Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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Two NFC teams were hit hardest by injuries last year. One already set the AGL record in 2016, while the other has a coach with the worst AGL since 2002. Also: the Rams' incredible bill of health in L.A., and Tampa Bay's questionable injury reporting.

14 Sep 2006

Seventh Day Adventure: Some Kind of Saturday

by Russell Levine and Vin Gauri

Russell: So, we have seven games between ranked teams, plus the Bowden Bowl this week. ESPN has already dubbed it "Showdown Saturday," but I think we need our own nickname. How about "Smorgasbord Saturday?"

Vinny: Does Chris Fowler come up with these silly alliterative slogans for Saturdays in the off-season too? Like "Sacred Saturday" for his wedding day?

Russell: My typical living room setup includes monitoring two games on the main TV (on the sixth day, God invented dual tuner TiVo) plus a third on a smaller, second set that doubles as my PC. But that's not going to cut it this week, not with four key games all starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Vinny: What day did God invent zubaz? And couldn't he have rested on that day, too?

Russell: I don't know, but the Jets must have been playing the Dolphins. As for Saturday, there's the small matter of my son's birthday party in the morning. He rejected my suggestion of a "sports bar party." Kids these days, I swear.

Vinny: A morning birthday party? On a huge college football Saturday? Nicely done, Russ.

Russell: I thought so.

#15 Oklahoma (+4) at #18 Oregon, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: I have not been impressed with Oklahoma at all. Despite a great start from Adrian Peterson and decent quarterback play from Paul Thompson, the Sooners sweated one out against UAB, then struggled into the second half against Washington. Now they get their first road test in the hornet's nest that is Autzen Stadium.

Vinny: Ah yes, I have fond memories of Autzen. Wait, no I don't...

Russell: Oregon, meanwhile is off to an excellent start after dismantling Stanford and surviving a tough road test at Fresno State last week thanks to a late-game fake field goal call from Mike Bellotti. I don't know about you Vin, but I think Bellotti was more intimidating with the mustache.

Vinny: I guess Bellotti has ceded the "Cheesiest Mustache in the West" mantle to Fresno State's Pat Hill. Of course, we all know who wears the belt in the East. The Ducks yielded over 200 yards on the ground to the Bulldogs last week. How much will OU roll up on them?

Russell: Peterson has the potential for a big day here, but I can't trust the untested quarterback -- this will be Thompson's fourth career start -- in a hostile environment against a good team. Jonathan Stewart does enough on the ground and Dennis Dixon enough through the air for the Ducks to cover.

Vinny: Bellotti usually has his team primed for these marquee non-conference matchups in Autzen. He has a way of getting his players to play above their heads in these situations. And as we saw last week, he's pretty fearless when it comes to using the trickeration. I like the Ducks also.

#6 LSU (+3) at #3 Auburn, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Russell: If it weren't for a certain other 3:30 p.m. start on the Peacock network, my eyes would be firmly on this critical SEC game on the Plains. Both these teams could win the national title.

Vinny: Auburn's Kenny Irons was held to less than 70 yards rushing by Mississippi State last week, but Auburn still waltzed to a 34-0 rout. That's nothing to brag about, obviously.

Russell: LSU was scary good in taking Arizona and its Mike Stoops defense behind the woodshed last week, 45-3. JaMarcus Russell continues to silence any of the doubters who wanted to see him replaced as LSU's starting quarterback.

Vinny: Sometimes a position battle brings out the best in a quarterback. And LSU arguably has the best quarterback depth in the country with Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux waiting in the wings. At least none of them resorted to stabbing each other to move ahead on the depth chart.

Russell: Vin, you obviously have no idea the prestige that being the starting punter at Northern Colorado carries. As for LSU-Auburn, I see these teams on basically even footing -- as do the oddsmakers, since three points is basically the home-field edge. In a situation like this, I'm going to go with the team that has more big-game experience, and to me that's LSU. Russell throws a late TD pass as LSU escapes Jordan-Hare with a win.

Vinny: Junior cornerback Jonathan Zenon was the least experienced starter in the secondary when the season began, but he's had a pick-six in each of LSU's first two games. He may extend the streak this week. Auburn's Brandon Cox has yet to come through in a big game like this, and he really struggled against LSU in an overtime loss at Baton Rouge last year. LSU wins outright.

#17 Miami (+5) at #12 Louisville, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: I have no idea what to make of this game. It's not like we learned much about either team in their glorified scrimmages last week. Louisville is still plenty potent without Michael Bush, but the Cardinals probably haven't faced a defense of this caliber since the last time they played Miami -- losing a 41-38 Thursday-night classic a few years ago.

Vinny: That's when we got a glimpse of quarterback Brian Brohm, when he relieved a woozy Stefan Lefors late in the game. And it was pretty obvious that Brohm could play.

Russell: True. As for Miami, how much do we really know about its defense? Sure, the unit looked pretty terrific against Florida State, but it's possible that FSU's offense is just that bad.

Vinny: That's a strong possibility. Especially after the Noles' near debacle against Troy last Saturday. But then maybe that narrow win still qualifies as a debacle.

Russell: I know this much, Brohm is better than FSU's Drew Weatherford, and Weatherford was able to do just enough for the 'Noles to escape the Orange Bowl with a win. Sure, Louisville doesn't have FSU's defense, but I'm not sure they need it against Kyle Wright, another quarterback who has done nothing to earn trust in a big game. Bobby Petrino's agent can start lining up his next contract extension after this one: Louisville rocks Papa John's (ahh, tradition) with a win over the 'Canes.

Vinny: My head tells me to take the Cardinals, but my gut says the Miami defense will be hell-bent on keeping their anemic offense in the game. (My liver has no comment). With Brohm probably taking more five-step drops than Miami's first two opponents, defensive end Calais Campbell will have his opportunities to knock Brohm to the deck. I'll take the 'Canes and the five points.

#11 Michigan (+7) at #2 Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC

Russell: It's about time we had a chance to discuss our Wolverines, Vin. Tell me, what are your impressions of the new coordinators after two weeks and two solid but sometimes ragged wins?

Vinny: Offensive coordinator Mike DeBord (who also had that title at Michigan from 1997-99) has been intent on keeping the ball on the ground to get as many repetitions as possible in the Wolverines' new zone blocking schemes. But this has been at the expense of Chad Henne and the receiving corps, who have looked out of sync in their limited opportunities in the passing game. On the other side of the ball, Ron English definitely has a more aggressive mindset than the dearly departed Jim Hermann.

Russell: I like the more aggressive defensive scheme, but Shawn Crable & Co. better get to Brady Quinn when they blitz. The thought of him passing against man coverage in the Michigan secondary keeps me up at night.

Vinny: Darius Walker has gashed Michigan on the edge the last few years, like a lot of other players. It will be interesting (or terrifying) to see if English's schemes can keep containment. Michigan is lighter and quicker along both lines this year, but the Irish defense is also quicker than the oft-skewered 2005 version. To that end, Charlie Weis asked captain Travis Thomas to help out on defense. By the way, the Weis press conferences are fascinating when compared to those of Lloyd Carr, who provides all the insight of Hans Moleman.

Russell: To me, the key to this game is Michael Hart. He got hurt and was a non-factor in last year's loss, and was an as-yet undiscovered freshman mired on the bench two years ago. He's healthy this time around. I haven't been impressed with Notre Dame's run defense at all. Hart will break a couple of long runs, Henne takes care of the ball, and Michigan pulls off the upset. You know the rule on the Wolverines: horrible as a big favorite, tremendous as a big 'dog.

Vinny: You know Irish defensive coordinator Rick Minter will clamp down with some safety help after Penn State had some success with the run last week. So I think the game is won or lost with the untested Michigan passing game. Frankly, with my 0-3 record as a Michigan fan in South Bend, I like the Wolverines' chances with me 2,000 miles away. Michigan wins outright.

#24 Texas Tech (-2.5) at #20 TCU, 5:30 p.m. ET, OLN

Russell: Poor Texas Tech. Last week they pulled out an OT win at UTEP, but it's not like anybody saw it thanks to the Ohio State-Texas game going on at the same time. This week, they have another good matchup that nobody will watch because of all the other great games going on. Congratulations to Mike Leach, though, for finally graduating from the Bill Snyder school of scheduling.

Vinny: Seriously. Texas Tech scheduled two Division I-AA opponents last year. We'll see if the step up works better for Leach than it has for Glen Mason. With Texas falling at home to Ohio State last week, TCU owns the nation's longest winning streak at 12. The Horned Frogs have faced a couple of pass-heavy attacks already this year, but then the opponents were Baylor and UC-Davis, whom everyone knows as "The Other Aggies ... No ... Not Them Either..."

Russell: Texas Tech will be so much better served when it comes time to play Texas and Oklahoma for having scheduled these last two games. TCU may be the best non-BCS conference team in the nation, and will greatly boost its BCS bid chances with a win here.

