Mostly taken from the Rivals100 list, I've watched video of most, discussed their abilities in some fashion with others.
- Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan-Looks like a good athlete.
- Victor Harris, Ath/CB, Virginia Tech-Should develop into a very good football player. Nice speed/size combination.
- DeSean Jackson, WR, California-Stunning open field skills, great quickness, and going to a program that knows how to use receivers and has the passing game to showcase one as good as DeSean.
- Jason Gwaltney, TB, West Virginia-Ran that funny wishbone offense in high school. Great vision, speed, size. Should become WV's best back ever if he remains healthy.
- Marlon Lucky, TB, Nebraska-Size, decent speed, great pure running abilities. It looks like Nebraska will also feature him to some extent in their passing game. A guy who will play early, fast-tracking his development.
- Kenneth Phillips, S, Miami-One of those "great athlete, great
size, immediate impact at strong safety" guys like Darnell Bing, Roy
Williams, and Sean Taylor. Plug-and-play.
- Mark Sanchez, QB, USC-Will have to wait and also face off against John David Booty next year, but does everything well, has a great feel for throwing the ball, great leadership abilities.
- Fred Rouse, WR, Florida State-A bit of a strange character, but
incredible physical abilities. Talked like he was ready for the
NFL before even enrolling as a high school senior.
- Melvin Alaeze, DE, Maryland-A dominant rush end who can play
early. Gifted. Great first step, manhandles lineman or can
just go by them.
- Patrick Turner, WR, USC-People talked about Dwayne Jarrett being the next Mike Williams. That was a poor comparison, as Turner is much closer to the real deal. He's a faster Williams, perhaps an upgrade as scary as that sounds.
- Jamaal Charles, TB, Texas-Somewhat of a sleeper, his film looks real good. Skilled open-field runner, sheds first-wave contact quickly.
Won't get to listing the classes tonight, that would take up a lot of
space on here, have to think of a condensed way to do it. Maybe
another saved word .doc?
Anyway, the class rankings up tomorrow night when I can sit down and really grind. Hopefully some comments on the Alabama booster trial, especially the prosecution's use of the RICO racketeering laws, and that controversy.
Trouble is also swirling at USC, we'll have some comments on that. Real offseason news!
The recruiting geeks everywhere are taking work off and filling the message boards and chat rooms.
Me, I'll be at work like normal. Not that I don't have at least thoughts of 1)ditching work for anything or 2)ditching work for psychotic following of the recruiting news. But alas, it is not to be.
What I think we'll do on here, is generate some lists of the recruiting classes of prominent schools, for posterity's sake, so that we can look back at them later, maybe throw up some class rankings, and maybe even tonight name some names of prominent recruits to watch.
Nothing fancy, hopefully you aren't disappointed. Or maybe I come up with a better idea at the last moment and we have a little more fun. But no promises.
Personally, I don't see a Reggie Bush out there in this year's class, so it's not as exciting. And certainly no fabled twosome of Ted Ginn Jr. and Adrian Peterson---but I think college football will survive.
I just ran across these, kind of cool to look at, look back to.
It's weird to me they made an Auburn one yet not a Utah one. If
you've seen my rankings you know I have Utah ahead of Auburn and
strongly feel that way.
If you follow recruiting with any kind of passion, you have probably
heard the name Noel Devine. He is a Florida prep football player
with a legendary reputation. I don't have a whole lot of info
about him, but for a while had heard his name and people telling me to
go find some video of him.
Well, I've finally run across a highlight tape of his, which we will link below. I am more than impressed, and apparently he will be just a high school junior this upcoming season. The highlights look unreal. Generally the idea is to be very skeptical of high school highlight clips, because high school competition is nothing compared to college, where most games don't even have a legit D-1 player on the field. That makes it tough to compare guys' abilities to break tackles, relative speed, and so many more aspects of their abilities.
That's why I generally try to find skills that do translate to another level-things like vision, top flight speed (more for skill guys than the regular players), size, quickness of feet, etc. There isn't always a whole lot to work with. What I'm getting at is that although the video is amazing, Noel may not be this alltime recruit he's being hyped to be right now. But he very well could.
