Drew Luck

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Jameis Winston expected to end ACC’s No. 1 overall draft pick drought

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If Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the first draft entrant to hear his name called tonight by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, he will be the second ACC player since 2000 to be named the number one overall draft pick. That would bring an end to the longest stretch among power conferences between top overall draft picks. Winston is widely considered to be the top choice for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who own the first pick in this evening’s NFL Draft.

Calling it a drought may be a tad harsh, but every power conference has had at least one number one overall pick since the last time the ACC had N.C. State’s Mario Williams be drafted with the first pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. Since then the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and even the MAC have had a top pick. Assuming Winston goes first overall, the new longest stretch between top picks will be handed to the Big Ten. Michigan’s Jake Long was the most recent top pick from the conference in 2008.

No conference has had more top overall draft picks than — surprise, surprise — the SEC. The SEC has had five players drafted with the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft. Last year it was South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney.

Whether it is Winston or Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, the history suggests the odds are good one of the quarterbacks will be the first pick. Since 2000, a quarterback has been the top pick in 10 NFL Drafts. Stanford’s Andrew Luck was the most recent in 2012.

Top Overall NFL Draft Picks Since 2000

2000 – DE Courtney Brown, Penn State (Big Ten)

2001 – QB Michael Vick, Virginia Tech (Big East)

2002 – QB David Carr, Fresno State (WAC)

2003 – QB Carson Palmer, USC (Pac-10)

2004 – QB Eli Manning, Ole Miss (SEC)

2005 – QB Alex Smith, Utah (Mountain West Conference)

2006 – DE Mario Williams, North Carolina State (ACC)

2007 – QB JaMarcus Russell, LSU (SEC)

2008 – OT Jake Long, Michigan (Big Ten)

2009 – QB Matthew Stafford, Georgia (SEC)

2010 – QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma (Big 12)

2011 – QB Cam Newton, Auburn (SEC)

2012 – QB Andrew Luck, Stanford (Pac-12)

2013 – OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan (MAC)

2014 – DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina (SEC)

2015 – ?