I was listenting to some podcasts on the airplane this week and heard few football items that I thought would be of interest.
From ESPN’s College Football Podcast dated June 2, 2009:
Mark Schlabach: “I think NC State is a darkhorse. They are not in the Top 25, but I think Russell Wilson – I think he or Riley Skinner – is the best quarterback in the league.”
Ivan Maisel: “Absolutely”
Schlabach: “and you know that they’re going to be well coached under Tom O’Brien. So, I think you are talking six teams that are probably going to be in contention, and probably the most improved conference in the country going into this season.”
Phil Steele magazine is out
Phil Steele is a regular guest on Rivals Radio and one of his recent appearances was podcasted. There wasn’t much ACC stuff in that particular appearance, but I did stumble across this first look at his annual college football bible that is always nice to review.
One of the items that I like about Steele’s perspective on college football is that generally, turnovers can be somewhat uncontrollable and are often a function of cycles that average out to a statistical median or norm over the long term. (unless you are being coached by Chuck Amato). Therefore, schools that experience an abnormally high or low rate of turnovers in one year are obviously more prone to experience a major turnaroud in that category in the next year.
This year, the Turnover = Turnaround charts indicated Oklahoma, Florida, Buffalo, Wake Forest, and Ohio State are “going down?”; while Washington St, Wyoming, Washington, North Texas, and Army are “going up”.
A couple of other relevant bullets:
• Phil’s Conference Rankings based on last year (in descending order): SEC, Big 12, Pac-10, MWC, ACC, Big 10, Big East, CUSA, IND, WAC, MAC, Sun Belt.
• Phil says Illinois will be the most improved team in the country this year.
• Lettermen Returning Indicator: Toldeo, UAB, and Stanford have an 89% chance of improved record. Navy, Missouri, and South Carolina have 82% chance of weaker or the same record.
Chris Wallace of CavsCorner.com was a guest on Rivals.com radio podcast of June 18, 2009
He had the following to say about the job security of Virginia Coach, Al Groh; and I couldn’t help but find the high standards and expectations fascinating in light of the conversations that NC State fans have experienced over the last twenty years. Could you imagine such expectations & comments being made in Raleigh? Hell, even right now you could parallel the 9 year tenure of Groh with the 13 year tenure of NC State Baseball Coach, Elliott Avent. Doesn’t Wallace & UVA recognize that the longer a coach is in his job then the more that job innately becomes the right of that coach and the less that performance actually matters? Maybe a little time with George Tarantini would be good for Wallace.
“I think this is the year where if Al doesn’t win 8 or 9 games he will not be back for a 10th year and specifically, he is going to be in a lot of trouble if he does not beat Virginia Tech. He has one win against Virginia Tech in 8 tries and that’s sticking in the craw of a lot of Virginia fans. That is something that they’re really really really having a hard time with. I think if he went 8-5 and beat Virginia Tech, that might be good enough. But, if he loses to VPI then anything short of maybe a10 win season…the lack of consistency I just think that they are probably going to look to move into a different direction.”
This mindset is even more interesting when you take a look at the short term nature of the previous tenures of the coaches discussed in this article as being on the hot seat. How do these ‘loser’ programs and schools like Michigan, Notre Dame, West Virginia, UCLA, Texas A&M and others not understand that any coaching hire naturally needs at least five or six years before it could start to be judged?
Michigan, West Virginia, UCLA and A&M’s coaches are all entering just their second season at the school! (And West Virginia won their bowl game last year!)
The good news, of course, will be that this ‘pressure’ to win at these schools and their horrible fanbases will mean that they won’t be able to recruit any good players and will only leave more for the rest of us. Right? Isn’t that how it supposedly works? No kid will want to play at these schools because of the lack of clarity of their coaching tenure and the pressure created by these bad fans? Who would want to play at UCLA anyway? Doesn’t the world recognize that is the toughest job in the world and will always be over-shadowed by USC right across town? (sarcasm, of course).