Sam Bradford- Am I Taking Crazy Pills?  

Posted by Frazier

It seems destined that Sam Bradford is going to be the top pick in next weeks NFL draft. This is how David Carr happens, or Tim Couch, or Alex Smith. These are quarterbacks taken #1 because the team with the pick felt like their hands were tied.

People realize that Bradford only played college football for 2 years, right?

People understand that he never won a Bowl game? That he only beat Texas his FRESHMAN year? That his worst game in the last two years was the only one that truly mattered (title game against Florida). That he played in a conference where nobody played defense? Here are the pertinent numbers for 2008 (the one year where he did anything).

Sam Bradford: 68% passing, 4720 yards, 50 TD, 8 INT
Chase Daniel: 73% passing, 4335 yards, 39 TD, 18 INT
Graham Harrell: 71% passing, 5111 yards, 45 TD, 9 INT
Todd Reesing: 66% passing, 3888 yards, 32 TD, 13 INT
Joe Ganz: 68% passing, 3568 yards, 25 TD, 11 INT
Zac Robinson: 65% passing, 3064 yards, 25 TD, 10 INT (562 yards rushing, 8 TD)
Colt McCoy: 77% passing, 3859 yards, 34 TD, 8 INT (561 yards rushing, 11 TD)

All these quarterbacks were in the SAME CONFERENCE!

Then Bradford played a very good Florida D, had his worst game of the year, and lost. The only other team to play any defense that year was Texas, and Bradford lost to them as well. Don't say I didn't warn you, St. Louis.

The Case Against Tebow  

Posted by Frazier

1: We're back? Not sure. Just had something to say, and a blog.

2: Tim Tebow should not be anywhere near the top of the Heisman list. The argument in his favor is that he's the quarterback for the #1 team in the country. Now, let's compare his stats to another, less mentioned quarterback.

Total Yards:

Quarterback A: 1410
Quarterback B: 1352

Total TD's:

Quarterback A: 13
Quarterback B: 9

Total Turnovers:

Quarterback A: 6
Quarterback B: 6


Quarterback A: 12
Quarterback B: 8

Wins Against Ranked:

Quarterback A: 1
Quarterback B: 3

Margin over Ark:

Quarterback A: 3
Quarterback B: 28


Quarterback A: 0
Quarterback B: 0

Team Ranking:

Quarterback A: 1
Quarterback B: 1

That's right, Quarterback A is Tebow, but Quarterback B is the immortal Greg McElroy.

Now, no sane person would ever argue that McElroy should be anywhere NEAR the Heisman race. And yet his numbers stack up pretty favorably with Tebow. Now, spare me the argument that he's played one more game, or that Tebow was hurt. The point remains that Tebow's numbers are pedestrian at best. If I wanted to embarrass him I'd just compare him to Tony Pike.

Don't make me tell you that Terrelle Pryor has more passing yards, total yards, touchdowns, and yards/carry than Tebow.

Now compare Tebow's projected season another successful season by a top QB:

Pass Yards:

Tebow Projected: 2064
Quarterback B: 3286

Completion %:

Tebow Projected: 65.5
Quarterback B: 66.9

Pass TD's:

Tebow Projected: 16
Quarterback B: 32

Rush Yards:

Tebow Projected: 720
Quarterback B: 895

Rush TD's:

Tebow Projected: 10
Quarterback B: 23


Tebow Projected: 4
Quarterback B: 6


Tebow Projected: 24
Quarterback B: 13

That's right, Quarterback B is Tebow in 2007. So he's on pace for half the season as his first Heisman but he could still win another? He's getting WORSE. Alternatively, he's the same but pretty average when not surrounded by tons of talent and a line that doesn't let him get touched. Or, he's making poor decisions and taking too many sacks. Either way, he does not deserve to be in the Heisman chase right now. That could change, but it won't matter, because he'll be on the short list as long as he's being held to a different standard.

But if McElroy keeps up in the stats, and he just might, voters should think long and hard before anointing their king.

More quick hitters  

Posted by Frazier

Well, we're not being terribly reliable here in 323 land. I blame two things:

1: The law. As in either the study, or practice of it.

2: The offseason. Kind of hard to get excited to write articles about spring practices that we can't attend, or spring games that we generally can't watch.

Anyways, here are some quick college football thoughts to tide you over.

