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ASK CFN - The Most Ineffective QB Ever?
Was Georgia Tech's Reggie Ball the most ineffective big-time, four-year quarterback ever? Could Oklahoma have gone to the national title had it beaten Oregon? This and much more in the latest ASK CFN.
Fire over your questions to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. I might not be able to answer them
all, but I promise they're all read. Any e-mails sent to this
address may be published or edited unless requested otherwise.
(Please put ASK CFN in the subject line, and PLEASE keep the
questions short ... it makes my life easier.)
What if the
officials hadn’t screwed up in Eugene and Oklahoma won that game with
Oregon? Everyone seemed to ignore the national title implications at the
time, but wouldn’t the Sooners, and not the Gators, be playing Ohio
State for the championship if the calls went the right way?
In light of the news for GT fans about
the bowl game, have we seen the last of one of the worst QBs ever?
Although my age (18) and me growing up in ACC country has influenced my
decision, I think Reggie Ball is the worst quarterback I've personally
ever seen, especially for someone who's started for that long.
Statistically, his completion % has dropped each year until it bottomed
out at around 44% this season. Who do you think are the worst
quarterbacks that college football has ever seen? - MA
A: That’ll be a message board debate for a long, long time, but I don’t
think OU would’ve been in Glendale for three reasons. 1) Florida is
probably more deserving. Everyone acknowledges the SEC was the best
conference in the country this year, and Florida had the toughest
schedule in the nation, so when picking between the Sooners or the
Gators, most voters would’ve picked Florida. 2) Oklahoma lost to Texas
handily (and with Adrian Peterson), Ohio State beat Texas with ease in
Austin. By the transitive theory of college football, why should
Oklahoma get to play Ohio State? At least that’s what the argument might
be. 3) Past sins. Voters are a fickle lot, and while they’re supposed to
take every season on its own merits, the stinker the Sooners came up
with in the 2005 Orange Bowl and the loss in the 2004 Sugar Bowl are
still fresh in everyone’s minds.
However, what OU being 12-1 would’ve done is possibly split the
Gator-Sooner vote a little bit and might’ve pushed Michigan into the
final number two BCS spot. Also, don’t dismiss how the Oregon loss might
have helped the Sooners. It seems to galvanize the team with an Us vs.
Them mentality that worked wonders over the second half of the year.
A: Great minds think alike; I was thinking the exact same thing the
second Ball was declared ineligible. I'm going to enlist the help of the
readers on this one, and I'll publish any good nominees next week, after
doing some quick research, checking around, and going deep into the
memory bank to come up with a quarterback who 1) was a four-year starter
playing at least 40 career games (Ball played 49),. 2) completed fewer
than half of his passes (Ball completed 48.5), 3) had a near even
touchdown to interception ratio (Ball threw 57 touchdown passes and 55
interceptions), and 4) wasn't purely a runner (like some of the old
I don't want to dog a guy when he's down, but considering the way Ball
ended his career completing 15 of 51 passes for 171 yards with four
interceptions in key games against Georgia and Wake Forest, to finish by
being academically ineligible has made things even worse. I couldn't
come up with anyone who was even remotely close to being as ineffective
on such a big scale.
Since you are looking at irrelevant historic trends how about this one
about BCS championship games: 2000: Florida State loses to Oklahoma -
2001: Nebraska loses to Miami - Heisman: Crouch
2003: Oklahoma loses to LSU - Heisman: White
2004: Oklahoma loses to USC - Heisman: White, Leinart
2005: USC loses to Texas - Heisman: Leinart, Bush – CL
A: 2004 isn’t a “cancel out” since Leinart won the Heisman and won
the title. I know what you’re getting at, and the Heisman winners
haven’t always done well in national title games, but Danny Wuerffel won
the Heisman and the national title in 1996. Crouch shouldn’t have won
the Heisman in 2001; that Husker team was way overmatched against Miami.
It’s not like the other games were blowouts. Most of the time, teams
rely on their Heisman winners too much, while the opposing team spends
several weeks focusing on stopping one guy. It’ll be interesting to see
if there’s really something to what you’re getting at if the Buckeyes
that caught my attention this past weekend in college football was the
repeat champions in Divisions I-AA, II, and III. Appalachian State,
Grand Valley State, and Mount Union all won back-to-back titles this
year. Mount Union and Grand Valley State have both developed into
dynasty-type programs in their respective divisions. With all the talk
about adopting a playoff in Division I-A, I can’t help but wonder if we
would see a similar trend at the top level that we see in the others.
Many claim that a playoff would give other schools a chance to play for
the title, but maybe it would do quite the opposite. Do you think the
dynasty-effect that exists in the lower divisions of college football
would take hold of Division I-A if it were to go to a playoff? Or are
these repeat champions a product of something else?
