Picking sides in the Griffin vs. Pryor QB debate, plus more Mailbag
As you're undoubtedly aware, preseason practices begin at most campuses this week. At some, like USC, you can essentially walk in off the street and watch every drill. At others, like Ohio State, you would need to scale a fence and/or fight off attack dogs just to catch a glimpse of the Buckeyes stretching.
It might actually be worth the potential injury risk to sneak into an OSU practice this month, if only to see the electrifying and rapidly advancing
Then again, if you're anxious to watch a dynamic young QB, you could save yourself the trouble and simply go to Baylor instead.
This summer I've received numerous e-mails like this from those in the Lone Star State. It seems Baylor fans -- energized by the first exciting player on their team since
They've had it up to here with all the Pyror hype, and for good reason. Griffin is the real deal, folks.
Is he faster than Pryor? Yes, absolutely. Pryor is more of a
Yes, Griffin put up better numbers last season, throwing for 2,091 yards and an impressive 15-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Pryor, by comparison, threw for 1,311 yards, 12 TDs and four INTs. However, Griffin was playing in coach
Even with those limitations, though, you could still see Pryor has a cannon arm. Most impressive, you could see just how lethal he is throwing on the run. (Want an example? Check out the
So I'm sorry, Nick, but I'm taking Pryor. Not only is he a more naturally gifted passer, he's a
It can only help, because it's like a joint-awareness campaign for safeties. I've even got a slogan for them: "Safeties come first."
Campaign or not, we all know it's extremely difficult for a defensive player -- even one as accomplished as Mays or Berry (both of whom were first team All-Americas last year) -- to win the Heisman. And of course, the pair is attempting to do so in a year when two Heisman-winning quarterbacks (Tim Tebow and
The single most important factor in winning the Heisman is big performances in big games. The last defensive player I truly believed should have won the Heisman was Oklahoma safety
Mays (against Ohio State) and Berry (against Florida) will both have opportunities to produce their own Williams-esque moments early in the season. Still, even if USC's bone-crusher barrels into Pryor at a key moment and Tennessee's star picks off Tebow a couple of times, they would need to continue that momentum all season and, most likely, their teams would need to be BCS contenders.
Good question. It does seem like Cal's program took a strange turn in the middle of the 2007 season when an injured
Let's look at some numbers.
As you can see, Cal had its worst passing season under Tedford last season yet still managed to win nine games, thanks in large part to star RB
Heading into '09, Cal is widely viewed as a top 20 team and Best as a Heisman candidate. The defense should be solid. Perhaps with no QB controversy for the first time in three years, Riley will step up and perform like an old Tedford signal-caller. If not ... Las Vegas is a great destination in December.
Chad, Chad, Chad. What you call "whining," I call "taking my sweet-ass time so as not to screw this thing up."
But you should know lots and lots of other people share your tastes. Since last week, I've received more than
So two things are now abundantly clear: Yes, there will be another Celebrity Crush (I can hear the champagne corks popping now), and it seems I'm going to have to do two types of scouting this preseason.
You have to give major props to
Dallas, however, is another possibility. Cowboys owners
Other than that, I think you can expect to see more neutral-site "one-offs" around the country. Notre Dame is scheduling near-annual neutral site games now, including against Army at the new Yankee Stadium next year. Army has announced it will play future games there against Boston College, Rutgers and Air Force, though those matchups might hold limited national appeal. Ditto the discussed Wrigley Field game between Northwestern and Illinois. For the most part, however, it's a difficult challenge convincing major programs to both schedule tough nonconference games and give up home games in the process.
Speaking of tough schedules ...
David sent this in response to last week's query about which school most consistently schedules tough nonconference opponents. I have to agree Washington ranks right up there with USC. Colorado isn't far behind, but gets docked a tad for the presence of I-AA foes in '06 and '08. According to Wiz of Odds, USC and Washington are two of just four schools that have never scheduled a I-AA opponent. The others are UCLA and Notre Dame.
You can be sure it wasn't the Rose Bowl's idea, and that no one in the Tournament of Roses, Big Ten or Pac-10 is doing cartwheels at the thought of Utah or Boise State taking away a spot that would have otherwise gone to one of those league's teams. (You just know it will happen in a year Cal finishes in the top five.) But the Rose didn't have a choice. Officials from the other BCS bowls have been furious for some time that the Rose Bowl essentially gets to play by its own set of rules.
Since the Rose is the only BCS bowl with two conference partners, it is the only bowl that never has lower than second pick of at-large choices and therefore could never get "stuck" with a non-BCS team. (The Sugar Bowl last year was the first game to voluntarily take such a team, picking Utah over Cincinnati with the second-to-last choice.) So yes, this was done for the "good of the BCS," though it wasn't done to appease the Coalition schools (as most media reports made it out to be) as much as to pacify the Fiesta, Sugar and Orange bowls.
I did find it interesting timing that
I honestly have no idea what to make of Auburn. On the one hand, I have a lot of respect for offensive coordinator
The hope on The Plains is previously forgotten quarterback
Hey, now. Say what you want about me (plenty of people have), but I will NOT stand by and let someone insult my readers like that.
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