Between the former and the latter, I'm not even sure which one is going to come first.
|Neuheisel back in football,|
just in time for March
But I digress
But hey, Nebraska just got a commitment. No, I didn't say DE-commitment. Someone actually decided to climb on board instead of jump ship, as has been the case recently, sometimes in dramatic fashion.
And there's even better news: With the pledge of defensive tackle Quintin Toailoa, Colorado now has someone else they can recruit.
It's been kind of interesting to watch CU go after seemingly every Nebraska commit since all the changes really took place in the land of Lincoln. They got Shaun Mohler first, and then in a frenzy following a group visit involving Doug Rippy, Bryce Givens and Josh Williams, all then Husker commits, they all changed their minds and wanted to become Buffaloes.
I'll make a prediction for you, at least concerning the last three: Colorado will only sign one of them come February sixth.
It's not that Colorado isn't a good place to be. I mean, the campus is beautiful; it's in scenic Boulder, and if you happen to aspire to be a Geologist, I hear their college is one of the best around. Heck, I heard they sold out their football stadium, and it was actually for a football game.
But I digress
There does seem to be a lot of excitement about next year's defense. Everyone remembers what Bo Pelini did with the 2003 defense, taking a unit which was very mediocre the year before, and he turned them into world-beaters the next season.
There's this little issue about mobile quarterbacks, though, Nebraska getting ripped to shreds by Vince Young (Texas), Brad Smith (Missouri) and Ell Roberson (Kansas State) for almost 400 yards rushing, combined.
Even with those rather lackluster performances, though, Nebraska finished the season ranked 24th in the nation against the running game. This last season's team finished ranked 116th.
But there is a better way to look at next year then realizing that Nebraska will be better, because it couldn't get much worse:
Nebraska doersn't have to face |
anyone like Young anytime soon.
I actually didn't even have to look that up. I just knew that. Impressive, eh?
The point isn't about stating the obvious. The point is that between those three, and you can even throw then Husker QB Jammal Lord in this group – you have four quarterbacks who all rushed for over 900 yards that season, Smith topping the group with an astronomical 1,406.
Not even Texas A&M's Stephen McGee who ran for a career-high 184 yards in their 36-14 thumping of Nebraska – got that many total yards during the regular season. While the spread offense seems to be giving everyone but Oklahoma fits, and the hobbit-sized quarterbacks can be effective running out of "gun-run" sets or in the case of McGee, lot of "read-option", the only real Achilles heel of the Husker defense while under Pelini, seems to have become almost a moot point.
Sure, there are going to be mobile quarterbacks, and in Pelini's defense, the numbers told you that while Nebraska couldn't stop these guys in 2003 from running for a mile, other teams weren't stopping them all that great either.
They might have gotten three-quarters of a mile….or more.
Just ask USC.
But I digress.
Have you asked yourself just what the hell a "system quarterback" is?
I even said it aloud: "Self? What in the hell is a system quarterback?"
See? You can't make this stuff up.
It only seems to be a real pervasive label in recent years, not coincidentally, the label being applied more frequently with the epidemic-like invasion of the spread offense.
You have quarterbacks putting up absolutely sick numbers.
Hawaii's Colt Brennan completes over 71 percent of his passes, chucking the ball 38 times for scores, versus just 14 interceptions
Texas Tech's Graham Harrell makes Brennan look like Ronnie Milsap, completing almost 73 percent of his nation-leading 644 pass attempts, ending the season with 45 touchdowns to 14 interceptions.
Those are impressive. Seriously, those are just insane. But they aren't anything all that new.
Brennan has a billion yards
Sure, the raw numbers have gone up, far more offenses putting up numbers like than they ever have before. We remember Ty Detmer who still holds a few records from his days at BYU. Then there was, of course, the dynamic duo of David Klingler and Andre Ware, who both set plenty of NCAA marks of their own, stemming from their days with the University of Houston.
However, the one stat which doesn't seem to be linked to this ballooning of passing proficiency is the one that matters the most:
Between Texas Tech and Hawaii, you could probably go to the moon and back with the total distance these quarterbacks have thrown for in just the last five years. It wouldn't even take you a couple of feet to span the length of the trophy case needed to hold all the titles both have won during that time.
At the end of the 2006 season, out of the top 15 all-time career passing leaders in Division 1-A, not one has a national title to their name.
However, it's not even the titles which are the issue here. I think the label itself stems not from what they do in college, but what they don't do in the NFL. Basically, they really don't do much of anything.
Although, I do think Tim Rattay does a great job at holding the clipboard. Sorry, I had to give the guy props after what he and the dwarf, Troy Edwards, did to Nebraska when Edwards set the all-time single-game record for most yards receiving, totaling a flat out stupid 405 yards against the Huskers. Against Mike and Ralph Brown no less.
As it is, the line is long of the college-freaks who became professional flops:
David Klingler – first round pick – bust
Andre Ware – Heisman winner – first round pick – SUPER bust
Ty Detmer – Heisman winner – first round pick – his brother ( Koy) was probably a better pro QB
Timmy Chang – whoi?
B.J. Symons – sounds like the brand of a recliner
Kliff Kingsbury – Carlos Polk sends his regards
|Ty Detmer threw like|
crazy in college, but
was better at handing
off int he pros.
But it goes back to this system ideology and how offenses around Division 1- A are implementing more and more of these systems into their own methodology. Eventually, there's going to be one of these all-out-coming-off-the-bus-throwing-type teams which will win something of consequence.
Maybe that will happen when they figure out that at some point it wouldn't be a bad idea to actually play some defense.
Oklahoma figured it out one year. They don't seem to be running the spread anymore, though.
And who keeps winning the Big 12 Title?
But I digress.
I'm just sitting here and New England just finished off the Giants in what was a surprising squeaker, the Patriots coming out on top, 38-35.
What's more important about that, of course, is that it keeps the dream alive for Mr. Grumpy (That video camera lovin head coach) and the Grumpettes as they try for the perfect season, something that hasn't been done since the Dolphins accomplished the feat in 1972 .
In the process of that, Tom Brady became the single-season record holder for touchdowns thrown and Randy Moss became the single-season record holder for touchdowns receiving.
|When this guy is actually Mr.
someone in Hawaii needs to go out and
get ready for the blizzard
Also, Texas A&M, trailing by a touchdown late in the Alamo Bowl against Penn State, had fourth and a yard on the Penn State three-yard line, following a 16-play drive, which started at their own one and a half. With a drive like that, at a time like that, you knew what would happen next:
Stephen McGee falls down on his own behind the line of scrimmage.
Penn State takes over on downs.
You take those two things, Rick Neuheisel actually getting a job, Terrell Owens could actually win a popularity contest right now and we are soon going to see BCS games involving Kansas, Illinois and Hawaii – and you realize one unbelievable truth:
There is no spoon
But I digress