). So put on your fat pants and prepare for a three-day seat at the table. It's time to talk turkey.

That last one was overkill, wasn't it?

Previews

No. 17 Texas A&M -3 at Texas (Thursday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When Texas A&M
Has the Ball ...
When Texas
Has the Ball ...
Category Tex. A&M
(8-3)
Texas
(5-6)
Tex. A&M
Off
Texas
Def
Tex. A&M
Def
Texas
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 19 63 53 18 5 104
2010 FEI Rk 25 70 39 21 7 104
2010 S&P+ Rk 16 57 44 16 5 97
2010 FPA Rk 101 81
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 47 22 10 66
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 43 15 11 107
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 41 15 7 84
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
56.9% Run
(80th)
57.8% Run
(77th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 44 12 5 91
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
25.2% Run
(106th)
24.8% Run
(107th)

A few short weeks ago, people were debating whether Mike Sherman was done in College Station, or whether he would get another year. One quarterback change and a winning streak later, they are debating whether Texas A&M is the new Texas. (Seriously.) With a defense growing in effectiveness and an offense that has at least become more sustainable under receiver-turned-quarterback Ryan Tannehill, A&M heads to Austin ... as the favorite? It is the first time A&M has visited Texas with the better record since 1998. The obvious question for this game is, Can Texas move the ball? Nebraska couldn't with any consistency last week, and Baylor and Oklahoma only could for one half each. All three of those offenses rank much higher than the Longhorns. A&M defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter has pushed all of the right buttons in the last half of his first season in College Station. If he does so again and Oklahoma knocks off Oklahoma State, A&M would find itself in a three-way tie in the Big 12 South race.

West Virginia +2.5 at Pittsburgh (Friday, 12 p.m. ET, ABC)

OVERALL When W. Virginia
Has the Ball ...
When Pittsburgh
Has the Ball ...
Category WVU
(7-3)
Pitt
(6-4)
WVU
Off
Pitt
Def
WVU
Def
Pitt
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 24 20 81 34 3 20
2010 FEI Rk 23 20 78 33 3 33
2010 S&P+ Rk 32 26 81 38 7 18
2010 FPA Rk 53 41
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 90 66 6 12
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 55 22 16 19
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 57 34 6 9
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
63.2% Run
(42nd)
61.4% Run
(49th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 77 45 19 35
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
38.1% Run
(30th)
35.1% Run
(52nd)

There's a conference championship race and a BCS bowl berth up for grabs in the Big East, but this year's Backyard Brawl will only be part of the final puzzle. West Virginia and Pittsburgh face off in one of the fiercest rivalry games of the season, one that almost always comes down to the wire. The past three matchups have been decided by a total of 11 points and neither team has won more than two straight in the series in a decade and a half. It ought to be a low-scoring affair -- West Virginia hasn't given up more than 21 points in a game all season and are surrendering only 12 points per game in Big East play. Pitt is still in sole possession of first place in the conference but has looked pretty shaky the last few weeks. Dion Lewis got back on track a bit last week against South Florida, but he will have a much tougher time against the Mountaineers.

No. 2 Auburn +4.5 at No. 11 Alabama (Friday, 2:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

OVERALL When Auburn
Has the Ball ...
When Alabama
Has the Ball ...
Category Auburn
(11-0)
Alabama
(9-2)
Auburn
Off
Alabama
Def
Auburn
Def
Alabama
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 2 3 1 19 44 3
2010 FEI Rk 1 2 2 18 13 7
2010 S&P+ Rk 4 5 1 13 48 3
2010 FPA Rk 37 12
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 1 20 37 7
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 1 13 54 4
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 1 9 42 12
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
76.4% Run
(sixth)
60.8% Run
(51st)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 1 7 34 3
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
44.7% Run
(ninth)
31.0% Run
(77th)

