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Part 2 of this
week's ASK CFN - Over/Under On Losses For USC, Texas, and More
Why do you keep ragging on Michael Crabtree? He was the best
receiver, possibly the best player, in college football over the
last two seasons. Everyone has him in the top five of the draft.
If not No. 1 overall as the best player, and you keep
criticizing him at every turn and have him far, far down the
lists? What did he do to you?
A: He didn’t run.
I like Michael
Crabtree. He’s a good guy, a hard-worker, and he wants to be the
best wide receiver in the NFL. He’s what the NFL needs, and
he’ll be a player to root for when he gets to the next level.
With that said, something about this whole foot injury situation
doesn't seem quite right.
I’m not sure why every scout is going out of his way to
ignore the obvious warning signs here. A few big-name draft guys
who I deeply respect (but I don’t want to dog here) have been
shockingly lazy in their analysis. Crabtree really is good, but
he’s not Larry Fitzgerald, like some are suggesting. He’s not
the same athlete, he’s not as big, and he’s not as fast.
Checking in at 6-1 was the first issue; he was originally
considered by most to be around 6-3. And then there’s the
question mark about his speed.
In today’s day and age, if you can’t run a 4.5 or
lower, you can’t be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL unless you’re
really, really special. If you can’t hit 4.5, there’s a ceiling
on what you can do, and having seen Crabtree game after game
over the last few years getting open because of the Texas Tech
system, and doing big things after the catch with functional
football speed, I still want to see him in the 40 to show that
he can get by NFL corners.
I’ve asked around about him,
and there's an underlying concern that Crabtree is more like a
4.6 runner, at least at the moment. It doesn’t do him any good
to run, especially with the foot problem. If he doesn’t run,
he’s not going to slip out of the top 15. If he decides to work
out and tears off a 4.65, it’s over. One of my low friends in
high places actually uttered the words “Dwayne Jarrett” when it
came to concern about the potential 40 time. I think he’ll give
it a try privately, and if he can’t hit the mid-to-low 4.5s, he
won’t run and will blame it on the foot … and
rightly so. No one will have a
problem with it.
It's the perfect PR move. Say you're
going to run, demand to run, and say you want to show the scouts
what you can do, and then have a doctor come out and say you're
just not able to do it because the foot isn't ready. I'm not
saying he's faking anything, and I really hope he comes out and
rips off a 4.4, but this is a bad situation for the NFL teams.
Someone will take him in the top 15 without knowing just how
fast he really is, and if it turns out he really is a 4.5
runner, someone in the top five will be ticked off.
that mean Crabtree can’t play? No. Does that mean he’s not a
possible 4.5 runner when he’s 100%? No, but I’d want to see it
before I invested tens of millions of dollars in him over a
number of other good prospects in a solid top 20 draft class. So
in a long answer to your beef, no, I don't mean to dog him. I
just want to see him run before I believe he's a top five pick.
As a Texas Longhorn fan, how worried should I be about our
2009 scheduling issues coming back to bite us? At one point the
schedule would have had game 3 of a home/away/home with Utah and
game 2 of a home/away with Arkansas. A few weeks ago Texas was
working through ESPN to get a home/away with Wisconsin to
replace UCF, but the Badgers backed out at the 11th hour and now
with 4 non-conf games that everyone will consider lightweights
and a Big XII slate that will at least be less respected, I just
worry that unless we're one of a pair of unbeaten BCS teams or
we're the only unbeaten BCS team that we may get left out based
on strength of schedule. -JM
A: UL Monroe, at
Wyoming, UCF and UTEP doesn’t get the crowd jumping? Your
biggest worry needs to be at Oklahoma State on Halloween. Here’s
the deal for Texas this year, and it’s not necessarily fair for
the rest of the college football world. The voters weren’t
ecstatic about putting in Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game over
Texas. They did it, but everyone feels sorry that the Longhorns
got screwed. Remember 2003 when USC was the one left holding the
bag in the BCS Championship hunt? The Trojans certainly earned
their way into the 2004 national title game, but the voters were
going to give them every benefit of the doubt along the way
because of the year before. The same will happen for Texas.
If everything is equal, the SEC champion will be first in
the pecking order to play for the national title. Win three
straight national championships and four of the last six and you
get that benefit of the doubt. Texas is No. 2 in the pecking
order, USC No. 3. Those three teams all but control their own
destiny. If the Longhorns beat Oklahoma, win at Missouri and at
Oklahoma State in the brutal mid-season stretch, that’ll carry
them in the polls.
