Lots of news for you today from Florida State and beyond.
Nick O'Leary has been killing 7-on-7s. His body control is exceptional. Rashad Greene has also been doing well. Kelvin Benjamin is coming along a bit slower, as is Karlos Williams.
Directors' Cup Standings and UVA's, ACC's Point Efficiency - Streaking The Lawn
A look at the athletic department's spending and how this translates into Directors' Cup points for Virginia and the rest of the ACC
Welcome New Recruits to the U! No Prima Donnas Here! | Eye of the Hurricane
This is a hilarious article making excuses for Al Golden's recruiting. Then again, Miami is recruiting like a small private school should be expected to recruit. Tons of projects and questionable commitments that have athleticism and shouldn't see meaningful playing time until the 2014 season. What the Canes need is a bunch of guys to play immediately, given that they lose 12 starters and 7 key contributors and won't be able to replace them as a full third of the 2010 recruiting class that would have been counted on to replace them is now gone after only a year in school.
There has been a decent amount of negativity surrounding the Miami program recently, from the disappointing 2010 season, to a coaching hire that failed to generate buzz, to arrests and transfers. The vaunted 2008 recruiting class did not bring 12-win seasons to Coral Gables, the depth isn't where it is supposed to be, and financial support appears lacking. This program is not where it was 10 years ago or 20 years ago, and looking at the program, and college football's power structure, it is difficult to imagine the 'Canes returning to those loftiest of lofty heights anytime soon. However...
...look at that 2008 class again. It still produced Marcus Forston, Sean Spence, Travis Benjamin, Ramon Buchanan, Vaughn Telemaque, Micanor Regis, Brandon Washington and, of course, Jacory Harris. Within the framework of the ACC, Miami is still at the top end in terms of athleticism and potential. Al Golden may be seen by some as a conservative hire, but if he manages to wring out more of the potential in some of these players than they have as yet uncovered, Miami is still a potential ACC champion and Top 10 program.
The schedule is, to say the least, trying. The 'Canes open on Labor Day at Maryland, then host Ohio State and Kansas State before the ACC schedule truly gets rolling. Their divisional fate will be decided by trips to Virginia Tech and North Carolina in mid-October, and by the time they reach the @FlaSt-USF-BC portion of their schedule, they could be anywhere between about 8-1 and 3-6. I've talked myself into this team to a certain degree, and I see them winning at least eight games when all is said and done, but 'potential' is the watchword. If we're still talking about potential, and not production, in November, then something went awry.
I think Bill needed to mention that Miami has a ridiculous amount of seniors on its team (21); 12 of which are starters and another 6-7 of which are key contributors. This will be the best Miami team in the next three years.
Again, McAdoo’s (and UNC’s) argument was never that violations did not occur; rather that the punishment did not fit the crimes. Armed with evidence that the NCAA disregarded its own precedents in previous academic misconduct cases and that the work on the Swahili paper and even the citations were his own and were merely reformatted by Wiley, a sympathetic judge (or especially a jury, since the action requests a jury trial) may look on McAdoo’s case favorably. Then again, the NCAA has deep pockets and time on its side since they don’t care if it takes 3-5 years to resolve these issues in court while the clock is ticking on McAdoo’s career. Again, what happens in Judge Hudson’s courtroom next week will certainly be intriguing.
Let's see how this goes.
I think USF's a year away. In this year's publication, Phil Steele picked the Bulls to surprise and finish tied for first in the Big East, but I just can't really see it. They had some fumbles luck, and their YPP margin suggests they were a bit lucky in regard to efficiency. They do not return a lofty level of experience, especially on offense, and ... I just don't see it. I see a young offense lacking in receiving threats and a confusing front seven on defense, but I see a seventh consecutive bowl game, seven or eight wins and a wonderfully experienced team that heads into 2012 with big expectations.
That said ... if they survive a brutal mid-season stretch that sees them play one home game in 55 days, and if they reach the home stretch with a chance at the conference title, all bets are off. But good luck with that. After a likely 3-1 start, the Bulls are staring at an @Pitt-@UConn-Cincy-@Rutgers-@Syracuse stretch. That's five potential bowl teams, four away from home. That they finish with home games against Miami, Louisville, and West Virginia is nice, but their title hopes will probably be dead by then. The pieces in place should make for another up-and-down season, but the pieces that will still be in place next year are intriguing.
Best team in Conference USA? One of the best non-B.C.S. conference teams in the country? A threat to go undefeated? Don’t be ridiculous. Southern Mississippi will be a 10-win contender once it stops giving up 50 points at home to some of Conference USA’s worst; until then, this is where Southern Miss is going to fall – about eight wins, with seven just as likely as nine, unbelievably potent offensively but still a threat to lose just as many games as it wins as long as the defense remains three steps behind this offense. Perhaps that’s harsh… it is harsh, actually, but that is the message Fedora and this team must accept and address as the Golden Eagles head into September – because this team, as some of those laudatory comments above illustrate, is definitely good enough to unseat U.C.F. and take home the East division. And it’s largely because of this offense, which is superb. There are some question marks: the offensive line needs to be rebuilt, as does the receiver corps, by and large, but I have no doubt that Fedora is going to again have a record-breaking offense in the cards. But how will this team take to the 4-2-5? It’s a nice thought, this change, but the addition of new coordinators and a new scheme is not always conducive to immediate success. Can the Golden Eagles get better and better defensively as the year moves along? No doubt, and that’s probably what’s going to occur. But for now, there are other conference foes with fewer questions, who seem farther along on both sides of the ball – not quite on par offensively, but far ahead defensively – as we look towards the fall. If any team is going to leapfrog the Knights and take the East, it’s going to be Southern Miss. But I don’t see it happening.
Illinois is going back to bowl play in 2011, if only because it would take an incredibly inept coaching job to not get the Illini back to at least six wins. Not that such rationale is the only reason why Illinois is gone to win at least six games: I see a talented sophomore quarterback, a nice offensive line, a young and talented receiver corps and a strong secondary, not to mention two standout coordinators worth their weight in gold. But then I come back to two things: one is history, as for nearly 20 years, Illinois has been unable to string together at least two successful seasons; the other is Ron Zook, who has been inconsistent at best, to put it mildly. The one constant throughout the last half-decade of Illinois football has been Zook, meaning players and assistants come and go but he has been the defining force behind this program’s inability to reach out and grab a spot in the top half of the Big Ten. My take in less than 30 words: the Illini should win at least eight, they’ll probably win seven, and six or less should lead the program to make a coaching move on Nov. 27. The team is good enough to be a very realistic challenger for the Big Ten crown, but I don’t have enough confidence to go that far. Instead, put me in the camp of 7-5, thanks to the combination of the above positive factors and eight home games — even Ron Zook could win seven games in 2011. Of course, perhaps only Zook could take this team, these great coordinators and this schedule and win only seven games. Perhaps I’m far less bullish on the Illini than most, but I do remember very well the times that Zook was supposed to win but didn’t, held every advantage but still disappointed, had all the pieces to the puzzle but still couldn’t put it together.