CFR is 'adopting' Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin.
Why not. He's an unusual player at a secondary program that appears on the ascendant. Catch a wave, right?
9/5 @ Wake Forest
15/24 (.625) for 136 yards 1 TD/0 INT
13 Carries, 41 yards (3.2) average, 0 TD
The lowlight of the outing may have been his fourth quarter fumble at Baylor's 25 that led to a Wake Forest touchdown to cut the Bears' lead from 24-14 to 24-21. Two Griffin-led drives were spoiled by a blocked field goal and a missed field goal. Amusingly, Griffin boomed a 59-yard punt after a three-and-out in the first half, the ball downed at the Wake Forest five yard line.
Overall it looks like Griffin had a real tough time completing anything other than short passes after his successful first drive, but was able to use his running ability in tandem with a decent running day from Jay Finley and a trick play touchdown to get first downs, scores, and keep the Bears' offense moving.
Throughout the season CFR will have a weekly mock ballot of who its Heisman Trophy choice would be at that point in the season.
There's just not enough to go by after one week of play and way too many great performances to name. I look forward to putting some names up there hopefully starting next week but there's just nothing to really go by today.
So one week of play is in, yippee! As always these are power rankings. Record matters, but so does talent and performance.
- Florida -- Not much to judge by when playing extra soft cupcakes.
- USC -- Mind you it was San Jose State but wow. The offense has all the returning starters but the defense might be the better side of the team. Quietly confirming what I suspected about the USC defense that it could be a top five group even after losing so many great players to the NFL draft.
- Texas -- Slight nod over Alabama. Call it the Colt McCoy factor.
- Alabama -- The bowl loss set them back in peoples' eyes but man this team is going to be good. Tough, talented, they've already shown they can run the ball against a really good defense while playing a new quarterback.
- Penn State -- Daryll Clark just gets better each week, deserves some Heisman mention if he keeps this up after throwing for nearly 400 yards. A little worried about their offensive line and defensive line outside of anchor Odrick but we'll learn more in Big Ten play.
- California -- Just a notch below the big boys as far as talent but like USC they seem to have perked up this year and could be headed for a rematch of that epic 2004 game except this time it'll be up in Berkeley.
- LSU -- Dubious start against Washington but I saw that coming. Defense isn't like LSU defenses of old but they really, really run and tackle well. Jordan Jefferson is steady, has a knack for making plays.
- Oklahoma State -- Solid home beating of Georgia. Exposed Georgia's quarterback woes even before SEC play, which is unusual. But as we saw Georgia's defense did a great job of holding down the Cowboys' offense. I have to believe several of the teams ahead of them here could do the same.
- Ohio State -- Shaky start against Navy but they'll get their shot this weekend at home against USC with a lot to prove. Terrelle Pryor hasn't made The Leap yet but he's getting closer. Brandon Saine seems to have woken up and perhaps moved past dependable slasher Dan 'Boom' Herron.
Others on CFR's Radar:
BYU, Boise State, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Miami, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss
Wait and See ...
TCU, Notre Dame, Michigan, Missouri, Baylor, Tennessee, Oklahoma
As always, these are power rankings. Records matter, performance and overall perception of team strength plays a big role.
Preseason picks are a challenge and fortunately they mean nothing once the players hit the field. Instead of building out a 20+ team list this year I think I'll just stick to a power nine of the programs I believe to be the strongest right now.
- Florida -- They're loaded, but I hunch they won't dominate in anywhere near the same fashion as last year when they were surprisingly off the radar once they lost to Ole Miss. Everyone will take their best shots but its hard to argue with Tim Tebow, an endless array of offensive weapons and an entire two deep back from a top ten defense.
- USC -- Gut call here. I believe this to be the best USC team since 2005, one that is particularly hungry not having tasted a championship game in four years. The decision to play true freshman Matt Barkley at quarterback is a severe head-scratcher but everything else lines up nicely. The schedule is challenging with rivals, top 10 teams, revenge games and lots of tough roadies. Count on that keeping USC alert week-to-week this time around.