- Apparently Mitch Mustain was not familiar with how it works in Trojan land. He was anointed the starter at Arkansas after being named the national high school player of the year. Then he got pissy because Houston Nutt thought it was better for his team to run the offense through Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, a pair of first-round picks, than a freshman quarterback. So he transferred to USC for fame and glory. He rode the pine last year and now he's THIRD on the depth chart behind two other high school superstars (Aaron Corp and Matt Barkley). Nothing is handed to you at USC, you have to win it over some kid who was at least as highly recruited as you coming out of high school. I'd say at least the women are hotter, but I'm not sure if the 3d stringer gets a lot of that action. Maybe Mitch was better off being a big fish in a small pond.

- Looks like Greg Paulus is doing what I told him to do and returning to Syracuse. This makes the most sense for him. He only has one year of eligibility so he needs to start immediately, and the Orange are so bad that he may actually get that chance. If he plays well enough maybe he can get drafted as a project quarterback. I mean, that's his best-case scenario and going home to upstate NY gives him a better chance of pulling it off than he'd have battling some encumbant, or a top recruit at a more functional program. It certainly makes more sense than trying to win the job running whatever Rich Rod is dreaming up in Michigan. I think it's an interesting story, and I like the fact that the kid seems to have no regrets about his decision. So good luck to him. If he plays well there he'll cement his status as local legend and give that program a glimmer of hope.

- Mark Schlabach has a top 25 that's worth looking at. It's not actually worth commenting about because it's still way too early. Furthermore, since we haven't been able to watch practices and talk to people like Mark has, we don't have anything to add beyond pure conjecture. We like to save that sort of thing until the season is a little closer.

- Finally, a really sad note. It looks like one of the 323's absolutely favorite players is battling cancer. Herzlich is a warrior on the field and makes the big man smile from his season tickets seats at BC when he lights someone up. As much as we were looking forward to watching him on the field this year, we're even more looking forward to him just being healthy again. Great kid, great leader. Our thoughts are certainly with him, and we know that he'll fight it until he wins.

Really, Michigan?  

Posted by Frazier

So it looks like Greg Paulus wants to play quarterback.

Good for him. I always wondered why he chose to play PG at Duke anyways. I understand the kid was passionate about basketball, but his absolute best case scenario was to be one of those irritating white Duke PG's like Wojo. Maybe he wins a title and then gets to be an assistant college basketball coach.

That sounds pretty decent to me, I just like the alternative better.

He plays QB at Notre Dame, gets drafted into the NFL and makes millions of dollars.

I'm just saying. If you're a successful Notre Dame QB, someone is going to draft you. And I know he lacks ideal size, but 6ft 210lb (presuming he'd bulk up playing football) quarterbacks can get drafted and play in the NFL.

6ft 180lb white PG's don't exactly stand the same chance in the NBA.

So I always thought the Duke decision was odd, but it's his life, not mine. But now he wants to play football, and he should. I mean, live your dream kid, maybe, just maybe, it's not too late (it's almost certainly too late). First, I think he should have 4 years of eligibility left. I mean, why not? Does the NCAA think there's going to be a widespread problem of dual-sport athletes excelling so much that they get scholarships in both sports. What, exactly, is the downside? Some kid manages to get a masters, or start work on a PhD while playing high level sports? Hell, good for him (or her).

All that said, he has one year of eligibility. And apparently Michigan is willing to let him use it as their signal-caller. This makes absolutely no sense. Someone described it as "desperate" which might be a little strong, but only a little. Maybe there's a low-risk, high-reward thing going on. But unless you think Paulus can lead you to a title in one year (seems unlikely) aren't you better off having someone else win the battle so they get a full year running the system under their belts. And maybe that's how Rich Rod will play it. But in that case, it seems pretty unfair to Paulus. He'd be much better off going to a school who isn't shooting for a title, but would be stoked to get a winning season. I'm sure there are some nice options out there.

Syracuse seems natural, because any success there would be a big deal. But I understand if Paulus thinks the surrounding talent won't be able to help him. I mean, that's a dysfunctional system. I would have said Duke, but Cutcliffe is too sensible to open that can of worms. Iowa or Iowa St. might take a flyer on a kid like that. I bet Indiana would be happy to. Those lesser Florida schools are always looking to get some exposure, and have produced some good NFL talent (FIU, UCF, etc). Cincy played like a dozen QB's last year. Vandy is always happy to win some games, has some decent talent, and had serious QB issues, give them a call.

Or maybe that's exactly where Michigan is right now. There a team with serious issues, but some talent, who would be happy to get themselves a winning season.

More on BC?  