What does Vegas know? Four-and-a-half points seems a lot to give to an undefeated offensive juggernaut ranked No. 2 in the country, even on the road, no? The sharps may be counting on casual gamblers confusing this version of Alabama with the 2009 national champs. It is a truism of great in-state rivalries that beating your enemy while he's very good or great is far more delicious than kicking him while he's down. Therefore, the Crimson Tide have a chance for a post-Thanksgiving meal far more satisfying than the usual cold turkey sandwich. Last season was the inverse, with Auburn throwing a haymaker at Alabama's undefeated season, taking an early 14-0 lead only to fall before the relentless Tide attack. This year's game seems likely to develop similarly, as Auburn, for all their success this season, has been prone to falling behind early and waiting for Cam Newton to win the game in the second half. While the name Iron Bowl invokes the image of great backs like Shaun Alexander and Bo Jackson slamming into stalwart front sevens, this game should be decided through the air. Both defenses are vulnerable, especially in the secondary. Newton and Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy are both accurate short- and mid-range passers, capable of beating you deep. The passer that exploits mismatches created by defenders thinking run first will likely be the one who won't be eviscerated on sports radio in the Yellowhammer State for the next year. Regardless of victor, it will be as intense a game as any played this season.

Colorado +17.5 at No. 15 Nebraska (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

OVERALL When Colorado
Has the Ball ...
When Nebraska
Has the Ball ...
Category Colorado
(5-6)
Nebraska
(9-2)
Colorado
Off
Nebraska
Def
Colorado
Def
Nebraska
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 69 17 67 11 65 33
2010 FEI Rk 77 12 58 12 87 8
2010 S&P+ Rk 60 22 61 19 54 32
2010 FPA Rk 70 24
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 84 35 26 26
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 45 6 78 50
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 80 27 51 28
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
59.9% Run
(63rd)
76.8% Run
(fifth)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 46 4 99 48
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
33.8% Run
(63rd)
44.4% Run
(10th)

Taylor Martinez is not starting. Leading receiver Niles Paul will not play. Bo and Carl Pelini have spent the last week getting lambasted for their childish behavior in College Station last Saturday night. Oh yeah, and Colorado has actually played well recently. Could Nebraska actually be in danger of slipping up and blowing the Big 12 North title? Probably not, but this game is more interesting than it was a month ago. Colorado had scored more than 31 points just once in nine games before Dan Hawkins' firing, but they have done so in back-to-back weeks under interim coach Brian Cabral. Cody Hawkins, Dan's son, threw for a combined 468 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions against Iowa State and Kansas State, while Rodney Stewart rushed for a combined 318 yards. That's great, but doing it against the Blackshirts, in front of what will likely be as riled up and fiery a crowd as Lincoln can produce? That's a different story. Even with their offensive issues, Nebraska holds the edge because their defense, while personal foul-prone, is as engulfing and intimidating as ever.

No. 21 Arizona +19.5 at Oregon (Friday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When Arizona
Has the Ball ...
When Oregon
Has the Ball ...
Category Arizona
(7-3)
Oregon
(10-0)
Arizona
Off
Oregon
Def
Arizona
Def
Oregon
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 33 15 32 22 43 21
2010 FEI Rk 34 5 32 11 53 15
2010 S&P+ Rk 33 27 40 31 26 26
2010 FPA Rk 60 8
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 71 39 15 33
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 29 28 47 20
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 51 35 25 22
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
51.9% Run
(103rd)
66.5% Run
(27th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 16 18 67 37
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
20.4% Run
(114th)
48.4% Run
(sixth)

Three weeks ago, this matchup looked a little more interesting, didn't it? Arizona was 7-1 and ranked 15th in the BCS standings, bolstered by impressive-looking wins over California and Iowa. But then Arizona got smoked by Stanford and fell to USC at home. Now the Wildcats pack up their much more questionable bona fides and heads to Eugene for a Friday night battle in which they hold few notable advantages. Their rushing defense and passing offense might be able to hold their own for a while, but will they be able to do what only California (of all teams) has done so far -- keep Oregon grounded for four full quarters? And if the defense is succeeding for a while, will Arizona be able to run the ball well enough to eat some clock? Keola Antolin and Nic Grigsby have each averaged 5.2 yards per carry on the season, but their Rushing S&P+ numbers are skeptical. Side note: ESPN's Bruce Feldman wrote a nice profile about Oregon coach Chip Kelly and his prodigious coaching talent. Unless you are an Arizona (or Oregon State) fan, it is worth a read.

