Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:20 am
Edited on: August 5, 2011 4:03 pm
Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst unveil their top five quarterbacks of 2011 ... and let the debate begin. Both Aizer and Darst have Stanford's Andrew Luck, Boise State's Kellen Moore and Oklahoma's Landry Jones in their top three, but you will be surprised at the order and who is ranked No. 1.
Also debated is the best quarterback in the Big Ten ... is it Northwestern's Dan Persa or Michigan's Denard Robinson? A few other names are tossed around, including Houston's Case Keenum, Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden and Oregon's Darron Thomas. Who else should be in the Top 5?
Listen to the podcast below:
Posted on: August 1, 2011 12:38 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 12:39 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Chicago is somewhat of an odd town as far as college football is concerned. Having lived here just about my entire life, I've noticed that while there are plenty of college football fans, most of them root for schools that aren't in the area. Notre Dame gets a lot of love here, as do Big Ten schools, but the Big Ten schools are places like Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Illinois.
Meanwhile, Northwestern, which is located just a few miles north of the city's borders, doesn't get that much attention. Something the school has tried to change in recent years with Pat Fitzgerald and the school's most recent "Chicago's Big Ten football team" ad campaign. Well it seems that Northwestern is taking another step in trying to get more eyes in Chicago on the local school.
Beginning next week on the city's Kennedy Expressway, millions of Chicagoans stuck in traffic will be staring at a billboard of quarterback Dan Persa as the school makes a Heisman push for him. It's actually one of two billboards the school is putting up, as another is planned to go up in Bristol, Connecticut. Home of a certain network.
Of course, while Persa is a good quarterback and was having a very good season for Northwestern in 2010 before he injured his achilles, I'm not sure Northwestern thinks he can actually win the Heisman barring some type of transcendent season in which the Wildcats wind up in the Rose Bowl again. I have to feel that the Chicago billboard is just another way of the school saying "Hey, Chicago, we're here you know."
Posted on: July 30, 2011 12:08 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 12:08 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Big Ten has always been big on tradition, but now that the league has added a twelfth school in Nebraska and a championship game, the conference seems to be moving in a more "modern" direction. Further changes for the league could be on the horizon, and according to Teddy Greenstein in the Chicago Tribune, one of those changes could be the league holding conference games earlier in the season.
Currently the Big Ten does not begin conference play until after the first four weeks of the season, but there are at least three coaches in the conference who wouldn't be opposed to seeing that change. Wisconsin's Bret Bielema thinks it would be a good move for the conference to schedule one conference game a week for the first four weeks, saying it would be "a great way to showcase those schools."
Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald and Illinois' Ron Zook are also in favor of the idea.
While I haven't asked every single one of them, I'd have to think that Big Ten fans might enjoy it too. Considering the beginning of the Big Ten schedule is normally filled with games like Penn State versus Indiana State, any conference game would be more appealing. You have to think that the television networks that broadcast the Big Ten games would be in favor of such a move as well.
It's something that the SEC has been doing for years, and this year the SEC will have two conference games in the second week of the season. In the ACC both Miami and Maryland will start their seasons against each other as well.
Posted on: July 26, 2011 6:15 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Coming into this year's media gathering, the Big Ten decided not to hold its annual media poll with the usual preseason player of the year, predicted order of finish (heretofore limited to the top three finishers), and all of that. It seemed odd, but from the Big Ten's perspective, it wasn't exactly a vital aspect of the whole operation.
Funny thing, though; just because the Big Ten isn't holding a poll doesn't mean it's not going to happen. So lo and behold, 24 beat writers from around the conference -- two per school -- got together and held their own poll anyway.
Here's the breakdown from the Detroit Free-Press, listed with the total amount of voting points (six for first, five for second, on down the line) with first-place votes in parenthesis.
1. Nebraska (19) 139
1. Wisconsin (22) 141
Title game matchups:
First of all, there are scant few surprises herein. Nebraska's the class of the conference, Wisconsin's next, and there's a pretty big dropoff after that. That said, whoever decided Michigan was going to win the Legends Division in Brady Hoke's first year -- the rebuilding period right after another rebuilding period -- should stop sending joke ballots and ruining it for the rest of the readers. Another demerit for whoever decided to put somebody below Minnesota, since the Gophers are just a mess right now.
As for the Leaders Divison, no surprises here, aside from a preposterous first-place vote for Penn State. Ohio State would be worth a look here if Terrelle Pryor were still on the five-game suspension, but with Joe Bauserman (or whoever else) under center, the Buckeyes are decidedly inferior to Wisconsin -- so long as Russell Wilson's healthy, anyway.
Speaking of quarterbacks -- this would be the year to celebrate them. The top three offensive players are all QBs, according to voters, and five of the 10 players who received votes were QBs. Here's the breakdown (again, with first-place votes parenthesized):
1. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan (14) 52
Yes, that's two different Wisconsin tailbacks on the list, and at least one will likely be in the top five of voting at the end of the season. As for the leading vote-getter, it's worth pointing out that Robinson's most dangerous weapon is still his feet... and Michigan's planning on limiting his carries this season. Yes, that's a wise move for keeping Robinson healthy, but the more he's standing still in the pocket and throwing, the less he's playing to his strengths. He'll still make it work, in all likelihood, since it's Denard flippin' Robinson we're talking about here, but those gaudy numbers we saw last season may be coming down a bit. Just a bit.
In other voting, Jared Crick dominated defensive player of the year voting, and Bret Bielema was named the top coach in the Big Ten over close runners-up Kirk Ferentz, Bo Pelini, and Pat Fitzgerald (in that order). Crick is a fine choice, and the four coaches who led voting deserved to. One could make a good case for Pat Fitzgerald to be higher, but these are small quibbles; we're not talking about Ron Zook ending up in second place or anything.
Tags: Adam Jacobi, Big Ten, Big Ten Preseason Poll, Bo Pelini, Brady Hoke, Dan Persa, Denard Robinson, Derek Moye, Edwin Baker, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, James White, Jared Crick, Joe Bauserman, Kirk Cousins, Kirk Ferentz, Michigan, Michigan State, Mike Brewster, Montee Ball, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Pat Fitzgerald, Penn State, Preseason Polls, Purdue, Ron Zook, Russell Wilson, Taylor Martinez, Terrelle Pryor, Wisconsin
Posted on: July 18, 2011 2:40 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 3:33 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
As we brace ourselves for the media day onslaught that will begin with the SEC on Wednesday, the watch list season finally wraps up with the prestigious Walter Camp Award watch list. The award is given annually by the Walter Camp Football Foundation to the "Player of the Year. Although it also awards individual greatness in college football, only two of the last five Heisman Trophy winners have also collected the Walter Camp Award.
Two of last year's finalists return to the watch list (Stanford's Andrew Luck and Oregon's LaMichael James) along with many of the usual suspects from the other position-based awards. The list will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists in mid-November, then the winner will be chosen from the finalists and announced on Dec. 8.
QB Matt Barkley, USC
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Boise State, Boston College, Chip Patterson, Florida State, Georgia, Hawaii, Houston, MIchigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, Non-BCS, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon, Pac-12, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, SEC, South Carolina, South Carolina, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M, Toledo, Troy, Tulsa, USC, Virginia Tech, Walter Camp Award, Walter Camp Watch List, Washington, Watch Lists, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Posted on: July 8, 2011 10:52 am
Edited on: July 8, 2011 11:02 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Check the time, we got another watch for you.
The Football Writers Association of America also released its 2011 Outland Trophy Watch list on Friday.
The trophy is awarded annually to the best interior lineman in college football. Only tackles, guards and centers from both sides of the ball (defensive tackles are included) are eligible for the award. Of the 65 players currently on the watch list, 16 of them are defensive tackles.
The Outland Trophy dates back to 1946 and is one of the oldest annual awards in college football.
This award honors the often-thankless positions that fight in the trenches and establish the line every Saturday. Last year's winner was Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi.
Who do you have pegged as a favorite in 2011? Let us know in the comment section below.
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Boise State, BYU, California, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado, Connecticut, Defensive Lineman, Florida, Florida State, Fresno State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, Illinois, Interior Lineman, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Memphis, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Non-BCS, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Offensive Lineman, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Outland Trophy, Outland Trophy Watch List, Pac-12, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Purdue, SMU, South Carolina, Standford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech, Troy, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Posted on: July 8, 2011 10:40 am
Edited on: July 8, 2011 10:53 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
The "Watch" Watch continues on as the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club have released the first watch list for the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
The award is given annually to the nation's best defensive player, as selected by FWAA All-America Committee members. Players can be added or deleted from the watch list at any time throughout the season, a player not on the list can work his way on by being name Defensive Player of the Week by the FWAA.
Check out the full watch list below. Any snubs? Who's your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below.
Tags: ACC, Akron, Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Boise State, Boston College, Bronko Nagurski, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Connecticut, Defensive Player of the Week, Defensive Player of the Year, Florida, Florida State, Fresno State, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, Kent State, Kentucky, LSU, Marshall, Maryland, Memphis, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Non-BCS, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pac-12, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, San Diego State, SEC, SMU, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Stanford, TCU, Temple, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Troy, UCF, UCLA, USC, Utah State, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Posted on: June 30, 2011 10:39 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 11:11 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Since joining Louisville, Cardinals coach Charlie Strong has been aggressive on the recruiting trail when it comes to quarterbacks. First the second-year coach snagged highly-touted recruit Teddy Bridgewater from Miami before signing day, and on Thursday, he unofficially welcomed Missouri transfer Tyler Gabbert to the program.
Gabbert, the younger brother of the Jacksonville Jaguars' first-round pick Blaine Gabbert, spent his freshman year with his brother at Missouri, but after losing the quarterback battle to James Franklin in spring practice, Gabbert opted to transfer in May.
Both Tyler and his older brother Blaine originally committed to Nebraska before changing their decision to Missouri. Former Cornhuskers offensive coordinator Shawn Watson (who recruited both brothers heavily while at Nebraska) is now the quarterbacks coach on Strong's staff. Gabbert's arrival gives Louisville a full stable of quarterbacks for 2012. While junior Will Stein will be the starting quarterback entering fall camp, Bridgewater has made it clear he will be ready whenever his name is called. Once Gabbert joins the duo next fall, Strong will have three different quarterbacks competing for snaps in 2012.
While some might argue that the position is too crowded, I can guarantee you a surplus of talent is not something that Louisville fans will be complaining about.