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Posts Tagged ‘Urban Meyer’

Checking In, A Few Thoughts, Etc.

Hey, miss you guys. Just wanted to say hello, how’s it going, how’s everything, how’s your team doing, how’s your coach, how’s your quarterback, etc. It’s been a wild year so far, right? Alabama is what we thought it’d be. Not so much with L.S.U., however. But count me among those folks who think that the Tigers will be fine; from my vantage point, I think that L.S.U. is keeping a ton under wraps, and that come November, you’re going to see a few wrinkles appear with a national title berth on the line. Florida should scare Les Miles and pals, on the other hand – the Gators can play a little defense, it seems.

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    Pick 10, F.B.S. Notebook: Week 3 (Sept. 15)

    Do you remember the last time Notre Dame took a trip to East Lansing? You might not remember the game’s first 60 minutes and change, but that’s fine: things didn’t get wild until overtime, when Michigan State answered a Notre Dame field goal with the most audacious coaching decision of the 2010 season. Now you remember, right? Dan Conroy is lined up for the potentially game-tying 46-yard field goal; Aaron Bates, the punter and team captain, was the holder; tight end Charlie Gantt was lined up one spot inside from the edge to Conroy’s right. The call: “Little Giants.” The snap went to Bates, as expected – and then came the unexpected. You’ll see the rest of the play later tonight, when the Irish and Spartans meet in one of the day’s marquee games. Let’s run down the entire weekend’s action.

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      No. 21: Ohio State

      Not that Luke Fickell didn’t have his hands full. And not that this wasn’t one of the youngest Ohio State teams in recent memory. And not that the team, planning on having Terrelle Pryor and company in the fold in time for the heart of Big Ten play, wasn’t thrown a loop when the old guard didn’t ride into town and save the day in October. But there’s one fact that can’t be ignored: not counting the forfeited season of 2010, Ohio State finished with a losing record for the first time since 1988 and for only the second time since 1967. The slide was inevitable, perhaps, and so was the glee with which it was greeted by the rest of the Big Ten. Here’s guessing that Ohio State will have the last laugh: Enter Urban Meyer — and you can hear the collective giggles over Ohio State’s slide catch in the collective throat of the Big Ten.

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        Ranking the Big Ten’s Class of Quarterbacks

        Another Wisconsin-themed hypothetical question: Where would you have ranked the Badgers’ quarterbacks against the rest of the Big Ten if Danny O’Brien had instead opted for, say, Penn State? If Wisconsin had gone into 2012 with options like Joe Brennan and Jon Budmayr, it would have joined Michigan State as the only two teams in the conference to not return a quarterback with at least one career start under his belt. So consider the toppling dominoes: O’Brien should start, which should push Brennan into a more fitting role as his backup, which will allow Budmayr to heal and former walk-on Joel Stave to develop.

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          The Year in Review: Florida (7-6, 3-5)

          Taking stock of Florida’s offense in two points:

          1. The Gators went 5-3 when holding opponent to 21 points or less. From 1990, Steve Spurrier’s first season, through 2010, Urban Meyer’s last, Florida lost only six games when allowing 21 points or less. Only one of those losses came under Spurrier. In 1998, the Gators lost to Tennessee, 20-17, in overtime. Another two came under Ron Zook: 17-14 to Mississippi in 2002 and 20-17 to the Rebels a year later. There would have been more, but Zook was relieved of his duties after the 2004 season.

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            The Year in Review: Ohio State (6-7, 3-5)

            Not that Luke Fickell didn’t have his hands full. And not that this wasn’t one of the youngest Ohio State teams in recent memory. And not that the team, planning on having Terrelle Pryor and company in the fold in time for the heart of Big Ten play, wasn’t thrown a loop when the old guard — DeVier Posey, for example — didn’t ride into town and save the day in October. But there’s one fact that can’t be ignored: Not counting the forfeited season of 2010, Ohio State finished with a losing record for the first time since 1988 and for only the second time since 1967. The slide was inevitable, perhaps, and so was the glee with which it was greeted by the rest of the Big Ten. Here’s guessing that Ohio State will have the last laugh.

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              The Year in Review: Michigan St. (11-3, 7-1)

              Last fall, Michigan State beat Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and a team from the SEC in one season for the first time in program history. This isn’t surprising: Michigan State has won only six games against SEC competition in its history, with four of those wins coming from 1929-1947. What is surprising, however, is the fact that the Spartans beat the Buckeyes, Badgers and Wolverines in the same season for only the second time in program history; the first, in 1987, came during the Spartans’ last outright Big Ten title. Rare? Heck, beating Ohio State and Michigan in the same season is rare enough for Michigan State.

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                Future Members of the Hall of Fame: Coaches

                So there are issues with the College Football Hall of Fame’s eligibility criteria for coaches, as discussed at length earlier today. Eliminating those whose career spanned less than 10 years is silly; excluding those with a career winning percentage less than 60 percent is ridiculous. But rules are rules: Howard Schnellenberger deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame, but he’ll continue to be ineligible until the National Football Foundation alters its criteria. For now, active or recently active coaches who deserve Hall of Fame consideration must meet the Foundation’s existing — and puzzling — stipulations for inclusion.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.