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questions short ... it makes my life easier.)
stated Minnesota needed to make a big splash…what are your thoughts on
A: We’ll see. My policy on new coaches, especially obscure ones, is to
always give them a few years before passing judgment. Did anyone really
know who Bob Stoops was before he went to Oklahoma? Outside of college
football insider circles, Bret Bielema wasn’t exactly a household name
before Barry Alvarez anointed him as the chosen one at Wisconsin.
Brewster’s reputation is as a motivator and a big-time recruiter, which
should be a breath of fresh air after the rough time Glen Mason had
doing both. Minnesota has a lot to offer and should be doing far better
when it comes to bringing in some of the top players and keeping the
main guys at home. A few defensive playmakers would be nice, and there’s
no reason some great running back prospects shouldn’t give the Gophers a
look. Like I said, wait and see.
Ha ha. You disrespected the Gators all year with your anti-SEC bias.
What is CFN going to do now that we proved you wrong? It was sickening
to see how everyone ignored Florida, and look what we did? Deal with it!
A: “Ignored Florida?!” … “Anti-SEC bias?!” Are you for real? I can’t
tell you how many of these types of e-mails we’ve received since January
8th, and I’m not sure if there’s a major UF inferiority complex kicking
in somewhere, or if there’s a segment of the Gator Nation that’s
unnecessarily paranoid. We said we thought Ohio State would win, but we
also said it was an even matchup and the Gators had a great chance to
pull it off. When has CFN ever been anti-SEC, and when have we not
kissed the league’s big butt at every turn?
Before the season, I got into it with one of Scout’s Florida guys over
dinner at the New York, New York hotel in Las Vegas when I said there
was no way, no how the Gators were going to win the national title with
their schedule if two BCS teams finished unbeaten. He was yelling at me
that Florida was good enough to win it all and was going to roll through
the slate. As it turns out, while he wins, we were both right. Just
because we thought the schedule was too tough to get through unscathed,
and it was, doesn’t mean we didn’t think Florida was fantastic. However
It's time to put the Gator kool-ade down and I mean quick. #4 in the
nation (in the CFN pre-preseason rankings)? They'll be lucky to be top 4
in the conference next year. They lose A TON. Way too many players gone
for them to be top 5. Tim Tebow hasn't shown he can do anything that
he'll need to do next year. Florida does have a favorable schedule but
Georgia, LSU, FSU have much brighter short term futures than the Gators
do. UF has not out-recruited any of those programs no matter what you
may have heard. Keep in mind UF has a mental battle as well as a
physical battle. They will be in Gator hell I mean heaven down in
Hogtown and all that patting on the back will hurt them in the off
season. They scraped by games in the regular season in 2006 that they
will lose this time around. – JK
A: I’ll give you that LSU looks nasty (that’s why we have the Tigers No.
2), but you’re wrong on the recruiting side of things. Urban Meyer and
his staff have done a whale of a job and are bringing in big talents all
over the place. In the SEC, you have to take your turn since so many
teams are fantastic, and Florida, LSU, or anyone else can all but forget
about dominating the entire league on a yearly basis like USC can do in
the Pac 10 and Oklahoma and Texas do in the Big 12; the league is just
too good. I’m with you that Florida might be overranked by everyone at
the start of the year, but it's not a bad team by any stretch.
New year, same old CFN rankings. You guys have always shown a
significant bias in your rankings against Boise State, no matter who
they beat and by how much they will never move up in your rankings. If
a team had accomplished the exact same as Boise State has but the name
on the front of the jersey was West Virginia or Louisville they would be
treated much differently. In fact, West Virginia and Louisville have
not really accomplished much more than Boise if you really look at. You
just seem to have a built in bias against Boise State in your rankings.
I guess no win is big enough to change that. – JM
A: If you want to go by what Boise State accomplished, you should've
checked out the
2006 CFN Final Season Rankings.
Actually, we’re sort of treating Boise State exactly like we treated
West Virginia last year. The Broncos can absolutely play with anyone in
a one-game shot. No question. But remember, Chris Petersen and his staff
had weeks and weeks to prepare for Oklahoma and were able to put in all
sorts of funky wrinkles and were able to properly prepare the team.
Would they have had similar success had the game been in mid-October the
week after playing Texas Tech or Nebraska or Missouri? Probably not.
On a talent basis, Boise State might have upped the overall level
compared to past seasons, but if you put last year’s team in one of the
BCS leagues, at best it’s Wake Forest, at worst it’s Kentucky. In other
words, it wouldn’t have gone unbeaten in the week-in-and-week-out grind
of the bigger leagues (I feel like I’m on a continuous loop on this).
The 2007 team loses a ton of good defensive talent along with QB Jared
Zabransky; it’s going to take a step back.
What are your thoughts on Gary Crowton going to LSU as the offensive
coordinator? Are we talking a complete overhaul of the LSU offensive or
do you think Crowton and Miles will try to join their two mindsets? With
Flynn and Perriloux waiting their turn for 2007, this could be very
interesting considering both of them are pretty mobile guys. Do you
think this changes the way recruits (such as Joe McKnight and others)
look at the LSU system? – MS
A: He certainly is qualified. I’d be a bit concerned about the way the
Oregon offense died down the stretch last year, and I hated the way the
quarterback situation was handled (although that was Mike Bellotti's
doing more than Crowton's), but he’s a fantastic assistant and a great
hire. I’m not so sure the Tigers will go to a pure spread attack right
off the bat, but it’ll certainly use more elements of it. The offense
isn't going to struggle.
How can the Big East, with only 8 teams, really be a power
conference? I’m a Pitt guy and long for the conference to be legit, but
even if all the teams are playing well I will still doubt the
credibility of the Big East. How can they fix this? Since continued
expansion would just be with second tier teams. Adding teams like
Memphis, Southern Miss, ECU, and UAB would give them 12 teams and
championship game, but does this really help with legitimacy? Can you
figure this out and provide some guidance to Tranghese? – LB
A: Easy. Get Notre Dame. Find a way to get the Irish in the Big East and
all of sudden you have that “power conference” you’re looking for. While
you’re dogging the idea of adding “second tier” teams like Southern Miss
and East Carolina, remember that Louisville and South Florida weren’t
anything special untul recently. Adding Southern Miss, Houston, East
Carolina, and Notre Dame would make the league even more interesting. As
is, it’s not all that bad.
How about the Big east 5-0!!! How about the ACC.. Remind me if I’m
correct shouldn’t the ACC conference be up for the Big East rule for the
BCS automatic Bid.... How pathetic... All the haters on the Big East
hurry up and jump on the bang wagon.... - Corporal Andrew m.
A: Yeah, chirp away Big Easters. It’s your time to shine. However, South
Florida was the better team than East Carolina. Rutgers was the better
team than Kansas State. West Virginia was the better team than Georgia
Tech, who was without its starting quarterback (yeah, and the
Mountaineers were without Steve Slaton). Louisville was far better than
Wake Forest. Cincinnati was the heavy favorite over a MAC team. The Big
East was supposed to go 5-0 thanks to lousy bowl slots. It would've been
nice to have seen Rutgers and South Florida play someone bigger and
With Wisconsin not playing both Ohio State and Michigan this year,
the question was raised amongst my buddies about the Big Ten holding a
Conference Championship game. They say they can do it. But I thought
the NCAA rules on this were that to go beyond 12 games, other than a
bowl game, a conference needs 12 teams to be eligible for a conference
championship game. I searched online for NCAA rules on this but
couldn’t find it. Can you help clear up this debate? – BY
A: If you remember, the ACC had to wait to put in its title game until
Boston College came over two years ago to form a 12-team league. I’d
much rather see the league ditch a non-conference game and come up with
a Pac 10-like everyone-plays-everyone slate to determine a true
champions. It’s not right that some Big Ten teams have to play Ohio
State and Michigan and miss Illinois or Indiana.
What's more important - a great head coach, or great assistant
coaches? The general consensus is that Ron Prince did a fairly good
job his first year, but now he's lost a bunch of assistant coaches,
including his defensive coordinator - which is the same problem Bill
Snyder kept having. Does losing assistant coaches eventually counter-act
even the best coaches? - marc in Seoul
A: I talked to Mack Brown about the possibility of losing some of his
great assistants this off-season, and he basically said that at Texas
there’s no problem picking up other great coordinators to step in. While
that’s Texas, most big programs don’t have much of a problem finding
great candidates. It’s when the smaller programs lose a hot-shot
assistant that there it really hurts.
For a head man, part of the job is coming up with the right guys to fit
the overall plan. Just like the head coach doesn’t do all the
recruiting, but gets credit in the end for when the good players come
in, he doesn’t do all the coaching but deserves praise when his team is
well coached. A long answer to a short question; one follows the other.
If Prince is a great head coach, he can spot the good talent and will
hire coaches who’ll quickly fill the void without a problem.
How do you think the Ohio State and Michigan blowouts will affect
pollsters voting in years to come? Both looked impressive during the
year but were exposed as being overhyped in the post season. -
A: They won’t do jack squat. Some teams will always be overhyped and
overrated when they look amazing. Part of our job is to point out when
teams might not be quite as good as they look, like we did with Miami in
2002 and USC in 2005, completely missed with Florida State in 2000 and
didn’t push hard enough with Ohio State this year. On the flip side,
it’s not like Florida was amazing throughout the season. It was
fantastic at coming up with wins, but it didn’t show anything to suggest
it would do that to Ohio State. There were some out there who
predicted the Gators to win, but no one predicted a blowout. Voters will
vote by what they’re able to see.