Andrew Luck

Colts and Giants may make sense for Nick Saban, but not as much as Alabama

7 Comments

Alabama head coach Nick Saban has won national titles at two different college football programs. He has coached a Heisman Trophy winner. He has enough SEC championship and bowl championship rings to open a jewelry exchange. He is handsomely paid to be the head coach at one of the biggest programs in the sport. Why would he leave? If there is anything that could pry Saban away from Alabama, a chance to redeem himself in the NFL would seem to be among the most logical possibilities.

Saban recently caused a mild stir when he suggested he would likely still be coaching the NFL’s Miami Dolphins if the franchise just listened to him and allow him to sign free agent quarterback Drew Brees, the man who actually got Purdue to a Rose Bowl. The Dolphins ended up acquiring Daunte Culpepper via trade with the Minnesota Vikings that spring and former Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington via trade with the Detroit Lions. Good thinking there Miami. Saban eventually left the Dolphins to become the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, where he had the luxury of choosing his own quarterback on a yearly basis without interference from a front office. Needless to say, things have gone well for Saban in Tuscaloosa. Saban’s comments about his past at Miami though got Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk to think maybe this is an indication, or a secret code Saban is sending to those receiving the message in the NFL. Is Saban saying he is ready for a return to the NFL?

Florio says Saban may be saying he would be interested in returning to the NFL if the right team with the right franchise quarterback in place happened to come calling. The two franchises that make the most sense? The Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck) and the New York Giants (Eli Manning).

Personally, I can’t see Saban coaching anywhere else but Alabama. In my mind, Saban is far more likely to retire for good before jumping back into the world of the NFL. There was a time I thought Saban could potentially flirt with trying to redeem himself at the NFL level after things went south with the Dolphins, but Saban has just too good of a thing going at Alabama. From the rich contract and the ability to be in full control of whatever he wants, there are very few jobs out there that would make sense to Alabama to take up. As much as coaching in the NFL is considered the top level of the coaching profession, Saban has been there and seen the drawbacks firsthand. why get caught up in that again when you can keep plugging away and building national title contenders until retirement?

Nebraska, Big Ten top FWAA’s 75th Anniversary All-America Team

21 Comments

This topic might cause some differences of opinion.

To honor its founding back in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Thursday announced its 75th Anniversary All-America Team.  A total of 41 schools and 75 players are represented on the first, second and third teams, with 56 of the 75 already inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Nebraska, with six, placed the most players on the three teams, followed by Ohio State and Pittsburgh with five each.  Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas were next with five apiece, while Georgia, Michigan and USC netted three each.  The only other schools with more than one player were Florida, Miami (Fla.), Notre Dame and UCLA, all with two.

Based on where the schools currently reside, the Big Ten leads all conferences with 19 players.  That does include Nebraska’s six, even as all six of those came from the Cornhuskers’ time in the Big Eight/12.  The ACC was next with 15, although it should be mentioned that Pittsburgh’s five players all played prior to the Panthers’ move into that conference.  The SEC, Big 12 were next with 13, 10 and seven, respectively.  The most for a Group of Five league was Conference USA’s three.

One of the biggest points of contention that I’ve seen on Twitter when it comes to this team has been the running back position, specifically with the inclusion of Archie Griffin on the first team.  While the former Ohio State star is the only two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy, and whom I’m in no way dismissing as he was a tremendous talent, I, personally, would take Pittsburgh’s Tony Dorsett (second team), Oklahoma State’s Barry Sanders (second team) or Auburn’s Bo Jackson (third team) over Griffin any day of the week and twice on Saturday.  In fact, there’s no way I could whittle my first-team running back down to just two out of these four: Jackson, Dorsett, Sanders and Georgia’s Herschel Walker (first-team along with Griffin).

Another point of contention?  The quarterback position, of course.

From first to third team it went Roger Staubach (Navy), Tim Tebow (Florida) and Tommie Frazier (Nebraska).  How Frazier is behind anyone, let alone those two — again, no disrespect to either — is the great unknown.  Not only that, but one could also question how the likes of, among others, Tennessee’s Peyton Manning, Stanford’s John Elway, Florida State’s Charlie Ward, Ole Miss’ Archie Manning, Stanford’s Andrew Luck, BYU’s Steve Young and, despite playing just one season, Auburn’s Cam Newton couldn’t find inclusion.

A couple of other things: Ohio State’s Chris Spielman would be a lock as a second-teamer on my team, although I do think the FWAA absolutely nailed all four spots in the secondary.

One final quibble on my part: Florida State’s Sebastian Janikowski should’ve found a spot on one of the three teams.  Case closed, end of discussion.

