What did we learn from week three of the College Football Season?

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football

The Good:

The Top 6 team won easily but they didn’t play the toughest competition. Except for Ohio State and Alabama we have not yet seen most of the top 10 play a really good opponent.

#6 Texas and #7 Oklahoma struggled to wins against Texas Tech and Air Force respectively. Neither of these teams look all that good yet but both have young QBs and should get better as the season goes on.

Two SE Conference teams played league games on the road and looked solid. #10 Florida beat Tennessee on the checkered field. Tennessee is now 1-2. #12 Arkansas beat Georgia but this Bulldog team is not the power house it has been. Georgia was also 1-1 coming into the game.

The Bad (and VERY Lucky):

Wisconsin got REALLY lucky blocking the extra point to win their game at home against Arizona State. Wisconsin controlled the clock but were not effective putting the ball into the end-zone. The team is going to have to improve to be competitive in the Big 10+1.

The Ugly:

#9 Iowa went to Arizona and was a small underdog. The Hawkeyes fell behind by a 27-7 score and never could catch up again. The D got 3 turnovers but was ripped for 303 yards passing. The Iowa O running game averaged 1.1 yards per attempt and the passing game was 18-33. They have always played badly west of the Rockies and this was no exception. They lost 34-27 and fell in this weeks poll.

#20 Michigan struggled with a game UMass team and finally won 42-37. The Blue D is horrid and games against any team with a good O should look like pinball scores.

#23 Houston was totally outmatched and out played by UCLA 31-13. Only a 10 point desperation output in the 4th quarter kept the score even that respectable.

Louisville went to #25 Oregon State and gave them all they could ask for in a tough 35-27 win for the Beavers.

Other notable games:

What is wrong with Notre Dame? The new administration of HC Kelly lost his second game in a row against a Big 10 team. (No wonder they didn’t want to get into the league.) It will take Kelly some time to get his type of recruits into the program and in the long term Kelly is the kind of coach that will be successful. But now he does not have the speed particularly on D that he needs to be competitive with the major powers. They will continue to give up long plays because they don’t have the speed in the back 7 to play man but can’t get enough consistent pressure on the QB to avoid blitzing. The one thing I will say on Kelly’s behalf is that he has them playing hard on every snap.

Draft notes:

Maybe I just don’t get it but having seen Washington QB Locker I can’t rate him as a sure top 5 pick let alone the top pick overall. Against a good but not great Nebraska D, he was 4 for 20 for 71 yards and 1 TD with 2 picks. I would expect Washington to lose but I don’t see any spectacular plays that I did with Bradford or even a McCoy from the 2010 draft. He has not been accurate in his previous seasons. In 09 he hit only 58% of his throws with 21 TDs but with 11 picks and 28 sacks. He may become a great pro but I wouldn’t pick him before the 3rd round as things stand now.

We will try to have some draft notes on seniors in each of our Tuesday articles about college football.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,Betting odds,Wisconsinm Ohio State,Michigan,Notre Dame,Iowa,Arizona,Washington,Locker,Louisville,UMass,Houston,Oregon State,Oregon,Alabama,College Football Poll,Texas,Oklahoma,Texas Tech,SEC,Tennessee,Florida,Arkansas,Arizona State
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My impressions of the first 2 days of the NFL Combine.

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Fryingpan Sports

My impressions of the first 2 days of the NFL Combine.

By Bill Smith

Big winners:

Mike Thomas WR Arizona was not a player that got a lot of attention before the combine. But that all changed when he ran a 4.31 40 yard dash. In addition he caught everything during the combine WR field work on Sunday including the attention of every scout of a team that needs a WR. At 5-8 195 lb. he reminded everyone of Steve Smith the all pro WR in Carolina.

