For the third time in his career at Georgia, fifth year senior Trinton Sturdivant has torn an ACL. Previously he had torn his ACL in his left knee twice and on Saturday he tore the one in his right knee. The first thought that went through my head when I heard was that it is a damn shame. Sturdivant started off his career in a very promising way by starting all of the games in his freshman year and being named a Freshman All-American. Prior to his sophomore year he went down with a season ending injury and he hasn't quite been able to find his former form since. Sturdivant was to be a fifth year senior this year so it's unclear whether this will be all for his career at Georgia or if he will petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility. Cbssports.com had Sturdivant ranked as the #8 tackle prospect in the 2012 draft class prior to the injury that he sustained Saturday.
Each week during the off-season we will be doing this feature that will simply be called "This Week In College Football". We will cover the biggest news and stories of the past week and give some opinions and analysis. In addition to covering the weekly happenings we also do a weekly roundtable where we discuss varying topics and we give several opinions on each topic. If you haven't read it yet then check out this weeks roundtable, it's all about the Big East. If Spring Games are your thing then we've got you covered this week with rundowns of the Florida and LSU games. Enough with the chit chat let's talk about this week in college football...
THE SAGA OF MICHAEL FLOYD
One of the main reasons for optimism in Notre Dame football this year ran into a little trouble with the law a few weeks ago. Floyd was arrested and cited for drunked driving, it was the third alcohol related issue in the last three years. But it's still possible for Floyd to return and be a factor for the Irish this year. The school has ruled that he can stay in school. Kelly says Floyd has a long way to go before he's reinstated onto the team. Notre Dame fans I've talked to are conflicted. They know he's their best chance to win football games in the fall but they also know that's he's been given multiple chances and has failed them in the past. It will be interesting to see what Kelly does. I think Floyd will be back on the team before the first game, but I think he should serve a pretty length suspension (which I'm not sure I see happening).
Once again ESPN came through this weekend with some Spring Football! Last week it was the Texas Longhorns and this week it was the LSU Tigers. While I believe the Texas fans most likely came away disappointed last week I think the LSU fans came away thinking they got about what they expected. All eyes were on the QB position for this game and I got exactly what I was expecting from each of the three LSU QBs battling for playing time. Returning starter Jordan Jefferson looked very good early as he took his team down the field early for a touchdown. However, he was very inconsistent the rest of the game and finished with an unimpressive 4 of 14 for 102 yds and 1 INT. The second string QB Jarrett Lee had his moments but ultimately he was marred by turnovers. He threw a pick in the red zone and also fumbled later in the game. He finished 9 of 16 with 1 interception. If I was the coach he would be moving down the depth chart as I just don't think he's as good as the other two QBs battling for playing time. That being said, if Jarrett Lee was at Texas I think he would be their starting QB this year. The last QB to see playing time was exiled former Bulldog Zach Mettenberger who was sporting a new look having cut off his grizzly facial hair. Mettenberger finished 5 of 8 for 86 yards and a 60 yard TD bomb to Kadron Boone to kick off the third quarter. Mettenberger showed that he has the best gun of the LSU QBs, I also think he has the highest upside. While I wouldn't be ready to kick Jefferson to curb quite yet for him I think that by the time fall practice ends he will probably be the best choice for the Tigers if they want to keep up with the likes of the Oregon Ducks and the West Virginia Mountaineers on the score board early in the season next year.
I know it's been a long off season for the Gators but I expected a little more zest from the offensive display. Saturday's annual Orange and Blue Debut game started slow with kicker, Caleb Sturgis scoring all nine points in the first half. It wasn't a totally negative experience because freshman quarterbacks, Tyler Murphy and Jeff Driskel showed signs of promise. The mobile Murphy completed 7 of 11 passes for a game high 68 yards. Driskel simply impressed me with his tight long spirals. 2010 starter, John Brantley, didn't look so great going 4 of 14 and overthrowing receivers.
Even though it looked like Gator receivers weren't on the same page as Brantley, coach Will Muschamp still had good things to say. "Come the fall, Brantley is still our starting quarterback," he exclaimed. According to coach, his quarterback has completed close to 70% of his passes in the spring. It didn't look like it on Saturday, but I guess a series of spring practices trumps one scrimmage.
I have been rather conspicuous by my absence from this blog recently, and I’d love to say that I was out changing lives and developing cures but, alas, I was not. What have I been doing? Well…school, work, school, influenza, school, work and attempting to come up with insults for the Iowa Hawkeyes. I have come back for this post and to show how out of the loop I have been with college football it appears as if the Nebraska Spring Game is only one week away! Unfortunately, much like recruiting, I don’t have a real vested interest in things like this unless something major happens. What do you really take from a game like this? What if the offense plays extremely well and makes your defense look terrible? What if the opposite occurs and your defense makes the offense look awful? What happens if the second team’s Offensive play is better than the first team defense and vice versa? These things always block my enjoyment of the game when it should be something to help tide you over until the season begins and allows you to get a closer look at the team going into the summer practice season.