- Oklahoma -- I like their defense better than Texas', and they'll be better running the ball. Everyone talks about having to go it with four new offensive linemen but Oklahoma's a talent factory, that'll resolve itself after a few weeks. They should also beat Texas in a revenge game of sorts for last year's defeat.
- Texas -- Colt McCoy is ridiculous. Flat out ridiculous, and I hope he keeps up the ridiculous accuracy. I just don't see it though with the run game and replacing two impact veteran defensive linemen. The schedule is a breeze so they'll be in the hunt but I think they're just a notch below the others.
- Alabama -- Ignore the Sugar Bowl loss, if you can. It was a letdown game and they played like it. This is a program that just gets better each year, very fast and tough on defense, the new quarterback should bring a new energy to the offense, very solid overall team.
- LSU -- Rebound year. They fixed their quarterback and defensive coordinator issues in a big way and are under the radar for the first time in more than a few years. They'll catch a few people sleeping.
- Penn State -- Some questions on both lines but Daryll Clark really impressed me in the Rose Bowl last year, the guy just never lets up and makes a lot of plays. They'll run the ball well and have been really tough on defense the last few years which should continue.
- Ohio State -- Seem to have found their groove in the bowl loss to Texas last year, looks like they turned a corner even in (narrow) defeat to a very good team. Good defensive line, their offensive line might be their best in years, will run the ball well and they have a threat nobody else possesses at quarterback.
- California -- Should be excellent defensively this year. Quarterback Riley really slid the last two years but if he gets back to form he's pretty darn good and will need to be to create more opportunities for explosive back Jahvid Best.
USC head coach Pete Carroll is ready to lift some boxes:
Florida State's TEs coach and recruiting coordinator James Coley advises you to stay awake:
You can be a little better or a lot better than your opponent and the result is the same.
It follows that most teams focus on ways to only be a little much better.
Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild thinks the BCS belongs in jail:
Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh should probably also make a phone call for the occasion:
Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen has his schedule down for the beginning of camp:
UCF LBs coach and recruiting coordinator Geoff Collins gives a shout out:
The Pac-10 should promote a meaningless but interesting competition within the regular season that goes as follows:
Call it the California Cup and the Northwest Cup. Since the conference now plays round-robin, the team(s) with the best intracup record gets some kind of recognition and conference money donated to a charity of their choice.
The California cup would obviously pit USC, UCLA, Cal and Stanford against each other while the Northwest Cup would see Washington, Washington State, Oregon and Oregon State battle. Apologies to the Arizona schools but as we already know, they have the prestigious Territorial Cup already established.
Toledo head coach Tim Beckman wants some company at dinner:
Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis is done with Twitter for awhile:
Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian likes the air quality in Seattle, WA:
In an hour, the smell traveled 315 miles to Pullman, WA and Washington State head coach Paul Wulff:
Florida head coach Urban Meyer is excited for his new contract:
Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis hosted a team BBQ last night:
Toledo head coach Tim Beckman shouldn't have a hard time finding players who want to win:
So far all Utah's President is talking about is the Mountain West's success "the last two years". And this justifies the inclusion of Sun Belt teams, howwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww?
LOL antitrust lawyer "the BCS has nothing to do with amateurism or education". Neither does major college sports! Weak.
"The BCS excludes competition" Wrong. The BCS is an economic venture that relies on economically compelling matchups to generate the revenues it does. Sponsors aren't going to fork over anywhere near as much money if they risk getting saddled with games involving non-lucrative teams. This is the market at work.
Nebraska President Harvey Perlman made a great point about how despite Nebraska's limitations, it has built a successful (financially and athletically) football and overall athletic program. They've done it through hard work and he doesn not feel the BCS in any way hampers any other program from ascending similarly. In addition, the BCS has actually opened up certain bowl games to programs that had never had such access before, providing them national exposure before unknown.
Second antitrust lawyer --- the antitrust statutes are set up not to protect the programs, but the consumers. College football consumers are not harmed by the BCS (duh).
