College Football Mailbag (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday May 2, 2007 1:12PM; Updated: Thursday May 3, 2007 1:09PM
How long do you think it will take for an SEC fan to start complaining about USC, its schedule and the weak Pac-10?
Probably within a few minutes of this Mailbag being posted. I'll let you know.
Stewart, please make an argument for the Heisman Trophy to be kept. I cannot see any relevance this trophy has anymore. It goes not to the best player, but to the biggest media darling. Troy Smith was not even the best QB playing and still won the award. Looking at his status in the draft also tells me that the NFL guys don't put too much into the title, either. Is there any reason you can see to keep going through this charade? Because I don't think it matters to most people anymore.
The Heisman, like a lot of things in college football, is a relic from the early 20th century that doesn't necessarily jive with the modern sports landscape. Kind of like bowl games and Top 25 polls. But I would never want to see the Heisman go away, if for no other reason than it's a tradition, much like those other two, that makes college football unique. Does the best player always win it? Of course not. Is the outdated voting method flawed? Absolutely. Does the season-long Heisman "race" garner way more attention than is really merited? Umm, that's a given. But that doesn't mean the award needs to go away altogether. It's not like it's hurting anyone. In terms of problems in the sport, it's not exactly something scandalous like point-shaving. Or text-messaging.
What I'd like to see -- but will never happen -- is a modernization of the traditional criteria voters use in selecting the Heisman winner, such as opening it up to positions other than quarterback/running back/receiver and schools other than just USC/Ohio State/Texas et al. As a matter of fact, I've devoted an entire 25-page chapter to the subject in my upcoming book, Bowls, Polls and Tattered Souls, in stores Aug. 24. (Uh oh. Shameless plug No. 1 of what will likely be many, many more to come.)
Dear Stewart, I attended the Miami Hurricanes' spring game in order to catch a glimpse of the "whole new 'Canes team," and to my disappointment it was the same, predictable lackluster offense. To my joy, it was the same, dominant D. Do you think that new head coach Randy Shannon's defense can handle all the work for this team again. If yes, do you think the 'Canes were wrong in getting a head coach that is so defensive minded?
Randy Shannon is a smart guy. He may be "defensive-minded," as you say, but he knows he's not going to get the 'Canes back to the top without a drastically improved offense. I think Patrick Nix was a decent hire as offensive coordinator, and I'm sure Shannon will be heavily involved with the unit himself.
But Miami fans are going to need to be patient because -- and I know this is a hard concept to accept -- the talent isn't there right now. It's been four years and it's probably time to accept that Kyle Wright is never going to be a star quarterback (and Kirby Freeman isn't going to blow him away, either.) Lance Leggett would not be a starting receiver for any top-10 team. It looks like the 'Canes have a couple blossoming stars at tailback in Javarris James and Graig Cooper, but we can't be sure yet whether the line will be able to effectively run-block.
I'd issue the same warning to Miami fans as I did Florida State faithful -- the coaching changes at both programs are a step in the right direction (though there's admittedly much more of a "wow" factor with the 'Noles' new faces) but they will not immediately return both teams to the BCS. That will only come with a year or two of good recruiting. Both these teams went 3-5 in the ACC last year and 6-6 overall in the regular season. I think a realistic model to emulate would be that of Tennessee, which itself went 3-5 in the SEC and 5-6 overall in 2005, brought in offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe and improved to 5-3 in its conference and 9-4 overall the following year.
Where did you study? Michigan? Purdue? Michigan State? USC? Why do you hate Notre Dame so much?
Starting up early this year, are we Domers? What precipitated this particular comment, anyway?
You're an idiot for not putting Notre Dame in your spring top 25! You suck!
Oh, that. We'll let's see here. Team finishes 17th last year, loses its star quarterback, top running back, top two receivers, top defensive player, barely had a defense to begin with and will be relying inordinately on freshmen and sophomores. OK, I'm an idiot. Obviously that's got top-25 written all over it.
Why no hype about Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen? Everyone who's anyone has him rated as the best QB prospect out of high school since Peyton Manning. What gives? SI.com writes an article about Illinois recruit Benn and nothing about the No. 1 high school recruit of 2007? Please don't tell me there is no bias against ND. Your inaction speaks volumes.
C'mon. Now you're putting me on. You're seriously suggesting that Jimmy Clausen hasn't received enough press coverage?
You know, I usually only pick on a certain team's fans for one season and then move on to somebody else ... but you guys are making this way too easy. Please, Irish fans, give someone else a chance. You've already got a monopoly on the TV airwaves, no need to take over the Mailbag, too.
Next edition in two weeks. Fire off those questions.