Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Way Too Early 2009 Heisman Watch—Ten Names To Know: Part I

Written by HD Handshoe
Founder—College Football Crack House
Featured Columnist for

The following are the first five of ten players I feel have the most legitimate chance to win the 2009 Heisman Trophy if they each meet expectations and live up to their full potential in the coming season!

Jevan Snead, QB, Ole Miss

Ole Miss should win a lot of games and will likely be high in the rankings all year long. Snead emerged out of nowhere after leading the Rebels to their huge upset win over the Florida Gators in the swamp.

He threw 13 interceptions a year ago, but with a favorable 2009 schedule (Memphis, SE Louisiana, at South Carolina, at Vanderbilt, Alabama, UAB, Arkansas, at Auburn (who’s still reloading), Northern Arizona, Tennessee, LSU, and Mississippi State), Snead's stats should resemble those of the top three vote-getters of last year's Heisman voting.

Almost all of Mississippi's tough games are at home, and there will be just enough nationally televised moments for Snead to shine.

Todd Reesing, QB, Kansas

The Big 12 North division’s spotlight game will be Nebraska at Kansas on Nov. 14. By then, Todd Reesing and the Jayhawks will have already played Oklahoma at home and will have gone on the road to face Texas Tech, and there will still be games against Texas and Missouri to follow.

There won't be a shortage of moments where Reesing will have the opportunity to make a Heisman statement and put up the big numbers needed to get in the race.

With Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier returning after combining for 189 catches for 2,452 yards and 23 touchdowns, this should be a huge year for the KU passing game.

They have a killer schedule and I'm not sure they'll win enough of those games for Reesing to be a serious contender, but that's probably why he's going to put up the big numbers in the first place—by playing catch-up!

Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame

Clausen will have the Notre Dame spotlight and a decent receiving corps to put up the numbers and the wins to be in the hunt for the big prize.

He ended the 2008 season on a high note with his 22-of-26, 401-yard, five-touchdown performance in the win over Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl.

To have a real chance of being in the Heisman hunt, he must become the leader and Notre Dame will need a big day at Michigan, a home victory over Michigan State, and most importantly, a tremendous performance against USC on Oct. 17.

Last year, Clausen completed just 11-of-22 passes for 41 yards with two interceptions in the embarrassing loss to the Trojans.

In addition to making the early Heisman contender list, Clausen is the key to the immediate future of Notre Dame football and the job security of Charlie Weis.

Tim Tebow, QB, Florida

Tebow, by many accounts might be the odds on favorite to give his 2007 Heisman a 2009 twin, but he's not the only one who might accomplish that feat.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Tebow's, but I'll give him his due. His stats over the past two seasons have been downright amazing and ridiculous. Maybe it's the system, but stats are stats.

With Florida's cupcake 2009 schedule, UF will almost undoubtedly go undefeated in the regular season and Tebow should once again be the media darling and put up more outrageous numbers.

I have no doubt in my mind, barring injury, that he will be in New York as a finalist, come December.

Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma

Speaking of ridiculous stats, Bradford, the 2008 Heisman winner, set the bar extremely high for himself, as he threw for over 4,700 yards and 50 touchdowns to only eight interceptions, and rushed for five more scores while posting a QB Rating of nearly 181.

With Chris Brown and Demarco Murray, each 1000+ yard rushers a year ago, who combined for 34 touchdowns, both returning, and with the loss of top receiver Juaquin Iglesias and even with the surprising return of star tight end Jermaine Gresham, Bradford will be hard-pressed to duplicate the numbers he put up a year ago.

Then again, if he could get close to two-thirds of that production, he's a no-brainer to be invited to New York for a chance at his second Heisman.

As a Buckeye fan, it's hard to accept that both Tebow and Bradford could definitely win the 2009 Heisman because as of right now, there is only one two-time winner and I'd prefer it remain as such.