Photo of Brian Robiskie

Another WR that had a really good day Sunday was Brian Robiskie Ohio State. The 6-3 209 pound receiver ran a 4.49 40. Reportedly he did extremely well on the chalk board explaining coverages. He should because he is the son of Atlanta Falcons WR Terry Robiskie. Brian too did extremely well catching the ball including a spectacular one handed catch falling out of bounds on errant throw.

Photo of Darrius Heyward-Bey

Darrius Heyward-Bey WR Maryland ran the best WR time at 4.30 and had a 38.5 vertical jump. Because he is 6-2 210 he helped himself significantly. Heyward-Bey has moved up to the late first round.

Johnny Knox WR Abilene Christian ran a 4.34 which was third fastest in the group but pulled up in the pattern portion of the combine with what looked like a pulled muscle.

Photo of Beanie Wells

Photo of Knowshon Moreno

Big Losers:

A couple of highly rated running backs hurt themselves with very poor 40 yard dash times. Ohio State RB Beanie Wells ran a 4.59 and Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno had a 4.61. That is not good for a running back. Wells had said that he expected to run under 4.5 but at 235 pounds, 4.59 is not a draft killer. Wells did show his athleticism with a long jump of 10’8” the best for all RBs.

For Moreno, it is a different story. There are a lot 5-11 215-220 backs in the NFL but most that are major contributors run a lot faster than Moreno did. Moreno was listed by some experts as the top running back in the draft. That time will undoubtedly affect that rating.

Photo of Percy HarvinScratch your head award:

Percy Harvin ? Florida had a bit of a problem coming into the draft anyway because he has no real NFL position. While he played both RB and WR in college, he is too slight to be a RB in the NFL and has none of the developed skills of last year mini-might WR DeShawn Jackson. If Harvin is going to be considered a first or second round pick, he was going to have to show he can run crisp routes and understands how to get open in man, zone or combo coverages. To the surprise of everyone at Indy, he decided not to participate in the route drills at the combine. He will have a lot of teams at his pro day because he played at Florida. Had he played for the U of Michaelina, he would be a 4h or 5th round pick because no one would have seen his workout at the school.

Photo of Jeremy Maclin

The Hold your water award:

The second ranked receiver in the draft, Jeremy Maclin WR Missouri, is suffering from a hyper extended knee. That is more of a concern because as a freshman he suffered a very serious knee injury that caused him to miss the year. He will hopefully be able to perform at the pro day at school.

Photo of Michael CrabtreeCourage award:

In the physical exam as part of the Combine, Michael Crabtree WR Texas Tech has been diagnosed with a slight stress fracture in the 5th metacarpal of the left foot. He will have a minor operation to put a screw in the foot. The problem for Crabtree is that if the teams don’t have any 40 time, he could considerably fall 10-20 spots in the draft. That fall would likely cost him around 15 million in guaranteed money. He said Sunday that he will run the 40 before he has his operation but did not say when. The downside of that decision is that he will not be available for Organized Team Activities after the draft. Although it was not generally known, he said that he played with the problem the entire 08 season without pain.

Photo of Alex BooneBack from the dead—maybe.

Alex Boone Ohio State OL got his ticket to the combine late. It was lost in the Orange County Jail postal system. He weighted in at 328 which was a little heavier than expected but had a very solid showing in the 225 weight lifting with 33 reps which tied for 3rd among OL. He also had a respectable 40 time at 5.17.

Photo of Andre SmithMissing from action:

Andre Smith OT Alabama announced on Friday he would not participate in the combine and promptly disappeared. Now it is not easy for a 328 pounder to vanish but he changed his air flight to early Saturday morning and flew back home. The fact that he didn’t bother to tell anyone he was leaving was a concern. The fact that he was 328 pounds is a major issue.

Smith has been known as a very immature player and the latest episode doesn’t help him. He preformed well on the field and when he was suspended from the bowl game for violating an undisclosed team rule, the Tide gave up 8 sacks most of which came over the left tackle position. After last season, he was thought to be a candidate for the top choice overall. He was in the discussion at the end of the regular season for the top 5 draft choice. But we have seen players eat their way out of the league. That is a HUGE (excuse the pun) issue with Smith. NFL teams are going to be very hesitant to give a big contract with millions of guaranteed dollars to someone that does not have enough sense or work ethic to properly prepare for the combine.