This season, however, is a different story since it is a brand new conference, a brand new offense and (maybe) a brand new quarterback if things go completely awry. The biggest move of the Nebraska offseason this far was the firing of offensive coordinator Shawn Watson to the happiness of Nebraska fans and the chagrin of opposing teams for the upcoming season. The strange thing was the hiring of Tim Beck for the position of offensive coordinator. While I do agree you did need to keep SOME familiarity for the players coming back to run the offense; it seems very strange that you would hire someone who coached the position of running backs and now make him QB coach, and not hiring a separate coach for the job. I know I spoke once before that Joe Ganz jumping from Graduate Assistant to QB Coach would be a bit much, but why not think outside the box in a scenario like that? You should have someone on the sidelines with the Quarterback to go over things, and not just having him calling down from the booth, and unless Tim Beck plans on coaching from the sidelines I see a few growing pains with a new offense in a new conference.no comments
Without Stephen Garcia I don't see South Carolina repeating as SEC East Champions. Last year South Carolina went 5-3 in the SEC and won the division by one game over Florida (they also held the tie-breaker over Florida). Since the divisions split for the 1992 season that is the worst record any team has ever had that won the SEC East. The reason I bring this up is not to knock on the Gamecocks but to make you understand how difficult it is to win the SEC East. Being 5-3 in the conference won't get it done year in and year out. If Stephen Garcia doesn't play this year what are the odds that South Carolina will be a better team this year? What are the odds that Florida, Georgia and Tennessee are as bad as they were last year? I personally think that all three of those teams will be better than they were last year.
There won't be any college football games played for quite a while but that doesn't mean we are going to stop talking about the sport we love. Each week during the off-season we will bring you the top stories and we will also be discussing a variety of topics in our weekly roundtable. Over the next few weeks we will be touching on all of the BCS Conferences and also taking a look at the non-BCS teams. We started with the ACC, hit the Big 12 and last week we talked Big Ten football. This week is all about the Big East. We have a special treat this week as we have not one but two Big East guys here to drop some knowledge on us. We have Friend of the Blog Brian Harrison from the great Syracuse based blog Orange:44. Brian has joined us a few times before, most recently when he answered some questions for us in our 2010 Syracuse Exit Survey. Also joining us, fresh off of a National Championship victory in Basketball this week, is Ian of the UConn Huskies/Boston Red Sox based blog Sox & Dawgs. He has been busy blogging about College Basketball and the start of the baseball season this week but still had enough time to join us for this roundtable. Huge thanks to both of these guys. Enough with the chit chat, let's talk college football!
Looking at the bottom 4 teams in the conference last year (USF, Louisville, Cincinnati, Rutgers), which one do you find most capable of making a strong run at the Big East title this year?
Brian: I think it’s probably Louisville. Charlie Strong proved he is a very good coach and capable of making less talented players overachieve. Additionally, they have a nice, balanced offensive attack and some players that are poised to step up big for the Cardinals.
Ian: Honestly, I think USF probably has the best chance. With Skip Holtz having a full year there and the players adapting to his system, they should be able to compete next year with the big boys of the conference. I’d also say that Louisville is right there on the outside looking in. Cincinnati is close as well. Until Rutgers proves to me they can play a full season, I don’t see them doing much.
Ross: I think Louisville has a chance to make a dark horse run at the title this year. They were markedly improved in year one under Charlie Strong and I think they'll only be better in year two. They lost six games in 2010, but five of them were by eight points or less; this is a team that was very close to having a very good year. They return seven starters on defense and, under Strong's tutelage, could be one of the top defenses in the conference. The concern is that they return very little on offense and will be breaking in new faces all over the offensive line, at quarterback, and at running back. That could derail their progress. But in Strong I trust for now.
I was hoping to have my thoughts on the first spring scrimmage up today, but something a little more urgent popped up this morning. I promise to finally get around to that before the SECOND scrimmage this weekend. For now, let's discuss the news of the day...
Alabama football fans got a rude awakening this morning when AuburnSports.com owner Jeffrey Lee appeared on WNSP Sports Radio in Mobile and leveled serious allegations against the Crimson Tide. During the station's Morning Sports Center program, Lee alleged that Alabama engaged in a pay-for-play scheme to secure the re-commitment of Russelville (AL) LB/RB prospect Brent Calloway. For those not familiar with Calloway's story, he was a long-time Bama commit who shocked the state by abruptly switching his commitment to Auburn at the Army All-American game, only to switch back to Alabama on Signing Day. The firestorm of controversy surrounding his recruitment was perhaps second only to that of Cyrus Kouandjio (another surprising Bama/Auburn battle).
Immediately following the interview, Lee appeared on his website's premium message board and explicitly detailed his case against the Tide. I won't post the rundown in full due to it being behind a pay wall, but I'll sum it up as best I can:
As we await the Georgia spring game let's take a look at some guys that are making some noise this spring (in a good way).
Ben Jones, C, Senior
One of the things most sorely missing from the 2010 version of the Georgia Bulldogs was leadership. It sounds like Ben Jones is stepping up and grabbing one of those positions on this team. After the offense got dominated in a practice last week, Ben Jones lit into the offense. In Aaron Murray's words "just screaming, yelling, pushing, going crazy, being Ben Jones...you don't want to mess up if Ben Jones is watching you." Jones has spoken about being a senior and not wanting to waste his senior year. Sounds like he's off to a good start.
Playing a little catch-up here after a busy weekend....
After a month's worth of rumors, Duron Carter ended all the speculation by committing to the Crimson Tide on Saturday. The son of NFL great Chris Carter originally signed with Ohio State, where he played as a freshman in their 2009 Rose Bowl season. However, he apparently treated his classwork like a one-and-done basketball player and ended up suspended for the bowl game before parting ways with the Buckeyes later that spring. His original intent was to get his grades in order in junior college and then return to Columbus for the 2011 season. But for whatever reason, that didn't work out and Carter found himself in the market for a new team. Throughout his son's re-recruitment, the elder Carter repeatedly stated that his top priority was landing his son with a coach with a proven track record of discipline and academic responsibility. Obviously, Alabama's Nick Saban fits that bill.
And so the Carters landed in Tuscaloosa on Saturday.