Noles News 08.16.11

News and notes on FSU Sports? Absolutely.

FSU

FSU will scrimmage Wednesday. It is closed to the public and the media, so watching Seminoles practice is not an option. We'll still have you covered. Tough practice yesterday coming off a two-a-day in the stadium and fan day. Zebrie was held out as a precaution (groin), Orelus (concussion), and Thomas (migraines... still). Bobby Hart got some time with the first team at right tackle. I don't see that ever happening in meaningful game action this season for the Noles. Fisher was really complimentary of the corners and is happy to have them to play matchups. Fisher said Mike Harris could have an expanded role this year because he is actually in school. Jimbo thinks Rashad Greene can be good on special teams and has a bright future at wideout. Fisher loves Christian Jones. Fisher likes him on the inside in nickel situations because of his length. Jones is a great athlete. Fisher loves this defense (all three levels). Talent, depth, versatility. Jimbo says he always recruits more defenders than offensive players. "I want lots of em, I want big guys. Big physical, and can run." That's good to hear because defenses rotate a lot more than offenses. Jimbo again discussed all the things a defense can do to protect the Mike linebacker.

Rivals

On the 3-4 Switch and Multiple Fronts - Shakin The Southland
Excellent breakdown here.

Miami landed a commitment from Earl Moore. Moore is decent DT out of Tampa, but he did not hold offers from FSU or UF, and is yet another commitment for the Canes that isn't an FSU or UF level player. (Earl Moore). Golden continues to not recruit at FSU or UF's level.

Attorney: Ponzi-scheming Miami booster has detailed largesse to the NCAA (and yes, there’s a yacht) - Dr. Saturday - NCAAF Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Just read it. This seems like an all or nothing situation. If the stuff happened within the last four years, Miami is done. If not, they are not getting in trouble for this. Statute of limitations.

Other CFB

Pre-Snap Read: #19-TCU

Last year’s group would have done no worse than 11-1 with this year’s schedule. This year’s team might have a hard time getting back to double-digit wins, though the Horned Frogs aren’t going to drop off the map. I don’t like the way the year starts: back-to-back road games against two pretty good teams — one very good team in Air Force — isn’t a good way for this young team to break into action, especially at key spots like quarterback and in the secondary. That T.C.U. gets five very, very good teams away from home — Baylor, Air Force, San Diego State, B.Y.U. and Boise State — is also a little troubling. If last year’s team was a flash in the pan, a one- or two-year wonder, I would have little compunction identifying T.C.U. as a team primed for a slide. Good thing that this program is built for the long, long, long haul. Yeah, Pachall is young, green and untested. Yes, he might struggle early. But his early struggles will yield dividends down the stretch. You can say that for the entire team, offense and defense: the T.C.U. you see in September won’t be the same T.C.U. you see in November and December. The Horned Frogs will get better and better each week, you can bet the farm on that. So what’s the bottom line? In terms of wins and losses, don’t be shocked if T.C.U. slips to 8-4. Be surprised, but don’t be shocked. I’m more likely to wager 9-3, with perhaps a 1-1 start but terrific play in October, November and December. In the small picture, this may look like a one-year lull. In the big picture, T.C.U. will get its slight growing pains out of the way before heading to the Big East in 2012 and running roughshod over all comers. But in 2011, the combination of youth and a tough schedule will lead to a few stumbles.

Pre-Snap Read: #20 Penn State

Could a program like Penn State ever really come in under the radar? Maybe back in 2005, when this program was at its nadir, but today? I’d side with no, but I’m extremely surprised with the lack of faith in this team’s ability to return to the Rose Bowl hunt. Perhaps all it took was a slide to seven wins to temper expectations, but consider the following: last year’s team got nothing at quarterback, did not do a good job running the football, couldn’t muster up any pass rush and suffered an almost ridiculous number of injuries. Partner those factors with a wholesale lack of experience and you get 7-6, in short. And you know what? Each of those negatives are fixable; each can be offset with time, practice and snaps, minus the injuries. Offensively, Penn State is going to land improved play under center — it’s up to Bolden, but he has the talent to take the requisite step forward. Can the offensive line be more physical? That’s a mental task, and an incalculable one at that, but the line should be better thanks to last year’s experience. Now, the defense: I think it’s going to be great. If not great then at least very good; great if the pass rush returns to 2009 form, very good if the pass rush improves only slightly. In the big picture, you have to consider Penn State a contender for the Big Ten crown. Getting Wisconsin on the road sets back those Rose Bowl hopes quite a bit, and the three-game stretch to end the year is going to prevent the Nittany Lions from getting back to 10 wins. But in my mind, this is a team with nine-win potential. That resume would include a loss to Alabama and losses in two of three against Nebraska, Ohio State and the Badgers — and means no slip-ups against Iowa, Illinois or Northwestern. The ceiling is high, like B.C.S. high, if everything falls into place. But others teams do have fewer question marks, to be fair, so placing Penn State inside the top 20 and alongside the Buckeyes for second place in the Leaders division is a logical spot.

The Nevada Wolf Pack And Why So Glum? - Football Study Hall
A look at the 2011 Nevada Wolf Pack football team. A lot of 2010's successful team has left, but with a weaker WAC on the schedule, UNR should succeed once again.

Below is a small handful of projection and change factors most pertinent to the Football Outsiders' preseason projections you will find in the Football Outsiders Almanac 2011.

Four-Year F/+ Rk 63
Five-Year Recruiting Rk 99
TO Margin/Adj. TO Margin**** +5 / +1.5
Approx. Ret. Starters (Off. / Def.) 12 (5, 7)
Yds/Pt Margin***** -4.3

There will be an inevitable step backwards this season, simply because a) the Wolf Pack must replace a lot and b) that's what typically happens after you have your best season ever. But in their final season in the WAC, there's still a solid chance that they are the class of their conference. In the Football Outsiders Almanac 2011, we give Nevada a 90% chance of finishing 6-1 or 7-0 in conference (other teams: Hawaii 28%, Fresno State 16%, Louisiana Tech 4%) and a 99% chance of finishing better than 6-6. It's amazing what a worse conference can do for your win totals, eh?

That said, 2011 will certainly still offer quite a few challenges. Never mind the money woes, which will continue to weigh over everything ... Nevada starts the season with four consecutive road games against Oregon, San Jose State, Texas Tech and Boise State. Even last year's team would have likely started 1-3. The Almanac doesn't account for cumulative frustration, and a 1-3 start could make some teams implode, or at least fray at the edges. Survive that with their ego intact, however, and Nevada should destroy the rest of their schedule. Fresno State and Hawaii both visit Reno, and the only remaining road trips are to New Mexico and Utah State. The future may be uncertain for the University of Nevada-Reno's athletic department, but fans should at least have another winning team to root for in 2011 while they wait to see if the hammer drops.

 

 

Be sure to purchase your Football Outsiders Almanac 2011 today! The college portion is available for just $5, and if you pre-order the entire book, you can download the college portion instantly.

Debriefing: Aaron Murray points Georgia’s way out of No-Man’s Land - Dr. Saturday - NCAAF Blog - Yahoo! Sports

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