No. 4 Boise State -14 at No. 19 Nevada (Friday, 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)

OVERALL When Boise State
Has the Ball ...
When Nevada
Has the Ball ...
Category Boise St.
(10-0)
Nevada
(10-1)
Boise St.
Off
Nevada
Def
Boise St.
Def
Nevada
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 1 44 6 87 1 16
2010 FEI Rk 7 46 11 75 10 14
2010 S&P+ Rk 1 44 2 79 1 20
2010 FPA Rk 12 16
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 24 102 1 21
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 2 71 2 25
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 2 115 1 15
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
60.6% Run
(55th)
71.7% Run
(14th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 27 58 10 10
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
35.0% Run
(53rd)
35.0% Run
(54th)

After the Broncos disposed of Virginia Tech and Oregon State in September, Boise State fans and haters alike have fixated on this game as the only legitimate obstacle in their run to an undefeated season. The tale of the tape might suggest a shootout -- Boise State ranks first in first-down percentage, available yards and explosive drives, and Nevada is right on its heels. But defensively, Nevada's profile is substantially weaker. As is its strength of schedule. The Wolf Pack have played only one game against a top 60 opponent according to F/+ (No. 40 Hawaii), and they lost that game. They haven't faced a top 30 defense -- Boise State ranks No. 1 on defense according to F/+. Nevada appears to be reasonably well respected in the national polls, but it's hard to say whether a close victory by Boise State would be enough to leapfrog TCU in the BCS pecking order. Based on our data, however, Kellen Moore and company ought to roll.

Michigan +17 at No. 8 Ohio State (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ABC)

OVERALL When Michigan
Has the Ball ...
When Ohio State
Has the Ball ...
Category Michigan
(7-4)
Ohio St.
(10-1)
Michigan
Off
Ohio St.
Def
Michigan
Def
Ohio St.
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 35 4 2 4 115 10
2010 FEI Rk 40 9 1 15 109 16
2010 S&P+ Rk 30 3 5 3 82 7
2010 FPA Rk 75 4
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 3 7 91 2
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 6 4 90 12
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 3 2 79 6
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
69.6% Run
(18th)
64.7% Run
(35th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 17 3 110 31
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
31.9% Run
(73rd)
41.2% Run
(16th)

Ohio State is one of a handful of power conference teams that dominated the better part of the last decade, but they're just about the only one of that group that hasn't flopped in 2010. The Buckeyes did blow their shot at a national championship run in October, but they're back in position to claim a sixth-straight BCS bowl game bid, with or without the Big Ten auto-bid. Michigan would like nothing more than to end that streak, but the Wolverines have little opportunity to do so without every break going their way on Saturday. Ohio State has been very good on both sides of the ball this year, ranking behind only TCU and Boise State in points-per-drive margin. Michigan's defense has been among the worst in that category, so Terrelle Pryor and company should be able to move the ball with little resistance. Can the Wolverines create a field-position advantage via turnovers and special teams play? These happen to be strengths for Ohio State and weaknesses for Michigan.

No. 5 LSU +3.5 at No. 12 Arkansas (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

OVERALL When LSU
Has the Ball ...
When Arkansas
Has the Ball ...
Category LSU
(10-1)
Arkansas
(9-2)
LSU
Off
Arkansas
Def
LSU
Def
Arkansas
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 16 8 31 27 9 5
2010 FEI Rk 8 6 27 16 17 3
2010 S&P+ Rk 25 7 37 23 11 6
2010 FPA Rk 1 63
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 19 43 34 15
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 77 12 5 8
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 16 31 18 4
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
69.0% Run
(19th)
51.3% Run
(104th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 87 11 6 15
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
43.0% Run
(15th)
28.4% Run
(88th)