I was impressed with how he just blew through the initial wave of defenders, and spent most of his time in the second and third waves, and was outrunning those guys once he had a step. The video reminded me a lot of what I saw of Ted Ginn Jr. in high school, and somewhat from Reggie Bush. Those are two huge comparisons. That said, their videos looked like a lot of other great highlight videos of guys who were barely D-1 players and certainly weren't D-1 stars. That's the trick, to try and distinguish what's legit and what's not.
My early impression is that Devine looks pretty legit. Definitely someone to keep an eye on.
Anyway, be sure and check out the link below, and ignore all the pictures to find the video link at the bottom.
Since this is recruiting season, be sure and read this article
about Oregon's recruiting/marketing efforts. We are well aware of
the Joey Harrington billboard that was displayed in New York City, but
in one of their latest pitches, they are creating personalized comic
books and sending them to recruits.
As promised, we have completed our first file, and loaded it into the site. It is called "political football".
The word document is basically a fun look at the various states each
2004 Presidential candidate carried, and the schools and winning
records within those states.
Be sure and stop by our "files" area in the navigation at left to download the file.
Some of the findings-
- College football is very red, with 75 schools in states carried by President George W. Bush, and only 32 carried in states by John Kerry.
- Schools in states won by President Bush had a cumulative record of 443-396, for a .528 win percentage.
- Schools in states carried by Kerry had a cumulative record of 188-192 for a .495 winning percentage.
- The conferences generally swung nearly completely for one candidate or the other. Only the Mid-America Conference had any semblance of a mix, with 9 of 14 institutions in states carried by President Bush.
- The President also netted 8 of the top 10 teams and 17 of the top 25 (Associated Press), but he could not claim the national champion USC Trojans, who were in Kerry's California and beat a Bush-backed Oklahoma team.
Some new links are coming this weekend, I've saved some I've run
across, will create a few more categories, and get that going.
Tedious stuff, but that's what we're here for.
I'm about 75% done with "Political Football" and will publish soon. This weekend we'll look at creating a revised statistics database to put on here. If we follow through with that, it will be extensive and way too time-consuming, but should shed some new light on how teams really performed last year. NCAA statistics are flat and flawed, just like baseball statistics. You have to know either what stats to look at or how to manipulate them in order to get a real picture of what's going on.
This is especially true with college football and all the uneven scheduling that goes on, along with the strange bifurcated conferences (Big Twelve, SEC) that exist. We'll get into more of that later.
Just know that we might make a run at some more intelligent statistics databases on here, much like baseball's great SABR-styled revolution (read Moneyball by Michael Lewis for a better idea), but on a smaller scale and with far less intelligence. I'm not a math major, so I'll probably get some corrections along the way from people more savvy in the subject than myself.
One quick follow-up; When I say time-consuming, I mean it. Don't
expect anything for a few weeks or even months. If I stick to it,
it will be worth it, though. I am basically saying don't expect
anything this weekend, although sneak previews will be on the way as soon as some numbers begin making crunching sounds.
The Albert Means saga has been
an ongoing embarrassment for college football and the SEC. For
those who aren't up to speed, Means, a promising high school defensive
player, allowed his high school coach to choose his school for him.
The coach later admitted to soliciting Means to various schools and coaches who offered various bribes and bids. The situation is now in one of its various legal processes, and the coach testified today explaining some of what happened.
Prominent schools whose names were dropped include Alabama (already sanction for this), Tennessee, Michigan State, Memphis, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas and Kentucky.
I can't say I disagree.
Check out this audio clip from ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd, click on "Twelfth Night". Cowherd blasts Oklahoma specifically and the Big 12 in general, and gets to the meat of what exactly is going on with USC. There are way too many memorable lines worth quoting, so I'll just let you listen.
You will need Windows Media player. The clip lasts
about seven minutes.