Archie Griffin won the Heisman while playing at Ohio State in 1974 and 1975 and even if Tebow or Bradford should win a second Heisman, Archie will always be the first to have done it, and I bet Archie can live with that, so I can too!

Five down, five to go—Part II coming soon—Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Michigan's Tate Forcier: Lofty Expectations Will Lead to Major Letdown

Written by HD Handshoe
Founder—College Football Crack House
Featured Columnist for

After a couple of weeks of practice and their Spring game, many out-of-touch fans of that school up North already believe that Robert "Tate" Forcier will lead them to a victory over Ohio State in 2009.

Never mind that they lost nine games in 2008, including a 42-7 beatdown at the hands of the Buckeyes.

Never mind that they still have no defense and are unproven at wide receiver and running back.

Never mind that Tressel is 7-1 and Dick-Rod isn't the savior they all believed he was and wanted him to be.

Sure, he built a decent program at West Virginia, but I mean, that's the Big East, where you play schools like UConn, Rutgers, Cincinnati, and Louisville, not the Big Ten where you deal with Wisconsin, Iowa, Penn State, and Ohio State.

Never mind that Forcier might not even be the starter in 2009.

Even if he is and he has a decent year, he can never live up to the hype and unrealistic expectations scUm fans (like Jordan from B/R) are placing on his shoulders.

I had better remind them once again, just for good measure:

UM lost nine games last year.

They're not going to win nine or 10 games this year.

Forcier looked OK, but remember, he was playing against his own weak defense so you be the judge.

Here are the video highlights from the 2009 UM Spring game—GO BUCKS!

Here's a friendly reminder to my scUm fan homeboys—LMFAO!

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Boise State Completes Second Scrimmage: Bronco Defense Rough And Ready

Story written by Lace Banachek from

After the Broncos first scrimmage, the word was out that the Boise Broncos offense was shining, and the defense, according to some, had “issues.”

However, on this wet and cold Wednesday, the first team defense outplayed the first team offense, holding them to just 14 plays.

Indeed, the second scrimmage was completed just hours ago, and the defense showed no apparent weaknesses.

The secondary tandem of George Iloka and Brandyn Thompson continued pretty much where they left off last season—they were spectacular.

Iloka gave some pretty sound, Jeron Johnson-like hits, and Brandyn Thompson made the only interception of the scrimmage. Also, during kickoff drills, Kyle Wilson returned two to the endzone. Kyle was awesome!

Also, it was exciting watching No. 94 Byron Hout merely make his presence known. Him simply being there demands notice.

However, last year's scout defensive stud Michael Atkinson was spectacular as well.

The Canadian-bred Atkinson, better known for his tag “Canadian Bacon,” was a continued force to be reckoned with today.

Bacon got to Kellen for a sack and was key for a couple of turnovers —one of them was a fumble from Kellen Moore.

If any one says Kellen Moore did not have a good scrimmage, then Bacon, Hout, and Thompson no doubt ruined his day. Moore and his first team offense were held to zip. The first team “D” was just that good.

Linebacker Dan Paul looked very good out there as well. The first team “D” just got it done—there is no better way to put it.

First team offense looked good though (at times). DJ Harper was splendid. He scored on a 17-yard run, and also powered his way for 58 yards earlier. Kellen’s fumble at the one yard line put a blemish on that drive.

Drew was not able to do much better with the exception of his brilliant runs, and one of them went for a score. Drew passed very poorly today. Maybe it was the rain soaked balls?

These guys need to toughen up a tad—but just a tad. How many offensive units are going to survive the Bronco first team "D" if Kellen's team has a hard time of it? No, not even the Oregon Ducks.

For sure, Oregon will not like the defense any better this year than they did last year's. Also, by the fall there will be no teams on the schedule (or maybe off for that matter) capable of whooping this unit.

Furthermore, by the fall, this team will be way better offensively, and, yes fans, they will win all of their 13 games. We think they will win their 14th game too.

