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Tuesday
Jul042006

Let's Make a Deal

The dominant preseason theme this year in college football is that the race for the national championship is "wide open".

If so (for all we know a dominant team could emerge in week one and never look back), then wouldn't it be interesting if roster trades could be made in college football?  Much like in the professional sports, successful teams might consider trading valuable younger players for a more dominant seasoned star on another team in hopes of ascending the national ranks.

***Please Note: I am not advocating trades in college football, this is purely hypothetical and not to be taken seriously***

Under such a scenario, I doubt many trades would actually happen, but if they did, I think an obvious pattern would emerge:

-Teams trading from positions of strength and depth to address weaknesses.  For example, Notre Dame surrendering skill players to shore up any of several positions on its defense.

-Absolutely no trades involving starting quarterbacks and few if any involving second stringers or hotshot underclass quarterbacks.

-No trades within one's conference or against foes who would be on that season's schedule.

With those in mind, I leave to you the hypothetical of what trades could be made between teams if they were to follow the above rules and were able to ignore the "sit one year" transfer rules currently in place?

Ideally we could see power teams trading amongst each other instead of the stars for prospects styled trading that happens so much in major league baseball.

I'll start off with one example and then we can go from there (or just ignore this entry altogether).

Ohio State

Strengths---mobile veteran quarterback, talented offense that scores points.  Blue chip recruits all along a talented if relatively unknown defense.  No urgent roster gaps to speak of, but can improve at a handful of spots.

The current line of thinking is that Ohio State's defense is in trouble after having lost nine player to the NFL.  However, it appears many of this year's new starters in fact have starting experience from seasons past and some talented young stars (linebacker Marcus Freeman among them) will fill the remaining positions.

One position I think the Buckeyes could significantly improve upon is at receiver.  They have the amazing Ted Ginn returning, along with Anthony Gonzalez set to start and backups in Roy Hall and Albert Dukes.  It's a good group but there isn't a dominant possession receiver to be found.  Gonzalez looks more comfortable as a third option in my eyes than as a lead receiver.

What's interesting is that in recent years the Buckeyes have been hard after taller receivers.  They in fact had at one time secured (oh so briefly) the "silent" verbal commitment of New Jersey's Dwayne Jarrett before he eventually ended up at USC.

They followed that up by recruiting yet another tall (6-4/213) possession receiver last year in California's David Ausberry, another USC commitment.  Clearly this indicates a trend that the coaches are looking for that type of receiver (making pitches literally from coast-to-coast) and have yet to secure such a commitment.

Ideally the Buckeyes would be on the lookout for a Jarrett or perhaps Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson, but both are franchise-type players and no school would ever surrender such a player without an incredible offer in return.  So scratch those two off the list.

Perhaps they might offer a reserve defensive lineman or two to USC to try and recapture Ausberry or perhaps Patrick Turner.  But I doubt it because Jarrett is likely off to the NFL this year, Turner is his likely replacement and Ausberry will be the man after that.  Big, fast (relatively speaking) receivers are simply difficult to come by, and USC's smart enough to know they've gotten very lucky in securing the commitments in rapid succession of Mike Williams, Jarrett, Turner and Ausberry.

With those backups sadly off the table for the Buckeyes, they must look elsewhere.

Notre Dame's Jeff Samardzija is certainly off the table, as is South Carolina's Sidney Rice.  Perhaps they could swing a deal for Minnesota's 6-5 Ernie Wheelwright but I'm skeptical of his abilities as a dominant go-to player.  Arkansas might consider trading Marcus Monk but he's their only truly proven receiver and they cannot afford to install a new offense without a reliable receiver.

Here's a surprise name I think the Buckeyes could theoretically manage a trade for: Eastern Michigan's Eric Deslauriers.  He is a 6-4/206 senior who caught 75 passes for 874 yards (11.7 average, 8 touchdowns) last year and 84 receptions for 1,257 yards and 13 touchdowns the season prior.

The Eagles are low on talent and could use any and all available BCS conference type talent.  The Buckeyes could probably offer one midlevel recruit from this year's class along the lines or an existent letterman who may get buried in the depth chart (for example they have two highly touted sophomore defensive ends and a redshirt freshman who may lose snaps to superstar recruit Robert Rose).

Either way it's highly possible the Buckeyes could swing something for a guy who could help their offense immediately and only have to trade enough to satisfy Eastern Michigan's demands for essentially a one-year rental of a receiver.

What do you think?  Have any other trade ideas for your favorite team or reasonable ways to improve the Buckeyes or Mountaineers or Trojans or Longhorns or anyone else, really?

Have fun, its simply hypothetical and a way to stir the mental juices a little. 