I have come across a transcript of Mr. Cowherd's rant. Check it out below---
What conference is soft? Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, who's soft? I never want to hear Oklahoma football in this phrase together again "Of all time." Yeah, last year I heard Oklahoma defense [mock homer announcer voice] "Is the best of all time. They're monsters! Unblockable! Children are cowering in its wake. Nobody can duplicate it." Yeah. Wasn't even the best defense in the Sugar Bowl.
Yeah, and this year's Oklahoma, the offensive line [mocking] "The greatest of all time. People are fleeing, it's Godzilla. Nobody can survive...a geeh geh". They weren't the best offensive line on the FIELD last night.
Yeah, greatest freshman running back of all time. Save it, Sooner fan. He was the third best running back on the FIELD. Save it. Your teams, your stars, your coaches are overrated and overhyped. You Sooner fans do way too much talking and e-mailing and no listening.
Listen to this: USC's secondary is better than your receivers. Their running backs are better than your linebackers. Their O-line's better than your D-line. Their coaches embarrassed your coaches and their quarterbacks are big boy Play-on-Sunday quarterbacks. You have nice *college* quarterbacks. And it's not even close.
Go ahead, Big-12, convince yourself how great you are, quote [mocking] "Of all time!" God. Yeah, well last night was an all-time can of whoop. How's that for all-time? So stunning in scope, such a moment of clarity, that the monstrous Big-12 Kool-Aid hype machine was exposed. Lots of talk, lots of jive, lots of all-time bluster and SQUAT, for the second year in a row. Hard not to swallow the Big-12 Kool-Aid.
By the way, the Big-12's the only major conference without a starting NFL quarterback. Freakin'...the Sun Belt, jetBlue, Winn-Dixie conference has three.
Oklahoma's secondary was absurd. Just like Iowa's, like Auburn's last year against USC, like Notre Dame. No, in hindsight all this is obvious. In retrospect, there is one thing we should have all seen. Oklahoma State, a one dimensional, one trick pony offense, passed the ball at will on the Sooners. Texas A&M threw on the Sooners. And these are Big-12 schools with lousy quarterbacks and one dimensional offenses who have been exposed.
Hear, hear, rest of America: Take all Oklahoma and Big-12 success with a grain of salt. Congratulations on 77-nothing. Crap is what it is.
By the way, what you're seeing is a unbelievable, unrivaled sea change in college football. We see it all the time in business. What Southwest Airlines did to travel. What the assembly line did to manufacturing. What Spurrier did at Florida. USC is doing it and they are PULLING AWAY. Since Norm Chow and Pete Carroll figured out this whole combo deal, two and a half years ago, they are 31 and 1. Next year at this time, they'll be 44 and 1. They return everybody.
I want to read you a quote from Bill Walsh. Last night. Who absolutely says it all. Quote, "We are witnessing the evolution of offensive football. Anyone who says you have to establish the run before you can do anything is foolish and fooling themselves. They are living in the deep, dark past. It's just not the way the game's played now. Look at the way the Trojans tore apart Oklahoma, receivers open all night, Leinart hitting receivers all over the field."
Let me broaden this out for those of you who don't like college football, don't get it, not your thing. I'm going to kinda correlate this with the NFL. An NFL friend of mine scouts college teams. He said this year, during practice - and this was before all those USC freshmen got kind of their groove going - USC was the only collegiate team he'd ever seen with 11 NFL players on the field, EVER. And he'd scouted all the Jimmy Johnson Hurricaine clubs.
Two and a half years ago, USC clicked. It took a while, just like it does in a marriage, a friendship, a merger - they clicked. It took them a little bit of over a year. Since that time, "Oh it's those soft Pac-10 defenses." No! No, let me go give you some numbers about all the other *powers*.
55-19, Oklahoma [mocking/crying] "Of all time, dominating, unblockable monsters!"
Michican, 28-14 going away.
That great Iowa team, 38-17.
Auburn, last year, 23-nothing.
Notre Dame hammered three times.
Don't give me "the Pac-10's soft" thing. The only team that's played with USC the last two years is Cal. Because they can duplicate or at least SIMULATE USC in preparation, because they have an NFL quarterback. If you don't have an NFL quarterback, if you don't have a guy that can make 35 yard outs, you canNOT beat USC.
