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Tuesday Question - Midseason Bests

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 15, 2007


Who are the offensive and defensive players, coaches, surprises and disappointments of the midseason?

Past TQs
- 3 Big Calls for the Second Half
- The biggest disappointment
- 5 most overrrated teams
- I was dead/on right/wrong about ...
- USC, LSU or Oklahoma?l
- Was the App St win good or bad for college football?
- 3 Sleeper Teams

- Predicting the Season
- 3 things we're sure of
- What to look for on Signing Day
- Bears or Colts?

- Early bowl surprises and trends
- 3 things to look for from the bowls
- Do you want the Alabama job?
- What are the 3 best non-BCS bowls?
- Who's 2nd in the Heisman race?
- Michigan-OSU rematch?
- Michigan or Ohio State?
- Should Louisville be No. 3?
- The nat'l title game will be ...
- The best one-loss team
- Rule changes to help the flow
- The Midseason Stuff
- The real top five ranking
- The early coach of the year is ...?
- These three teams are for real, these three aren't
- After 2 weeks, who's better, who's worse?
- 10 Greatest Quarterbacks of All-Time
- 10 Greatest Defensive Players of All-Time
- 10 Greatest Regular Season Games of All-Time
- 10 Greatest Playmakers of All-Time
- 10 Worst Heisman Winners
- 10 Greatest Bowl Games
- All-Time Offensive Team
- All-Time Defensive Team

Pete Fiutak           

Q: Midseason stuff ... Best Offensive Player, Defensive Player, Coach, Surprise and Disappointment

A: Offensive Player of the Midseason – WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
We're talking about an all-timer of a season here. 78 catches, 1,244 yards, and 17 touchdowns is a career for most decent college receivers, but it's seven games for the redshirt freshman. To put Crabtree's start in perspective, Texas star receiver Limas Sweed, in 44 games (before getting knocked out for the year), made 124 career catches for 1,915 yards and 20 scores. That's four seasons worth of work for an NFL caliber target that Crabtree will likely match in one.

Crabtree has 360 yards more than the nation's number two target, Houston's Donnie Avery (with 346 of his yards coming last week against Rice), and 399 yards more than Casey Fitzgerald of North Texas, who got 327 of them in one game. But it's more than just numbers with Crabtree. He set up a touchdown late in the first half against Texas A&M with a breathtaking play on a slant pattern showing his speed, athleticism, and route running ability. He's the real deal.

Defensive Player of the Midseason – DE George Selvie, South Florida.
With 11.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss, leading the nation in both categories, Selvie has been the signature playmaker for the amazing Bulls.

Coach of the Midseason – Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
Quick, name one Gamecock. If you're not an SEC fan, you probably can't. Spurrier made a quarterback change early on, lost his All-America linebacker for the year, Jasper Brinkley, isn't getting much production out of his run defense, and has an offense that's averaging just 349 yards per game. Even so, he has the Gamecocks sixth in the initial BCS rankings.

Surprise of the Midseason – Kansas
Everyone forgets that South Florida, Boston College, and even Kentucky, were supposed to be good. No one saw Kansas coming. Replacing the best player in the Big 12 last year, RB Jon Cornish, wasn't a problem, and retooling a secondary that gave up more yards in America was quickly done. The Jayhawks have been dominant, albeit against a mediocre schedule, with a 6-0 start ranking second in the nation in scoring defense, second in scoring, seventh in offense and fourth in defense. If someone told you KU would be ranked ahead of USC in the initial BCS rankings, you'd have punched him in the brain.

Disappointment of the Midseason – USC
To be fair, the Trojans are as banged up as anyone in America, but this is still supposed to be a talent factory. Injuries don't excuse the loss to Stanford and the near-miss against Arizona. USC has only lost one game, and is still deep in the hunt for the national title, but this isn't looking like a team ready to challenge for much, and it's a far, far cry from the be-all-end-all number one team everyone thought it'd be.

Richard Cirminiello      

Q: Midseason stuff ... Best Offensive Player, Defensive Player, Coach, Surprise and Disappointment

A: Offensive Player of the Midseason – WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech.  System shmystem.  Crabtree has been quite the little rascal for the Red Raider offense, catching 78 passes for 1,244 yards and 17 touchdown passes…as a freshman.  Florida QB Tim Tebow and Michigan RB Mike Hart are close behind for the way they’ve been able to carry their respective programs to higher ground.

Defensive Player of the Midseason – LB James Laurinaitis, Ohio State.  Laurinatis is the catalyst and leading tackler for a defensive unit that’s allowing points as if its 1933.  LSU DT Glenn Dorsey would be an equally appropriate choice here.

Coach of the Midseason – Jim Leavitt, South Florida.  After beating Auburn and West Virginia, Leavitt has the baby Bulls unbeaten and ranked ahead of Florida, Miami, and Florida State.  ‘Nuff said.

