Great look by Coley Harvey on why Paul Johnson doesn't appear ready to crown FSU quite yet. Johnson doesn't have to face Jimbo's team until 2013, so these comments seem fine. FSU does have to prove that it can be the conference champion, and that is the clear goal for this year.
And yeah, like we've said all week, we expect Jamey Shouppe to not be the pitching coach after his announcement today.
This from Luke Stampini who covers SoFla recruiting: Does the current state of the Univ. of Miami program really have the ability to recruit nationally? As in get a legit chance with top flight prospects from OOS, not some token visit to check out South Beach in January? Personally I don't think the 'U' on the shirt carries that type of weight right now.
I've already had this discussion on trying to figure out Golden's strategy with a few people because it is a little perplexing early. Shannon took several reaches, but he usually took them at the end of the recruiting cycle. Golden has taken some reaches early.
I know the response I'll get is 'trust Golden, he knows what he's doing' and my response is that is the same thing Canes fans said about Shannon at the beginning of his career at Miami when people began openly questioning his recruiting. We saw how that turned out. Again, I'll wait until signing day, because some could get 'bumped' from the class as ugly as that is.
I know it will probably be a huge class for Miami, but some are certainly kids you could have waited until even November for, you know after they have a kick off classic and 10 regular season HS games of their senior year to watch. Sure maybe they blow up their senior year and Miami will look like geniuses, or they continue being an average BCS recruit like they have been up to this point.
So Miami is putting together a class that is good overall, but not special. I've repeatedly said that Miami needs to land the top class in the country to catch FSU anytime soon. They need 8-10 of these guys to start as second-year players in 2013, and even more in 2014 as third-year players. Miami is going to take a huge number of kids (probably 28), and on numbers alone it will be a top-10 class. But the 'Canes need a class like '08 Alabama or '11 FSU, etc if they want to rebound in 2013 after a very down 2012.
Meanwhile, UF grabbed a commitment from an elite Louisiana linebacker. The difference between the kids FSU & UF are taking and what Miami is taking is definitely substantial at this point. Maybe that changes, but for now, it's there.
Here is the percentage of recruits in ESPNU150: FSU 70% (7/10), UF 50% (6/12), Canes 33% (5/15).
There's a pretty clear split there. UF is recruiting like a team that is gunning for FSU. Miami is simply not.
The days of 3-9 are long, long gone. Even in 2011, with pretty major issues to address on both sides of the ball, Army is far removed from the painful days of Todd Berry, Bobby Ross and Stan Brock: these are new days in West Point, and Army’s climb towards bowl play, while rapid, has left this program in a wonderful place as we enter the second year of this decade. All applause should head in Ellerson’s direction. Army did pave his way somewhat by turning to the option in Brock’s final season, but the job he’s done rebuilding these Cadets deserves far more recognition than it’s received. For example, consider the following factors: Army is seriously depleted along the offensive line, the lifeblood of this offense, and has major holes on defense following the departure of several key figures. Three years ago, such issues would spell disaster – even greater disaster, one could say. Now, I’m confident that this coaching staff’s deft touch will help Army largely overcome these concerns, potentially lining the Cadets up for a second consecutive bowl berth. I could see that happening: Army has some winnable games, a nice returning corps of talent and, after last season, the knowledge of what it takes to play football at a higher level. But it’s going to be very difficult to get back to six wins. It starts with the schedule, which has some winnable games, as noted – Ball State, Tulane, Miami (Ohio) and Fordham – but is far more difficult than it was a year ago. And try as I might, I can’t overlook the holes along the offensive and defensive line. Army’s not going to take a significant step back, but it looks the Cadets will lose an extra game or two. Still, if last year taught us anything, it’s that the Ellerson-led Cadets can and will exceed expectations.
Houston Nutt is the face of a lot of things, but if he wants to be the face of Ole Miss football in 2012, he'll need to engineer a bounce-back season this fall with contributions from a lot of newcomers. Can he?
Hope is not lost in Oxford, but the Rebels are certainly scrambling. If some newcomers -- Randall Mackey, C.J. Johnson, one of the JUCO DBs, one of the receivers, one of the young defensive tackles -- live up to potential, then this team could surprise. They do return quite a bit of experience (even if it's not all good experience), their YPP margin suggests they were at least a bit unlucky, and their recruiting averages are strong. Clearly there might be some talent here. (Lord knows, if you're going to be the face of oversigning, you should at least put a quality product on the field.)
No matter what, we'll know what we are looking at by October 1. With tough-but-winnable home games against BYU and Georgia and equally-tough-but-winnable road games against Vanderbilt and Fresno State, Ole Miss could start anywhere between 1-4 and 5-0 (and yes, I'm counting Southern Illinois as a win despite Jacksonville State). Nutt has the reputation for thriving with lower expectations, and ... well, the expectations are quite low. He has 'em right where he wants 'em!