In 2007, the Hogs defeated LSU 50-48 in triple overtime to end the regular season, yet the Tigers played for and won the BCS title anyway. This year's game won't quite have the national ramifications, yet it could be equally entertaining. The Lesters have the best defense in the SEC, but they were shredded by Cam Newton. Ryan Mallet has the capacity to do it as well, if in a different manner. The Hogs average 340 yards through the air per game, and will present all sorts of schematic challenges for Patrick Peterson & Co. And, just for kicks, the Hogs have added a bona fide running game led by Knile Davis, the best back you've never heard of. The consensus among experts is that at home, Arkansas is too much for LSU. But the Tigers have some magic going for them this season, just as they did three years ago. More importantly, they are finally getting decent, if unspectacular, play from the quarterback position. Jordan Jefferson has played his best ball in the last couple of weeks, and he'll need to provide some big plays if LSU is to keep pace with the Mallet Machine. Offensive coordinator Gary Crowton has been barbecued for much of the year in Baton Rouge because of conservative play calling, but the propane has been turned to low now that he is more confident in Jefferson's ability to execute the game plan. Regardless, running back Stevan Ridley, who had three scores last week against Ole Miss, will be the focus of the offense, and he should find some room to operate. Arkansas has allowed more than 162 yards per game on the ground.

No. 23 N.C. State -2.5 at Maryland (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

OVERALL When N.C. State
Has the Ball ...
When Maryland
Has the Ball ...
Category N.C. St.
(8-3)
Maryland
(7-4)
N.C. St.
Off
Maryland
Def
N.C. St.
Def
Maryland
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 28 41 48 29 15 59
2010 FEI Rk 16 36 43 30 14 54
2010 S&P+ Rk 42 49 59 42 29 56
2010 FPA Rk 22 14
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 79 31 21 73
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 48 51 34 44
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 54 33 49 56
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
47.9% Run
(114th)
59.3% Run
(68th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 52 40 30 42
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
33.8% Run
(62nd)
35.6% Run
(43rd)

Hands up if you predicted this game would be critical toward deciding the ACC Atlantic title. Anyone? With a win, the Wolfpack will meet Virginia Tech in Charlotte next week (meaning the game might actually sell out). If the Terps rise up, Florida State is the division champ. It's been an improbable ride for N.C. State, which is gunning for its first ACC title in 31 years (since the days Bill Cowher wore red and white). Last week, they trailed the hated Tar Heels by nine late in the game, but a tipped-pass touchdown and a long punt return brought the Pack to the brink of the division crown. State coach Tom O'Brien has a decided financial incentive beyond earning his 100th win -- a victory would trigger up to $150,000 in contract bonuses. If any team would be likely to ruin the fairy-tale season, it is Maryland. The Terps beat State in Raleigh in Philip Rivers' last game, beat an 11-win Pack team in 2001, and destroyed State 37-0 during Homecoming in 2007. Ralph Friedgen's boys have won seven of the last 10 in the series, and are licking their chops after Saturday's crushing loss to FSU that ended their own championship dreams. The Fridge has waddled nicely off the hot seat with Maryland's best season in years, thanks in large part to an offensive line that has been devastated by injury but continues to plug in parts and play well.

No. 13 Oklahoma +3 at No. 9 Oklahoma State (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ABC)

OVERALL When Oklahoma
Has the Ball ...
When Oklahoma St.
Has the Ball ...
Category OU
(9-2)
OSU
(10-1)
OU
Off
OSU
Def
OU
Def
OSU
Off
2010 F/+ Rk 11 18 23 39 16 12
2010 FEI Rk 15 19 17 22 20 19
2010 S&P+ Rk 11 17 22 44 14 8
2010 FPA Rk 24 45
2010 Rushing S&P+ Rk 41 18 14 16
2010 Passing S&P+ Rk 9 63 21 7
2010 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 26 28 17 8
Run-Pass Ratio
(Std. Downs)
57.3% Run
(78th)
51.1% Run
(106th)
2010 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 38 79 8 8
Run-Pass Ratio
(Pass. Downs)
22.0% Run
(111th)
33.5% Run
(66th)

