Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Miami (Ohio) Redhawks 2010 Review

Miami (Ohio) Redhawks
2010 Record: 10-4 (7-1), 1st MAC East
2010 Postseason: GoDaddy.com Bowl, Defeated Middle Tennessee 35-21

     Mike Haywood brought the Redhawks all the way back from the brink of oblivion in 2010, and it culminated with a divisional title and a conference title before he bailed for Pittsburgh. Haywood was eventually fired before ever coaching a game for the Panthers because of off field issues, and so Miami start again. They have plenty to build off of for next fall, and it all starts with young Zac Dysert at QB.
     Dysert had a very solid 2010 season as a sophomore, as he passed for 2406 yards and 13 TDs. What he has to be careful of is his INT ratio that was only at 13/12 for the season, almost an even ratio of TDs to picks. That should come with experience.Dysert did pass for an average of 218.7 yards per game, and Miami rode that number to a great deal of success.
     Thomas Merriweather have the Redhawks a solid primary back to rely on, which is something that they have not had for awhile. Merriweather rushed for 921 yards and 12 TDs on the season, but he graduated, and the work load will now shift to Tracy Woods, who was just a freshman last fall. Woods put together a line of 94-376-1, and he may get pushed by some youngsters, but overall, experience will be very thin at RB for Miami next fall.
     Armand Robinson was huge last season for Miami, as he posted a line of 94-1062-6. Robinson has moved on as well, but freshman Nick Harwell proved that he is more than capable of being a top receiver in the MAC, as he busted out with 64-871-6. Chris Givens (26-385-1), Andrew Cruse (25-342-2), and DeMarco Paine (32-270-0) all contributed last fall, and all return for 2011.
     Miami had some quality moments on defense last fall, having only given up 121.4 yards rushing per game. Jerrell Wedge led the team with 15 TFLs, while Jason Semmes and Austin Brown also hit double figures with 10.5 and 10. Semmes led the team with 6 sacks, but the Hawks must do a better job of applying pressure in the passing game, as Miami gave up an average of 214.4 yards per game through the air.
     The Hawks had some serious playmaking going on in the secondary, as they had two players hit doube digits in passes defended. DJ Brown led the team with 13 as a sophomore, and he becomes the leader in the secondary as Brandon Stephens, who had 11, graduated. Evan Harris picked off 6 passes on the season, while Dayonne Nunleypicked off 5. They were both freshmen last fall.
     Miami returns their top 8 tacklers from last season, led by Wedge, who collected 101, Harris, with 94, and Pat Hinkel, who collected 72 tackles on the season.
     Trevor Cook and Seth Phillip both kicked last season, and neither was spectacular. Both have moved on leaving Mason Krysinski, who missed his only attempt as a freshman, to take the job. Zach Murphy should be back starting as the punter, but he only averaged 39.07 yards per punt last fall as a freshman, so he has some growing to do.
Final Notes
     Miami closed by winning 6 straight football games after starting slow with ugly losses to Florida and Missouri. They are on a hot streak, but it will be interesting to see how the team responds with the departure of Haywood, and the arrival of well thought of Don Treadwell from Michigan State. Treadwell will still keep on emphasis on a high tempo offense with a stout defense, and the Hawks are built for success there. As long as Dysert improves on his turnovers, and Miami finds a competent RB, more success could be right ahead.

CFL Preview-Hamilton Ti-Cats

2010 Record: 9-9
2010 Postseason: Lost Eastern Conference Semifinal to Toronto 16-13
Head Coach: Marcel Bellefeuille (3rd Season, 18-20)
Offensive Coordinator: Khari Jones
Defensive Coordinator: Corey Chamblin

Kevin Glenn enters his 3rd season as the starting QB for the Ti-Cats. Glenn passed for 5102 yards last season with 33 TDs and 17 picks after having come back from an injury marred 2009 season. Glenn almost doubled his totals from the year before and led the Cats back to the playoffs.
Former Boston College QB Quinton Porter comes back for his 4th season as the backup for Hamilton. Porter only attempted 21 passes last season, and is used more as a running speed option and short yardage QB keepers.
Jason Boltus was brought in from Hartwick College, and is the #3 QB coming into camp. Boltus has developed well enough that the Cats felt comfortable enough to outright release former San Jose State QB Adam Tarfalis.

Avon Cobourne was the big addition in the off-season, as the two time Grey Cup Champion moves over from Montreal. Cobourne averaged 5.3 yards per carry and led all CFL backs in receiving with 64 receptions. Cobourne rushed for 956 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry last season with the Als.  He is thought of as the most complete and versatile back in the league.
Marcus Thigpen adds a dimension of speed, and averaged 8.2 yards per carry while scoring 3 TDs in 2010. He may be used in a dual back role at times with Cobourne to give the Cats a different look. He is also likely to line up and take some downs at SB.
Daryl Stephenson has been brought in from Winnepeg as the 3rd option in the backfield. Stephenson played primarily on special teams for the Bombers, but he is expected to see some backfield work in Hamilton when Cobourne and Thigpen need a rest. Stephenson is the record holder for career yards rushed in the CIS.
Glenn Milner, Terry Grant, and Conte Cuttino will also battle for snaps in camp.

This spot belongs to Darcy Brown, who comes back for his 3rd season with the Cats. He will be pushed for the job by converted LB Agustin Berrenechea.

14 receivers come to camp to battle for jobs. Arland Bruce is the leader of the group by far, as he collected a line of 86-1303-8 last season, averaging 15.2 yards per catch last season. This will be his 2nd full season as the orimary receiver for the Cats after being acquired during the 2009 season from Toronto.
Veteran Dave Stala is the next best option at receiver, as he finished 2010 with a line of 85-1015-6. He gives the Cats a veteran presence along with Bruce at the top of the receiver corps.
Marquay McDaniel (76-994-7), Maurice Mann (56-787-5), and free agent signing Rory Kohlert (37-461) round out the group. Kohlert was signed for depth from Saskatchewan.

11 linemen are in camp trying to earn jobs. Peter Dyakowski returns after being resigned in the offseason. Dyakowski is a fan favorite and provides veteran leadership up front. He provides 75 games of experience. Mark Dewit was brought in as a veteran presence with experience last season. Marwan Hage returns as the starting center for the Cats and is entering his 9th season. Jason Jimenez will return to play tackle and enters his 3rd season in Hamilton. Belton Johnson also returns to the Cats to take up the RT spot.

The Cats come into camp with only 7 linemen, 3 ends and 4 tackles. Stevie Baggs returns to his DE spot, but he fell flat last season as he fell from 12 sacks in 2009 to just 5 last year. He has a tremendous amount of work to do before he starts getting pushed. Former UCLA Bruin DE Justin Hickman will be back at the other DE spot, after he collected 44 tackles and 7 sacks in 2010. David Hicks joins the team from Dallas of the Arena Football League and will be competing in his 1st CFL camp to be the 3rd DE.
Demonte' Bolden will be a piece in the DT rotation, as he comes off of a 39 tackle season with 2 sacks last season. Matt Kirk returns after posting 27 tackles and 2 sacks a season ago. Albert Smith and Eddie Steele are in camp but have very little experience.

The LB spot is a bit murky. 3 starters are clearly identified, but the depth is lacking for experience. Jamall Johnson returns after a season in which he collected 1010 tackles and 5 sacks. He is joined by Markeith Knowlton, who had a very productive year in which he collected 71 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 picks, and 6 fumble recoveries. Renauld Wilson was yanked away from Saskatchewan to shore up the weak side.
Ike Brown, Yannick Carter (a special teams gunner), Brandon Densen, and Nathan Kanya will compete to shore up the unit.

18 DBs come into camp looking to compete for various jobs. 7 of them have sights set on starting jobs, and there 5 total in the secondary. Dylan Barker looks to have locked up the safety job after picking up 34 tackles and 3 picks last season. Jerome Davis had 54 tackles and 2 picks last season, and Daniel Francis had 53 tackles and a fumble recovery. Jason Shivers had 50 tackles 3 picks, and 2 FRs last season. Darren Toney was brought in as a free agent from BC last season to shore up the starting jobs. Ryan Hinds and Bo Smith are pushing in camp, while Matt BEswick will battle for a reserve spot, but will serve mainly on special teams. 8 CFL rookies will be in camp to compete for reserve/special teams spots.

It's Justin Medlock's job to lose now. The roster has been cleared for the rookie out of UCLA, who was the Groza award winner in 2009. He has never punted, but his leg is as good as it gets despite slipping just a bit in 2010.

The Cats have some work to do on defense, and they have to solve their depth issues up front. The tools are there for them to compete, but an Eastern Division title is not likely just yet.  Another playoff spot is not out of the question, but they could slip either way.

Ivy League 2010 Review

2010 Record: 9-1 (7-0), 1st
2010 Postseason: Conference does not participate

     For a team that dominated on the scoreboard for much of 2010, the Quakers did not post numbers that were indicitave of a dominant team. FOr the most part, Penn opted to keep the football on the ground, and so Billy Ragone only averaged 92.7 yards per game passing. He passed for 834 yards and 6 TDs, but threw 5 picks on the season. Ryan Becker started one game in his absence. Ragone added 519 yards rushing and 7 TDs on the season, good for second on the team. The top rusher was Brandon Colavita, as the junior rushed for 711 yards and 12 TDs on the season. David Wurst and Matt Tuten were the leading receivers, but neither player managed to catch 30 passes on the season.
     Erik Rask led a defense that held their final 4 opponents to 14 points or less. He finished the season with 65 tackles, while Josh Powers finished 2nd with 57 on the season. Zach Heller finished with 53 tackles on the season. Poweres is the only one that returns in 2011. Brandon Copeland finished in double digits with 10 TFLs, and was the only member of the defense to do so. Nobody on the defense managed to hit 5 sacks on the season, with Matt Hamscher finishing with 4.5. Jonathon Saelinger led the team with 3 picks on the season. The glaring thing to look at as to how Penn dominated the way they did was their rush defense. Penn only gave up 72 yards rushing per game on the season, and the Quakers defensive unit, while not flashy or spectacular, only gave up 14 TDs. Total team effort.
Final Notes
      I was criticized about the fact that I had very few Penn Quakers on my All-Ivy Team for 2010. The truth is that there were few standouts here. This team dominated as a unit, but very few players obtained star status, and it was difficult to point to any one player and state that there was a star in the making. Penn dominated by not being flashy, by having several players contribute, but other teams had the better overall statistical contributors. I am sure that the Quakers would rather have the wins.

Harvard Crimson
2010 Record: 7-3 (5-2), Tied 2nd

     QB problems bogged the Crimson down in 2010, as had they had a healthy and decent QB, they may have had enough fire to take out Penn for the league crown. That never transpired and 6 different players attempted passes in various roles in 2010. Collier Winters, a junior, wound up leading the team in passing, but was only available for 5 games during the season. Winters passed for 892 yards but had a marginal at best 5/5 TD to pick ratio. Andrew Hatch was the man, but was lost early and only played in 3 games. He was also inneffective with a 4/4 ratio.
     Gino Gordon put the team on his shoulders for the most part, and did well by Harvard. The senior gave it his all and finished the season having rushed for 1037 yards and 10 scores. Treavor Scales was a good compliment to Gordon all season, as he rushed for 508 yards and 3 more scores.
     Only one receiver gave Harvard a full 10 game season, and that was Adam Chrissis. Chrissis, a junior, caught 40 passes for 481 yards on the year. Kyle Juszczyk, a converted DB, led the team with 4 TDs.
     Colin Zych, a senior DB, tied for the team in tackles last season with 79 on the year, and DE Nick Hasselberg joined him with 79 as well. Alex Gideon and Josue Ortiz also averaged over 5 tackles per game last fall for the defense, and Ortiz finished tied for 2nd in the League with 13.5 TFLs. Ortiz also finished 2nd i the League with 7.5 sacks on the season in 10 games. Ortiz is now gone, so Harvard will have to find an apt replacement immediately if they want to contend with a forceful defense next fall.
     Dan Minamide was solid in the secondary, as he led the Ivy League with 11 passes defended. Collin Zych was also a difficult player to complete passes against, as he defended 9 passes on the season, while Matt Henson, a converted WR, knocked away 6. Harvard did allow 203 yards passing per game, but that was countered strongly by the fact that the front seven held the opposition to just 103 yards rushing per game.
Final Notes
     Harvard was having another strong season, and then they ran into the Penn Quakers, and the season went south. The Crimson failed to show up for the Quakers, and their injury issues finally caught up with them, as they fell to the Quakers 34-14. Tim Rose always has Harvard playing at top speed, but the injuries, especially at QB, were a deal breaker in 2010, and even with those issues, they still finished tied for second. That just shows you what a fantastic coach that Harvard has. He is always a candidate for bigger jobs, but Harvard has held onto him despite that fact, and they are blessed for it.

2010 Record: 7-3 (5-2), Tied 2nd

     The Bulldogs were led by Patrick Witt in 2010, but their downfall was Witt's inability to avoid thecostly pick. Witt led the League by completing 23.56 passes per game for 2216 yards and 12 TDs, but he also tossed 12 picks on the season, and his inability to get ahead in the ratio was costly at times. Witt will get another shot in 2011 to raise his TD numbers against his picks, but if he doesn't, it may be more of the same or worse for Yale.
     Alex Thomas finished 3rd in the League in rushing last fall, as he ran for 710 yards and 9 scores in 10 games. That being said, the Ivy League was not a rushing hotbed of talent last season. Thomas can do better, and will get a shot to do so in 2011 as a senior.
      Yale had a solid 3 man rotation at receiver, as Chris Smith led the team with with 46 receptions for 452 yards. Gio Christodoulou led the team with 683 yards on 38 receptions, and Jordan Forney also had 36 receptions for 494 yards. TE Chris Blohm piled up a line of 26-255-2 on the season as well, and Thomas was more than competent as a receiver out of the backfield. Only Smith returns in 2011, so improvement on Witt's numbers may be difficult to come by with a new cast in the receiving corps.
      Yale's front seven was solid in 2010, as the Bulldogs only allowed 102.6 yards rushing per game. LB Jordan Haynes averaged 10.2 tackles per game on the season, while fellow LB Will McHale, a sophomore, piled up 5.5 per game. Haynes also led the team by picking up 8.5 TFLs on the season. Where the front 7 failed was in a failure to pressure opposing QBs, as nobody collected more than 3 sacks on the year.
      With the front 7 failing to apply pressure on the passing game, teams managed to pass for 206 yards per game. Adam Money defended 7 passes on the season, and Jesse Resiing added another 6, but both are gone for 2011. Money led the team with 3 picks.
Final Notes
     A strong start was basically derailed with a 3-2 finish to the season, with those losses coming to Harvard and Penn. Yale did win some games against lesser competition last season, so there is definately a need to up the profile. Yale has some major holes to fill next fall, so a repeat may not be in the cards of their 7 win season.

Brown Bears
2010 Record: 6-4 (5-2) Tied 2nd

      Like most teams in the Ivy League, Brown was lacking in offensive star power. Joe Springer was ok at best at the QB spot for the Bears, as he averaged 162 yards per game on the season with 10 TD passes. The good news was that he only averaged tossing a pick every other game, as he finished with 5 INTs all season. He will have to be replaced after graduating.
     The Bears rotated the run game between two backs, with sophomore Mark Kachmer leading the way with a line of 134-510-8. Senior Zachary Tronti also broke the 100 carry barrier by rushing for a line of 116-405-3. Kachmer should be the primary back in 2011.
     The biggest loss of all for 2011 will be that of WR Alex Tounkara, who led the team with a line of 61-842-4. Tounkara finished the season as the conferences 2nd best receiver, and was the closest thing that the Bears had to a bonafide star on offense. Jimmy Saros (42-481-4) and Tellef Loundavall (32-370-2) will try to step up and take up the slack next fall.
     The Bears defense was quite credible last fall, as they allowed only 180 yards per game passing and 129.6 yards per game rushing. The LB corps led the charge, as Stephen Peyton, Andrew Serrano, and Phil Roffi all had solid tackling numbers. Peyton led the team with 7.9 per game, while Serrano colected an average of 7.6 per game. Roffi also eclipsed the 5 per game mark by collecting 5.7. Munachismo Okoji, another LB, collected 5.7 as well.
     The Bears were quite good at placing pressure on the backfield, as they boasted two players with double digit TFLs last fall. Clayton McGrath finished 2nd in the league with 13.5, while LB Jeremy Raducha collected 11, all solo. McGrath finished 3rd in the League with 6.5 sacks.
      AJ Cruz finished 3rd in the League with 8 passes defended last fall, one key element as to how the Bears held opponents to under 200 yards passing per game. Brown also got major contributions in the secondary from Okoji (6) and senior DB Russell Leedy (5).
Final Notes
     An early win over Harvard set a tone that if followed would have made this a very special season for the Bears. They followed that up with consecutive out of conference losses to in-state rival Rhode Island and Holy Cross before two more wins against Princeton and Cornell to start Ivy play at 3-0. The wheels fell off after that as the Bears struggled to a 2-2 finish including losses to Yale and Penn. The Bears have work to do next fall as they lose their best QB/WR combo in Springer and Tounkara, but there are other pieces that work quite well, especially on defense.

Dartmouth Big Green
2010 Record: 6-4 (3-4), 5th

      Dartmouth was unbeatable outside of conference play, but they were barely passable in it. They did manage to keep it close, as 3 of 4 losses came by 7 points or less.
      Some of the issues started at QB, as Connor Kempe tossed 12 picks on the season against just 8 TDs. He also only managed to complete 54% of his passes overall, which is not getting it done, considering that there were some decent pass defenses in the LEague.
     Nick Schweiger made this his team last season, as he rushed for 1090 yards and 14 TDs last season in 10 games. Schweiger finished as our Ivy League RB of the Year. He has bigger things in store for us in 2011, as he returns for his senior season. If Kempe can do a better job passing the ball, Schweiger may have a better season next fall. Dominick Pierre, a freshman, also added 71-362-4 last season, and will make the transition away from Schweiger after next season seem seemless.
     Kempe cannot complain about a lack of decent receivers to pass to next season. Tim McManus led the team with a line of 38-528-2. Michael Reilly averaged 23 yards per catch last fall, giving Kempe a deep threat if teams crept up too much on Schweiger. Reilly led the team with 3 TDs, but only caught 22 passes. Tanner Scott was the 3rd option with a line of 21-309-1. Scott is the only loss for next fall.
      The defense had some issues last season, as they allowed 224.3 yards passing per game, while also allowing better than 142 yards rushing per game.
     The Big Green failed to have a tackler finish in the top 10, but had 5 with 5 or better on average per game. Joey Casey and Garrett Waggoner, both DBs, were the leaders, as Casey finished 1st on the team with 6.44 per game. Waggoner was right behind him with 6.1 per game. Pat Scorah finished 3rd on the team with 5.8. LBs Luke Hussey and Bronson Green wrapped up the group with 5.33 and 5.1 respectively.
     Dartmouth got solid pressure up front, as Ivy League DL of the Year Charles Bay led the League with 11 total TFLs on the season in 10 games. Eddie Smith finished with 8 on the season. Bay also led the League in sacks with 8, but he missed two games.
     Shawn Abuhoff was stellar in the secondary, as he defended 10 passes on the season, finishing 2nd in the League. Chase Womack and Abuhoff were two of the 3 best pick artists in the League as well, as they both finished with 4. Womack missed two games as well, and will return as a junior next season.
Final Notes
      Dartmouth has a super weapon in Schweiger, but he needs some help from a healthy passing game. If Kempe can develop into a threat to get the ball into his capable receivers more often, Schweiger will benefit from defenses having to play more honest coverage. Schweiger will still have a very nice season, but if this does not develop with the passing game, Dartmouth will have wasted an opportunity as they did in 2010.

Columbia Lions
2010 Record: 4-6 (2-5), 6th

      Columbia had a very nice offense in 2010, but their defense let them down. The Lions boasted our Ivy League QB of the Year in Sean Brackett, who was a huge threat with the ball in his hands. Brackett passed for 2072 yards and 19 TDs, while only tossing 6 picks on the season. Brackett also led the team in rushing with 333 yards and 3 scores. This info is scary when you consider that he was only a sophomore last season while running Columbia's spread offense. Bigger things seem to be coming for the Lions at the QB spot under Brackett.
     The bad news on offense is that they had no rushing game outside of Brackett. As a matter of fact, no other Lion had 100 carries on the season, and that will have to change to keep defenses guessing. Right now, it's easy enough to predict that Brackett will be the center of every play. Leon Ivery was the next best thing, as he posted a line of 80-331-4. Ivery's 4 scores led the team on the ground.
     Brackett had a solid big 3 in the receiver corps to get the ball to through the air. Andrew Kennedy, the TE of the Year, rolled up a line of of 50-616-9 on the season to lead the team. He moved on after last fall, so a replacement at TE becomes more than important. Nico Gutierrez (30-471-2) and Kurt Williams (27-400-2) rounded out a very good group.
     The defense had some issues, as they gave up 205 yards passing and 152 yards rushing per game. LB Alex Gross led the League in tackles last season with 124 on the season, but he was chasing people all season. Adam Mehrer was 2nd on the team with 67 tackles on the season. Neil Schuster finished averaging 5.5 tackles per game.
     The Lions lacked any kind of sustained pressure up front, as Ryan Murphy led the team with only 5.5 on the season. Murphy also led the team with 4 solo sacks. That's not getting it done up front for the Lions, and therefore teams were allowed to move the ball as they wanted to.
     The secondary wasn't making plays either, as only Calvin Otis collected 5 passes defended on the season. Otis also led the team with 3 picks, but he needed support that never came.
Final Notes
      The Lions lost 5 of their last 6 games in 2010 as teams started to key on Brackett. He needs more support, and the defense needs some serious pressure and playmakers in the secondary. Brackett is the best QB in this league, but he needs some help, and soon.

Cornell Big Red
2010 Record: 2-8 (1-6), 7th

     Jeff Matthews played like a typical freshman at QB, as he only managed to complete 54.8% of his passes. He also only managed 7 TD passes in a 10 game schedule, while also tossing 7 picks. He did manage to complete 17.2 passes per game, finishing 2nd in the Ivy in that area, so there is something to build on.
      Matthews did not get support from a strong run game, as Grant Gellatly finished with only 97 carries for 419 yards. He also failed to score. Gellatly was also a freshman, so he enters his sophomore season still seeking his first rushing TD.
     Shane Savage led the team with a line of 46-550-2 on the season, while Luke Tasker finished with 39-448-1, and Ryan Houska finished with 27-268-2. These were not sky rocket numbers, but all three return next fall, so there is a basic ability to build here.
     The defense was credible against the pass, but they could not stop the run to save their lives. The Big Red allowed 191 yards passing, but were crushed against the rush, averaging 246 yards allowed per game.
     Brandon Lainhart finished with 8.33 tackles per game, while Zach Imhoff finished with 8.3. Dempsey Quinn collected 6.9, and Rashad Campbell rounded out the best tacklers with 5.5. The Big Red failed to place any defender in the top 20 in TFLs on the season, while Lainhart led the team with only 2 sacks.
     Emani Fenton led the team against the pass with 7 passes defended, while Campbell finished with 6 on the season. Fenton led the Ivy with 5 picks last fall, but he has graduated, which leaves a huge void on a defense that needs all of the help that they can get.
Final Notes
Nothing went well for the Big Red last fall, but the team was young on offense and has the ability to improve, and they may, but the defense needs to fill some serious holes, and they need to find the ability to get pressure up front, and that will be no easy task. HC Kent Austin had his work cut out for him when he took this job, and the work continues still. This is a long term building project.

Princeton Tigers
2010 Record: 1-9 (0-7)

     The wheels fell completely off of the wagon last fall for the Tigers, and the QB spot was a rotating door, as 4 different players played meaningfull minutes there in 2010. Tommy Wornham and Andrew Dixon both tossed more than 100 pass attempts, with Wornham having the better luck. Wornham passed for 1104 yards and 5 TDs, but also tossed 5 picks in 5 games. Dixon also only played in 5 games, but only passed for 610 yards.
     The run game provided no support, as nobody rushed 100 times in 2010. Jordan Culbreath was the leader by default, but only carried 78 times in 8 games for 366 yards and only 1 score. Matt Zimmerman played all 10 games, but only carried 68 times for 276 yards.
     Trey Peacock was the lone bright spot on the offense as he caught 72 passes for 955 yards and 6 TDs. Peacock led the league in receiving yards, but was a senior.
     The defense was a wreck, as the Tigers gave up 441.9 yards per game and 40 TDs on the season. IN contrast they only managed to score 19 TDs as a team. Senior Jon Olafsson finshed 2nd in the league in tackles with 10.33 per game as the only bright spot that this club boasted on defense. Andrew Starks finished with 8.9 in the secondary, but it was all mop up duty after the front 7 failed to make plays. Starks led the team with 7 TFLs, something you never expect from your safety. The Tigers utterly failed to get to the QB all season long.
     Only Weston Palmer was productive in the secondary, as he finished with 3 picks. Starks was too busy playing up front to make plays on the ball.
Final Notes
     I don't see this getting much better next fall, as the Tigers lose their best pieces to graduation. Hard to build when the blocks are somewhere else. The Tigers could be the bottom feeder of the Ivy League for the next couple of seasons.