His lack of preparation for the combine has cost him at least 15 million in guaranteed money and possibly as much as 60 million in his first contract.

My take: Given the fact that he was suspended from the second most important game for Bama in the last 15 years, this lack of maturity would make me take him off my draft chart or at the very least move him into the 3rd or 4th round.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

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Saturday's Niblets from around the net.

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Fryingpan Sports

Saturday’s Niblets from around the net.

nib

By Bill Smith

Best comment of the week:

On Thursday’s article What to look for at the Combine—Offense by 2008 Taxes

Great information about what to look for in an NFL quarterback. I think high school kids should consider going to an NFL style system in college before signing with a team that plays some weird kind of spread.

That is a great point. It is one of the reasons that USC and other teams that use a traditional NFL style offense do so well at bringing drop back QBs to play for them. More athletic QBs that are more run oriented than drop back passer go to schools with the spread offense to take maximum advantage of their ability.

Updates from previous editorials:

On Texas Tech AD needs to have his head downsized from 2/18/09

Mike Leach and the administration have reached agreement. So far there is a gag order on the details of the agreement. The fans, particularly those with a history of large donations to the university, complained loudly about the problem. It is most likely that the Board of Regents slapped down AD Gerald Myers’ attempt to super glue Leach to the TT bench.

My Advice: At the next meeting of the Regents, why not discuss the future of Myers? He has done more to make your university look like a ship of fools than anyone else ever could.

The Daytona 500 prayer

There were some columnists that complained about the prayer before the race. Those that are not religious complained that there is no place for a prayer at a sporting event.

My Advice: If I was going to run that fast around that narrow a track with that many cars on it, I would want to be right with God as well. Get over it.

The Daytona 500 is cut short.

Can you imagine a Super Bowl that is called off after the 3rd quarter? How about the 7th game of the World Series called after 6 innings? I don’t for a moment believe that the fans would stand for that. There were major complaints about the MLB All Star game that was called after 14 innings and was still tied—and that was an exhibition!

NASCAR is going to have to find a way to complete the Daytona 500 no matter what. Granted the current rules provide for a race being called the way that the 500 was. But when you are running the biggest and most prestigious race of the year, you need to have special rules for it. The NFL plays unlimited overtimes for playoff games but only 1 quarter of OT for the regular season as Eagles QB Donovan McNabb found out to his surprise.

My Advice: Move the California race a week and change the rules to run the entire 500 miles for Daytona. Use the Monday after to run it if necessary but give the fans a full race.

A record 14 teams use Franchise tags

This year’s total broke last years record of 11 teams using the contract free agent loophole to keep a critical player. This might sound like no big deal but it could be a very big deal. To me, the large number (almost half of the league) indicates that those teams do not believe that the league will be able to come to an agreement with the NFLPA.

When the franchise tag is used and the team is able to sign the player to a long term contract, the tag can not be used again for the length of that contract. The fact that 2 kickers were tagged is another indication that the teams believe that the league will vote to lock the players out in 2010 if no new contract has been signed. If the league does not play football in 2010, these franchise tags would expire.

There is another possible explanation. It also could indicate that even if the league is able to get a deal, it will not include any restrictions to player movement. In that case as well, the tags would expire but the contracts would still be in place.

My Advice: I don’t often quote Larry the Cable guy but in this case I will. On the subject of the contract with the players: “GET ‘ER DONE!”

Tampa Bay lets QB Jeff Garcia leave via free agency.

Tampa Bay refused to resign Garcia and signed backup Cate McNown to a 2 year extension. That makes me wonder what new head coach Raheem Morris has been smoking! Have you seen McNown throw?