Vinny: Sophomore tailback Aaron Brown leads the TCU offense (144 all-purpose yards per game) running behind preseason All-American tackle Herb Taylor.

Russell: The Red Raiders were supposed to have a legitimate defense to go along with their pass-happy offense, but I'm not sure I saw that against UTEP. If this game was in Lubbock, I'd have to go with Tech, but I can't overlook the Horned Frogs getting a field goal at home. TCU is the pick.

Vinny: The Red Raiders clobbered TCU by a count of 70-35 in Lubbock two years ago. It won't be that bad, but I think the Red Raiders cover.

Clemson (+4.5) at #9 Florida State, 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN

Russell: Don't look now, but it's time for another edition of the Bowden Bowl in Tallahassee, where the 'Noles are reeling after very nearly losing to Troy on their home field a week ago.

Vinny: Ugh. Once again, I don't think the nation has much interest in this game. At least it's not getting hyped much with all the other marquee matchups on Saturday's slate.

Russell: Clemson also comes in licking its wounds, having lost at BC in overtime on a missed extra point last week. This year was supposed to be different for Clemson, but after two weeks, the Tigers are up to their old tricks. They look like a team that can play with anybody, but will also lose their share of those close games.

Vinny: Will Proctor played well in the loss at the Heights, going 25-of-40 for 343 yards and two TDs. And freshman phenon C.J. Spiller continued to impress, racking up over 110 yards and a touchdown on 11 touches. As you noted, the Tigers lost that game on special teams. Boston College's Jeff Smith had four long returns, including a 96-yard touchdown return.

Russell: I think the psyche of the two teams could have a huge effect on the outcome of this game. Florida State has to be breathing a sigh of relief and feeling pretty euphoric after avoiding home humiliation; Clemson is probably saying "here we go again." Plus, Papa Bowden wants a little revenge after being smacked around by son Tommy last year. I like Florida State, and I'm even making this my Fred Edelstein Lock.

Vinny: The 'Noles are nicked up on the defensive line (transfer noseguard Paul Griffin is out), so some freshmen will see time there starting this week. I don't think it matters. Florida State covers, and this is my Lock also.

Russell: This might be a good time for me to mention to all the doubters that we are 7-2 when we agree on games so far this year, including 1-0 in Edelstein Locks.

#7 Florida (-3.5) at #13 Tennessee, 8 p.m. ET, CBS

Russell: Two weeks ago, Tennessee thrashed an overrated Cal team and David Cutcliffe was hailed as the second coming for resurrecting the Vols' offense from the depths of last year's 5-6 season. "Tennessee is back" was the leading headline from Week 1. So what the heck happened last week when the Vols barely survived against Air Force at home?

Vinny: Well, I'm heartened that the Tennessee staff couldn't crack Air Force's signals. Score one for our national defense.

Russell: Florida, meanwhile, has looked very strong in its first two outings. Maybe being pushed by uber-recruit Tim Tebow is a good thing for quarterback Chris Leak, who's off to a terrific start. He looks far more comfortable in his second year in Urban Meyer's offense, and the team overall is more balanced on offense.

Vinny: Erik Ainge is putting up some eye-popping numbers at the controls of the Volunteer offense. But the Tennessee defense yielded nearly 300 yards rushing to the Falcons. Not shocking, since there's a reason nobody wants to play against Air Force's disciplined option attack. But still -- not good. Makes you wonder if Meyer will use Tebow a bit more to run some option and draw plays.

Russell: Is either of these teams for real? My money's on the Gators, who will find a way to get it done, and put Phil Fulmer right back on the hot seat he appeared to get off with the win over Cal.

Vinny: I think Florida is for real. Tennessee, though, is somewhere in between the 5-6 team from last year and the 10+ win teams of a few years ago. Ainge's numbers should tumble against what is potentially a great Florida defense led by linebacker Brandon Siler. Florida gets the big road win.

#19 Nebraska (+19) at #4 USC, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

Russell: This is Nebraska's first measuring-stick game since the Alamo Bowl win over somebody I can't recall last year. The Huskers are averaging over 50 points per game after pasting Louisiana Tech and Nicholls State to open the year. Clearly, the oddsmakers agree that USC represents a significant step up in competition.

Vinny: Huskers' junior corner Andre Jones made a guarantee of sorts for this game that has been splashed across newspapers and featured on ESPN. Ballsy. Stupid, but ballsy.

