Lots of great news on the Florida State Seminoles today. Get your FSU fix.
FSU baseball earned the right to host a Super Regional. Here are the times for the Tallahassee Super Regional! Saturday, June 11 - 4:30 p.m. (ESPNUHD) | Sunday, June 12 - 4 p.m. (ESPNUHD) | Monday, June 13 (if necessary) - TBD, either 1 p.m., 4 p.m. or 7 p.m. (ESPN2HD - 1; ESPN2HD - 4; ESPN2HD or ESPNUHD - 7)
Scout.com preview of the Gators.
Rutgers? Seriously, yes, Rutgers. The two best previewers in the biz both have Rutgers on the same day. Wow. And we will never have a Rutgers section again.
Greg Schiano pulled a magic act in bringing sustained success to Rutgers, but in a zero-sum league, the Scarlet Knights have trended in the wrong direction recently. Can an experienced offense and a new offensive coordinator right the ship for Schiano? And what to make of a defense that couldn't stop the pass and now faces a stronger passing league?
Let's play another game of Optimist Versus Pessimist!
What The Optimist Sees: A team whose recent history is much better than what they produced last year, a team whose offensive coordinator might be much more in tune to the talent at hand and has 10 returning starters at his disposal, and a team that plays in a conference won by the 55th-best team in the country last year. (In other words, a team that could win a lot of games if they recover to their recent levels.)
What The Pessimist Sees: A team that went 1-6 in the aforementioned weak conference, a team that could have been much worse without some fumble luck, and a team that couldn't stop the pass in a conference that just got a lot better at passing.
As a whole, Rutgers has gotten worse in three of the last four seasons, meaning their stumble to 4-8 is not an isolated incident. In fact, it wasn't even their biggest stumble in terms of overall quality -- that came the year before. If the Big East really is a zero-sum league (at least until TCU joins the mix), and Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Louisville, South Florida and Syracuse are all either getting better or likely to, then someone has to get worse, and recently that has been RU. If they are going to strike back, now's the time to start. I'm a fan of the underdog, so I have a bit of a sentimental attachment to a program like Rutgers that struggled for so long and found some sustained success, but I'm not particularly optimistic that they're going to find more sustained success. If they're going to prove me wrong, it begins in 2011.
Here’s the logic of putting Rutgers at this spot: I think the Scarlet Knights are at the bottom of the Big East; I think the roster is dangerously thin at several key spots; and I think this non-conference schedule is tougher than it has been in years, far tougher than it was a season ago. The latter pairing is a dangerous confluence of events, one that might, should injuries not go Rutgers’ way, cause this team to take continue its slide down the conference standings. Now, I’m not saying that the Scarlet Knights aren’t talented. Nor am I suggesting that Schiano doesn’t remain the man for the job; I think Rutgers would rue the day it let him loose, if it comes to that. But while the potential is there for a better finish — perhaps as much as seven wins — an objective observer can’t sit here today and look at Rutgers and make that prediction. To say it’s safer to put the Scarlet Knights here would suggest a fear of being wrong, and we know that’s not the case in this space. It’s merely that there are too many question marks that need to be addressed. Strangely, there are places with so much depth — wide receiver and the secondary — that you wish Rutgers could move some guys around; it’s an impossibility, as wide receivers can’t play along the offensive line, but perhaps it says something about how Schiano has recruited well at some spots and not well at others. That’s another story for another day. For today, it looks like Rutgers has to prove itself all over again. Who knows? Schiano’s guys always played their best when overlooked and underestimated, so perhaps being discounted is all the Scarlet Knights need to return to their 2006-9 form.
General College Football
Everyone's favorite college football preseason preview is almost here, JAM-PACKED as ever. Phil "The Animal" Steele joins Homerism for a podcast to preview the 2011 season and his No. 2 team, the Oklahoma Sooners, as well as some of the other major contenders and story lines.
We'll have Phil Steele on next week if possible.
I think we now have about all the film on Tulsa from last season that we're going to get our hands on, and I've spent a good bit of the weekend cutting snippets out for a series of posts on the offense that Morris runs. FF and I will be breaking things down and I'll be loading film clips as time permits, but the overall simplicity of the offense is like night and day compared to the Spence system we've been running since O'Cain got run out of town. It is designed to defeat defenses with tempo on top of the horizontal and vertical stretch, but it doesn't try to outscheme the defense per se. There is essentially no difference between this offense and what Gus Malzahn runs at Auburn, so everything discussed previously here still applies. We'll be posting a few explanations of some plays but if you understood the work we put out on the isolation and power/trap, then it'll seem redundant. We have only noticed a few minor differences between the two schemes, and since we've discussed the core plays before, we'll be spending more time this summer on understanding the passing game. For now though, we'll be tying this offense's running game together.
These guys do such good work.