'Noles News 02.20.12

Tons of news on Florida State football, its opponents, NCAA, hoops, baseball, etc.

FSU

Was Dave Hart right about sticking with Leonard Hamilton at FSU? – Chopping Block – Seminoles Blog – Orlando Sentinel

Tuesday Top 10: Most intriguing redshirt freshmen - CBSSports.com

5, Kelvin Benjamin, FSU, WR: E.J. Manuel should have some very good options to throw to in 2012. The only target FSU loses is Bert Reed, but they gain the super-sized Benjamin in his place. Coaches say Benjamin is up to 245 pounds on his 6-5 frame and he still has the athleticism to get away from DBs and go up and make acrobatic catches in traffic.

Uhh, no comment.

Loss of games due to realignment costly - Sports Business Blog - ESPN
LOL @ a loss of $2.5 Million. If you'll buy that... See the comments for a way this number might be legit.

Rivals & Opponents

Florida Football Recruiting: Gators Land Kelvin Taylor, Five Others On Junior Day - SBNation.com

The Florida Gators brought in a ton of in-state talent to their junior day on Saturday. The move really paid off, as Florida football landed commitments from six of the top recruits in the state.

My FSU take? Not much to worry about. Both FSU and UF will land great classes this year. The state is just too loaded not to. Heck, even Miami will do OK on a per-player basis. There's just that many talented kids in the 2013 cycle.

An Early Look At 2012 Boston College Football: Offense - BC Interruption
BC will be very experienced in 2012. But they come to Doak and shouldn't be a serious threat.

USF picks up first two commits for 2013 - CBSSports.com
Eye on Recruiting - USF picks up first two commits for 2013. And the Bulls continue to be a non-starter in FL recruiting.

Venables/Clemson Defensive Comparison - Shakin The Southland

Florida Hires Tim Davis As Offensive Line Coach, Frank Verducci "To Pursue Other Interests" - Alligator Army
Florida's offensive line is getting a new steward after a terrible 2011: Tim Davis comes to the Gators from Utah to replace Frank Verducci (Charlie Weis' guy).

Life Without O'Brien: Updating Maryland's Scholarship Situation, Depth Chart - Testudo Times
With three more transfers, just how much space does Maryland have? And who'll play for them? It's not a pretty situation in MD.

Atlantic Division spring previews - ACC Blog - ESPN
Pretty decent read, actually.

Coastal Division spring previews - ACC Blog - ESPN (Highlighted FSU's three coastal opponents)

DUKE

Spring practice start date: Feb. 22
Spring game: March 31

What to watch:
  • The defense in the second season under coordinator Jim Knowles. The Blue Devils should be more comfortable in the 4-2-5 alignment that uses three safeties, but they lost their top safety, Matt Daniels. Will the comfort level of the rest of the defense help compensate for the departure of the team’s top defensive playmaker? More players have a better understanding of the system and philosophy.
  • The health of the team. For Duke to stand a chance at reaching a bowl game, it must have its top players healthy. Guys like defensive end Kenny Anunike, linebacker Kelby Brown and safety Lee Butler have all proved they can make plays, but how quickly will they regain their form?
  • The running game. The offensive line should be deeper, more athletic and more competitive than in past years, and the running game should follow suit. Two of the highest-rated recruits in Duke’s 2012 class were running backs, but will the Blue Devils have to wait until summer camp to see a difference?
MIAMI

Spring practice start date: March 3
Spring game: April 14

What to watch:
  • The offensive overhaul. The coordinator is the same; it’s the players who will change. How do you replace eight starters on offense? How will the young players contribute and where? The Canes need to replace their leading rusher from a year ago, Lamar Miller, and their starting quarterback, Jacory Harris.
  • The quarterback competition. Is Stephen Morris ready to take over the offense, or will Ryan Williams, Gray Crow or Preston Dewey win the job from him? Morris is the most experienced quarterback in the system, but Williams probably would have pushed Harris for the starting job last year if he didn’t have to sit out for a season per NCAA transfer rules.
  • The new leader on defense. Miami will lose five starters on defense, but none of them had quite the leadership impact as linebacker Sean Spence. Who will be the new coach on the field for the Canes, not to mention compensate for the loss of Spence’s playmaking abilities?
VIRIGNIA TECH