Russell: The Huskers held Nicholls without a pass completion in a 56-7 game last week. I'm not sure that's the best way to prepare for USC, which may not be as explosive as the Bush-Leinart version, but which still has plenty of firepower.

Vinny: Nebraska got some bad news, especially against a Pete Carroll-schemed defense, when it learned that senior center Kurt Mann is out with a viral infection. But USC will be without nose tackle Sedrick Ellis and free safety John Pinkard, the only returning starter in the secondary. True freshman Taylor Mays will be in the starting lineup for Pinkard.

Russell: Just hanging with USC would represent a major milestone for Bill Callahan's program. USC has played just once, crushing Arkansas two weeks ago, though the game was competitive well into the second half. A near three-touchdown spread looks enormous, even on the road. But I'm not falling for the trap. I'm going to invoke the first "line that looks too good to be true" ruling of the year and lay the points with John David Booty and USC.

Vinny: So let's see: Bill Callahan's offensive approach against Pete Carroll's defensive tactics. Oh yeah, and the massive talent disparity between the teams ... Yep, USC romps.

The Picks
(* - "Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week")
Visitor Spread Home Vinny Says Russell Says
Oklahoma +4 Oregon Oregon Oregon
LSU +3 Auburn LSU LSU
Miami +5 Louisville Miami Louisville
Michigan +7 Notre Dame Michigan Michigan
Texas Tech -2.5 TCU Texas Tech TCU
Clemson +4.5 Florida State Florida State* Florida State*
Florida -3.5 Tennessee Florida Florida
Nebraska +19 USC USC USC
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
Vinny 4-4-0 (1-0-0) 10-6-0 (2-0-0)
Russell 5-3-0 (0-1-0) 11-5-0 (1-1-0)

Posted by: on 14 Sep 2006

337 comments, Last at 17 Sep 2006, 3:45pm by NewsToTom


by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:45am

Texas A&M-Army is still on, but frankly, I’ve had enough college football watching for today.

So I guess no UNLV-Hawai'i game for you?

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:47am

Re: 299.

Pat, I agree. But you, and I, and almost everyone on this board know that poll voters (and most of the media, commentators, columnists...) have their lips permanently stuck on Notre Dame's keister. Hell, ND was put at #2 to start the year despite their previous game being a blowout loss!

The question isn't where should Notre Dame fall to, but where will they fall to. I don't think they'll fall into the mid-teens, even if the loss merits it.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:53am

It doesn't really matter where ND falls to unless they lose to Michigan State next week. Their remaining schedule (Purdue, Stanford, UCLA, at Navy, North Carolina, at Air Force, Army) should see them back in the top 5 going into the USC game.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:55am

Re Rankings
This is my take, and not what I think should/will happen. tOSU was shaky but ended up impressive nonetheless and stays at #1. I think Florida is #2 right now based on their tough road win. USC is #3; they took care of business, but didn't look like the dominant Trojan teams of the recent past. Michigan is #4; they've had a lot of trouble winning away from the Big House lately, and today's was huge. I can see arguments for ranking any of #2-4 anywhere from #2-4. Next is Auburn; I had them #2, but hadn't seen them and wasn't impressed. If Russell wasn't prone to awful throws and boneheaded decisions, they would've lost. Texas is #6, West Virginia #7, Georgia #8, LSU #9, Louisville #10. Beyond there, I'll have to really sit down and think, but ND is probably about #15.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:13am

I guess I'm the only one sick enough to be watching this game, but Army needs to go for it here

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:15am

Re: 305

Down by 7, bad run defense, on the road, 4:40 to go, stupid clock rules ... I would have gone for it too, but Army didn't.

by Sean (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:20am

Does Chris Leak have shiny NFL prospects? Cause I don't see it and never have. To throw the usual nfl criticisms at him, he's short and doesn't have the speed to compensate. And his arm isn't that strong. His throwing motion is also long and he's not really all that accurate in terms of throwing through a "small window." I think he resembles a slower, weaker-armed Jeff Blake.

by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:21am

Remember when Franchione was the hottest coach in all the land? Now he's struggling to beat Army. That's gotta feel good.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:22am

I don't think it touched...Certainly not with the certainty of the announcers

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:26am

Wow, A&M goes for it at their own 30 up 4 with 2:30 to go and fails. That's why coaches take the conservative route, even if it's not the optimal strategy - because they can't be directly criticized.

by Sean (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:26am

Since FSU lost tonight and did so in another offensively inept fashion, I wonder how much of the last few years could have been different for FSU if Jeff Bowden had never gotten the job via nepotism.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:28am

