Posted: Wednesday November 30, 2005 11:36AM; Updated: Wednesday November 30, 2005 4:45PM
Submit a question or an opinion to Stewart.
Now that the Lions have fired Steve Mariucci, do you think he might go the way of Pete Carroll and head back to the college game? Much like Carroll, Mooch seems to have a temperament better suited to the college game than pro. --David Cole, Los Angeles
I think it's almost a given. Mariucci's had two pretty sour experiences as an NFL head coach now, and I can't imagine why he'd want to give it another go. The obvious destination is Michigan State, where he could see his boy Tom Izzo every day. While I don't think the Spartans will part with John L. Smith just yet, you better believe he's going to be looking over his shoulder next year if Mariucci is still available. Cal would also welcome him back with open arms if Jeff Tedford ever jumps ship.
This is turning out to be an unusually quiet year for college coaching vacancies, however. If I were Mariucci, I'd sit out next season, do some TV work, and wait until the offseason when any or all of the following jobs -- Missouri, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Arizona State, North Carolina and who knows what else -- could open up.
After his latest struggle with Georgia, which you highlighted in your most recent Power Rankings, isn't it time to name Georgia Tech's Reggie Ball as the most overrated QB, if not player, in the country? Despite tremendous athleticism and occasional flashes, his grasp of quarterbacking has never impressed me -- he's inaccurate and frequently makes poor decisions. Yet, it seems every time I tune into a Georgia Tech game, announcers are breathlessly discussing how dangerous he is. --Tom Baker, Atlanta
The Reggie Ball phenomenon is a mystery to me as well. I think he got a lot of hype because he started as a true freshman, which is a usually sign of impending greatness. But it may have been more a case of Georgia Tech not having anyone it liked better at the time. Like you mentioned, there have been times over the past few seasons when you could see all the tools, but there have also been times when it seemed as if Ball hadn't gotten any better as a passer. It says something that Calvin Johnson, who's clearly one of the most talented receivers in the country, has only 52 catches in 11 games. And let's face it, even on his best days, Ball is hardly a Marcus Vick/Vince Young-type runner.
Is Ball the most overrated player in the country? That might be a stretch. You could make some pretty strong arguments for Texas A&M quarterback Reggie McNeal, Pittsburgh quarterback Tyler Palko, Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge, Florida State running back Lorenzo Booker and Miami return man Devin Hester, all of whom garnered considerably more hype than Ball and have had far worse seasons.
Stewart -- I heard that FOX is canceling Arrested Development! Do you think you can use your influence to get them to change their mind? --Matthew Smith, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Every major TV critic in the country has stumped for that show the past three years, so I don't think there's anything I could say at this point to save it. It's just one of those things that, despite its considerable merits, was never fully embraced by mainstream America. Kind of like the Oregon Ducks.