November 5, 1988: No. 8 Oklahoma beat No. 12 Oklahoma State, 31-28, when OSU's Brent Parker (Todd Marinovich's favorite target in high school) dropped a fourth-down touchdown pass in the final seconds. Saturday night in Stillwater, the two schools will play in the biggest Bedlam battle since that Cowboy heartbreak. Oklahoma State is just one win away from its first (and apparently only) Big 12 South title, but standing in the Cowboys' way is a team they have not defeated since 2002. Each offense holds an advantage over the opposing defense, especially in the passing game, but the contest could be decided on passing downs. They have been the Achilles heel for an otherwise solid Oklahoma State defense, and Oklahoma is not shy about going downfield in these situations. If OSU shuts down drives once they have maneuvered Oklahoma into second- or third-and-long situations, they will likely score enough points with Justin Blackmon, Kendall Hunter, and company to procure the South title. But if they're suffering breakdowns and the game begins to take a "Here we go again" vibe, Oklahoma could win and open the door for a three-way Big 12 South logjam.

Storylines of the Week

Robert Weintraub: Friday night will be a month and a day since Nevada lost its only game of the season. The Wolfpack generally play in anonymity, but even by their standards, this one was off the radar, a game at Hawaii that began at 11:30 p.m. ET. Playing its best game of the season, the rainbow Warriors took a large lead, then held on as Nevada scored to make it 27-21 and recovered an onside kick. With the crowd going bananas, a Colin Kaepernick pass was tipped and intercepted by Mana Silva to seal it for Hawaii. Nevada cannot stand the Hawaiian Islands, not having won there since 1948. I bring this up because, besides that evening in the mid-Pacific, Nevada has been perfect this season. Can you imagine the buzz around the Boise State game Friday night if Kaepernick (who has accounted for 35 touchdowns this season) had gotten his team in the end zone at Aloha Stadium? Instead, Boise is a two-touchdown favorite and all eyes are on the style points. But many fortunes have been lost in the Casino State, and Boise stands to lose quite a treasure in Reno Friday night. Make sure those dice aren't loaded, boys.

Brian Fremeau: Sigh. We are near the end, folks. Starting with tonight's Texas-Texas A&M game and concluding with the BCS championship game on January 10, only 108 FBS vs. FBS games remain this season. For some perspective, 109 games were played in the last two weeks. There are plenty of late-season conference races to be determined, but one thing I'm thankful for is the hefty dose of non-conference games to be played down the stretch. Having 35 bowl games is a bit excessive, but computer rating systems love those kinds of matchups. This weekend features the annual SEC-ACC rivalry games that always pique my interest, and I'm not sure any of those games are sure things. They won't make much of a difference nationally, but conference reputations can really hinge on these kinds of games and set the stage for next year. It's too soon to talk about next year, I know. But, sigh, it's almost here.

Bill Connelly: Is a vacated win really a loss? Kansas and Missouri face off this Saturday almost 50 years to the day of Kansas' biggest win in the series. No. 1 Missouri needed just a win over the hated Jayhawks to claim their first national title, but riding running back Bert Coan all game, the Jayhawks pulled away late and won, 24-7. It was a devastating win for the Tigers. Why win? Because a couple of weeks later, the Big 8 announced that Coan had been illegally recruited to Kansas (by Bud Adams, of all people), and that Kansas had to forfeit the games in which Coan had played. Still, "undefeated" Missouri fell in the polls and lost the national title to one-loss Minnesota. And Kansas still claims a 1960 win -- it's why you hear the "These two schools can't even agree on a series record!" comment unfurled by announcers each season before and during the game. We still think of Michigan's Fab Five basketball teams as a two-time national runner-up (even though, gasp, they're not allowed to hang banners saying so), and I'm pretty sure USC's media guide won't list an 0-12 season in 2005 next year (like Kansas, they are also quite unlikely to change any series records because of this). Auburn fans will likely reflect on a damn enjoyable "undefeated" 2010 season if they beat Alabama and South Carolina in the next two weeks, even if they later have to vacate wins due to whatever is found in the Cam Newton investigation. As a sports-watching public, we seem OK with this. I'm not even saying I'm not OK with this, really; it's just that, if vacated wins are supposed to be punishment ... shouldn't the offender actually feel punished?

Picks

Hey, look! It almost seemed as if both Rob and the F/+ numbers knew what they were doing last week!

