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 7:01 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 7:01 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Over the last few years in sports we've all started to get a better understanding of concussions and the long-term effects they can have on those who suffer them. Still, even if we're learning more about concussions, there's still a bit more to learn to help ensure the safety of not only college football players, but athletes in all sports.
And Notre Dame is taking a step in helping to figure things out.
When the Irish take the field this season, 22 players will be wearing new mouthguards that can record and report data about the impact of collisions on the field.
The "intelligent mouthguard" by Seattle's X2IMPACT records the g-force of collisions throughout games for 22 specially selected Fighting Irish players.Notre Dame won't be the only school wearing the new mouthguards, either, as Stanford will also be wearing them this season. So when the Irish and Cardinal finish the regular season against one another in November, expect to see a lot of men in white lab coats and glasses in the sidelines alongside the bands.
Posted on: August 1, 2011 2:53 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The NFL world is a little poorer today than it was yesterday, as longtime Vikings/Patriots WR (and Marshall alum) Randy Moss announced his retirement earlier. Moss was a free agent at the time, and from the sound of it, the situation in front of him was sufficiently dire that retirement seemed like the best option.
If his retirement is permanent (and not one of those Brett Favre annual retirements), that's a bummer. Moss is 34 now, which means he's lost a couple steps, but even still, he's one hell of a wideout, one who's able to embarrass an opposing cornerback here or there.
So let's look back at a time when Randy Moss' legs were still young and fresh. Oh, and instead of an NFL defense to face, let's pit him against, let's say, late-'90s Army. 3rd and 2 for Marshall at its own 10. What's the worst that can happen?
Oh. Ohhhh. Mach 2 Fireball Death Machine Randy Moss is the worst that can happen. For those keeping score at home, that's a juke, an even better juke, a hurdle, a stiff-arm, and then otherworldly speed, all in one play. And it wasn't even Moss' only insane TD of the day.
It's not enough to say that college football doesn't get guys like Randy Moss very often. There really hasn't been one since. The closest you could get was probably 2004 Braylon Edwards at Michigan, and while Edwards was making some sensational plays in the iconic 1 jersey for the Wolverines, well, he never came close to what Moss did there.
Of course, any discussion of Randy Moss' college career is incomplete without mentioning why it was it's no accident that Moss ended up at tiny Marshall and not a big-name program. Moss originally signed with Notre Dame, but got in a nasty fight during his senior year that ended in a felony charge -- and a denial of enrollment by the school. Moss instead enrolled at Florida State, but was ruled ineligible for his freshman year due to transfer rules. He then tested positive for marijuana during his probation for the aforementioned fight, earning him a dismissal from FSU. So while it's a shame his skills were only on display for Marshall, it was pretty much entirely Moss' fault.
That all said, Moss stayed out of trouble at Marshall, and excelled on the field as a result. For that, we've got that insane play to show for it, and a richer college football history as a whole. Happy trails, Mr. Moss.
Posted on: August 1, 2011 1:09 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Every summer many college football fan's anticipate the release of Phil Steele's annual preview magazine as much as they do the college football season itself. If you're unfamiliar with Phil Steele, he's a man that enjoys doing three things: watching college football, doing math and writing about college football and the math he's done. It was these three hobbies of Steele's that helped him figure out which school has the best homefield advantage in the country.
Using a number of different factors including stadium capacity, attendance and home records, Steele was able to determine which schools have the biggest edge at their place, and it turns out that three schools are tied atop the rankings. None of which will come as that big of a surprise.
According to Steele, the three teams with the best homefield advantage in the country are Oklahoma, Oregon and Boise State. Those schools are followed by Ohio State and Virginia Tech to round out the top five. Eastern Michigan can lay claim to the worst homefield advantage in the country.
Now, while Steele's formula for figuring all of this out -- you can read all about it and see the entire list of rankings here -- is solid, I do have a small problem with it. He breaks every category down into a rating between 0 and 6. Which leads to a lot of ties in the final rankings. Personally, if I were going to do something similar, I would break the ratings down from 0 to 10. I'm sure there would be some ties, but not nearly as many as Steele currently has.
Though don't expect me to sit down and do it myself. I don't hate math, but I'm not looking to spend all of my time with it either.
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:02 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Tate Forcier's long and winding road appears to have finally wound its way to San Jose.
The Mercury News is reporting that Forcier has committed to play for the San Jose State Spartans, ending a months-long cross-country transfer tour that saw Forcier announce at one stage that he would be playing for Miami before later announcing he would instead look elsewhere.
