Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
Tag:I Promise I Am Not On Drugs
Posted on: October 15, 2010 3:52 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2010 3:55 pm

Arizona's Shaquille Richardson to start

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Word came from Tucson earlier this week that a cornerback named Shaquille Richardson was making his first start of his Arizona career this weekend. Naturally, we're skeptical about this news. We're under the impression that there is literally only one person in the world named Shaquille, and, well, this sounds exactly like something he'd do.

So the question is this: Is Shaquille Richardson actually Shaquille O'Neal? Take a look at this picture from last week's game (which may have been slightly edited) and judge for yourself:

Several aspects of this picture raised red flags:

1) It's commendable that Shaq found a college jersey, since it'd be a dead giveaway if he showed up in his Celtics uniform. But the problem here is that it's a basketball uniform, and LSU is not Arizona. Big clue there that something's up.

2) He's very far out of position to make a play, indicating that he is not performing his duties as a cornerback at a starter's level. Shaquille is probably just filming a segment for Shaq Vs. or something.

3) 7'1", 320 is far too big for a defensive back. 

4) He's dunking a basketball. Where did he get a basketball and a hoop to dunk on? Those aren't on a regulation football field, as far as we know.

5) This is definitely not photoshopped in any way.

Again, this is up for people to judge for themselves, but we're pretty sure "Shaquille Richardson" is nothing more than a lazy pseudonym, and we're going to see "The Big Cactus" make his return to the state of Arizona this week. Seems pretty selfish of him to insert himself into a college football game like this.

Disclaimer: the CBS College Football Blog staff performed no actual research in preparing this article, and none of it should be construed as factual.

Posted on: October 13, 2010 12:57 am

Is it time to overhaul the Coaches Poll?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

One of the most odious aspects of the BCS -- and let's be clear, there are very many -- is the fact that the Coaches Poll constitutes one-third of the voting for the standings. If the poll's involvement weren't already accepted as normal, it would sound absurd: the selected coaches (or their selected assistant who actually fills these things out without attribution), given about 20 hours after the conclusion of their games, are tasked with ranking 25 out of the 120 teams in the FBS. The coach will never gameplan for, or have anything more than a cursory opinion about, the vast majority of these teams. The more time the coaches spend researching the poll, the less time they have to do their job (which isn't one with a great deal of spare time to begin with).

Thus, we get the same win-go-up, lose-go-down lazy polling that we can very well get from the AP already. What's the point? Does adding yet another hastily arranged Top 25 to the BCS add any merit? Moreover, isn't it a waste of what the coaches bring to the table for the BCS? Coaches do have exemplary abilities when it comes to evaluating other teams, after all, but that skill is primarily used in the daily rigmarole of their job, which is to say, on teams that they're actually going to play at some point.

So let's embrace that: have every single coach participate in the new coaches poll by ranking only their 12 opponents. As with traditional polls, a no. 1 gets the highest value (in this case 12), a no. 2 gets 11, and so on down the line. You know, like a normal poll. Now, since this is necessarily grading only FBS play (unless fans really want to see Montana come in at no. 8 in the poll or something similar), the teams with an FCS opponent are only going to be ranked by 11 opponents, so the rankings will be by average value instead of total.

Does this unfairly reward good teams in weak conferences (see: Boise State)? Well, maybe when it comes to their rankings relative to their conference pals. But look at who Boise's opponents are playing. Oregon State also plays TCU and Oregon. Wyoming got Boise, TCU, Utah, and Texas for this season (yes, Texas tanked, but that's an anomaly). Lowly San Jose State? The Spartans see Boise State, Utah, Wisconsin, and Alabama. Boise State may have some control over their schedule, but they certainly have little control over who their opponents play, and that's going to matter in this poll. Meanwhile, Ohio State may play in a tougher conference, but does anyone seriously think any of the Big Ten's coaches would rank another conference member over OSU as long as the Buckeyes stay undefeated? Would anybody have put Alabama second in the SEC before South Carolina pulled the upset?