That call was just nuts...I don't think anyone on this board, gung-ho as they are on 4th down, would go for it there

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:31am

Does Army have any other passing plays besides the quick slant? If not, why can't A&M stop them?

by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:33am

Or maybe Army was just running it down so A&M had 0 time left if they scored

by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:35am

"That call was just nuts…I don’t think anyone on this board, gung-ho as they are on 4th down, would go for it there"

I would not have made that call in a video game.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:35am

Gary Thorne (or whoever feeds him information) is clueless.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:37am

Re: 312

I think the guy who wrote the "Never Punt" article would have gone for it.

by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:39am

Why in the world do you run on third down??? Baffling.

by T. Owens (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:40am

That slow-developing handoff might have been a bad idea.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:42am

Did Francione just claim he went for it because he 'believed in his kids'? No, going for it there shows you most definitely DO NOT believe in your defense(against ARMY?)

by NF (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 2:12am

And the curse of the Double Lock strikes again!

by Russell Levine :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 3:05am

Days like today are why I'm glad I don't bet. I went 3-5. Eleven points could have turned that into a 7-1 day.

The Vin/Russ Universe Altering Curse or whatever we called it last year also returned in a nasty way today, As we went 1-5 in games we agreed, leaving us barely in plus territory for the year at 8-7. The double Edelstein record fell to 1-1.

by Slippery Pete (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 3:17am

My goodness, the Big XII officially sucks. It went 5-7 today and the 5 wins were against Marshall, Rice, Florida Atlantic, New Mexico, and Army. The conference's best non-conference win all season is... Missouri over Ole Miss? Iowa State over Toledo? Texas Tech over UTEP? Oklahoma over Washington?

Sounds like Big XII-ACC bowl matchups will be interesting.

by David Lewin (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 3:27am

What I will remember most from today is the stupid sack JaMarcus Russell took towards the end of the Auburn game. In a year or two Russell is going to be drafted, probably in the first round, but I would never want him on my team because of his tendency to do things like what he did today. None of the game summaries I've seen mention it, but taking that sack with 45 seconds to go when he had a ton of time to throw it away and was already outside the pocket, that was absurd., much worse than not throwing into the end zone at the end Worst of all when he got up he looked quite pleased with himself for some reason. It is entirely possible that Russell lacks a basic understanding of the rules of the game of football.

by Giantandre (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 4:16am

Re: 342 Just finished watching my TiVo'd LSU/Auburn (Thank God for TiVO ..I need O in my football games) and I can also tell that J. Russell has all the Scouting Combine meauserables that will make hime a #1 pick but does LSU have a QB coach???? Has he improved at all ??? Ryan Perrilloux made a terriable decision to go to LSU not only would he be the Texas starter right now , he actually would have some coaching. The fact Russell isn't one of the 3 best qb's in the nation right now is almost criminal. The fact he dosent have that "basic knowledge" is all the fault of the LSU coaching staff (Unless Russell is a complete idiot, and I choose to side with the 20 year old and not one of the most highly paid coaching staffs in NCAA football)

by Michael David Smith :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 8:46am

I really disagree with the two previous comments. I don't see Russell as a first-round pick at all.

"What would it take for Wolfe to win?"

For Garrett Wolfe to win the Heisman, I'd say he needs to break Barry Sanders' record of 2,628 rushing yards in a season, Northern Illinois has to run the table, and he needs for all of the big-school favorites to have some high-profile bad games. (Brady Quinn helped him out today.) Right now he has 630 in three games, putting him on pace for 2,520. So he needs to pick up the pace a bit, and he needs to make sure that Troy Smith, Adrian Peterson, Chris Leak and Kenny Irons all struggle. It's a tall order, but it's not totally impossible.

by Russell Levine :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 9:24am

It'll be a victory for Wlfe if he gets an invite to New York. Hopefully he can keep up the pace, stay healthy, and at least be in the conversation. He certainly deserves it thus far.

MDS, when does the fireronzoon.com site get fired up again? I believe some Florida fans are still sitting on the domain name.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 10:33am

Bobby Ross has to win the John L. Smith Award this week. That run on third down was inexcusable. You pass, and if it's incomplete, THEN you have the choice to run or pass, since it will be the last play of the game anyway.

Stupid, stupid, stupid call from a guy who is a good coach.

by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:15pm

The real questions are - how far does Notre Dame fall, and how far up does Michigan go?

no, the real questions are:

1. is Brady Quinn the Ron Powlus of the new millenium?