Spring practice start date: March 28
Spring game: April 21

What to watch:
  • Life without David Wilson. Virginia Tech begins the spring in search of its next great running back, as Wilson left early for the NFL draft, and his backup, Josh Oglesby, has graduated. True freshman J.C. Coleman and redshirt freshman Michael Holmes will be the top two options, as Tony Gregory will be out to recover from surgery on his knee.
  • New-look offensive line. Adding to the offensive uncertainty is the fact that Virginia Tech must replace four starters on the offensive line. All four were redshirt seniors, and there are likely to be growing pains while trying to compensate for the loss of their leadership and knowledge.
  • Secondary replacements. The Hokies will be challenged to find replacements for Jayron Hosley and Eddie Whitley in the secondary. Whitley had played cornerback, rover, outside linebacker and free safety during his career. Hosley, who led the nation in interceptions in 2010, decided to leave early for the NFL draft.

ACC QBs a reason for hope in 2012 - ACC Blog - ESPN

2011 ACC postseason Top 25: No. 20 - Lamar Miller
Linked because HE GONE.

2011 ACC postseason top 25: No. 17 - Sean Spence
HE GONE

Thoughts On Boston College Football's New Staff - BC Interruption

Montel Harris Cleared For Spring Football - BC Interruption
And 50000 spring carries.

Let's Talk about the Defense | The Key Play
You should definitely read this.

The State Of Boston College Football: Ever To Excel Is The Only Message - BC Interruption
How good should BC be?

Eagle in Atlanta -- atleagle.com: Themes for Spring Practice

Football Nerdery

In Defense Of Success Rates - Football Study Hall
A discussion about the utility and usefulness of the Success Rate measure in football statistics. An awesome read, even if you're not a nerd.

Returning Starters And Momentum: Offense Versus Defense - Football Study Hall
A look at how experience affects college football offenses and defenses as the season progresses.

The End Of Sabanball: Details, Barbarians, And Precision - SBNation.com
The Alabama machine can't be stopped, and Nick Saban has solved college football. What will it take for the Tide to be unseated?

If you want to end the run at Alabama, and don't just want to sit around waiting for it to collapse by itself, then you should hire someone who knows what the hell they're doing on offense while doing everything else they do so well like spend shitloads of money and recruiting everything in sight and doing so well. There's a lot of "all things being equal" here, and they're so often not, but let's just isolate the talent element and figure out who can actually counter anaconda-ball proactively.

In other words, there's a lot of things you can't control, so how do you worry about the things you CAN control? The answer is to find the guys who coach college offense brilliantly, because you're not going to out-muscle Bama, or at best will get a push. The rest is going to come from the details guys who can balance limited practice time, well-crafted scheme, and details.

The one not mentioned in the piece is Chris Petersen. This is kind of a shame because given the platform of a program that could bring in first-rank talent across the board, he'd build some fascinating machines. But he's never leaving Boise, and so we're left with the usual suspects.

The one thing we think we know is that you won't out-Saban Saban, and it's stupid to even try.

Roundball

Clemson basketball picking up the pace | The Post and Courier - Charleston, South Carolina
CLEMSON — With his team lacking shot creators and accurate shooters, Clemson coach Brad Brownell made a curious decision at the start of ACC play. Brownell decided to increase tempo, to add possessions to the game.

NCAA Stuff

NCAA considers using private investigators - CBSSports.com
Good read here from Dodd.

Transfers, Athletic Dorms & Recruit Discussion: Thoughts On Proposed Rule Changes
The NCAA has proposed several rule changes, here are some thoughts on the three bigger moves.

Other CFB

Pre-Snap Read: Texas A&M Recap

With all the talk about Missouri, with most believing the Tigers will be no match for the SEC, why has no one asked whether the Aggies have what it takes to survive in the nation’s deepest and most imposing conference? To be fair, it’s not an entirely apropos comparison; unlike Missouri, A&M has the good fortune to recruit in Texas, meaning the talent well will never run dry. In fact, it stands to reason that the Aggies will soon have major inroads in three of the nation’s best recruiting grounds: Texas, Louisiana and Florida. In the long term, the Aggies still have a bright future. In 2012, however, the team may struggle adapting to the new style of play in the SEC. That A&M must break in a new coaching staff and a new quarterback won’t help matters.
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