COLUMN: Wheeler's World

Random thoughts at the end of the college football season.

I have several Canes topics I want to write about this time around and I'll get to those shortly, but I have to get to a couple of other things first...

Ohio State vs. Florida

Watching that BCS National Championship Game between Ohio State and Florida was one of the most painful things I have ever had to endure because I hate them both so very, very much.

It was nice to see the pathetic looks on the Buckeyes fans' faces for sure, and it was nice to see the Big Ten Cult get yet another great big kick in the teeth, but it sure was tough to watch the Gators celebrate.

By the way, what was up with that John Madden look-alike in Buckeyes' gear crying like a baby? Come on, dude, get a grip!

The "Sweater Vest" lost a game and this guy blubbers like his dog just died. Jeez.

I know a lot of you were in the same boat I was on Monday night - it was like choosing between a jackhammer enema and having your eyeballs pecked out by crows - but now it's over and we can all just pretend the matchup never happened...

Nick Saban & Bobby Petrino

Football coaches lie?


You mean all that stuff about hard work, dedication, loyalty and sacrifice only applies to the players?

I don't want football coaches to be saints. Heck, I don't care if they jump from job to job in search of the biggest paycheck. What I want them to do, however, is stop telling us what they're "not going to do" right before they do it.

I want them to stop acting like they hold the keys to the kingdom of football.

I want them to stop acting like the rest of us are idiots who "just don't get it."

I want them to stop with the sanctimonious sermons about doing things "the right way."

All I'm asking for is a little honesty and humility. Tell us the truth, treat us like adults and get over yourselves.

Coaching a football team is not rocket science - we do, in fact "get it" - and we'd like to see coaches hold themselves to the same standards they hold their players to, if that's not too much to ask of The Genius Society.

Greg Olsen and Jon Beason to the NFL

It would have been nice to have these two back for '07, but those are the breaks...

Olsen has plenty of ability but, in my opinion, needs to get tougher and he needs to improve his focus. Too many drops the past couple of years. It should be noted that one must catch the ball before turning upfield to run. I liked him as a Cane and wish him the best in the NFL but it's not like we're losing a guy that had a huge impact on the team.

Beason could stand a little more seasoning as well, but again I understand why he's leaving. Perhaps he could have improved his stock by having a big year with the Canes in '07, but he could just as easily have damaged his stock with a poor showing. If he does well in workouts and/or at the combine, which he most certainly will, Beason will get plenty of attention. Teams will note the work of a guy like Rocky McIntosh and take a shot on a freak of an athlete from Linebacker U.

If Olsen and Beason have good workouts they'll be second round picks and get opportunities to make significant contributions as rookies. If either one of them has one of those "Mamula Workouts" (you know, the kind that makes scouts drool all over themselves) they could slip into the bottom of the first round. Not likely, I know, but possible.

Freeman vs. Wright

Regardless of who the new offensive coordinator will be (that person has not been named as I write this), Kirby Freeman should enter spring practice as the #1 quarterback.


Two reasons:

1) Kyle Wright needs to be challenged.

He's been "The Guy" his entire life and perhaps the challenge of being second in line will bring something more out of him. I think he has all the physical tools necessary to be a great quarterback but he has never struck me as being very hungry. Maybe it's because things have always seemed to come easy for him and maybe it's because he's just a laid back guy, but I want to see how he responds to having to fight for his job.

Is he a fighter or not? If not, then he shouldn't be the starting quarterback.

2) Freeman has an edge to him.

He may not end up being a better passer than Wright over the long haul, but he's got a little fire in him and this team needs that right now. A little leadership can go a long way...

Freeman also brings the ability to tuck the ball and run when things break down, allowing him to turn a bad play into a positive where Wright tends to turn a bad play into a disaster by taking sacks instead of throwing the ball away. If the starting quarterback isn't going to be a great passer then he'd better bring the ability to run the ball to the table.

The job should not be given to Freeman, but he should enter the battle in the lead position. Give him a chance to work consistently with the rest of the first team offense and let's see what he can do.

May the best man win the job.

Kevin Wheeler can be reached by emailing him at

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