A: As opposed to the dynasty effect that’s in place now? As my NFL
loving, college hating friends like to rip, who’s good this year? Ohio
State, Florida, USC, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, and other
usual suspects. Who was good 15 years ago, and who’ll be good ten years
from now? Ohio State, Florida, USC, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma,
Texas and other usual suspects. This much is certain; right now, about
90 teams start every season with almost no reasonable shot of playing
for the national title no matter what happens. Whether you’re for a
playoff or not, at least in most scenarios, some of the little guys
would have some sliver of hope where there isn’t any now.
Obviously it is too soon to really start speculating, but do you see Jim
Harbaugh as a candidate to replace Lloyd Carr at Michigan when he
eventually retires? – KH
A: Just like everyone wanted to see Steve Alford become the main man at
Indiana, Michigan fans are going to be all over Harbaugh if he has any
success at Stanford. Let’s wait a little bit before kicking out Carr,
like you suggested, and let’s also wait to see if old No. 4 can handle
himself at the never level. The Michigan job, whenever it opens up, will
be one of the premier gigs in all of coaching, college or pro. There’ll
be a who’s who of candidates fighting for the job. This won’t be
Alabama; the big boys will be lining up.
Notre Dame in the Big East in every sport except for football? I am a
firm believer in ND being WAY over-rated, but it would give the Big East
some legitimacy if ND was to bring its football program over. Any idea
why the Big East doesn't either try to force the football program in or
force its basketball, baseball and other sports out if it doesn't?
A: If the Big East tried to force the issue, Notre Dame would simply
say, “uh, O.K.,” and move on. The Irish has about $9 million reasons
from NBC, and roughly $14 to $17 million reasons from the BCS, to stay
independent. The money aspect is too sticky and too tough to overcome
for the Big East or the Big Ten to get the Irish to join since Notre
Dame won’t want to give up any of the coin, and the conferences would
want an even split. As it stands now, Notre Dame is in the BCS almost
every year as long as it doesn’t suck, makes money hand over fist, and
has its own TV network deal. What possible reason would it have to join
Am I the
only person who finds it ironic that Houston Nutt couldn't understand
why Damien Williams would want to transfer after a 10-3 season because
the offense wasn't going the direction he wanted when Nutt himself
transferred from Arkansas to Oklahoma State after an 11-1 season because
Lou Holtz's offense didn't suite Nutt's abilities as a quarterback? -
A: Recruiting isn’t always a pretty business. It’s the job of the
coach and the recruiting staff to do whatever it takes, within NCAA
rules, of course, (wink, wink), to get as many talented players into the
school as possible. “You’ll have a chance to compete for a starting job
right away.” “We’ll tailor the offense around you.” I’m not saying Nutt
did that with Williams, but in today’s day and age of recruiting
overhype, the kids who think they’re the be-all-end-all don’t like
sitting around for one second more than they have to. Remember on
signing day when Mitch Mustain said he was absolutely going to redshirt?
Part of the coach’s job is to make sure all the guys on the bench stay
happy even when they’re sitting, and part of it is to know your talent.
If you have a great offensive line and superior running backs, you run
the ball. If you have a veteran, quarterback with NFL potential and
phenomenal receivers, you throw the ball. The better coaches adjust and
adapt to the best players, and not vice versa.
Hello i wanted to know what is NIU tailback Garrett Wolfe chances of
making it to the NFL. – DC
A: He’ll definitely get drafted, most likely on the first day, and will
be seen as sort of a Warrick Dunn back to do a little of everything.
While small, he’s one of the strongest pound-for-pound running backs in
the country with tremendous speed, good receiving skills, and the
potential to be a decent kick returner. No one will give him the ball 30
times a game, but he’ll be the type of weapon every offensive
coordinator will want to have.
Is this the Golden Age of College Football? It seems there are more
impact players spread across the country than ever before. USC,
Michigan, ND and Ohio State are humming. The SEC will be even stronger
next year and the Florida ACC schools can’t be that bad again. Next
year could possibly be even better than ’05. Will we be telling our
grandkids we saw the height of College Football with the beginning of
the USC run to the foreseeable future? – KJ
A: Way back in the day before the NFL was around, before television, and
before ESPN, websites, etc., college football was on an even field with
baseball and boxing as America’s passion, and was a bit bigger than it
is now, but there were only a few huge teams like Notre Dame and Army.
While there are more sports and more distractions now, the overall
product is better with so much excitement year in and year out, so many
good players, and better overall coverage of the game. 25 years ago,
recruiting was even more of an inexact science than the crapshoot it
currently is meaning the game has become more specialized. You’d never
have seen more than one or two games a week, and now you can watch
several games and have several different options on any given Saturday.
You can watch the Pac 10 if you live in New York and you can see every
Florida game if you live in Oregon. With the better coverage comes more
hype, more scrutiny, and with the smaller scholarships available, a
better dispersion of talent across the country.