Posted by Walter
I was wrong about Boston College. I honestly believed that they would finally be able to win one of these "program shifting" games. I was wrong. Despite a giant fork sticking out of his back, Larry Coker was able to rally his troops for a hard fought victory. I don't want to make an excuses for the Eagles (who truly played terribly) but the Hurricanes did play their best game in a long time on Thursday night. One thing that did become apparent on Turkey night was the arrival of Miami sophomore DE Calais Campbell as the next great NFL prospect from the U. He and Baraka Atkins were just superhuman.
was silence in heaven about the space of half
an hour".......all we need are the four horseman
and I'll know the Apocalypse is nigh.
- Colt's season statistics - 2262 yards, 68.7 completion %, 27:7 ratio
- Colt's statistics versus Ohio State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas A&M (the four top teams he has played) - 642 yards, 61.5 completion %, 5:4 raio
I was wrong about Wake Forest. It's time to give them their due. I admit that most of my picking against them was homerism, but part of me still felt that there was no way they could find themselves in the ACC title game. Well after watching them systematically dismantle Maryland, it is clear that they are the best team in the ACC and they will prove it by beating Georgia Tech in the conference title game. One final note on the Deacons, Senior WR Willie Idlett is one of best playes with the worst numbers you'll ever see. I've seen him play several times this season and he just feels like one of these 7th round draft picks who have productive NFL careers. Let's call him Troy Brown lite.
I was wrong about Pittsburgh. Earlier this season I touted both them and South Florida as possible tough games for any of the Big East top 3 teams. Well I could not have been more wrong about Pitt. While South Florida justified my statement about them with a shocking win over West Virginia Saturday (which was led by the best linebacking corpse in the nation), Pittsburgh stabbed me in the back once again by getting pasted by Louisville at home.
I was right about South Carolina. Spurrier has been knocking on the door all season and finally broke through with an impressive win at Clemson. The Gamecocks got 4 rushing TD's, and plenty of passing yards in finally getting a win over a ranked team. South Carolina will be a very interesting team in 2007. Although the SEC appears to be loaded once again (what else is new?), South Carolina boasts one of the best returning squads on paper. If Sidney Rice returns (which is likely given the dearth of WR in the 2006 draft class), Steve Spurrier could open next season returning his top two passers (Blake Mitchell and Syvelle Newton), top three rushers (Corey Boyd, Mike Davis, Newton), top four pass catchers (Rice, Ken McKinley, Boyd, Freddie Brown), four of their top five DB's (Emmanuelle Cook, Chri Hamtpn, Captain Munnerlyn and Stoney Woodson), the entire linebacking corpse (Marvin Sapp, Jasper Brinkley, Rodney Paulk), and the entire defensive line (Casper Brinkley, Eric Norwood, Jordin Lindsey, Nathan Pepper). Something tells me South Carolina will be dangerous in '07.
and Jasper Brinkley are twin brother
.....and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the two
men who managed to grow up Thomson
GA with those names grew up to be
I was wrong about Georgia. Perhaps it was too early to leave them for dead. They have played so much better lately it begs the question of whether they underachieved during the first two thirds of the season. I viewed Georgia as a very young and raw team going into the season, and perhaps one that was very overrated. I even went so far to annoint them the favorite to be a preseason 2007 #1 prior to this season. For a while that statement looked insane.....now perhaps not so much.
I was right about Florida and Florida State. Florida sucks. Florida State sucks worse. Frankly, I don't think it's even possible to sum that game up any better.
