I really want to believe that Miami and Florida State have turned the corner. I really do. After watching them back-to-back on Saturday in bowl games, though, that is clearly not the case.
Florida State's defense is worthy of its predecessors, but is probably losing that unit's best player Everette Brown. Offensively, the line still has to be game-planned around. Quarterback Christian Ponder is inconsistent. When he does get the ball out smoothly, Ponder has (had) one reliable receiver in Greg Carr.
There's a reason only one quarterback (West Virginia's Pat White) has started and won four bowl games. Did you see Miami freshman Jacory Harris against Cal in the Emerald Bowl? He did an admirable job until that killer fumble deep in his own territory. All it did was decide the game. Harris had to know that he either has to go down in that situation or throw the ball away. His struggle allowed the ball to come loose and Cal to win.
Coach Randy Shannon deserves a lot of the blame for mismangement of the clock in the final two minutes but Harris didn't do his team any favors either. The freshman had no urgency to his step. With a chance to run out of bounds near midfield, he elected to cut toward the middle of the field. That wasted more time and showed how much this raw talent has to learn.
In his second career college start, Harris lost for the first time in 32 starts dating back to high school. There are better days ahead. I think.• Please, someone, make Cal's Jahvid Best the 2009 Heisman frontrunner. I don't care if Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford come back. Best right now is the best tailback in the country. After rushing for 186 yards against the Canes, the sophomore ended No. 2 on Cal's single-season rushing list.
• More on White: It almost seemed like coach Bill Stewart was trying to showcase his quarterback for the pros in the Meineke Bowl. While White will go down as one of the Mountaineers' all-time great, he will not be a quarterback in the NFL. I like to compare him to the guy whose record he broke, Brad Smith of the New York Jets. White passed Smith on the all-time rushing list for quarterbacks. He will never be known as a passer.
Most likely, White will make an NFL roster as a slash-type player similar to Smith or Ted Ginn Jr. of Miami.
While you consider White's numbers from Saturday, don't forget these lines against Pittsburgh (15 of 28, 143 yards, two interceptions), South Florida (14 of 23, 141 yards) and Colorado (10 of 14, 43 yards).• After Wisconsin's pitiful showing against Florida State, is the Big Ten's rep on the line again or what? Going into Sunday the conference was already tied for the second-worst bowl record this season (0-1).