Midseason Thoughts: Richard Cirminiello

Posted Oct 9, 2012

Tuesday Question: Midseason Picks, Thoughts and Calls

Tuesday Question: Midseason Thoughts
Richard Cirminiello | Matt Zemek | Phil Harrison
Terry Johnson | Bart Doan

By Richard Cirminiello

Player of the Year: West Virginia QB Geno Smith – He's thrown 24 touchdown passes without a pick, and has helped guide his Mountaineers into national championship contention. It's just a matter of time before he replaces John Denver on the loud speaker following home wins.

Player of the Year Other Than Geno Smith: Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o – The Irish senior has been the physical and emotional leader of a defense that's allowed 39 points all year. Notre Dame isn't thinking about a BCS bowl game without No. 5 in the defensive huddle.

Surprise Team So Far: Florida. Just a month ago, the Gators looked as if they were at least a year away from being dangerous. Today, they're a serious contender for not just the SEC title, but possibly a national title. No one saw this coming.

Disappointing Team So Far: Arkansas. The Razorbacks decline has been stunning on a historical level, going from the top 10 to potentially out of the bowl picture. Even after beating Auburn, 2-4 Arkansas got cemented as the biggest disappointment of the first half with losses to Louisiana-Monroe and Rutgers.

Coach of the Year: Bill Snyder, Kansas State. Even with Collin Klein at the controls, the Wildcats have no business being in the same zip code as No. 1 Alabama. Yet, that's exactly where they reside following resonating first-half wins over Oklahoma and Miami.

I Was Dead Wrong About … Penn State. In light of what took place in the offseason, I assumed this would be a four-win team whose wheels would already be off. Granted the competition hasn't been great, but Bill O'Brien has done a terrific job of keeping this program tight, and winning four games in a row.

I Was Right On About … Florida State. Even after the Clemson game, I wasn't sold that the Seminoles were ready to mount a serious challenge for the BCS National Championship Game. The ‘Noles helped make me look smart with last weekend's flop in Raleigh.

Favorite Moment: The entire Clemson-Florida State game. The Tigers and the Seminoles in Tallahassee was a bona fide heavyweight title fight, with enough right crosses from the offenses to draw the attention of Michael Buffer. More than any other first-half game, Clemson-FSU made me feels as if it was January from start to finish.

My Three Big Calls For The Second Half Of The Season:
1. Georgia will be the "other" SEC team to participate in a BCS bowl game. The Dawgs are down, but not out by any means. Watch this team rally in a huge way over the next two months.
2. Someone other than Geno Smith will win the Heisman. It's a curse to have such a big lead this early in the season. Geno will have to deal with unrealistic expectations that he created himself. One hiccup in a big spot in November, and he could be done in voters' eyes.
3. A record number of coaches will be fired in December. It's shaping up as one of those strange seasons that ends with a couple of high-profile ousters that catches everyone off guard.

Overall Grade For The First Half: C+. The first few weeks were dominated were dominated by far too many meaningless blowouts and matchups with FCS opponents. How many truly unforgettable moments took place during the first six weeks of the 2012 season. Enough to count on one hand? Two?