College Football Notes & Quotes: Week 1

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These Alabama cheerleaders won't be at the BCS game, but a Big Ten team will.

These Alabama cheerleaders won't be at the BCS game, but a Big Ten team will.

Coaches Around the Big Ten

Mark Dantonio

On the motivation of the 2010 Spartans:

“There’s a resolve here…chemistry has been very good here, leadership…outstanding. We’re a healthy football team, we’ve had great summer practices, and our guys are ready to play.”

On potential similarities with to ‘99 Spartans, who bounced from a disappointing ’98:

“It does remind me, (‘98) was an up and down year with a lot of injuries, with a Quarterback controversy a little bit…so there are some reminders. In ’99, things sort of came together, but I think it was a chemistry thing.”

On the return of RS-So. CB Johnny Adams:

“Johnny was a probable starter last year, he started some games for us in ’08 and had a very good year…we were able to Red Shirt him (in ’09) because of the injury. He’s got great ball skills, he’s an aggressive type player, he’s very confident, and he has great skills…so we’re looking forward to great things, and we should have that for the next 3 years.”

On the success of MSU Basketball rubbing off on the Football Program:

“When you see someone in a championship type arena…and competing for Big Ten Championships, you start to feel like, “why not us…why not me?” We had our players go over and watch the basketball team practice and see how they communicate with each other on the basketball court…and while there’s only 12 guys, and not 105, it is impressive.”

Jim Tressel

On keeping “The Game” scheduled at the end of the regular season:

“We’ve tried as hard as we can not to join that dialogue and that discussion…with the thought in mind that we’ve got a ball game here, coming up quickly, and a season to play before that (scheduling OSU vs. UM) has any affect on anyone.”

On the magnified importance of Special Teams in a tight Conference/BCS race:

“We could all go back to our conferences and look at the games that made the difference in the conference race, and point to 2 or 3 or 4 key Special Teams plays that turned the whole conference race upside down…sometimes that’s not talked about enough.”

Rich Rodriguez

On the potential for the “new Big House” to be louder:

“There’s no question, I think the stadium’s going to be louder with the new luxury suites, and they way the designed it and built it to keep the noise in.”

On possibly moving “The Game”:

“The biggest obstacle that you wanted to make sure was going to happen was that we were going to play each other each year...I think it’s great having it at the end of the year, I think there’s great tradition in that, but inevitably, change may happen.”

On naming a starting Quarterback for UConn:

“As coaches, we’ll have a good idea after the next couple of practices…and the players will probably have a good idea as well.”

On the uncertainty of the QB position for 2010:

“It may take a couple of games to figure that out, and it may not sort itself out…sometimes a guy gets in there and plays so well that he clearly establishes himself…that’s yet to happen so far in camp, but it may happen in the games.”

Bill Lynch

On the depth of the Big Ten:

“The top of the league is so strong, and besides the traditional powers, there’s so many others that have great talent, are very well coached, and are coming off good seasons…it’s going to be a really good year in the Big Ten.”

Kirk Ferentz

On getting the Hawkeyes ready for their season opener with Eastern Washington:

“All you have to do is look at our opener last year (17-16 victory over Northern Iowa, at home), and I don’t have to say much more. We were very, very fortunate to come out with a victory against Northern Iowa…we really need to make sure we’re ready to go Saturday.”

Brett Bielema

On taking a road trip to Las Vegas:

“One of the things we will do, because its Vegas, is we’ll give the kids an opportunity to get a little tour of the downtown strip, but that won’t be more than 45 minutes out of our norm…Coach Alvarez, he’s a little bit bolder than I was, he actually let the guys get off in one of the casinos and have a buffeted lunch or dinner there.”

Joe Paterno

On breaking in a Freshmen Quarterback in 2010:

“I’m concerned about what we can do. We’ve gotta be very, very careful about how ambitious we are with our selection of runs and passes…the Quarterback is one problem, but we’ve got some other problems in that Offensive Line.”

On the current depth of the Big Ten:

“I thought Ohio St. last year was the best team in the country, at least from what I had seen…but after looking at some of the other people around, I’m not sure about that anymore. Having said that, I think the depth in the Big Ten, from top to bottom, is awfully good (right now).”

2010 Football Predicted Finish

Everyone loves to make predictions at this time of year. As we discussed during the ’09 season with Big Ten coaches, the league is as competitive as it’s ever been. Don’t look now, but the conference is on a pretty sharp uptick. Someone alert the 4-letter network that their anti-Big Ten angle is getting stomped out on the field, again. After the excellent performance in Bowl Games last year (that could’ve been further helped by NW and MSU), the Big Ten may be set for even bigger things in the coming couple seasons.

Predicted Final Standings

Ohio St.                     11-1    Still expect them to be playing for the BCS Title

Iowa                         9-3      Rock solid team with a rock solid Head Coach

MSU            �� Â            9-3      The upgrade and depth of talent should become obvious

Wisconsin                 9-3      If they get ahead in a game, good luck coming back

Penn St.                    8-4      How far can Sr. RB Evan Royster can carry the Lions?

Purdue                     7-5      Signs of Hope become more clear with a trip to a Bowl Game

Northwestern         7-5      Slight step back, but the “old” Northwestern is long gone

Notre Dame            7-5      Dantonio vs. Kelly could become a classic matchup

Michigan                  5-7      Anyone sense that change might be coming? Send DBs!

Illinois                      5-7      Overrated talent, overwhelmed coach, mediocre results

Minnesota               4-8      Brewester needs a cluester, the Gophers have no identity

Indiana                    4-8      Not quite the depth to compete, but possibly getting better

P.A.T. (Perhaps Another Thought…)

  • The NCAA should reform Overtime. After a coin flip at the 50 to determine the initial possession, the first team to score 6 points should be ruled the winner. The NFL should also adopt such a simple but compelling approach.
  • The out of bounds rules in football should be the same for all 60 minutes. It hurts the integrity of the game to have one set of rules for 56 minutes (starting the clock upon an Official’s whistle after the ball has been reset at the line of scrimmage), and a different set for the final 2 minutes of each half (starting the clock only after the following play has been snapped). We don’t need an extra effort to manufacture drama at the close of a half, the game’s already good enough.
  • The UFL (United Football League) is a fine idea. It’s a professional league that showcases players and coaches who still want to play, and are hoping for a look from the NFL. But playing a season during the College and NFL schedules is ridiculous. Someone tell the UFL that Americans can’t get enough football, and could use a little injection in the spring. How about playing the UFL season from May until the latter part of June. If you play it, we will watch.

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