Pac-10's soft? Go look at the Aggies. Go look at the Cowboys from Oklahoma State. Go look at the Sooners. Who was SOFT in these bowl games? Pac-10 is 3 and 2, just like every other conference. "But USC..." but NOTHIN'. They are PULLING AWAY. Pro offensive schemes against goofy college coaches still pounding straight ahead and going deep. That's their offense. POUND. "Of all time!" Going deep. It doesn't work.
Ok, and I'm going to tell you something. If I'm a college program, I don't care who you are. USC sees teams with these nice college quarterbacks. USC's all back. 16 of their 22 offensive players are freshmen or sophomores without a redshirt year. And they're just coming off back-to-back the best two recruiting classes some say EVER.
They're changing the game. We see it all the time in football. It's happened so many times. We used to have the single wing, the veer, the option, the 'bone. Then it was Steve Spurrier, spread it out five wide. I don't know what you want to call this Pete Carroll, Norm Chow combo deal. You can call it anything you want, but we are noticing an evolution. 31 and 1, gonna be 44 and 1 and they return everybody. For three years, it's freshmen everywhere.
We've seen it with the 46 defense, we've seen it with the west coast offense, we've seen it with the zone blitz. We've seen radical changes. We are seein' one. I don't know the name for it, but college football's not ever gonna look the same again because of what USC is doing right now.
National letter-of-intent day is Wednesday, February 2. For all
the recruiting geeks out there (that's many of us), it is a huge
day. Fans of schools across the nation learn the names,
positions, and relative skills of their next crop of future stars, many
of whom won't even play that upcoming season.
I follow recruiting fairly closely, so I'll be sure and mention some names worth watching as we get closer to LOI Day. We'll see if we can predict this year's Ted Ginn Jr.'s and Adrian Peterson's (doubtful, there doesn't appear to be another generational-type player in this year's class) when that time comes.
I talked to a reliable contact on Sunday about my Heisman Project
and he said something to the effect of "yeah, if you keep this up for 5
years, maybe" I could get a shot at a Heisman vote. Pretty
disheartening. That said, we'll make a run at it, I really love
the award and it's kind of a dream to be a Heisman voter.
The alternative is to start begging current Heisman voters to will or allocate their vote to me. That will be a more behind-the-scenes route, if I choose it. And of course it takes some convincing. We shall see...
Keeping with the same Heisman thought, here's a question for you-
What do you do if you're USC next year, in terms of promoting a Heisman candidate? The early-season "default candidate" strategy of putting Matt Leinart on every magazine cover worked like a charm, needing only a little extra promotion before the Notre Dame game.
But now Reggie Bush has emerged and Matt Leinart has won his Heisman trophy. There has been only one repeat winner of the award, Ohio State's Archie Griffin, and he won one of those thanks to extremely early ballot mailings, a procedure they changed after USC's Anthony Davis went nuts against Notre Dame during the regular season but most ballots had already been mailed.
Does USC try and buck history and support a Leinart run at back-to-back Heisman trophies? Or do they market a rising star in Bush, who happens to play tailback at USC, a position with the credentials of 4 Heisman trophies backing it up?
Personally, I would let Matt Leinart do his thing, and get some energy for Reggie Bush. Try having some stories written about him before the year, make some election theme, "Bush in '05" or something revolving around his nickname "The President". Bush is now a junior and should have a lot more credibility with Heisman voters with another year of experience under his belt.
Or does USC pack it in and hand the award to Adrian Peterson, who has the potential to run away with the award if Oklahoma has a great year and he goes over 2,000 yards?
And then there are dark horse candidates like Florida's Chris Leak, a guy with a big name, and playing in what should be a great offense and directing a team that may well go undefeated through the regular season.
Whatever the situation, this year is shaping up to be one of the better Heisman years ever, eclipsing last year's amazing and unprecedented field that was a solid two-deep in candidates.