The Bronco quarterback depth is deep. The world knows what Kellen can do. Bush Hamden is no longer KM’s back up. Michael Coughlin is, and he is playing super.

Michael scored a touchdown in the first scrimmage, and, yes, once again this afternoon, as he hooked up with last year's red-shirt Josh Hill. Hill looked great out there.

With solid play from tight ends Gallarda, Efaw, and the 6’ 5" Hill, Richie Brockel will be a more active fullback from now on.

Once the offensive line gets fine tuned and the players get reformatted with all the coaches, the changes done to the Bronco football team is going to make them more than exciting.

Kellen Moore is still one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, and Bronco fans expect him to have a great year. Look for him to surpass his previous season's accolades.

This team plays their final spring scrimmage in nine days, on the 17th. Look for coach Pete to have ironed out some key wrinkles.

Until then—Go Broncos!

CFBC Blog Readers Since 1/10/2009

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Friday, April 3, 2009

The Top Ten Quarterbacks to Watch in 2009

Written by HD Handshoe
Founder—College Football Crack House
Featured Columnist for

The fortunes (or misfortunes for some) of many a team will depend on how well their key players step up and shoulder the load to help carry their team to success.

There is no position more crucial in this cause than that of the quarterback.

For some, it may a chance to win the Heisman trophy. For others, possibly a chance for redemption in a BCS bowl game or even the BCS title game or to earn a BCS bowl game invite and earn the title of "BCS Buster"!

Here are the top ten QB's to watch in 2009 that have the opportunity to make or break the 2009 season for their respective teams and provide all of us fans with quite a thrill ride along the way!

No. 10 - Robert Griffin - Baylor

Baylor isn't exactly on national TV week to week but, if you haven't at least heard of Robert Griffin, you must not pay attention to teams outside of your own because all Griffin did as a true freshman in 2008 was pass for 2,091 yards and 15 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions and ran for another 843 yards and 13 touchdowns, while posting a QB rating of 142.0 for the Bears!

Unfortunately, Griffins' incredible stats didn't translate into much as Baylor finished the year 4-8.

While those gaudy stats could prove hard to duplicate, I expect that Griffin will be able to put up similar numbers and with any help from his defense at all, the Bears could become bowl eligible in 2009.

I hope they do because it's a shame that most of the nation has never seen Griffin play, and without a bowl game for Baylor, it will probably remain that way.

No. 9 - Jimmy Clausen - Notre Dame

Charlie Weis is on the hottest seat in college football and if he is to keep his job at Notre Dame, Clausen must live up to the hype and meet, if not exceed, expectations this season.

Notre Dame crushed Hawaii 49-21 in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl and Clausen led the way with 401 yards and five touchdown passes. Weis can only pray that Clausen builds off of that performance and continues to play at that level or pretty near it this season.

2009 is do or die for the quarterback and the coach. If Clausen faulters, he might find a seat on the bench with highly-touted Dayne Christ waiting in the wings and Weis will most likely find himself out of a job if the Irish win less than nine or ten games.

No. 8 - Tyrod Taylor - Virginia Tech

Just about every year in recent memory, Virginia Tech has been hyped up and ranked in or near the top ten in the AP Preseason Poll. And just about every year in recent memory, they have been the poster child for why preseason polls make no sense.

According to ESPN's Mark Schlabach in his "Way Too Early Top 25" article, Va Tech is once again highly regarded, coming in at No. 5.

In 2008, Tech went 10-4, winning the ACC and beating Cincinnati 20-7 in the Fedex Orange Bowl in what many considered to be a foundation year for 2009.

They were one of the youngest teams in the nation a year ago. If Tyrod Taylor can improve in the passing game (1036 yards,2 TD, 7 INT), and with star tailback Darren Evans there to help take some of the pressure off of Taylor, the Hokies might actually deserve their preseason ranking and may even be contenders for the national championship.

No. 7 - Kellen Moore - Boise State

The Broncos have become a mainstay "mid-major" program that has been and will continue to be in the BCS bowl discussion this season. Last year, Boise finished the regular season with a perfect 12-0 record before being tripped-up by TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl.

Sophomore QB Kellen Moore has proven he is one of the country's best quarterbacks (3,486 yards, 25 TD, 9 INT, 157.1 QB Rating), but he'll be missing his top targets from a year ago. Tailback Ian Johnson and receivers Jeremy Childs and Vinny Perretta are big losses.

Moore will need to duplicate his 2008 season if Boise is to have any chance at another "BCS busting" undefeated season.

He and the Broncos will be tested early in 2009, opening the season with Oregon at home before road games at Tulsa and Fresno State.

No. 6 - Jevan Snead - Ole Miss

Snead could have been Matt Cassell 2.0, but instead he decided to transfer from Texas at the end of the 2006 season where he would have been Colt McCoy's backup to Ole Miss where instead, he is the man and the rest is history.

Only one team beat the eventual BCS Champion Florida Gators in 2008 and that team was, you guessed it, Ole Miss!

In that 31-30 thrilling road win that catapulted the Rebels into the top 25 and the national discussion, Snead threw for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns and ran for a third.

There were a couple of lows however, when Wake Forest, Vanderbilt and South Carolina each handed Mississippi three, somewhat unexpected losses.

The Rebels bounced back with a huge victory over Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl to close the season and end the year on a positive note to build on!

Ole Miss has a favorable schedule in 2009 and Snead should be able to replicate his stats from a year ago (2,762 yards, 26 TD, 12 INT, 145.5 QB Rating) and lead the Rebels back to another successful season and a possible SEC Championship!

No. 5 - Terrelle Pryor - Ohio State

While Pryor didn't have the stats (1,311 passing yards, 631 rushing yards, 12 passing and 6 rushing TD, 4 INT, 146.5 QB Rating) that Robert Griffin or Kellen Moore did in 2008, he did have a solid season for the Buckeyes with an 8-2 record as a starter and let's face it—He is the QB of "THE" Ohio State Buckeyes and, not to belittle Baylor or Boise State but, the reality is that the expectations of him and pressure on him far exceed those of/on Griffin or Moore.

I believe the Buckeyes lost four starters on offense and five on defense and yet they are No. 7 in Schlabachs' rankings. The number one reason why they are ranked in his top ten is Terrelle Pryor, so you can see what I'm saying about the expectations and pressure placed upon him.

At times, Pryor made some amazing passes and at other times, some were just plain ridiculous and downright horrible. But remember, he was a true freshman and took the starting job away from Senior QB and team captain, Todd Boeckman. I can't begin to imagine the stress he must have felt.

Still, he persevered. His only losses as a starter in 2008 came to then No. 3 Penn State after an errant pass was picked off, which gave the Nittany Lions the ball late in the game, deep in OSU territory, leading to the games only touchdown and a PSU win.

In the Fiesta Bowl, Pryor caught a TD pass from Boeckman against then No. 3 Texas as the Buckeyes held a 21-17 lead with less than a minute to go in the game when McCoy found Quan Cosby on a quick slant as the Buckeyes were on an all out blitz and Texas went on to the 24-21 victory.

Pryor is rumored to have gained 10-15 pounds of muscle this off-season and the Buckeyes are promising to open up the offense more to suit his abilities. There's talk in Buckeye cyberspace that there will be more use of the Pistol formation and even the Single-Wing or Wildcat as it's now more commonly known.

He will be surrounded by speedy tailbacks Dan Herron, Jamaal Berry and powerback Carlos Hyde and a very deep corp of young but talented receivers led by senior Ray Small so these formations make sense and will keep defense guessing.

The biggest challenges of the season will be hosting USC in Columbus on 9/12/09 and traveling to Happy Valley to take on Penn State on 11/07/09.

