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Some thoughts & state of college football

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Some thoughts & state of college football

Unread postby FUDU » Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:55 pm

First off, on my drive to work at 5:30 am I often listen to ESPN's All Night with that loser host.

Today he commented on Saban's comments toward USF.

Basically saying it wasn't cool by Saban and in the end it will come back to bite him and not necessarily just in on the field results (meaning a USF win over his Tide). Now part of the hosts defense of USF was that are ranked 6th, beat some decent to good teams etc... He even went so far as to say Saban's comments are even more ridiculous when you consider he said them about an elite team like USF. He then went on to mention the similar elite teams to USF in the SEC like as in, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina. b/C they are all either undefeated or have one loss.

Elite team(s)?

My point here isn't to trash USF, they are a good team and a great story and as I have mentioned this season I don't know all that much about them other than what I have watched. Nor is this about the SEC really.

It is more about what is considered an elite team.

So now just getting to 5-0 makes a program an elite team? How ridiculous. 80% of all schedules played have not had near a tough game on them and even the ones that have how can we say it was a tough game yet when the season is so young and we really don't know how a team is going to be.

According to this yahoo's logic Purdue is an elite team then, right?

I just don't get the over anxious labeling of teams as elite. Elite teams are the team a top or near the top of the polls that are undefeated for the most part. Now USF meets those requirements but classifying a prior unknown as elite when they have not beaten an elite is way premature IMO.

I mean Kentucky elite, Georgia elite?

So doesn't this logic make every one loss or undefeated team elite.

I just don't get it or like it.

Right now there are 4-6 elite teams period.

LSU
USC
Cal
Fla (they deserve benefit of the doubt) and maybe just maybe OSU & Wisky. But those two have yet to beat anybody of real note.

This brings me to a look at the state of college football.

I think it is reasonable to say college football is at all time high for popularity or interest, if not it is damn close to an all time high.

When looking at the teams and the game IMO it seems as if there are fewer and fewer seasons in which there are truly great great teams, and I mean that literally as in plural. Yeah there is a great team usually every year or every other but how often are there 6, 5 or even 3 or 2?

What is the cause of this?

Parity?

As in recruiting, as in coaching? It seems that there are an awful lot of good coaches in the college ranks today. To take it further it seems that new first time young coaches are more often than not way ahead of the curve.

In years past college football had a deeper top ten IMO, and in that top ten were more really good to great teams. I just don't see it as such the past 5-7 years.

I think last year and this year are good examples of this.

No knock on some of the current crop like the Kentucky's, USF's, WV's, Cincinnati's but if what they have done is all it takes to get into the top ten than either college football has reached a certain level of parity or we have lowered our qualification's and expectations of good football teams.
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Unread postby furls » Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:10 pm

Jason Smith is a retard. He epitomizes ESPN every bit as much as Gammons epitomizes its downfall.

Gammons is probably the best sports journalist to ever work at ESPN, but these days he is more and more absent. His role and the role of others that used to work at ESPN like him, the guys that knew what the hell they were talking about, have since been replaced by Jason Smiths.

These guys don't seem to bring much to the table but an opinion; conspicuously absent from every argument they make? Facts and real analysis. All you get is opinion and editorial.

I agree, the term elite is thrown around way to much, as is "program." They constantly say teams like USF or Louisville or Kentucky have "elite programs." A team is what a program has on the field today; a program is a university's heritage/history/tradition, facilities, team, AD, recruiting history, and Coaches. Teams, what is currently on the field, is a subset of a program.
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Re: Some thoughts & state of college football

Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:07 pm

FUDU wrote:Elite team(s)?

My point here isn't to trash USF, they are a good team and a great story and as I have mentioned this season I don't know all that much about them other than what I have watched. Nor is this about the SEC really.

It is more about what is considered an elite team.

So now just getting to 5-0 makes a program an elite team? How ridiculous. 80% of all schedules played have not had near a tough game on them and even the ones that have how can we say it was a tough game yet when the season is so young and we really don't know how a team is going to be.

According to this yahoo's logic Purdue is an elite team then, right?


If it is just on record, yes. I agree, though, that 5-0 doesn't make you elite. There's going to be some subjectivity in any determination of elite.

I just don't get the over anxious labeling of teams as elite. Elite teams are the team a top or near the top of the polls that are undefeated for the most part. Now USF meets those requirements but classifying a prior unknown as elite when they have not beaten an elite is way premature IMO.


I think the reason why USF gets lumped in there is because WVU was looked at as a BCS title contender. I'm not saying WVU was elite either. There's also the Auburn argument due to Florida's defeat in Gainesville. I honestly wouldn't call USF elite, but I'd probably only give LSU anywhere near elite status at this point.

I mean Kentucky elite, Georgia elite?

So doesn't this logic make every one loss or undefeated team elite.

I just don't get it or like it.

Right now there are 4-6 elite teams period.

LSU
USC
Cal
Fla (they deserve benefit of the doubt) and maybe just maybe OSU & Wisky. But those two have yet to beat anybody of real note.


I can see the argument for Florida and USC. Cal I have a harder time really putting into the upper echelon until the game against USC. But I agree, the elite status comments for some of these teams are pretty crazy, including USF.

This brings me to a look at the state of college football.

I think it is reasonable to say college football is at all time high for popularity or interest, if not it is damn close to an all time high.

When looking at the teams and the game IMO it seems as if there are fewer and fewer seasons in which there are truly great great teams, and I mean that literally as in plural. Yeah there is a great team usually every year or every other but how often are there 6, 5 or even 3 or 2?

What is the cause of this?

Parity?

As in recruiting, as in coaching? It seems that there are an awful lot of good coaches in the college ranks today. To take it further it seems that new first time young coaches are more often than not way ahead of the curve.


The reduction in football scholarships probably has a lot to do with it. Big programs can't just stockpile players like they used to and it makes it easier for other teams to get quality players. It is one major reason why USF has made inroads. Miami, Florida, and Florida State target the top, highly publicized recruits. USF usually goes after kids that those schools have an interest in but don't go all out after. Many of those kids are more in the "grower" mold - they should be good down the line but are not as likely to be impactful early in their college careers. Some are kids ignored by the Big Three, but most are just developmental guys that used to be stockpiled.

In years past college football had a deeper top ten IMO, and in that top ten were more really good to great teams. I just don't see it as such the past 5-7 years.


I think it's still deep because I think most teams in the top 10-15 could beat each other and have a good chance against the other teams.

I think last year and this year are good examples of this.

No knock on some of the current crop like the Kentucky's, USF's, WV's, Cincinnati's but if what they have done is all it takes to get into the top ten than either college football has reached a certain level of parity or we have lowered our qualification's and expectations of good football teams.


There is more parity. It's just that a lot of the kids that would have gone to Ohio State 15 years ago may instead choose Cincy because they have a shot to play there and Cincy is a BCS school. OSU will still get top talent in the state, but they can't stockpile. I think a school has to present a good alternative though. Cincy and USF's move into a BCS conference helped them out too.

This was an argument I used a couple of years ago to suggest a USF rise to national prominence:

You've got Miami and FSU in the ACC, so they will continue to knock each other out and both have to deal with Virginia Tech and any other team that might arise. Florida's in the SEC and that's a hard conference to win and if you have a couple of undefeated teams ahead of you in the poll then you're probably not going to play for a BCS.

The Big East has done a good job of legitimizing itself as a BCS conference, but at the time the shape of it was uncertain, but it was guaranteed BCS status for a few more years at least. USF had the easiest path into a BCS bowl and onto national TV. Same goes for Cincy versus Ohio State.

That's changing now because the Big East is becoming more reputable. There are still many who think it's a joke and that can actually play to the advantage of a school like Cincy. If they can convince some good Ohio recruits that they have an easier job of getting to the BCS then they can draw some away from OSU, Michigan, and other Big Ten teams.

As for Kentucky, much of their success is coming because their defense is solid and Woodson is a great QB. He seems to be the Heisman frontrunner right now.
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Unread postby furls » Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:32 pm

If they can convince some good Ohio recruits that they have an easier job of getting to the BCS then they can draw some away from OSU, Michigan, and other Big Ten teams.


The best bet for cincy recruiting is to convince recruits that they could make an immediate impact on the Cincy roster vice being buried on an OSU roster. Kids care to some extent about BCS games, but to a much greater extent it is about exposure, ability to get them to the NFL, and playtime.

These kids are very cognizant of the fact that it is better to be the #1 back and play at WVU than the #4 back at USC (see Noel Devine). The onus will be on the coaches at USF, Cincy, and the other upstarts to coach these kids up and an additional workload will be placed on the ADs to make their facilities competitive with the big boys and to retain those coaches (i.e. Mark D'Antonio to MSU).

As for Kentucky, much of their success is coming because their defense is solid and Woodson is a great QB. He seems to be the Heisman frontrunner right now.


KY is a "one hit wonder" based on current personnel, there really is no program momentum and they will regress to the mean. Now that said, Woodson is a good QB, but for him to win the Heisman, KY will have to win, and I am not sure that they will continue to do that in the SEC.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:20 pm

Furls wrote:KY is a "one hit wonder" based on current personnel, there really is no program momentum and they will regress to the mean. Now that said, Woodson is a good QB, but for him to win the Heisman, KY will have to win, and I am not sure that they will continue to do that in the SEC.


I agree there and they'll have problems winning with their schedule. South Carolina got 'em. I expect LSU and Florida to defeat them over the past two weeks. Georgia should beat them as well.

But 8-4 for UK is pretty good for them. I agree, I don't think they'll gain any momentum from it. Louisville has better long term prospects in football than UK does, though Louisville needs to spend some time recruiting and coaching on defense. We'll have to see how Kragthorpe handles that going forward.
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Unread postby furls » Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:06 am

We'll have to see how Kragthorpe handles that going forward.


My guess is that he will handle it from the unemployment line within a year or so. They have pretty high expectations for their terms right now in Louisville and expectations are the mightiest of coach slayers.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:05 am

Furls wrote:My guess is that he will handle it from the unemployment line within a year or so. They have pretty high expectations for their terms right now in Louisville and expectations are the mightiest of coach slayers.


Can't disagree there. I think it's apparent now that losing Petrino really hurt them. They'll give Kragthorpe a few years to try to put things together, but it doesn't seem like he's up to the task.

Cincinnati certainly did a better job in finding their coaching replacement. Kelly may be an upgrade over Dantonio for them. Both guys are good coaches.
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Unread postby furls » Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:15 am

Gonna have to hold out judgment on D'Antonio to see what he does at MSU. He is inheriting a train wreck up there and they seem to have made some pretty serious progress. The one drawback to D'Antonio is that he favors a super conservative offense, or at least he did at UC. It will be interesting to see what he develops at MSU.

I think this underscores a great poing about current college football. COACHING is the key. Talent is important, but in the end, coaches have a huge impact. It sounds retarded, but coaches who can change their game to meet their personnel strengths and weaknesses are a serious need today for consistent success.

The days of the program identity (Ohio State's 3 yards and cloud of dust for instance) died with the 1994 scholarship limitations. No longer can teams stockpile players to ensure that coaches can run their in grained systems. Now Coaches have to be able to look at their team and pick a system that matches their personnel. I think that is a big reason that the game seems to have passed the Bowdens and Paterno's by.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:55 am

Furls wrote:The days of the program identity (Ohio State's 3 yards and cloud of dust for instance) died with the 1994 scholarship limitations. No longer can teams stockpile players to ensure that coaches can run their in grained systems. Now Coaches have to be able to look at their team and pick a system that matches their personnel. I think that is a big reason that the game seems to have passed the Bowdens and Paterno's by.


Hit the nail on the head there. Bowden still gets some great recruits, but he's often trying to force a square peg into a round hole. That's where Leavitt has been far more successful. He knows what he wants to do and finds players that fit, but he and his staff make modifications around the talent when it develop. Bowden doesn't really do that at this point. The defense is still good, but the offense has been a problem. I'm interested to see if Fisher can fix this by developing an offensive scheme that matches the talent he has. They took a step forward by beating Alabama. The Tide aren't great, but it certainly got FSU over a mental hump, IMHO.
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