The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Rob F/+
Texas A&M -3 Texas Tex. A&M Tex. A&M
W. Virginia +2.5 Pittsburgh W. Virginia Pittsburgh
Auburn +4.5 Alabama Auburn Auburn
Colorado +17.5 Nebraska Nebraska Nebraska
Arizona +19.5 Oregon Oregon Arizona
Boise State -14 Nevada Nevada Boise St.*
Michigan +17 Ohio State Ohio St.* Ohio St.
LSU +3.5 Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas
N.C. State -2.5 Maryland N.C. State N.C. State
Oklahoma +3 Oklahoma St. Okla. St. Oklahoma
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
Week 12 Season Total
Rob: 8-1-1 (1-0) 57-59-4 (6-6)
F/+: 7-2-1 (1-0) 56-60-4 (3-9)

Posted by: Bill Connelly on 25 Nov 2010

6 comments, Last at 27 Nov 2010, 2:44am by Kal

Comments

1
by zlionsfan :: Thu, 11/25/2010 - 2:50pm

I have no problems adjusting whatever things I track to reflect vacated wins.

6-2-1 (1-0) last week, 54-55-4 (8-3) overall. Texas A&M (lock), Pitt, Auburn, Colorado, Oregon, Boise State, Ohio State, LSU, NC State, Oklahoma State.

2
by Jetspete :: Thu, 11/25/2010 - 3:15pm

no love for michigan state v penn state in this week's column? i'm looking forward to seeing if the McGloin magic can continue.

One issue though, while espn is providing great coverage the desire for ratings is ruining the passionate fans' enjoyment of the game. A game of this magnitude between MSU and PSU should be at 330. But so as to not compete with Wisc vs NW, the game was moved to noon (my bias is that i'm staying over in state college and want to be able to sleep a bit on saturday morning, its bad enough i had to wake up early for the 11am game on my PSU/Minny trip last month). In addition, ESPN has rights to multiple games at 8pm meaning viewers now only get to see either ND/USC or OU/Ok state. Last year bedlam was a noon game. And since espn has rights to all games, the fans get hosed.

5
by Chad (not verified) :: Fri, 11/26/2010 - 1:31pm

I dunno, seems that only one of the Big Ten teams was going to get the 3:30 slot, and they took the highest ranked, hottest team with WISC.

My complaint? I'm going to the UW hockey game and they moved the start time back an hour because of the late start for football. ;-)

3
by mm (not verified) :: Thu, 11/25/2010 - 10:16pm

So, what's the over/under on the number of 'Big 12 Conference' commercials that air during the Colorado/Nebraska game?

4
by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 11/26/2010 - 1:25pm

Not sure if this is the place to ask but I was wondering what the FO hive mind thought about the qb prospects for this season? (I'm a despondant niners fan who's team is in drastic need of a quarterback.) I've had a look at Luck's highlights and he looks scary good, his footwork is neat, his release is quick with enough pop on the ball and he seems to make fast decisions in a pro-style offense. Newton on the other hand looks like a freak of nature but his footwork is pretty poor, he'd take a while to acclimatise to an offense that lined him up under center. His release is rather low but that might not be a terrible thing, a guy with his height could end up with a very elongated release, Newton's is pretty quick. I'd compare Luck to a bigger, right-handed Steve Young, if he plays up to his potential in the pros, Newton reminds me of a certain quarterback in Pittsburgh with more speed.

6
by Kal :: Sat, 11/27/2010 - 2:44am

Lewin forecast wise wouldn't favor Newton if he went in the 1st/2nd round due to the lack of starts even with the high completion %. Judging from his bizarre mechanics and odd pocket presence I personally don't think he'd be that good.

Luck is odd, in that he would normally be a 4-year starter. If he was as good as he's been this year he would be somewhat on par with Peyton Manning in terms of quality; 70% completion rates and 4 years of starts would be amazing. But he isn't starting four years, so you'd have to see how he'd play with two. Even that is pretty clear he's ready to go; he has arm strength galore, good decision making, is strong and big, has some running ability and clearly acts well in a leadership role.

Locker would have a lot of starts but a very poor completion rate. I'd be surprised if he was a good pick.

Ryan Mallett would be another likely good pick (and if SF doesn't get that, they might go this way). Big guy, high %, fairly good number of starts, plays in the SEC.