I was wrong about Notre Dame. WOW, was I wrong. I stand by my assessment that the Pac-10 is somewhat overrated. But, in making that argument I totally ignored two things: (1) that USC is by far the class of the Pac-10, and (2) that the only reason Notre Dame has looked any good this season is because they have played an absolute joke of a schedule. USC was so much better than Notre Dame on Saturday night that it wasn't even funny. In a game that I was hoping would live up to the expectations placed on it prior to the season, USC totally outclassed the Irish in every phase of the game. If I were a Trojan fan, however, I would still be somewhat concerned with the intermittently excellent and inept play of John David Booty. It is clear he has the ability to be a top QB, but for some reason he continues to go through stretches of complete ineptness. This will not fly against Ohio State. Along these lines I made the following observations about some of the individual players in this game:
- Dwayne Jarrett - Absolutely the best NFL prospect in all of college football. Calvin Johnson may have the numbers and the tools, but it is Jarrett who is the best football player. It's not the Jarrett shredded a terrible Irish secondary, but it's the manner that he did it in. Jarrett is one of these players that makes everything look so easy on the football field. Though he won't post the fastest 40 time at the combine, Jarrett gets into and out of his patterns quicker than anyone in the college game. He has long strides akin to those of Randy Moss, and is just as fluid a runner (though not as fast). As far as catching the ball goes, nobody looks more natural than Jarrett. He has long arms, but more importantly, he has powerful hands. He snatches the ball out of the air, and never appears to be fighting the football. Though many will try to compare him to former Trojan great Keyshawn Johnson, Jarrett's potential far exceeds the former #1 pick's.
- Rhema McKnight - Absolutely the worst NFL prospect of any of the four WR playing in this game. Given that he was playing with three other likely high NFL prospects this normally wouldn't be such a disparaging remark. However, McKnight looked awful on Saturday. He dropped at least three passes (2 on fourth down), and was involved in several miscommunications with Brady Quinn where it was apparent McKnight ran the wrong pattern. McKnight did make some plays down the field, but he did not look like much of an NFL prospect.
- Jeff Samardzjia - I love Samardzjia as an NFL prospect and he did nothing to sway my feelings against USC. Like Jarrett, Samardzjia looks so fluid running patterns and catching the ball. It looks as if he was put on this earth to do just that. Samardzjia does not run as well as Jarrett (though he is also 6'5'' his strides are shoter and choppier) nor does he snatch the ball on crossing routes as well. Where Samardzjia separats himself from the pack, though, is the way he attacks the ball when it is in the air, especially on fade routes in the endzone and deep down the sidelines. The "Shark" as he is known, could be deadly in the new NFL as his physical style puts opposing cornerbacks in a no win situation: play the ball and most likely lose out to the more aggressive Samardzjia, or make contact early and get called for a penalty.
- Brady Quinn - Let's be clear on one thing, I basically assumed all season that Quinn would be the first overall pick in the draft. To be honest, I haven't really spent a lot of time evaluating him since this seemed like a foregon conclusion. After watching him play for, really, the first time this season, I am no longer so sure he is a can't miss NFL prospect. First the good. Quinn appears to be a real tough kid and an outstanding leader. He has an attitude about him and the supreme competitiveness you look for in a franchise QB. His intangibles are, at least for me, unquestioned after the USC game. What I saw in the game Saturday night that troubled me was purely mechanical. Basically it boiled down to two things. First, Quinn doesn't get the type of zip on his short to mid range passes that I had previously assumed he did. He is known to have an NFL arm, and he shows it off on the deep post and corner routes. However, the ability to throw the ball far and the ability to throw the ball hard are different skills. For example, Tom Brady can't heave the ball 70 yards like some NFL QB's, but he gets the ball to a WR running a 15 yard dig as quickly as anyone. Quinn doesn't get the type of velocity on these passes that he is going to need to play in the NFL. The ability to muscle throws into tight spots is paramount, given the fact that so many NFL teams play zone defenses. Second, Quinn's mechanics are below average. He has outstanding footwork but he doesn't throw the ball the way you would expect a 6'4'' 230 pound man to throw it. His motion is somewhat sidearm. Quinn's stature and throwing motion remind me a lot of David Carr. That's not a compliment by the way. Purely by way of comparison, while watching Quinn I switched to the Maryland-Wake game to compare the mechanics of Quinn to Maryland QB Sam Hollenbach. Hollenbach is also a 6'4'' QB but he, unlike Quinn, stands tall in the pocket and holds the ball high before delivering it. When Quinn throws the ball he lets his elbow drop which, at least, causes the ball to lose velocity. At worst it causes the throw to sail high. Quinn may be 6'4'' but, like Carr, he plays very short. There is no doubt that Quinn will be a high first round pick, but if I were the Oakland Raiders or the Cleveland Browns I would think long and hard about drafting someone else.