Monday, January 19, 2009

The Biggest "Duh"Ever

Look, Greg Schiano has done a great job at Rutgers. I became a fan of the Big East because of my close and unabiding relationship with the fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Scarlet Knights.

But let's face it - Schiano has gotten an awful lot from Rutgers for what, exactly? No conference titles? One season where they won more than eight games? Look, this isn't getting it done at a traditional football wasteland like Northwestern or Wake Forest - this is the only Division I university in a state rich with football talent. You knew that somebody was going to turn it around at some point.

So yeah, I think it's kind of a "duh" moment when the Newark Star-Ledger's Steve Politi suggests that it's about time the Rutgers administration stops giving Greg Schiano carte blanche. It's one thing for Schiano to strong-arm the university into a $102 million stadium expansion they can't really afford, or to be getting paid like an elite coach. But now he has to prove he can take the Scarlet Knights to something beyond a minor bowl game.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I'm still not sure what took you so long, dude.

LeSean McCoy: 2006-2008

Monday, January 12, 2009

Procrastination: The World's Worst Cologne

Yes, I know I promised an elaborate, flashy Big East bowl recap. I didn't deliver, and I suck. But really, what were you expecting me to say: "Oh yeah, Pat White threw for a lot of yards in his last game and the Pittsburgh offense stunk?" Did that merit taking up space on CFN that could be better spent with an endless stream of marginally more meaningful year-end recaps?

Probably not. There is news, though:

Apparently Syracuse has a "Vidal Hazelton" watch going on right now, which seems like an awful lot of attention being paid to someone who's more likely to be a non-entity than a major star...LeSean McCoy can't decide whether to become an instant millionaire or take a pounding as Pitt's only reliable offensive option next season...Apparently USF is "an option" for ex-Miami QB Robert Marve.

RE: The national championship "controversy". It's only a controversy because Florida lost by one to Ole Miss. If the Gators win that game, there is no debate, Utah's perfect season or no. But sorry kids, Florida's loss is no better than the losses by Oklahoma, or Texas or USC. At that point, they fall into the fuzzy group of "one-loss teams that are somewhat better than Utah".

Saturday, January 10, 2009

LeSean McCoy Apparently Isn't Stupid After All

For the last few weeks, I have been somewhat obsessed with figuring out why NFL-ready running back LeSean McCoy was insistent on staying for a fourth year at Pittsburgh. I was about to call his family members to arrange an intervention on his behalf, but somebody beat me to it as McCoy is now apparently leaning towards declaring for the draft.

For Panthers' head coach Dave Wannstedt, he's now confronted with the reality that his only reliable offensive weapon may be gone. Larod Stephens-Howling needs to emerge as something more than a reliable backup, and fast, or 2009 might be, well, like the rest of the Wannstedt era in Pittsburgh.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Kenny Britt and Donald Brown: Gone

Rutgers star wide receiver Kenny Britt made what was widely rumored official on Saturday - he's giving up his senior year of eligibility to go pro. At 6'4", 215 pounds and coming off an 87-catch All-America season, it seemed like a mortal lock that he'd opt for the NFL. Add in the fact that the quarterback next year will likely be one of two little-used fifth-year seniors - Jabu Lovelance or Dom Natale - and the decision becomes even easier to make.

Apparently, Connecticut running back Donald Brown - fresh off a ridiculous 261-yard rushing day in the International Bowl against Buffalo - has also made the same decision. (In the process, he did admit that his previous statements that he'd return for his senior year were, well, lies. Lying about one's status or the status of a team member is something Brown apparently got from his head coach.)

Again, I ask the question of LeSean McCoy - with the possibility of a rookie salary cap and the threat of career-altering injury (see McGahee, Willis) why in the world would you not take the money and run?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Adieu, Big East Bowl Season

I'll have a more formal recap up on CFN at some point next week, but the general sense I have is that the Big East blew an opportunity to get some redemption after a less-than-stellar regular season.

Sure, a 4-2 record isn't bad, and it wasn't as if any Big East squad was blown out. But in the two games that could have altered national perception - the Sun and Orange Bowls - Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, respectively, came up short. They weren't actively horrible (well, ok, Pitt's offense was horrible) but didn't exactly make a statement that the conference really could play with the nation's elite.

So in the end, the conference's best non-conference win was what, exactly? Pittsburgh over Iowa? While the Hawkeyes certainly weren't anything to sneeze at, you can't argue your conference had a great year when your best win was over the fourth-best team in the Big Ten.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I'm Not Exactly Sure What To Make Of The Sun Bowl

Thankfully, Paul Zeise at the Post-Gazette sums it up better than I ever could.

Leave it to Pitt to make a three-point loss in a semi-meaningful bowl game seem like a step backwards, thanks in no smal part to some epic incompetence by quarterback Bill Stull. Not to channel Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler from SNL, but 7 for 24 and 52 yards passing? Really?

LeSean McCoy may want to get out while the getting's good.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Tale Of Two Quarterbacks

Both West Virginia quarterback Pat White and Rutgers signal-caller Mike Teel finished their careers with close, hard-fought bowl wins in which they were named MVP. And for White, the surprise was that his award came for what he did with his arm (a career-high 332 yards passing) rather than his legs.

But let's not go crazy here, unlike some other folks I generally consider to be level-headed. The conventional wisdom about Pat White still holds - he is NOT a quarterback at the next level. It's a long way from lighting up North Carolina's 84th-ranked pass defense to making NFL throws, throws which White has not shown a consistent ability to execute. I am aware of White's solid passing efficiency numbers, but like Tim Tebow, those numbers are a mirage based on the system and his ability to run the football - things that won't necessarily hold up at the next level.

Now contrast to Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel, whose name almost never gets mentioned as a legitimate pro prospect. Yet every time I watch Teel - a three-year starter in a pro-style offense - he's shown the ability to make the kinds of throws you'd expect a pro quarterback to make. And he's done it this year without any real semblance of a running attack and with only one consistently productive receiver.

It's highly unlikely that Teel would ever be an NFL starter, but he certainly has to be a better pro prospect than the grossly overhyped Hunter Cantwell. And he's far more likely to be holding a clipboard at the next level than Pat White, if for no other reason than White may be too busy catching passes and returning kicks to be bothered.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Do You Believe In magicjack?

Mix what amounted to a home game with a matchup against an overmatched C-USA foe, and you have the non-entity that was the magicjack (I guess magicjack has something to do with phone service, natch) St. Petersburg Bowl. If ever there was a game that USF could NOT afford to lose, it's this one.

But I'm not going to go as far as Rich Cirminiello at CFN and suggest that this game made much of a difference perception-wise. There's still a growing sense of apathy surrounding the program (the crowd was the smallest for a first-year bowl in a decade) after three disappointing seasons in a row. Matt Grothe needs to be something other than, well, Matt Grothe next year or the proverbial window is going to shut. And perhaps Jim Leavitt's coach tenure as well.