But to specifically answer your question, if Texas goes
unbeaten, it’s in the national title game no matter what. If it
has a loss, then there will be a debate, but it’ll need to win
the Big 12 title, it’ll need the SEC champion to lose two games
and USC to probably lose two, and no other BCS team can be
You said that Rey Maualuga was far behind Aaron Curry. Does
that mean Curry should have won the Butkus award? I think
I know the answer, but I'm curious to hear what you have to say
A: I voted for Maualuga for the Butkus because I
thought he was the best college football linebacker in the 2008
season. But if I’m picking for an NFL team, Curry is the safer
choice. I love Maualuga as a pro, lack of foot speed and all,
but Curry has it all. The package of skills and athleticism,
along with his college production and talent, is breathtaking.
I'm SO SICK AND TIRED
of fans complaining about scheduling. Sure, the schools bear
some blame for bad scheduling but does anyone realize how long
it takes and how difficult it is to schedule the non-cupcake
schools? I'm a Sooner fan, and OU has games with the heavyweight
programs scheduled as far out as 2016 and 2017 (Ohio State in
this case), because that's the best you can do with some of
these schools when you're making these types of arrangements.
I get that schedule
strength is key, but why isn't it made more obvious that you
can't just schedule the likes of Georgia, Ohio State, USC, and
West Virginia every year (unless you're Notre Dame)? Let's work
a little harder to give schools credit for trying (and not just
OU, either). If we can't stop ragging on schools for having
"poor" schedules regardless of their efforts, let's just shut up
about it. - CM
A: You’re right, teams get hosed all
the time when other name teams wuss out, but that’s not the
point. Unfortunately, without a playoff of any sort, you have to
go by what happened on the field and take it all in when
evaluating teams. So yeah, it wasn’t fair that the Washington
team OU played last year was a steaming pile a doo. The Miami
game might be a trap, but that certainly looked better when it
was originally schedule. But just scheduling good teams isn’t
enough; you have to win those games. OU does a fine job of that,
and it’s in a good position because it’s in the Big 12 and has
to beat Texas and Oklahoma State and Texas Tech and Kansas and
Nebraska. There are enough name teams on the schedule to make up
having to play Idaho State. But in the overall analysis of teams
and seasons, yeah, it’s fine to scream and whine when one team’s
schedule doesn’t turn out to be as strong as another team’s
slate. SOS, like you mentioned,
How long do you give Bo
Pelini at Nebraska? 2 scenarios at work here: Bo
resurrects the program, wins the Big 12 this year and goes to
the Fiesta Bowl, then maintains a Bob Stoops-like 10 wins/season
for the next 5-7 years, winning a few conference championships.
Scenario #2: Bo takes his team to the Big 12 championship
game every other year or so for 5-7 years, but can’t come up
with a way to put OU or Texas away and win it. Osborne
didn’t beat Oklahoma for several years after his hiring and
nearly walked away in 1980. If Bo’s successful, do you
think he’ll stick around and be the next Osborne or Beamer?
Will he try to move back to the SEC where the talent is richer?
As for scenario #2, I think NU fans are going to give this man a
huge leash with which he can struggle to win the big games for a
few years, but eventually turn the program back into a contender
after the 5-7 year grace period. Your thoughts? - CM
A: I’m more on the side of scenario two. Oklahoma and Texas
own Oklahoma and Texas when it comes to recruiting, while
Nebraska has to be a bit more national in scope. The days of
bringing in kids off the farm, beefing them up with, um, uh,
lots of work in the weight room, and dominating the Big 8 are
over. That’s not to say Nebraska can’t dominate the North.
Kansas and Missouri have to prove they have staying power, and
I’m not sold they can take another step up into consistent
superpower status. Iowa State is, well, Iowa State, Kansas State
is a mess at the moment, and Colorado can’t seem to get its mojo
under Dan Hawkins. The division is ripe for the picking, and if
Pelini rocks and gets Nebraska to the Big 12 title game on a
regular basis, he’ll stick. Nebraska is a destination program;
not a stepping stone.
Part 2 of this
week's ASK CFN - Over/Under On Losses For USC, Texas, and More