Obviously, SJSU would appear to be quite the step down from playing for the Hurricanes (much less Michigan, the school where Forcier spent two years making his name), but Forcier will be much closer to his San Diego home and brother Jason Forcier reportedly works in the area. He offered the Mercury News a comment via text message:
“It felt right,” Forcier said ... “I loved the coaches and felt comfortable with them. I really believe I can help that team.”While Forcier won't simply have the job handed to him (incoming freshman QB Joe Gray was SJSU's highest-ranked recruit and could be reasonably entrenched as the starter once Forcier is eligible in 2012), it's hard to believe he won't help a program as downtrodden as the Spartans. He immediately becomes their most proven commodity, their highest-ranked recruit (probably ever), and far and away the closest thing Mike MacIntyre's program has to a star. Given the state of the WAC in 2012, it's likely Forcier is also already the entire conference's highest-profile player.
SJSU won just one game last year, and even that one was a 16-11 scrape past FCS Southern Utah*. But they were surprisingly competitive down the stretch (losing four of their final five games by a total of 16 points), return all 11 of their starters on defense this year, and boast another BCS-caliber transfer in former Minnesota tailback Deleon Eskridge.
With Forcier now all but falling into their laps (thanks to the Miami decision and Hawaii ruling him unable to meet their fall semester's academic requirements), MacIntyre would appear to have the Spartans moving in the right direction. There's still miles and miles and miles to go in that direction, but it's something--and having a talent like Forcier around certainly won't hurt.
*As an aside: SUU's nickname is the Thunderbirds, one of the best in all Division I. Why more schools never adopted this one, we don't know.
Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:53 am
Edited on: August 4, 2011 12:18 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
When San Diego State head coach Rocky Long called the combination of Boise State's home Smurf Turf and their all-blue uniforms "unfair" this past April, we applauded his candor but also assumed he was giving voice to run-of-the-mill behind-the-scenes sour grapes. If Boise hadn't been so good, and their opponents on the blue turf hadn't lost so many times, no one would care about the color of the field or uniforms, right?
Maybe not. But as it turns out, Long is far from the only coach to believe the Broncos' home color-coordination gives them an unfair advantage. In fact, so many of the coaches in Boise's new Mountain West Conference home complained that the league prohibited the Broncos from wearing all-blue uniforms in their conference home games as a prerequisite for their entry into the league.
While the Bronco administration had little choice but to sign off on the agreement (what, they were going to stay in the WAC over their uniforms?), you couldn't have expected the MWC's plan to go over well in Boise. And it hasn't, with even usually soft-spoken head coach Chris Petersen railing against the decision at MWC Media Days Tuesday:
“I thought it was ridiculous,” Petersen said of his reaction. “… That’s our colors. That’s who we are. That’s who our fans have wanted us to be since I’ve been at Boise State. That’s what it’s been through and through.”
The MWC's explanation?
Said commissioner Craig Thompson: “What we had heard from our coaches is ‘a competitive advantage.’ It’s as simple as that.”Again: color us skeptical the Broncos' "competitive advantage" in Boise has anywhere near as much to do with the field or the uniforms as the long travel, players like Kellen Moore, and coaches like Petersen. And we're particularly skeptical the coaches' gripes are based in legitimate competition issues -- rather than a conference-wide sort of rookie hazing -- when we read the following:
One complaint from coaches is that it’s difficult to watch video of the Broncos’ home games. Petersen said that’s true, but shouldn’t be an issue as schools switch to high definition.It's a little more difficult to watch film of their games, so you're going to tell the Broncos what uniforms they can and can't wear at their own stadium? Really?
Really. As a neutral viewer, we shouldn't complain; the all-blue look on the blue turf does take a few series' of visual adjustment (even in HD), and monochrome uniforms in bright colors aren't exactly the height of football fashion no matter the color of the field. But quirky home-field advantages have always been a part of college football, and this one seems even more quirky and innocuous than most.
So: we anxiously await confirmation from the MWC that as part of their invitations to join, Hawaii will be playing their home games in California, Nevada will be playing theirs at sea level (and only in September and October, what with those chilly November/December temperatures in Reno), and at theirs Fresno State will force Pat Hill to coach clean-shaven.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 4:54 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
SDSU’s most experienced returning receiver, junior Dominique Sandifer, has been ruled out for the coming season with a knee injury suffered during offseason drills. Redshirt freshman receiver Jay Waddell also hurt his knee in the offseason and will be out for the year.
Long may have a point in his response to the news, but no matter how he tries to brush it off, this is still a big blow to the Aztecs offense. Sandifer may not have had a lot of experience in his career, but he's still the most experienced receiver San Diego State has after making 23 catches for 263 yards last season. He was also slated to be the Aztecs' deep threat in 2011, and while tight end Gavin Escobar will be a useful target for quarterback Ryan Lindley, he's not exactly going to stretch the field.
Posted on: July 20, 2011 6:51 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 6:58 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli