Midseason Thoughts: Terry Johnson

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 Terry Johnson
Follow me @TPJCollFootball

Player of the Year - Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Let's be honest: No one is playing better than Geno Smith right now. He ranks first nationally in passing yards per game, first in passing efficiency, and second in total offense. However, the most impressive thing about Smith is how well he's taken care of the football. After 5 games, he has thrown 24 TD passes, but no interceptions.

Player of the Year Other Than Geno Smith - Nick Florence, QB, Baylor
While there's no doubt that Smith is the midseason player of the year, Florence has been equally effective. He leads the nation total offense, ranks second in passing yards per game, and has thrown for 16 TDs. Florence also outplayed Smith when two went head-to-head two weeks ago.

Surprise Team So Far - Oregon State
Even the most optimistic Beaver fan didn't see this coming. After finishing 3-9 last year, Oregon State started the season with a bang, recording impressive wins over Wisconsin and UCLA. While no one knows if Mike Riley's team will remain in contention for the Pac 12 title because of an injury to Sean Mannion, the fact that they're ranked 14th in the Coaches Poll right now qualifies them as the Surprise Team of Year (So Far).

Disappointing Team So Far - Arkansas
This one's a no-brainer. Even with the loss of Bobby Petrino, many felt that the Razorbacks still had what it took to compete with the likes of Alabama and LSU. However, the Hogs dropped four games in a row, highlighted by an embarrassing loss to Louisiana-Monroe during the second week of the season. That's quite a fall for a preseason Top 10 team.

Coach of the Year - David Cutcliffe, Duke
At midseason, the Blue Devils are 5-1, and have sole possession of second place in the ACC Coastal Division. With just one more win, Duke will qualify for its first bowl game since the 1995 Hall of Fame Bowl. If that's not coach of the year material, what is?

I Was Dead Wrong About ... Wisconsin
In the preseason, I projected the Badgers to head to their third consecutive Rose Bowl. Unfortunately, replacing QB Russell Wilson and offensive line coach Bob Bostad proved to be a much taller task than anyone expected.

I Was Right On About ... West Virginia
Throughout the offseason, I took plenty of heat for suggesting that West Virginia could win the Big 12 in its first year. Despite plenty of historical evidence to the contrary (see: Utah, Colorado, Nebraska), the Mountaineers have placed themselves in position to win the league title with a strong first half. After defeating Texas in Austin last week, all of WVU's toughest competition must come to Morgantown. While that doesn't guarantee that the Mounties will hoist the championship trophy, it's the next closest thing.

Favorite Moment - Cordarrelle Patterson's first TD catch
There's nothing like watching an unknown player step up and become a star. Heading into the first game, all of the talk about Tennessee football focused on what the team would do without Da'Rick Rogers. Four minutes into the game, the Vols found an answer in Patterson, who finished the game with 93 yards receiving and 72 yards on the ground.

My Three Big Calls For The Second Half Of The Season
1. Florida wins the SEC East - We've been saying it for weeks now: no one has a more complete body of work than Florida. With only one SEC road contest remaining, the Gators are in excellent position to return to Atlanta for the first time since 2009.

2. West Virginia wins the Big 12 - The Mountaineers just passed their only major road test of the year, and draw Kansas State, Oklahoma, and TCU at home. As long as they don't stub their toe in Stillwater, it could be a memorable season in Morgantown.

3. Notre Dame returns to a BCS bowl - This seemed like a long shot when the season started, but the Irish have proved themselves against tough competition. Even though the second half schedule is tougher, Notre Dame will still finish the season in the Top 12.

Overall Grade For The First Half - A+
This college football season has provided plenty of excitement for everyone. We've seen some monumental upsets, head-scratching losses, and some spirited fourth quarter comebacks. With the meat of schedule yet to come, the 2012 season could go down as one of the greatest in history.