Noles News 07.19.11

There will be some some very special stuff for you later this morning from Bill Connelly.  

FSU

True Offensive Balance - Football Study Hall

Of the 49 teams who have managed Top 16 rankings in both Rushing and Passing S&P+ in the last six seasons, 39 have won at least nine games in a season, 42 have won at least eight, and only three have not finished with winning records. If you play at this high a caliber both on the ground and in the air, you are going to win games no matter how poor your defense is.

FSU fit this category last year, with the 5th-best rushing offense and the 11th-best passing offense. Record: 10-4.

Plenty of defense will be found in ACC | The Post and Courier, Charleston SC - News, Sports, Entertainment
Even with the departure of stalwarts like Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers and North Charleston native Robert Quinn, who was ineligible to play last season at North Carolina, this could be a defensive-minded year in the Atlantic Coast Conference. FSU places several players on this list.

Not FSU related, but absolutely worthy of top-page honors: What I Love: Keith Jackson - Football Study Hall:  A celebration of former college football broadcaster Keith Jackson. The best ever. /Nostalgia 

Rivals

Position Breakdowns: Wide Receivers - Blogger So Dear
Whoa. Is this comprehensive or what? Take a look.

This is really, really funny.  CLEMSON RECRUITING VIDEO IS THE LOST EPIC STANLEY KUBRICK NEVER MADE - Every Day Should Be Saturday

Football Recruiting: Rhaheim Ledbetter Commits To Florida Gators - Alligator Army
High 3*/low 4* type safety, but is likely the key to Jonathan Bullard (4*/5* DE from Carolina).

Recruiting: Marcus Maye Commits To Florida, Makes 15 2012 Commitments For Will Muschamp - Alligator Army
The Gators added Marcus Maye to an already loaded Class of 2012.  As I've correctly said all year, UF is keeping pace with FSU and is the only other team in the state to come close.  

Is Jeff Demps' Florida Gators Football Career In Jeopardy? - Alligator Army
Interesting article. I don't think Demps is that good but UF's better with him than without him.

Pre-Snap Read: #48 NC State

N.C. State’s not going anywhere: the Wolfpack will again factor into the A.C.C. mix, winning at least seven games and competing with Clemson for the second spot in the Atlantic division. I don’t think this team can hang with Florida State, but few can, A.C.C. or otherwise. I should say – and you can see that by checking out last year’s end-of-season ranking for the Wolfpack – that N.C. State won’t be quite as good as it was last fall, when it was right in the mix for a national ranking. Alright, so why? Because of a few concerns: not overwhelming concerns, but worries that make me less confident that the Wolfpack can match last season’s output, let alone improve upon it. One is at quarterback. I think Glennon has the makings of a very good college quarterback, but it’s only natural to expect some drop-off as the team transitions away from Wilson. In 2011, at least, as Glennon should develop into an all-A.C.C. quarterback once he gains experience. Another offensive issue stems from N.C. State’s desire to again place an emphasis on the run: we’ve heard this refrain before, but the Wolfpack haven’t delivered when it counted. Defensively, we must see better play from the secondary. If would help to have a more potent pass rush, but I don’t think we can say with any certainty that this front four, especially at end, can get to the quarterback with any consistency. It has been said that the secondary, the cornerbacks in particular, took a big step forward during the spring; we’ll have to believe it when we see it in September. This is a very solid team, one that should advance to bowl play without too much trouble, but I’m hesitant to put the Wolfpack in the mix for a nationally-ranked finish. One thing I know for sure: N.C. State is not falling back to 5-7, where it stumbled to in 2009 after its first step forward under O’Brien. This is a good, well-coached team.

General CFB

Summer Vacation: Conference USA - Football Study Hall
A preview of the 2011 Conference USA football season. Prediction: Southern Miss beats SMU in the conference title game. Great stuff here.

Mountain West Forecast: Evolving Mtn. welcomes its new Bronco overlords - Dr. Saturday - NCAAF Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Mtn West predictions. Boise etc.

Local Legends And The Tulsa Golden Hurricane - Football Study Hall

Without knowing what changes, if any, are in store with Blankenship and his staff, it's hard to completely know what to think about Tulsa's prospects for 2011, so I'm just going to press forward as if nothing will change. Tulsa returns as much proven talent on offense as anybody in Conference USA; Damaris Johnson is a star, G.J. Kinne appears to be a strong leader and the offensive line is strong and experienced. The defense lags behind a bit, but the front seven should be solid and Shawn Jackson's ceiling is extremely high. There's a lot to like here, so I'm going to assume Tulsa would be pretty good in 2011 no matter who happened to be head coach...

...as long as they survive September. The best Tulsa squad ever would probably still start 1-3 this season, with road trips to Oklahoma and Boise State and a visit from Oklahoma State. If they make it to October 1 with their spirit intact, however, they could get rolling just like they did last year. Trips to Rice and UTEP are far from intimidating, and the Golden Hurricane get SMU and Houston at home. Only the trip to UCF is a likely loss. Ten wins are unlikely unless TU wins the CUSA title game and their bowl, but their conference title hopes are strong.

The New Mexico State Aggies And That Same Song - Football Study Hall

Rooting for the underdog is deep in my DNA, and New Mexico State is perhaps the biggest underdog in FBS. Recruiting has improved slightly in Walker's first two years, and as mentioned above, the offense improved last year and should again this fall. But even though the coaching staff is experienced, but it really is unclear at this point whether anybody can succeed in Las Cruces.

This fall, Boise State mercifully leaves the schedule, and the Aggies potentially have four winnable home games: Ohio (last year's F/+ ranking: 91st), Idaho (99th), Utah State (101st) and UTEP (109th). Throw in road trips to each of their two victims last year -- San Jose State and New Mexico -- and we'll say that NMSU's season really involves six games. Don't worry about the other seven. Just improve your overall ratings and win four of these six games, and the season will have been a definitive step forward.

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