It never takes long for pundits and fans alike to begin looking toward next year once the college football season ends. Once Alabama hoisted the Coaches’ Trophy for its third BCS championship in four years, the conversation immediately turned to whether the Tide can win three consecutive titles in a row.
The early favorite to challenge Nick Saban‘s program? Ohio State. The Buckeyes went 12-0 this season, but because of a one-year postseason ban, did not go bowling. That won’t be a problem for Urban Meyer in 2013, but he doesn’t want to talk about national championships one year away.
“For me to say we have to get there next year, that’s like talking about how we have to go fly to the moon,” Meyer said on Friday. “We’re nowhere near having that conversation.
“We had a good season and there’s a lot of conversation about things that shouldn’t be discussed, because it’s not true… we get a lot better, like a LOT better.”
It’s standard coachspeak, but Meyer is going to have to answer similar questions all offseason and potentially through the season. That distraction will test Meyer’s ability to motivate his team. The first-year coach had to find a way to motivate his group to win 12 games this past season with no bowl game at the end. Now, he has to keep his team playing with an edge even with all the hype surrounding the program again.
(Quotes courtesy of Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah