All the (mostly meaningless) results are in. In other words, spring practice is over.
|Matt Leinart should recover from his elbow surgery just fine. (Getty Images)|
The results might be forgotten as long as it takes to kick it off in the fall. Meanwhile, behold the reshuffling in the CBS SportsLine.com post-spring Top 25.
1. USC: Missing several key players because of academics and
suspensions, the remaining spring USC crew still could have played in
the Holiday Bowl.
Spring news: Police did not file charges against corner Eric Wright, who had been accused of rape. But Wright still faces a review by the school that could keep him suspended (or worse). On the down low, USC coaches are worried only that defensive lineman Manny Wright won't make the academic hurdle this summer. Incoming freshman quarterback Mark Sanchez regularly attended spring practices. Pete Carroll was more than impressed. He says Matt Leinart's backup John David Booty could start right now. Leinart missed the spring recovering from minor elbow surgery to treat tendinitis. He should be in better shape in August than last year, when he didn't throw until a week before fall drills. Pre-spring ranking: 1.
2. Iowa: No formal spring game, which was probably a good idea.
This program can't take any more injuries.
Spring news: Left tackle Lee Gray will miss the season after undergoing corrective knee surgery this month. Gray, a rising redshirt senior, most likely will petition for a sixth year of eligibility in 2006. Running backs Marcus Schnoor and Albert Young were rehabbing from injuries in the spring. Both should be 100 percent by the beginning of fall drills. Previous: 2.
3. Tennessee: The Vols are favored to win the SEC, but who needs
football? Phil Fulmer and Steve Spurrier renewed their old feud throwing
verbal punches as each coach's player threw real ones.
Spring news: Backup quarterback Brent Schaeffer is transferring. He was charged last month with misdemeanor assault. Coincidence? Freshman sensation Erik Ainge isn't necessarily going to be the starter. Rick Clausen won't let go of the position after taking over after Ainge was injured late last season. Should be interesting in August. Previous: 3.
4. Texas: The biggest offseason addition might have been
defensive coordinator Gene Chizik, who came over from Auburn. Greg
Robinson left for Syracuse.
Spring news: Selvin Young, Cedric Benson's replacement, did not practice while rehabbing a broken ankle. The spring game is a big deal in Austin. More than 40,000 watched as Vince Young threw for 115 yards. Backup running back Ramonce Taylor showed promise. The new go-to receiver might be Limas Sweed. A gentle warning in case of a one-point loss this fall: New kicker David Pino looked a bit shaky in the spring. Previous: 4
5. Ohio State: The way seems to be clear for quarterback Troy
Smith to return to the team after he accepted money from a booster.
Smith will remain suspended for the opener against Miami (Ohio). It will
be an interesting return on Sept. 10 against Texas.
Spring news: The smartest move of the spring was keeping Ted Ginn Jr. healthy. The fastest player in college football (can you think of someone faster?) was limited to one carry (13 yards), one reception (8 yards) and one punt return (6 yards) in the spring game. His days on defense aren't over. Ginn also played cornerback on a raw, windy, rainy day last month. Previous: 6.
6. Virginia Tech: Why doesn't Frank Beamer get more run? He is
Virginia Tech football. Last year's ACC title was further validation of his
big-time coach status.
Spring news: No more excuses for Marcus Vick. In other programs, he might have been kicked off the team. Vick began the long road back from off-field problems by winning the starting job in the spring. Inconsistent before his fall 2004 suspension for drinking with an underage girl, Vick was drawing raves in the spring. Marcus has a lot to overcome, his brother's legacy and a tarnished past. Based on his potential, the Hokies will be picked to repeat in the ACC. Previous: 11.
7. Oklahoma: Bob Stoops is spreading the don't-count-us out
message after losing the core of the 2004 Big 12 champions.
Spring news: Defensive lineman Larry Birdine has emerged as perhaps the new Dan Cody on the defensive line. Defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek has rejoined the team after being kicked off following a bar fight in September. Then in the spring game he tore a left bicep that required surgery the next day. A complete recovery is expected. There was little separation between Tommy Grady, Paul Thompson and Rhett Bomar at quarterback. Previous: 8.
8. Florida: New coach Urban Meyer blew it out in the spring game.
There were a combined 62 points. The top two quarterbacks -- Chris Leak
and Josh Portis -- combined for 474 yards and eight touchdowns.
Spring news: Gator Nation is going ga-ga over Meyer. He hasn't disappointed telling a basketball crowd, "You're either a Gator or Gait bait!" Expect Florida to light it up offensively. There will be issues at linebacker, but this seems like a program destined for a return to the top 10 on momentum alone. Previous: 7.
9. Michigan: Lloyd Carr isn't big on spring games. Nothing new
this year. The final spring "practice" was an underwhelming affair at
Michigan Stadium, where renovation is going on. Fans were not allowed on
the field. Players did not sign autographs.
Spring news: Matt Gutierrez was the starter a week before last season before shoulder problems eventually led to surgery. He didn't start throwing until February and participated in spring drills, although his contact was limited. Otherwise, the Wolverines will be loaded. They have to replace only David Baas on the offensive line. Chad Henne and Michael Hart are only sophomores. Steve Breaston will replace Braylon Edwards as the go-to receiver. He is already a world-class returner. Previous: 9.