It is heartening to know that HeismanPundit and HeismanProjection.com will be online tracking the award's ups and downs this year. I'll be glued to both websites once the field starts to take shape. You should be, too.
I am kind of busy this week, but after a great push on Friday loaded to
satisfaction the necessary links to fill in most of our gaps. In
short, the Resource Links section is ready. I added some other
sections, re-arranged things a bit, and generally ran out of things to
fix after a while.
We'll probably start blogging in earnest next week, I rewarded myself with an out-of-town trip this weekend and am a bit behind in setting things up on the computer to make the blogging easier.
Please continue to enjoy the site/blog, we'll have more very soon, obviously. The big picture is that I'm comfortable with the current setup, and I rarely can say "ok, that's good" without fretting for several days and reluctantly giving some kind of thumbs up. Not so this time. I think the extra few months to test out the concept elsewhere and the dramatic discovery of this squarespace software really gave the impetus to complete this project's extensive early preparations.
Now the fun begins. Besides, I'm certain you are tired of reading all these "it's coming" messages and would rather just read what we have to say. Or at least, stop by the links.
We will also continue to add links, I've found some more, and when I get the chance I'll load those too.
- More link transfer, namely "Tradition and History" and "Other Links". Both categories should hold some of our more interesting links.
- Possibly add some bowl game links to "BCS and Bowls" link section
- Test for dead links, peruse the internet and the current links for anything else of interest. We're always going to be adding and subtracting links, so be sure and send any our way that we might not have.
- Hopefully finish a "political" blog entry (see "Inauguration" entry) soon. That will also give us an opportunity to test out the uploading/fire sharing function of our new software.
- Various other small tasks that aren't coming to mind. Perhaps a section on the menu at left about how you can help us here at CollegeFootballResource.
We will explore my thoughts on college football's postseason format at
a later time, but this author more or less echoes my sentiments on how
teams and coaches should handle these situations.
The college football media won't necessarily hold the main culprets (Mack Brown, Tommy Tuberville) accountable for their embarrassing politicking, but it's up to those individuals to be standup and not take advantage of the situation. Unfortunately, those two "leaders of men" were derelict in their duties.
Here's the full story from Kristen Fohrer of Georgetown's The Hoya
Money quote: "Granted, a great deal of money is at stake in bowls. Yet I cannot fathom how the difference in Money between the different bowls makes losing one's dignity a worthy price"
From the Orlando Sentinel, via FanBlogs.com
The direct link
Getting into College By Mike Huguenin and Alan Schmadtke Sentinel Staff Writers
January 16, 2005
Here is our gauge on how the 119 Division I-A universities rate -- on a four-level scale -- at getting football players into school. Ratings were determined through interviews with about two dozen coaches, conference officials, recruiting coordinators and academic coordinators. Important to note: Schools are measured only against schools in their conference. In other words, don't compare a Big Ten school with a Pac-10 school.
Atlantic Coast -- 12 schools
Buckle down: Duke, Wake Forest
Semi-tough: Boston College, Georgia Tech
Semi-easy: Florida State, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia
All in: Clemson, NC State, Virginia Tech
Big East -- 8 schools
Buckle down: None
Semi-easy: Connecticut, Pittsburgh, USF
All in: Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers, West Virginia
Big Ten -- 11 schools
Buckle down: Northwestern
Semi-tough: Illinois, Michigan, Penn State
Semi-easy: Indiana, Iowa, Purdue, Wisconsin
All in: Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State
Big 12 -- 12 schools
Buckle down: None
Semi-easy: Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State, Texas, Texas A&M
All in: Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech
Conference USA -- 12 schools
Buckle down: Rice, SMU
Semi-easy: Houston, Tulsa, UCF
All in: East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis, UAB, UTEP, Southern Miss
Mid-American -- 12 schools
Buckle down: Buffalo, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Ohio U.
