Ack's Insights (7/22/02)

Lets talk offense today and who has the best backfield, receiving corps and offensive lines. I also have some news and notes regarding summer workouts, hoops tidbits, the new media guide and more.

Running off at the keypad...


The line of scrimmage is so important in college football (see Miami a year ago). As an experienced unit, the big men up front can dictate how a game is going to go offensively. Here is this years top five units.

1)Tennessee

Yes, that's right.  The Vols lose Fred Weary and Reggie Coleman yet still have the best o-line in the country. Several factors include Michael Munoz and Jason Respert back in the lineup and Scott Wells is as good as they get a center. One added bonus is former Florida O-Line coach Jimmy Ray Stephens joins Mike Berry to form the best position coaches in the country.

2)Colorado

Three starters plus experienced backups will help the Buffs churn it up again.

3)Wisconsin

They are always big and physical and return five starters.  Center Al Johnson keys the lines play.

4)FSU

Ray Willis is a star in the making, and proved it against Alex Brown. Five starters also return including Brett Williams.

5)Fresno State

We will find out how good all five starters are this year without David Carr.  Very underrated position on last years Cinderella story. Tackle Joe Schay has not allowed a sack in two years.

Next three in.  GeorgiaKevin Breedlove and Jon Stinchcomb must prove they can run block. Michigan is big and nasty but must prove they can pass block.  Miami, with Brett Romberg, Sherko Haji-Rasouli and Ed Wilkins, could have easily made the top five.

Wide Receivers

1)Texas

OK… they have been number one for two years and everyone loves the ability.  But it is not there fault Chris Simms melts-down versus Oklahoma. Roy Williams is a player.  B.J. Johnson and Sloan Thomas also strike fear into defenders. Throw in Bo Scaife and Brock Edwards.   Who needs Cedric Benson?

2)Florida State

I am playing a hunch with this pick.  Talman Gardener became a star last year and Cro Thorpe and P.K. Sam had huge springs. Throw in Robert Morgan and Anquan Boldin and this is the Seminole unit of old. Ranking hangs on the health and recovery of Boldin.

3)Miami

Andre Johnson is a stud and is eligible for fall practice. Kevin Beard, Ethnic Sands, and Jason Geathers are all burners who have been ready to explode.  The key will be Kellen Winslow.  Canes need the tight end to be a threat so that it opens up their offense.

4)Marshall

Great passing game with loads of receivers.  Denero Marriott and Darius Watts, along with Josh Davis each went over a 1,000 yards last year.  Watts is the nations returning leader in touchdown receptions.

5)Georgia

For them to reach this ranking Terrance Edwards must have a super year.  He cannot continue to drop the big one.  Damien Gary will be in for a big year and my favorite receiver in the country is Fred Gibson.

Next three in.  Oklahoma = experience and speed (Mark Clayton, Antwone Savage and Andre Woolfork).  They just need someone to get them the ball.  OregonKeenan Howry needs new QB Jason Fife to find him right away.  Texas Tech.  Watch the Ohio State game Aug. 24 and you will see names like Wes Welker, Anton Paige and Johnnie Mack. Mack and Paige are from the state of Florida.

Backfield

1)Florida

Best Quarterback in the country in Rex Grossman and best running back in the SEC in Earnest Graham.  Throw in Ran Carthon, Willie Green, Ciatrick Fason, Ray Snell and DeShawn Wynn and enough said.  Depth at QB should be the race in the fall.  Plus the health of Green and the development of Walker, Fason and Wynn.

2)Colorado

Craig Ochs is healthy and now is the starter with the one two running punch of Chris Brown and Bobby Purify.

3)Texas

Simms must play more consistent and it will help that he has "Little Ricky" Cedric Benson behind him.  Ivan Williams may be the best backup in the country.

4)Miami

Ken Dorsey is a Heisman candidate and Willis McGahee and Jarret Payton will have to carry the load until the health of Frank Gore is resolved.

5)Tennessee

Casey Clausen really improved last season and his game in the Citrus bowl showed me he is ready for the next step.  Running Backs Jabari Davis, Derrick Tinsley and Cedric Houston should pick up where Stephens left off.

Next three in.  Oregon.  Fife is new.  Former Vol Onterrio Smith is legit.  Wisconsin has experience in Brooks Bollinger and Anthony Davis.  Louisville has Heisman Candidate in Dave Ragone and the big fella from Jacksonville, Florida in Lionel Gates.

Snippets and Tidbits....
This past week has been the hottest and most humid in Gainesville in many years.  Although the athletes did continue to work, some did feel the effect of the heat.  Ran Carthon was slowed but will be fine.  He did not properly pre-hydrate his body and caused him to wear down…  Two players trying to cut down un-needed weight, David Jorgensen and Mo Mitchell, had good weeks in the weight room…  The young receivers, as expected, are a little lost with terminology.  Dallas Baker and Reggie Lewis has shown flashes of ability…  Gators received a basketball commitment from Ryan Appelby, a 6-3 point guard out of Washington who visited on June 16th.  One thing is for sure Donovan is looking and recruiting guys who can not only shoot but run the team as a true point… The Teddy Dupay story resurfaced this past week because the police reports were made public.  Dupay was quoted in one publication as saying it "was ridiculous."  After further consultation he has decided "no comment" is in his best interest. He is in limbo after playing one game with the Orlando Magic and they want him around just in case someone gets injured… Udonis Haslem averaged a double-double with the Hawks this week in summer league play in Boston… Back to football, the word is that the seniors and upperclassmen are not real happy about Camp Zook being a 14 day retreat away from home.  Come on guys!   Newberg and I would kill to be able to stay in the Doubletree for two weeks... Coaches begin preparing for UAB and fall camp this week in the office.  The Blazers have financial problems with their athletic department and may lose football altogether…  The placekicking job will be a battle during camp with Brendt Talcott, Matt Leach, and Jeff Whitaker.   Keep an eye on freshmen Eric Nappy out of Bucholz…  The media guides are out and Coach Zook, Rex Grossman, Todd Johnson, Earnest Graham and Ian Scott are on the cover.  I did make it in this year on page 24 interviewing Zook. Ha! But more importantly the motto for the 2002 Preview is "An Air of Excitement."  There certainly is. 

Next report is from the SEC media days... ACK

Fightin Gators Top Stories