Posted by Frazier

I thought I'd moved past this BC debacle. I was pretty sure it was all out of my system. Then I read this article on ESPN, and it all comes back.

No one is saying the Coach Spaz isn't a good guy. Hell, no one is saying that he's not a great d-coordinator. The issue is that now he's a head coach, for absolutely no good reason. It's downright disturbing to read DeFilippo talking about how close he and Spaz are. It almost seems like he fired Jagz because they weren't good buddies. I mean, that's what all the bitching and moaning about "loyalty" was really all about. It was a giant "you hurt me, man" from someone who is supposed to have BOSTON COLLEGE'S best interests in mind. Not his own.

So now the AD has his best buddy coaching the team. Spaz hasn't changed in the two years since he lost out to Jagz, but BC's priorities apparently have. Now they'd rather have a lesser coach, who is more "loyal" and also friendlier with the AD than necessarily win football games.

It's also a sort of insult to the current crop of BC students. The article talks about BC's blue-collar roots, but it's changed a lot in the last couple of decades. I'm not sure Spaz necessarily represents the realities of the university. Tons of rich kids from the Boston and New York suburbs populate the campus. And those Irish and Italian blue collar families are another generation removed from the tennaments. They're more likely to be your podiatrist than your butcher.

Spaz is a throwback in another sense as well. He's a throwback to when mediocrity in college football was the accepted practice at BC. I'm sure this generation of students, and fans, will be thrilled to know that they can be part of that rich tradition.

Josh Freeman, Money for Nothing  

Posted by Frazier

Someone is going to select Josh Freeman fairly early in the NFL draft. I've heard late first round. And I just don't know why.

He has measurables. Which is wonderful. But has anyone been watching him play in college?

He certainly had some great games. But he had some embarrassing clunkers. I mean like his second to last game in college. 7-18 for 114 yards while getting blown out by the not so fearsome Nebraska defense. Or the fact that he threw for fewer yards and a lower percentage this year. Who the hell tracks downward in their junior year?!

Completing fewer than 60% of your passes in the defense-allergic Big 12?!

The man finished TENTH in quarterback rating in the Big 12. Austen Arnaud (ISU) and Cody Hawkins (CU) were the only ones to finish worse. Talk about illustrious company. He had the fourth fewest touchdown passes. And the second worst completion percentage.

Once again, this is in the completely defenseless Big 12. And the quarterbacks he's being compared to faced similar defenses all season.

So what we know is that he's big and strong and can throw the football well. He's like an erratic Jamarcus Russell. Also, name a successful NFL quarterback who was a "project" coming out of school. Like a totally unproven guy who simply had physical tools and turned into an elite pro? It's not like he's some gutsy winner. And, he's a junior. Underclassmen quarterbacks traditionally struggle to begin with. I will be shocked if Freeman turns into a good pro.

All that said, I'd be more than happy if someone picking before the Pats wants to blow a first round selection on him.

The trouble with the spread  

Posted by Walter

Interesting article on today by Don Banks discussing how the proliferation of the spread offense in college has made evaluating college prospects for the NFL draft extremely difficult. In the article Banks quoted NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock who deftly observed:

"It's the running backs, with their first step being lateral, crossing the quarterback's face instead of running downhill....It's the tight end that's never in line as a blocker. It's the wide receiver who doesn't run a route tree. It's every position. It's the left tackle, like (Baylor's) Jason Smith, who's in a two-point stance 98 percent of the time."

I think Banks and Mayock have hit the nail right on the head. The NFL draft was always a crap shoot, even when the scouts had a chance to watch college players playing in NFL style offenses during college games. With the advent and subsequent explosion of spread offenses in college football, scouts no longer have the opportunity to watch a particular player operate under circumstances they will encounter in an NFL offense. This will lead to the evaluation process becoming even more erratic, which will almost certainly result in more and more first round draft busts, which will ultimately lead to NFL teams having more and more dead money tied up in wasted talent.

This is not good for the game. Think about all the teams that have been set back years (and in some cases decades) by a couple of bad draft picks. The harder it becomes to evaluate players, the more this will happen, and the more franchises will be harmed. Moreover, the teams picking at the top of the draft, who are more susceptible to that type of franchise crippling draft miss, are forced to have more money tied up in potential young busts because of rookie salary demands. This will hamstring those teams in the free agent market, and prevent them from ever righting the ship.

This growing trend is not going to stop, and offers yet another reason that the NFL needs to adopt a MLB slotting process for rookie salaries.

The Team

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