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Reader Comments (8)

They could trade two safeties and a corner for Calvin Johnson...
July 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteralex
As an SC fan, I wouldn't mind giving up some of our backup LBs (Thomas Williams, Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing, Kaluka Maiava, etc.) and one of the young talented HBs (Emmanuel Moody, Stafon Johnson, etc.) for a proven and reliable HB to make a 1-2 punch with Chauncey Washington. Also How about giving up one of the star or star-to-be WRs (not Jarrett, but Smith, McFoy, Turner, Ausberry, Hazleton) for some depth on the DL or DB? Interesting concept...
July 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenter2010trojan
If trades were allowed, there's almost no chance Cal's Marcus O'Keith would remain a Golden Bear. Though 3rd on our depth chart at RB, the senior could start for a lot of programs (I'd love to see him get the touches, too, given how unselfish he's been as a backup). Not many programs are overstocked with great offensive linemen, but trading O'Keith for a C or OT would make a lot of sense.
July 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCalfan
I don't think anyone's gonna want Brian Cushing after seeing that recent photo that's been floating around.
Some ideas:
Oklahoma trades one of their DEs (Ah You, Thibodeaux, Birdine, or the other guy) to Southern Cal for Ryan Kalil. I'm assuming SC has lots of Oceanic talent to play on the OL.
Actually, now that I think about it, pretty much every top program in the nation, with the possible exception of Texas and SC (anyone know?), needs help along the LOS. Oklahoma needs an entire offensive line and a DT, Ohio State needs a guard (I think), Notre Dame probably has some overachieving, overrated guys with little athletic ability on the OL and no-one except Abiamiri on the DL, and the list goes on. So it's probably gonna be difficult to find any linemen.
July 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteralex
Arizona State would likely try and move either Sam Keller or Rudy Carpenter for some sort of defensive line help (although to be honest, improvement at any position on that side of the ball would be nice.)
July 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMark
LOL re: Cushing. To be honest he's a great player, I wouldn't worry too much about him, pics aside.

It would be very difficult to pry Kalil from USC if only because center is a very difficult position to fill and he happens to be one of the top 1-2 centers in America and probably the top center at USC in 1-2 decades.

However, if a quality starting DT were to be dangled in front of them, their opinion might change. Not sure how much of a solution Chris Barrett or Fili Moala will be on their roster opposite Ellis.

Actually, I'm enamored with Notre Dame DT Derek Landri. That guy is legit, a complete workhorse inside who is a bit small but moves guys around and makes a lot of plays. Abiamiri is a bit overrated if anything, although the physical gifts haven't diminished.

The Buckeyes' guards are good/not great. I guess I could see them making a move if IF sophomore tackle Boone starts playing like an All-American and they have faith in him enough to put a new guy next to him.

Arizona State is perhaps the only school in the nation fortunate enough to be able to trade either of their starting quarterbacks. I'm of the opinion Carpenter is better/will be better, but they seem to like Keller. That would be interesting to see what they might be able to find.

Personally I'd chase after a hyped DT like Pressley at North Carolina State or Nate Robinson at Akron (what a weird story he's been---he might be a bust in all honesty).

I wouldn't rate O'Keith as a starter at most schools, but he could be a great help to an offensively challenged non-BCS program in need of a quality back. UNLV comes to mind off the top of my head.
July 5, 2006 | Registered CommenterCFR
What about Texas trades Frank Okam for Carpenter/Keller? Great trade for ASU, since one of em's not going to be doing a whole lot (barring injury). I don't know if Mack takes it - Okam is pretty freakin' talented, and Texas has mediocre-to-above average backups. And with the state of the middle linebackers (Muckleroy is talented but inexperienced and Bobino is a converted weaksider), he might be too important to give up.
About Cushing - it is a little bit suspicious, you know. Guy is fantastically built, and then develops man boobs? Maybe he got depressed after being made to look pretty bad in the Rose Bowl, and decided to ease his misery by sitting on the couch in his apartment eating HaagenDaz and watching the 2004 Orange Bowl (did he play?). We know Lendale has a bit of a weight problem, but I don't know if he was ever in tip-top shape. And as we all know, it is a possible side effect of various steroids.
I was serious above about Calvin Johnson. He's built like a small tight end (6'5 235 lbs or so), and reportedly runs a 4.3x 40. I don't know how credible that is - he doesn't look like he has Ted Ginn speed, but he's fast enough to be a deep threat, and big and strong enough to be a dominant Michael Irvin-like possession receiver. Check out this catch - one of the best I've ever seen. http://youtube.com/watch?v=wXRqyjzyBRg&search=calvin%20johnson
He's probably leaving after this year, and GT won't be that good with or without him. so why not trade him to tOSU for maybe Justin Zwick and a pair of the young burners in the backup secondary? Actually, if I were Tressel, I would consider trading freshman Chris Wells straight up for CJ. He already has a pretty good running game with Antonio Pittman, and CJ might be the piece he needs to put his team over the top this year. Any thoughts?
July 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteralex
1) CJ's catch was ridiculous, as was his drop late in the 4Q last year versus NC State. I felt bad for the kid. Imagine the filthy things he could do if he had a QB! Gonna have to wait for Sundays...

2) "Easy-Eh" Eric Deslauriers is so far off the radar for most folks it is unfortunate, but again a physically imposing WR talent without a QB.

Take this another step - if there were trades, there would have to be representation. Imagine yourself in junior level sociology - you could barely complete a sentence without a curse word, how could most players stand up for themselves in a trade situation? Just a thought... Great topic!

Please check out our fantasy college football site!
July 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterVince

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