Final Poll

Final Poll

Here is the StateFansNation 2005 final poll. You’ll note that things didn’t change quite as much as some of the major polls after the bowl games. The logic here is that long layoffs and too much emotion or a total lack thereof by some teams contributes to the outcome of bowl games. This is especially true in some of the lesser bowls. Further, the regular season still must be weighed heavily.

Officiating in THE Game

Is it just me, or was the officiating horrible Wednesday with calls negatively impacting both teams. While I totally disagree with the assessment by the LA Times that the Vince Young lateral would have been the difference in the game (Texas would have had a first down at the USC 10), the quality of the officiating did not reflect the quality of the game. During one of Texas’ 4th quarter scoring drives, the officials failed to stop the clock after an indisputable play where the player simply ran out of bounds, and with some of the WWF moves the USC linemen were putting on Texas, it’s a travesty that they weren’t once flagged for holding.

Offensive Prospects

Bush, Leinart, White, and Young are all outstanding college players, and you really can’t say too much about their skill in the college game. While Young lit it up last night, and Bush lit it up most of the season, I expect White to have a better NFL career than those two or Leinhart. Bush is a great back, but some of what he does will be negated by the speed of the NFL, and you have to wonder if he’ll be an every down back in the NFL when he wasn’t an every down back in the defense starved Pac 10. Young has an awkward throwing motion and questionable downfield passing skills, and it will be interesting to see how his mobility translates to the NFL once he comes out. Leinart has tons of potential, but how will he handle the transition from working behind an outstanding line with some of the best weapons in college football at his disposal to playing behind the Saint’s offensive line? He will fare much better if he falls at least to 3rd, where he would be reunited with Norm Chow in Tennessee, but regardless, he will have to get used to tighter coverage and more time on his back. White, who currently carries a bit of a spare tire, should only get better in the NFL. He could drop some weight and get faster, or bulk up a bit. This touchdown machine averaged close to 7 yds/carry mostly running up the middle. Overall, keep in mind that right now it’s the prognosticators picking and not NFL teams. Ask Aaron Rogers how good they are at predicting the draft.

Changing of the Guard?

I don’t believe it, but between now and August, you can bet there will be much talk about the trend toward more athletic QB’s. In the 5 bowls with the highest ranked teams (BCS plus Peach), the more athletic QB was 5-0. Traditionally titles have been won with efficient QB’s who make good decisions but are not overly athletic – Weinke, Dorsey, Krenzel, Mauck, and Leinhart won the last five titles. Mauck is the only one of those guys that could outrun Holly Rowe.

Rose: Young over Leinart
Orange: Robinson over Weatherford
Sugar: White over Shockley
Fiesta: Smith over Quinn
Peach: Flynn over Wright

On closer inspection, the QB’s weren’t the reason why these teams lost. Leinart certainly had a nice game. Georgia’s defense didn’t show until the second quarter. ND had no defense and had too many dropped passes. FSU has no offensive line, and Miami has no character. If Young comes back, he’ll be the most effective QB in college, but don’t discount less athletic guys like Quinn, JaMarcus Russell (LSU), Chris Leak (Florida) or Wright and Weatherford with a year of experience under their belts.

While on QB’s

I wouldn’t write him off just yet, but those expecting great things from John David Booty at USC should keep his roots in mind. Since Booty’s Evangel High School was founded in the ‘90’s, every starting QB preceding Booty has been very highly recruited. Josh Booty (LSU), Philip Deas (UNC), Brock Berlin (UF then Miami), and Brent Rawls (OU) all signed with top BCS programs. Booty & Berlin were both rated the #1 QB in the country when they came out. Berlin was by far the most successful in college after transferring from Florida to Miami, but he was still quite a disappointment given expectations.