FWAA 75th Anniversary Team

Finally, if you were wondering how the teams were compiled, the FWAA explained it in its release:

A nomination ballot with selected players from all FWAA All-America teams was sent to the entire membership this spring. The popular vote was then taken into consideration by a Blue Ribbon Committee of FWAA past presidents, current board members and officers. That committee put the finishing touches on selecting the 75-man team. In order for a player to be considered for the FWAA’s 75th team, he had to be on a previous FWAA All-America team.

QB Vernon Adams eligible at Oregon, nearly ready to take aim at replacing Mariota

2 Comments

In a transfer that has long been all but official, Vernon Adams has officially been approved for graduate classes at Oregon. This brings him one giant step closer to making his case to be the next starting quarterback for the Oregon Ducks in 2015.

The next step for Adams will be enrollment. Per The Oregonian, Adams has been admitted and is eligible to enroll, but has not done the later just yet. Enrolling at this stage may now just be a matter of procedure, because Oregon ruling Adams eligible to enroll is still a positive sign Adams will indeed be joining the Ducks for the fall.

Adams is transferring from FCS powerhouse Eastern Washington and is a likely contender to win the vacant starting quarterback job at Oregon, left vacant by Marcus Mariota. Mariota won last season’s Heisman Trophy, but Adams is a two-time Walter Payton Award runner-up at the FCS level. The Walter Payton Award is presented annually to the top player in the FCS, so this makes Adams the FCS equivalent of Andrew Luck, who finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting during his time at Stanford.

Adams has one final year of eligibility remaining, and he hopes to make the most of it with the Ducks. It is far froma  given he ends up being Oregon’s new starting quaretrback, but he could be a quick fix to the Oregon offense in the post-Mariota era. He has the ability to throw and run, making him a versatile player for the Ducks, even if he is measuring in at just 5′-11″.

Battle of the (other) OSUs: Oregon State, Ok State schedule home-and-home

2 Comments

It’s a Battle of OSUs and Ohio State is not invited. Oregon State and Oklahoma State have announced a future home-and-home series that will be played in 2019 and 2020, serving up a Big 12 vs. Pac-12 battle in the regular season.

Oregon State will play host in the first of the two meetings on August 31, 2019 at Reser Stadium. The scene then shifts to Stillwater the following season on September 5, 2020. Neither program has a power conference non-conference opponent minimum to meet the way schools in the ACC or SEC do, but there is no question that scheduling a program from the Big 12 or Pac-12 helps boost the overall strength of schedule for Oklahoma State or Oregon State as well as the Big 12 and Pac-12. Maybe we can work out a way for Ohio State to get the winner?*

The two programs have never faced each other, so barring meeting at a bowl game before 2019 these will be the first two games played in the series. Oregon State’s most recent tussle with a school from the Big 12 came in the 2012 Alamo Bowl, with the Beavers coming up on the short end of a 31-27 contest against the Texas Longhorns. That loss dropped Oregon State to 2-2 all-time against the Big 12 (and 5-8 all-time against teams currently in the Big 12). The last regular season meeting against the conference came in 1998 against Baylor. That was the last time a Big 12 team played at Oregon State.

Oklahoma State’s most recently played game against a team from the Pac-12 was just this past season, with a 30-22 victory in the Cactus Bowl against Washington. The most recent regular season contest against a Pac-12 member was in 2012 against Arizona. The Wildcats took a 59-38 victory in that one. Of course, Oklahoma State’s most notable game and victory against a team from the Pac-12 came the previous season with a Fiesta Bowl overtime victory against Stanford — coached by Jim Harbaugh and with Andrew Luck at quarterback.

* Ohio State and Oregon State actually have an upcoming game scheduled for 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.

Why Michigan would be interested in Everett Golson

16 Comments

Yesterday it became official that Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson will indeed transfer to another football program in the fall. The suitors figure to be lining up for the chance to bring in a worthy starting quarterback, and perhaps Michigan may be on that list of interested parties.

It was not so long ago Michigan added a transfer quarterback in Jake Rudock from Iowa, but new head coach Jim Harbaugh is not one to stop trying to put together the best possible team he can as he gets to work in Ann Arbor. Rudock can potentially give Michigan an upgrade at quarterback this fall, but the addition of Golson would be even more of an improvement.

Golson may have struggled down the stretch of the 204 season in South Bend, but he still has the skills and athleticism to add some more to the position if he ends up at Michigan, and he would be the favorite to be the starter. Golson wants a chance to start, and doing so at a program like Michigan for a coach that once worked with Andrew Luck makes for a desirable situation.

Golson and Luck are two different quarterbacks of course, but Michigan could be a good landing spot for the now former Irish QB.