Surprise of the Midseason – The play of Oregon QB Dennis Dixon.  If you watched as many Duck games as I did last season, you too would be floored at his transformation.  Dixon is third nationally in passing efficiency, a year after being benched and just a few months after looking as if he might choose a career in baseball over football.

Disappointment of the Midseason – Wisconsin.  Hi, my name is Rich, and I seriously believed the Badgers would compete for a national title this season.  Hi, Rich.  Wisconsin has lost its last two games, but even when it was winning, it played as if the Ugly Doll had supplanted Bucky as the team mascot.

John Harris

Q: Midseason stuff ... Best Offensive Player, Defensive Player, Coach, Surprise and Disappointment

A
:
Offensive Player of the Midseason – Graham Harrell, Texas Tech QB – some may argue that he hasn’t played anyone yet, but the Red Raiders are averaging over 40 points a game against Big 12 opponents.  Harrell is butchering any defense he faces.  His numbers are obscene – 3,151 yards, 31 touchdowns and only three interceptions.  Just remember it’s not a gimmick if it works – this offense is scary good and Harrell is just getting started.

Defensive Player of the Midseason – George Selvie, South Florida DE – maybe it’s the fact that LSU lost this weekend, but Selvie edges out LSU stud DT Glenn Dorsey for this spot.  Just barely, but it shows how valuable Selvie is to the Bulls run this season.  He leads the nation in sacks with 11.5 and is the best edge rusher in the nation currently.

Coach of the Midseason – Jim Leavitt, USF – there were a few people who expected USF to be a pleasant surprise this season, but number two in the nation?  C’mon.  Leavitt has built this program to this point and what I love about the Bulls is the fact that after the West Virginia win on national television, they’ve gotten better.  Other teams this season have won a big game and then tanked the next week.  Leavitt may not be residing in Tampa much longer if this continues.

Surprise of the Midseason – Kansas – a poll ranking doesn’t tell the whole story, but in this case it might - Kansas is 13th in the initial BCS poll of the season.  Huh?!?  When did RockChalk Jayhawk become a football school cheer?  In all seriousness, KU is a strong first half story, but the second half of the season has a completely different series of potholes in store.  But, for the first half of the season, the Jayhawks are a wonderful story.

Disappointment of the Midseason – Oh, well, where do you begin?  Take your pick.  Michigan.  Louisville.  The AP Preseason top 10.  But, the one team that has been the most disappointing is Nebraska.  With Sam Keller taking snaps, most thought this team could be the Big 12 North’s representative in the Big 12 Championship game.  Uh, they’re a dropped pass and a missed field goal against Ball State away from being 3-4.  NU has lost its last two games to two Big 12 teams by an average score of 43-10.  The 1997 national championship team got to see how bad this team is on Saturday as Oklahoma State hammered Nebraska 45-14 in a game that wasn’t even that close.  Imagine if the Huskers had lost to Ball State and if Wake Forest hadn’t thrown away a victory in Winston-Salem.  It’s ugly and, most importantly, disappointing.

Matthew Zemek      

Q: Midseason stuff ... Best Offensive Player, Defensive Player, Coach, Surprise and Disappointment

A
:
Offensive Player of the Midseason - If you want one of those "pure numbers" guys, it has to be Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech. If you want a "Jay Barker Spiritual Warrior Who Wins Games" difference maker, Andre Woodson of Kentucky is the best choice.

Defensive Player of the Midseason - James Laurinaitis, Ohio State. The dude makes stacks of plays, period.

Coach of the Midseason - Jim Leavitt, South Florida. The Bulls have the business end of their season in front of them, but No. 2 is No. 2. Leavitt deserves his due.

Surprise of the Midseason - South Florida. See above.

Disappointment of the Midseason – TCU. The Horned Frogs had absolutely no business losing to Air Force, and once that debacle was complete, the boys from Forth Worth allowed the emotional hangover to hijack their Mountain West title hopes
.

Michael Bradley

Q: Midseason stuff ... Best Offensive Player, Defensive Player, Coach, Surprise and Disappointment

Offensive Player of the Midseason: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech. Say all you want about the Red Raider “system,” but this rookie has caught 17 touchdown passes and become the most dangerous target in the game.

Defensive Player of the Midseason: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU. Sure, the Tigers fell to Kentucky last week, but the LSU defense has been man-sized all year, and it begins up front, specifically with this terror.

Coach of the Midseason: Jim Leavitt, South Florida. There may be no quicker move from I-AA to national power than USF’s, and it all comes from Leavitt, who has relentlessly worked to make the Bulls matter.

Surprise of the Midseason: Kentucky. The Wildcats were supposed to be good, but not beat-LSU good. Hats off to Rich Brooks, and more importantly, the UK administration for sticking with him.

Disappointment of the Midseason: Louisville. Make that the Louisville defense. We have always known the Cards could score points, but U of L didn’t stop anybody until Cincinnati. So much for that pre-season hype.