Also, once the season starts to get into its late stages, coaches will be able to rank these teams based on what they saw first-hand in actual gameplay. Will this result in some coaches ranking teams based largely on how they performed against that coach's team? Sure. That's called rewarding wins and punishing losses. In other words, it's the entire point of polling. And if a coach seriously thinks a team that's, say, 19th in the AP played his team better than the 11th-ranked team, well, that's information that absolutely deserves to be integrated into the poll -- and it's much easier to justify making that adjustment in this format instead of the win-go-up/lose-go-down cookie cutter Top 25s. 

Is this a perfect poll? No, of course not. There's still some value in a straight Top 25 poll, and the computer rankings have their merit. But if we're including coaches in the BCS process -- and we should! -- we should play to their strengths, not make them play pollster. This is how to do it.

Posted on: September 28, 2010 1:51 am
Edited on: September 28, 2010 4:05 am

Should special teams play include rugby?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

If you didn't catch the end of tonight's Green Bay-Chicago game, feel thankful. Not only did the Packers hand Chicago the game in the final minutes in a multitude of ways*, but they topped it off by attempting one of those lateral-filled kick returns... and failing miserably. There were flags on the field for a ridiculous forward lateral almost immediately, and the game mercifully ended when another forward lateral was dropped -- an incomplete forward pass, essentially.

So that got me to thinking. What if football coaches prepared for this type of scenario by reserving 11 players on their roster for a specialized kickoff return team that spent their time practicing nothing but rugby tries? Okay, you're already looking at me like I'm high. Really, really high. But hear me out. Obviously, the personnel situation on NFL teams (53 active players) is tight enough as it is, so this would have to be reserved for colleges and high schools. Further, it's not even as if a college coach would have to devote 11 of his 85 scholarships to the team, either; colleges can add up to 30 walk-ons to their roster (and only 20 can report early with the rest of the team), so why not use those last 10 guys on the rugby team? Does a college program really need that eighth free safety? Really? Is that not-even-early-reporting tenth tight end really going to be immediately useful with the game on the line? He might be if he's on the rugby unit.

Plus, at their core, what's the difference between this...

...and this?

Both are scenarios where one team advances the ball to a goal line by maintaining possession through multiple ball carriers and lateral ball movement. And yes, they're both extreme examples of success, but the rugby team actually knew exactly what it was doing. Both of those plays are based more on the principles of rugby than American football, after all, and if that's your go-to method of pulling a touchdown (and, y'know, A WIN) out of thin air in one play, wouldn't some expertise on the subject be absolutely crucial?

Now, we're not suggesting these magical 11 players replace the kick return team all the time; usually, the worst-case scenario on a kickoff is that a team loses possession of the ball before the offense can even get on the field. With the danger of a lateral pass being that it's a live ball, the ideal tactic is to minimize the chances of losing possession.

However, with under 10 seconds to go in a one-possession game, the worst-case scenario becomes "not scoring on the kickoff return"; at that point, a loss of possession on the return is scarcely different from ending the return on a tackle or push out of bounds -- in both scenarios, the team loses, and it really doesn't matter if the loss is by four points or eleven. Gambling aficionados may disagree on that last point, but whatever, you're all degenerates.

Heck, most colleges have club rugby teams anyway. The coach wouldn't even have to court NCAA scrutiny by asking high schoolers to play rugby as walk-ons. He'd just have to find the rugby team on campus as soon as school starts, ask for the 11 guys with the best grades, and tell them they can trade tailgating for actually suiting up on Saturdays. They wouldn't have to learn a football position or get killed in football practice, just keep playing the sport they were already playing for fun. You guys, this is a good idea. 

Internet, what do you think of my idea?



*One: a James Jones fumble near midfield that the Bears recovered. Two: dropping an interception on the very next snap. Three: a horrific pass interference penalty that wiped out another interception AND gave the Bears the ball in the red zone. Four: Tackled Bears RB Matt Forte inside the 3-yard line twice instead of letting him score and preserving the time on the clock. By making a goal line stand, the Packers instead "forced" Robbie Gould to make an easy 20-yard field goal with four seconds left for the win. Then, ugh, that kickoff return. All in all, it was a veritable case study in How To Lose A Football Game While Maintaining The Appearance Of Effort.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or