Noles News 08.19.11

The Florida State Seminoles did not practice yesterday, but will have a two-a-day today. Jimbo Fisher is hoping FSU is more healed up and that several guys nursing key injuries can go.

Birmingham News Super Senior Justin Shanks talented on, off field | al.com
Florida State-bound Prattville star, ranked No. 6 prospect in Alabama, keeps up with his grades and talks about his mother's influence in his life. Good article by Doug Segrest.

Rivals

Source: Willful violators clause could apply at Miami - Investigations - Yahoo! Sports
The NCAA's four-year statute of limitations on violations might be extended in Nevin Shapiro case. How could they not face it?

2011 Oklahoma Football Offensive Preview: Tight Ends/Receivers - Crimson And Cream Machine
OU has the best receiving corps in the country. 

The 2010 Goal Line Offense: Interesting Trends - Crimson And Cream Machine
OU did not have a great goal-line offense last year. FSU didn't really expose that as the Sooners had many, many long scoring plays.

A Prospective, Post-Shaprio 2011 Miami Depth Chart - The 7th Floor
What might the Miami Hurricanes starting line up look like minus the current players caught up in the Nevin Shapiro scandal? Well, it wouldn't be pretty.

Oklahoma’s got the hype, but does it have the defense to live up to it? - Dr. Saturday - NCAAF Blog - Yahoo! Sports
OU's Defense will be good. But how good?

OU's Ronnell Lewis not currently with the football team - Crimson And Cream Machine
Want a reason to believe FSU will beat Oklahoma? How about OU losing three important players this off-season (Austin Box-deceased, Travis Lewis-broken foot, Ronnell Lewis- grades). Now, the Ronnell Lewis stuff is not final, and like FSU, OU just finished summer classes. We should know soon.

Other CFB

Pre-Snap Read: #15- Notre Dame

Let’s pump the brakes just a little bit: Notre Dame’s not built for a national title run even with this schedule, though I do tend to think those sort of days await in the future. This year’s team lacks optimal depth, for starters, but there are lingering questions at quarterback — this above all else — and along the interior of the defensive line. But those are survivable issues, as I think Kelly is going to land improved quarterback play regardless of which candidate assumes the starting role. They’re survivable to a point, at least; again, Notre Dame doesn’t strike me as a team capable of running the table. But you know what I really like about the Irish, and Kelly’s rebuilding job in particular? It doesn’t seem like he’s rebuilding this program with smoke and mirrors, but rather going about rejuvenating a storied program from the bottom up: by demanding discipline, by relying on offensive balance, by going hard after front seven prospects on the recruiting trail and, basically, by putting forth a product that seems to be improving by the day. The play we saw last November and December will carry over to 2011, when we’ll again find the Irish progressing on the field throughout the season. So what’s the ceiling? I can see 10 wins, and don’t scoff. Forget what you’ve known about Notre Dame since 2006; this team won’t wilt, will avoid the month-long lulls that defined the previous era and, should push come to shove, have one of the nation’s best coaches upon which to rely. This is new, folks. I hesitate to say 10-2, but I think nine wins is very much in the cards. Just think: that’s only a two-game improvement in the win column from last year’s regular season, and that’s not a huge amount. It’s an exciting time for Notre Dame. This time, I think the excitement is justified.