If the Bucks can win those two games, there's really no other legit threat on their schedule or reason why Pryor shouldn't be able to lead them to an undefeated season and their fourth BCS title game appearance in the last eight years!

No. 4 - Zac Robinson - Oklahoma State

Robinson, WR Dez Bryant, and RB Kendall Hunter comprise the three-headed monster and potential nightmare for oponnents in the Big 12 this coming season.

Last season, Robinson threw for 3,064 yards and 25 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions and also ran for 508 yards and 7 scores so while he is more of a pocket passer, he certainly can scramble and make plays with his feet when needed.

With Bryant returning from off-season knee surgery, Hunter may be asked to carry more of the workload initially until Bryant proves he's back to 100% but if and when he is, Oklahoma State, 10th in Schlabachs' Preseason rankings, could be this years Texas Tech!

No. 3 - Tim Tebow - Florida

The Gators may be considered the No. 1 heading into 2009, but Tebow is not the No. 1 QB to watch but he's close coming in at third.

He's been on two championship teams and won the 2007 Heisman so what can "Superman" as Gator fans call him do for an encore?

We'll have to wait and see but if the Gators are going to make have any chance at a repeat title in 2009, the onus will be squarely on Tebows' shoulders.

Playmaker extraordinaire Percy Harvin defected early for the NFL Draft leaving Tebow (2,746 yards, 30 passing touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 673 rush yards, 12 rushing touchdowns, 172.4 QB Rating) and TE Aaron Hernandez as the only proven weapons on offense.

Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps and Emmanual Moody combined for over 1600 yards but individually, none of them had more than 650 yards, thus the jury is still out on which, if any can step up and help replace the loss of Harvin.

Florida has an exceptionally favorable schedule with only four road games, the toughest of which will be at LSU.

With a little help, Tebow should easily put up another great statistical season and if the Gators can avoid the upset bug, they may very well be on the road to a possible third title in four years.

No. 2 - Colt McCoy - Texas

The Longhorns felt slighted in 2008 after losing only to Texas Tech, on an almost fluke-like touchdown by Michael Crabtree, on the last play of game.

That one play cost the Horns a shot at Florida in the BCS title game, where instead, Oklahoma, who Texas had beaten 45-35 on a neutral field earlier in the year, got the nod and then proceeded to lose their fifth straight BCS bowl game.

If Colt McCoy has anything to say about it this year, that will not happen again!

McCoy's stats (3,859 passing yards, 34TD / 8 INT, 561 rushing yards, 11 rushing TD, 173.8 QB Rating) were impressive enough to earn him a 2nd place finish in the Heisman trophy voting.

With his roommate, receiver Jordan Shipley returning for a sixth season and without a standout running back in the mix, McCoy should once again put up great passing and rushing numbers and solidify his status as a Heisman contender and potential top NFL pick for 2010.

Now, can I have a drumroll please......(as if you don't already know who No. 1 is!)

No. 1 - Sam Bradford - Oklahoma

Bradford, the 2008 Heisman winner, looks to repeat the the unbelievable season and production he accomplished last year heading into 2009 but it won't be easy.

He set the bar extremely high for himself, as he threw for over 4,700 yards and 50 touchdowns to only 8 interceptions and rushed for 5 more scores while posting a ridiculous QB Rating of nearly 181.

Chris Brown and Demarco Murray, each 1000+ yard rushers a year ago who combined for 34 touchdowns, both return and with the loss of top receiver Juaquin Iglesias and even with the surprising return of star tight end Jermaine Gresham, Bradford will be hard-pressed to duplicate the numbers he put up a year ago.

OU should still be considered the team to beat in the Big 12 with Texas a close second.

That's it—That's the list!

If you agree or disagree with my list or you believe I overlooked a QB that you feel deserves to make the list over one of my ten, YOU'RE WRONG (just kidding) make sure you post a comment and tell me who and why!

Thanks in advance for reading, rating and adding your comments!


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