Revenue distribution is not the concern of antitrust, but output.
Irony of antitrust victory is that it would actually destroy any opportunity for a playoff since championships rely upon agreements between the conferences and the playoff would be much more restrictive than the current BCS setup.
Nebraska Prez --- in discussing with TV, advertisers etc. in mentioning the other five conferences, the BCS revenues would not increase.
Aaaaand first appearance of whining about VaTech/Cincinnati game, perhaps the worst BCS matchup and a severe outlier. In that scenario yes, Boise State vs. whoever does better financially but thats the outlier compared to even say, something loathed like USC/Illinois.
Senator Hatch just made some strange argument that the BCS championship game accepting the end of season No. 1 and No. 2 teams somehow disqualifies many teams before the season. The only thing that disqualifies teams from achieving that is performance, a process of elimination that happens through the regular season.
Utah President criticizing polling, saying some voters admitting never having seen a Mountain West team play. Uhhhh, ok, so kick those people out of the polls, let people like me be a voter. Next!
Now saying he doesn't know what more Utah could have done last year. For starters, not escape Michigan, TCU and Oregon State by the skin of their teeth. The same standard worked against powerhouse USC last year who failed to gain traction in the polls not simply because they lost to Oregon State but because they had disastrous halves against Stanford and ASU, and did little against California and Arizona offensively in victory. Utah is not immune from having to face nationwide judgment for their overall performance, and win-loss record is not the bottom line, not when we have 120 programs and no process for even scheduling.
Senator Hatch says state universities were created so that students had the opportunity to attend college. YES! And in college football every school has the opportunity to participate in the regular season. It is regular season and program performance (financially, record, on-field play) that guides their postseason opportunities. The postseason is a reward, not a right. If we are to say the BCS is exclusionary, so is the entire bowl construct, since not everyone is eligible to participate.
Look, bottom line is we have 120 programs in college football's upper division. So long as we stick with such a high number, any notion of equitable participation is necessarily greatly prohibitive.
Senator Hatch is making another strange point about the BCS being a monopoly. It is but one agreement, there is no prohibition against the Mountain West, Western Athletic Conference etc. creating their own agreement similar to the BCS. Additionally, those programs are no longer excluded. On top of that, the current setup is basically welfare to the smaller conferences, who receive monies regardless of whether they qualify to participate. Those are monies they would unlikely earn on their own and in fact are diverting funds that otherwise rightfully should go to the major conferences as reward for their drawing power.
Brought to you by the same body that thought nothing of voting on potentially economically crippling environmental legislation with 300 pages of material not delivered until 3 AM the morning of the vote.
Slightly off-topic, but I wanted to get my $0.02 in here.
Rivals.com has an interesting breakdown of the major conference's overall performance in the "Directors Cup" which is sort of a championship awarded to the best overall athletic departments in any given year. It factors in a school's performance not only in the money sports but the eentsie teensy wittle bitty ones as well.
Its a cool concept but I think the scoring method to date has been dubious but thats for another day.
Where I quibble today is the author's contention of who are the Big Five sports. He lists football, men's and women's basketball, baseball and softball. Its just me but I'd either 1)remove softball or 2)keep softball but add men's and women's volleyball and women's soccer as well as men's and women's outdoor track and/or 3)tier this sucker, Tier I of high value being football, baseball, track and men's and women's basketball and Tier II being the others named. Everything after that would be Tier III.
I realize track isn't what it used to be but its still a tremendous sport with a rich collegiate history and continued prominence, one that pulls in many football players, basketball players and athletes in other sports when they're not bound by a commitment to their team.
The BCS "Big Six" conferences of the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-10, Big East and ACC are the Big Six for a reason.
As a whole, non-BCS schools are 76-392 against BCS opponents since 2005, meaning they win just 19.4 percent of the time.
Paging Senator Orrin Hatch and Representative Barton ...
"all I ask is you take it easy on the Longhorns next year,"