Pre-Snap Read: #16- Oklahoma State

Can the offense keep up its prolific pace? That’s the big question for Oklahoma State in 2011, and here’s the short answer — yes. Sort of. What you won’t see, in my mind, is further growth. The progression that would have taken place had Holgorsen stayed for another year won’t occur, as while Monken brings a nice resume — complete with college experience, complete with three years in Stillwater — he is a newcomer to this offense. But the pieces are in place to continue the high level of play: Weeden is superb, as is Blackmon, and the offensive line should be best of the Gundy era. So what’s the problem? There aren’t any major issues, in my mind. Some may point to Monken as a concern, but he’s not, in my opinion; Monken’s no Holgorsen, but he’s going to do fine with the weapons at his disposal. And the defense won’t be great, just good enough to lift O.S.U. to nine wins. The real issue is this schedule, which sends the Cowboys on the road to face Texas A&M, Texas and Missouri, three teams in Oklahoma State’s stratosphere, below Oklahoma. In my mind, this fact, not the offense, will be what limits O.S.U. to nine wins in the regular season. Would that be fine with a fan base rapidly growing familiar with the top half of the Big 12? I would hope so; it’s rare that a program could replace an offensive mastermind and maintain a nine-win clip, and I think I’m on the conservative end of the spectrum when it comes to projecting Oklahoma State’s final record. If 9-3 isn’t enough, take pride — and great pleasure — in watching the nation’s best quarterback-receiver combination go to work every Saturday. One, or maybe both, will be in the Heisman mix. How good are the football teams in the state of Oklahoma?

Pre-Snap Read: #17-Ohio State

There’s just too much swirling around this program for Ohio State to maintain its legendary run atop the Big Ten. Too much along the sidelines: Fickell’s going to be learning on the fly, which is a frightening scenario for a team with such lofty yearly expectations. Too much on the roster: outside of the typical attrition due to graduation, the Buckeyes must replace a would-be senior quarterback and go forward without three additional key figures for the first portion of the season. How could any team survive such issues? Well, this isn’t just any team or program; it’s Ohio State, and there’s enough talent rising up through this roster to fill the starting spots left vacant. So there’s talent, plenty of it, though much of it on the younger end. And that’s a problem for Ohio State – not a 6-6 problem, but this sort of youth and inexperience would lead me to think closer to 8-4 or 9-3 when taken in conjunction with the coaching changes. What will O.S.U. get at quarterback? Will anyone step up at wide receiver? Depth along the offensive line? These are pretty meaningful questions for any team, let alone one entering a period of great unknown: no real idea of who its next coach will be, no idea about the future of its athletic department, Ohio State is in a state of transition. For now, until everything becomes settled, O.S.U. can’t be viewed as the Big Ten favorite. It’s been a long time since anyone’s uttered that phrase.

Pre-Snap Read: #18- Texas

So much has changed. The roster, the coaching staff, the national perception, the uncertainty — this is new for Texas, from top to bottom, and how the Longhorns fare in 2011 will be one of the most-watched developments in college football. Here’s one thing we can say for sure: Texas isn’t going 5-7 again. There’s a far better chance of U.T. running the table than of that happening in back-to-back years. Another thing we can say for sure: Brown added two very, very good coordinators. The only question is whether Harsin and Diaz can have an immediate impact. I think Diaz can and will; I think Harsin will eventually be a difference-maker, but far too many question marks remain on offense to expect more than a slight — but meaningful — improvement on that side of the ball. First, U.T. needs to rally around a quarterback, whether Gilbert or one of the younger options. The offensive line needs to adopt a tougher mentality; we’ve been waiting for that for a long time. The receiver corps needs at least three, as many as five relatively untested targets to step into larger roles. In short, while I am confident that Harsin is the right hire, I think he’ll have his hands full in the early going. The defense, behind Diaz, can help carry the load in the meantime. What about a final record? It’s hard to say, since U.T. could struggle early and lose to both B.Y.U. and U.C.L.A. — that would probably mean seven wins, give or take. But there’s just too much talent, and now the coaching, for Texas not to challenge for nine wins in the regular season. I can see 10 wins, in fact, if the Longhorns knock off B.Y.U. and Oklahoma State, both at home. Doable but far from certain. Repeat after me: there’s just too much talent here for Texas not to factor heavily in the Big 12 hunt. Don’t be surprised at all if U.T. bursts forward and finishes second in the conference, ahead of Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. Talent plus coaching spells a return, even if the Longhorns might need a year to get their legs back under them

Agree with this? Texas definitely has talent, and they absolutely have a top-25 schedule.

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