My Advice: The D is getting old but is still ready to win now. Find a starting quality QB very quickly or you and your fellow coaches won’t be around long.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: NASCAR,Daytona 500,Franchise tag,Garcia,NFL Draft,NFL Combine,USC,Ohio State,College football,Texas Tech,Leach,contract,NFLPA,PRAYER
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  • Author:
  • Published: Feb 18th, 2009
  • Category: College Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Texas Tech AD needs to have his head downsized.

Texas Tech AD needs to have his head downsized.

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Fryingpan Sports

Texas Tech AD needs to have his head downsized.

t

Mike Leach

By Bill Smith

A few years ago, I saw an advertisement for low calorie hair tonic for fat headed people. What is going on in Lubbock is proof of the need for that product.

All Tech head coach Mike Leach has done is bring the step-child of the Big 12 the best seasons they ever had in football. Last year Leach took the team nearly to the pinnacle of college football with a win over Texas, a one loss regular season, a Co-championship for the Big 12 South division and legitimate shot at the national title game. Leach has led Texas Tech to 9 bowl game in his 9 seasons as head coach. This from a team that traditionally did little but provide a perfect home coming opponent for Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and the rest of the top teams in the league.

In addition to bringing the TT football program back from the dead, Leach also has maintained one of the best graduation rates in the conference.

The TT AD Gerald Myers with the support of the administration started contract negotiations with Leach’s representatives to extend his contract during the 08 season. The two parties agreed on length and dollars quickly. But what should have been an easy deal to work out the fine details has turned into a spitting contest that is being held in the press and in front of the fans.

At this point there are far more questions than answers as to what caused the dispute. According to reports from several sources, the two sides reached agreement on the basics of the new extension. There have even been unconfirmed reports that the extension had been signed by both parties. In a telephone interview, Leach said “We have an agreement both parties signed. We agreed to do two more years, and I don’t see how that could be unsatisfactory to anybody. Why anybody would have a problem with two years left on my contract, I don’t know.”

But then on January 9th, TT added 4 additional provisions to the contract including penalties for interviewing for another job without permission, the requirement of the administration to approve or disapprove speaking engagements, and a buyout to be paid by Leach if he left early. Does this remind anyone of the Boston College situation? I thought so.

Part of the problem between the parties may have been Leach hiring a PR/Management firm. He had never been particularly active in giving speeches and doing other paid outside activities. Although Leach has been mentioned in connection with several job openings, he has interviewed for only one job (University of Washington) since taking his current position. Leach hired International Marketing Group (IMG) agents, Gary O’Hagan and Matt Baldwin. According to IMG, the parties have agreed in principle on compensation terms of $12.7 million over five years.

Earlier this week Myers announced that Leach had until Tuesday, February 17th at 5:00 PM to sign the deal. After the deadline expired, Myers said in a statement “Coach Leach has declined our $12.7 million contract. We will enter the decision-making process and should have some announcements by next week. Our decisions will be based on the best interest of Texas Tech and all of its supporters.” But then Myers got slapped down by the Texas Tech Board of Regents.

The Board announced that there would be a teleconference meeting of the Board would take place Friday that would include discussion and consideration of matters “including but not limited to the position of the football head coach.” The spin that Myers put on that was that the Board was considering firing Leach.

My Analysis:

Lubbock Texas is not Austin, or Norman Oklahoma, or even Lincoln Nebraska. The football program was a disgrace before Leach came and it will be again if he is forced out. What strikes me is another case of jealousy on the part of pinhead college administrators of the notoriety and pay that successful coaches get. “Educators” have an ingrained dislike for athletics and everything that goes along with them. They are often delighted to see a coach cut down to size. Remember, it is college presidents that have blocked a true playoff system from being implemented.

TT is far from the best job in football. TT would never again get a quality coach if they were to release Leach based on this confrontation. Now, the best thing that the Regents could do is fire Myers and beg forgiveness from Leach.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: College Football, playoffs, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, Leach, Washington, IMG
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