Who's Hot & Not ... Aug. 28
Who's Hot ... The Preseason
12. QB Willy Korn
Four years ago, Korn was being hailed as one of the nation’s premier high school recruits. Last season, he failed to beat out redshirt freshman Kyle Parker, prompting a transfer to Marshall. In Huntington, he was buried on the depth chart and asked to try safety. Today, Korn is attempting to resurrect his career at tiny North Greenville, a Division II school in Tigerville, S.C.
11. Mark Herzlich’s foot
A cancer-free Herzlich is going to be back in action this season, writing the next chapter in a remarkable story about perseverance and poise. Unfortunately, he’s been hobbled most of the summer with a stress fracture of his right foot. Hopefully, Boston College fans won’t have to wait too long to erupt with pride as No. 94 trots back on to the field he dominated in 2007 and 2008.
10. Ole Miss QB Jeremiah Masoli
Masoli squandered one of this season’s best quarterback jobs, getting the boot from Oregon less than a year after helping it to a Pac-10 crown. Now a Rebel, he hasn’t exactly put the opening under lock and key. In fact, as of today, he’s yet to shake Nathan Stanley and is still awaiting the NCAA waiver of the one-year residency requirement for a transfer student.
9. Arizona State O-line
If Dennis Erickson loses his grip on the Sun Devil, he can point to the offensive line as the primary culprit. This group has been a maroon and gold sieve for years, stifling any growth on the offense. Making matters worse in the past few months, potential starters Matt Hustad, Jon Hargis, and Zach Schlink were all forced to give up the sport because of knee problems. Whoever lines up behind this group in the fall better have a quick release.
Maybe the chatter about the Bruins closing the gap on cross-town rival USC has been a little premature. Yeah, the Trojans are going to be down, but is UCLA really on the uptick? The program has been slammed by injuries in the summer, particularly on an offensive line that simply can’t withstand them. Oh, and linchpin QB Kevin Prince is still trying to recover from a strained oblique that’s kept him from throwing.
7. South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia
He’s only a junior, but you get the feeling Garcia may never reach the expectations heaped upon him when he arrived from Jefferson (Fla.) High School in 2007. Steve Spurrier has been outspoken in his criticism of the quarterback, routinely offering that true freshman Connor Shaw has outplayed everyone at the position. Spurrier may be tough to please, but it’s become increasingly clear that Garcia is having trouble scratching that itch.
6. Penn State QBs – At this late stage of the summer, it’s rarely a good sign when a program hasn’t anointed someone as the starter. It’s also, at best, a glass-is-half-full scenario when a true freshman is making a concerted push for the top of the depth chart. While Robert Bolden is quite a specimen, there’s no replacement for experience, which the Lions are going to be sorely deficient of behind center.
5. Rogue Agents
The right agent can be an unbelievable boon to an individual’s career. The wrong one can take a program down. Unfortunately, the latter has made too many headlines over the last few months. Hanging over the 2010 season like an ominous storm cloud are NCAA investigations that could negatively impact a number of schools. Speaking to an agent about your future? Recommended. Taking anything of material value from him? Selfish and ill-advised.
4. Schools banning the media
In a disturbing summer trend, programs, like Florida, Alabama, and Nebraska, banned the media for varying lengths of time, as if to guard some secret involving national security. Lighten up, fellas. You’re football coaches. And although your quest for total control can approach Queeg-like proportions, most in the media aren’t trying to chip away at your authority. In fact, the whole bunker mentality often foments more of the rumors and chatter you’re looking to squelch.
3. Michigan QB Tate Forcier
College football can be a fickle game. A year ago, Forcier looked like the cover boy of the Wolverines’ revival. Today, he’s being outplayed by classmate Denard Robinson and appears headed to the bench. Earlier in the summer, he was ripped publicly by a teammate and wasn’t allowed to practice with wings on his helmet. That’s harsh ....and just a little bit strange.
2. The WAC
To say that it’s been a rough offseason at HQ in Colorado is a gross understatement. First, the WAC lost its franchise, Boise State, to the Mountain West in June. And then the other shoe dropped when Fresno State and Nevada followed the Broncos to the exit sign in August. As it stands now, commissioner Karl Benson is guaranteed to have no more than six members, forcing him to consider luring FCS programs just to remain afloat.
1. The bottom line
Like far too many public and private sectors of
today’s society, a recent NCAA study revealed that
only a small fraction of athletic departments spent
more than they made in 2008-09. In fact, only 14 of
the 120 FBS programs were able to post a profit, a
sharp dip from the previous two years. If not for
those cash cow football programs, just imagine how
the red ink would be flowing on every campus on the
Who's Hot ...The Preseason