2. is Charlie Weis the white Ty Willingham (or the fat Ty Willingham; doesn't matter)

3. so how bad IS Penn State, then?

by Rocco (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:29pm

I didn't like Ross's call, but it's at least justifiable. If you don't get it on 3rd, A&M knows the run is coming on 4th. So you try and surprise them and give it to your best player there. It didn't work.

I think the JLS trophy has to go to Franchione, even though they won, for channeling Barry Switzer there at the end. Or is losing a pre-requisite for the JLS award?

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 12:41pm


1) No. Quinn has at least done something.

2) Jury's still out on that. On the fat note, by the way, can someone get a fat coach playoff involving Notre Dame, Tennessee, Kansas, and Toledo? I'm sure there are some other fat coaches that I'm missing out on here.

3) I don't know, because the transitive property doesn't apply to sports. For example, last season Tulane beat SMU who beat TCU who beat Oklahoma. Does that mean that OU was worse than Tulane last year? I don't think so. Remember, it's matchups and (more importantly) 18-22 year olds put in pressure situations, which means that ANYTHING can happen.


I didn’t like Ross’s call, but it’s at least justifiable. If you don’t get it on 3rd, A&M knows the run is coming on 4th. So you try and surprise them and give it to your best player there. It didn’t work.

How do they know that the run is coming on 4th down? Army could have thrown it again or they could have run it. By passing on 3rd and goal, they would either have won outright or forced aTm to defend the entire field, which would have made it easier on themselves.

Oh, well, it's in the past. But why does Franchione still have a job?

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:09pm

Has Franchione really done that bad a job at A & M? Yeah, 2005 was disappointing but the played a tough schedule. It's never going to be easy playing in the same division as Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech. This year I wouldn't be surprised to see them finish with nine wins.

If Franchione does get canned, I wouldn't be surprised to see him come back strong somewhere else.

So Boston College beat Clemson, Clemson beat FSU, and FSU beat Miami. BC should be ranked highly, and Miami shouldn't be ranked at all.

by Giantandre (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:33pm

326 --- Russell prob. isn't a 1st round pick, but he has the skill set and the natural tools of one, My point is he either hasn't been coached or has no desire to learn (hopfully the former) and the fact LSU has another QB similar to him makes me wonder.

The Notre Dame questions above are valid, but the schedule after Sparty next week is laughable Purdue and Stanford pose no threat, UCLA is kind of undefined right now, North Carolina and the 3 acadamies should be easy W's (Air Force might have something for them in Colorado Springs) so either 10-1 or 9-2 going to face USC. A 10-2 season gets tem BCS bid and Weis is still a a budding legend. What seperates him from Ty Wil. is he is doing great recruting but that worm can turn as well with USC and the Domers going head to head on a few of the nations best HS'ers.

On the fat coach battle, I'll take Mark Mangino all day long.

by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 1:48pm

A 10-2 season gets tem BCS bid and Weis is still a a budding legend. What seperates him from Ty Wil. is he is doing great recruting

right--Weis has the advantage that he can whisper in the recruit's ear "NFL"

On the fat coach battle, I’ll take Mark Mangino all day long.

although Weis & Fuller are portly, Mangino is in a whole 'nother league--men against the boys, as it were

although college scores are not transitive, I think the ND-PSU and ND-Mich outcomes really DO reflect the strength of the 3 teams. Maybe not the final margins, but clearly Mich>ND>PSU PSU is genuinely mediocre this year

by Giantandre (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 2:30pm

The Million Dollar question is Where does Michigan State fit in the Mich>ND>PSU equation.

by Kevin11 (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 2:30pm

I knew this would happen FSU is ranked ahead of Clemson, and Clemson is ranked ahead of Boston College.

BC is undefeated. This makes no sense.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sun, 09/17/2006 - 3:45pm

Hmm, I was going to argue that if Clemson lost to Florida State, BC should be unranked.

I didn't see any of the Clemson-BC game, but I'm not certain that BC should be ranked above Clemson. Look at the other games they've played... BC nearly lost to Central Michigan, albeit on the road, then needed double OT at home to beat a BYU team I don't think anybody thinks should be ranked in the Top 25. Clemson, on the other hand, beat a Top 10-ranked team on the road, in a game that I didn't think was nearly as competitive as the final score indicated, plus they beat up on their non-conference patsy (54-6 over Florida Atlantic). I think they both should be in the 12-20 range.