Semi-tough: Ball State
Semi-easy: Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan
All in: Akron, Bowling Green, Toledo
Mountain West -- 9 schools
Buckle down: Air Force
Semi-easy: BYU, New Mexico, TCU, Wyoming
All in: Colorado State, San Diego State, UNLV
Pacific 10 -- 10 schools
Buckle down: Stanford
Semi-easy: Arizona, California, Oregon, USC, Washington
All in: Arizona State, Oregon State, Washington State
Southeastern -- 12 schools
Buckle down: Vanderbilt
Semi-easy: Florida, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss
All in: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee
Sun Belt -- 8 schools
Buckle down: None
Semi-tough: UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe
Semi-easy: FAU, FIU
All in: Arkansas State, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Troy
Western Athletic -- 9 schools
Buckle down: None
Semi-easy: Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada
All in: Boise State, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Utah State
Independents -- 4 schools
Buckle down: Army, Navy
Semi-tough: Notre Dame
All in: Temple
Today the second Presidential Inauguration was held for one George W.
Bush. It was a celebration of American democracy and freedom, and
was a huge nod towards tradition and the ties that bind us all.
Flowery stuff, but it's real.
College football is also about tradition, and in that respect we consider this the inauguration period for CollegeFootballResource at the beginning of a run as the greatest website devoted to college football on the internet. We take our oath seriously on here, and look forward to meeting that challenge.
In the meantime, if things go well I'll have a cool "political" feature on here sometime between Friday and Tuesday. Of course, it will be related to college football.
At the present I am moving more and more links over from our old
location, and figuring out how best to categorize them on here.
On some I want to store them in several places and that is tedious and
frivolous when you think about it. So there's some mental work as
well as the natural time element involved in getting CollegeFootballResource fully operational.
Ideally I would like to have this thing "ready" to go on Monday, but you are free to peruse the links and get used to the whole layout, appearance and gist of this place. I may be out of town this weekend, a potential further delay of getting up to speed here,but we'll get there when we get there.
In the meantime, it's link transfer, thinking up ideas for news links and thinking about blog ideas. I have some really interesting things to talk about in the near future.
Luckily, this is the slow season, near the end of recruiting and before spring practices. In other words, a perfect opportunity to get some work done before the season begins. I promise to blog about college football very soon on here, and as you can see below, some discussion has already begun.
Right now this is a one man operation and may continue to more or less stay that way, but I have some incredible guests I hope to bring on at times on here, so stay tuned for a potential Powerline type blogging with multiple personalites. Or maybe it will be just me.
Anyway, it's late, so good night for now, see you tomorrow.
The following is a simple exercise to look at next year's Heisman race, borrowing only from Heismandment No. 7:
7. If you are a quarterback or running back at the following schools, you have a good chance to win if you have a very good statistical season, are an upperclassmen and your team wins at least 9 games: Notre Dame, USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan, Miami and Florida State. These 9 teams have won 10 of the last 13 Heismans and six of the last seven.Well, if that holds like it did last year, here are the candidates who can win the Heisman from those schools:
- Notre Dame---Brady Quinn
- USC---Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, LenDale White
- Texas---Vincent Young, Selvin Young
- Oklahoma---Paul Thompson
- Nebraska---Joe Dailey, Cory Ross
- Ohio State---Troy Smith, Justin Zwick
- Miami---Tyrone Moss
- Florida State---Wyatt Sexton, Leon Washington, Lorenzo Booker
It is very likely one of these 15 athletes will win the 2005 Heisman Trophy. Scary, but true.
Sure enough, USC's Reggie Bush won the 2005 Heisman Trophy, Texas' Vince Young was the runner-up, and Matt Leinart and Brady Quinn rounded out the top four.
As an aside, of the schools credited with a Heisman trophy in the last
14 years, the only ones not in Pundit's list are Wisconsin,
Colorado and Florida.
It is interesting Pundit chose 14 years, because that is the break right after a two-year run by statmasters Andre Ware and Ty Detmer. Soon after, a Heisman backlash appears to have occurred, cutting short campaigns by gimmick offense generals such as Drew Brees and Kliff Kingsbury. In that regard the cutoff is natural and understandable, an intelligent recognition of modern Heisman voting patterns.