Jim Tressel Undone By Greed


     By now, you have probably already checked out the SI.com story on Jim Tressel and his long list of wrongdoings dating back as far as the 1980's at Ohio State and Youngstown State. If you have not, I strongly recommend that you follow the link that I posted yesterday on this blog and read it before you move on with this story. After reading, come back and read the rest of this post.
     What was in the article was not shocking, but then again, I am hard to shock. What was in the article was disgusting. It was Chicago styled politics and graft at its worst level, with everything from no show jobs to rigging raffles after forcing low income kids to buy tickets for prizes that they would never win. It was "discounted" cars. It was drugs and alcohol involving felons. It was all of that and more.
     Gene Smith basically lied when he told the media and Ohio State supporters that the wrongdoing was limited to a select few athletes. It was far more than that. It was multitudes to the higher numbers of current and former Buckeyes who were involved in illegal activities that lesser men have gone to prison for. If Gene Smith honestly believed that the issues were as limited as he said, than his investigation into the issues were a sham, and I have to honestly believe that he spearheaded a shortsighted investigation on purpose, because in his heart of hearts, he had to know how much deeper the involvement went, even if he didn't have it in black and white sitting in front of him.
     Sports Illustrated changed all of that yesterday afternoon when they posted their nuclear bombshell on their website. The print version is available in their June 6th copy. Read it and let it soak in. It is everything that has gone wrong with big money, major college sports in this country. It entails everything that has come to harm the sport that I love along with so many millions of Americans across the country. It seems that in our love for the game, we have pushed the level of competition to the level where it has become a must to cheat to win. The pressure to win promotes this sort of behavior to get the best players to come to your school, so that you can keep on beating your rival. The truth of the matter is that half of these kids should be nowhere near a college campus, because they are not there to learn. They are there as mercenaries to push the cause, to push the earnings, and to push universities to pay huge money to scumbags like Jim Tressel and Bruce Pearl.
     Tressel didn't quit yesterday to help Ohio State save face. He quit to save his own sorry ass. He quit simply for the fact that sanctions have to be coming as a result of all of this. When USC had their appeal denied last week for engaging in a string of improprieties, the Trojans and the Pac-12 stood up on the pedestal and cried from the highest mountain available "what about Ohio State?" And their cries were justified. If the USC investigation was centered mainly on Reggie Bush, what must the penalties be for Ohio State when the wrongdoings were so much more spread out? How hard must the NCAA hammer down on the BUCKeye program as to match the hammer blow that the Trojan program has taken? I say that they have to use the biggest hammer that they have to swing short of the death penalty.

     It seems that with what we now know, Tressel's issues date back to when he was an assistant under Earle Bruce in the mid-80's. How was it that nobody knew what this guy was all about? Enough people certainly know that could have outed him years ago. How did he get away with it for so long? He simply found ways to pay off the people that knew what he was up to. He gave people jobs, and sometimes, they were jobs that these folks didn't even have to show up to. He used a rabid fan base as an intimidation sort. Even now, people are speaking on terms of anonymity, simply because they fear reprisals from the Ohio State Football Community. It would seem that a fan base of a major college in America has taken up the mantle of becoming the local mafia, and people are afraid to speak against it.
     What unraveled Tressel in the end was that he severely underestimated the stupidity of today's young street thug. It seems that modern BUCKeyes like Maurice Clarett and Terrele Pryor and others were simply just too public about what they were doing. It was ignorant and stupid, brazen and callous. Pryor, at his height of severe arrogance, even drove a car that was far beyond his means to the team meeting on Sunday night where Tressel announced to them that he was quitting.

Photo compliments of Yahoo.com
See the above link for story.

     It is now time for the NCAA to act. They have all that they need to move on sanctions against Ohio State, so let the sanctions fly. The only thing that you need to know at this point is that Tressel felt compelled to quit at the mere mention of the SI article and what it entailed. If it were that bad, and as you can see it is, than the NCAA no longer has a chance to turn a blind eye and allow self governance here when it comes to sanctions imposed.
     On the topic of self governance, it should be outlawed altogether at this point. The NCAA has gotten away for a long period of time with acting like an American Idol judge. Rake in huge sums of money without having to actually do anything when push comes to shove but flap your gums and name drop and look important. The time has come for the paper tiger to grow some actual teeth. The NCAA for years has started investigations, and then walked away after a school has slapped themselves on the wrist with a feather. No more. Ohio State and others have lacked institutional control, where the NCAA has lacked control of the institution. The NCAA is as much to blame as anyone else, because by failure to act, they have actually promoted this kind of behavior all in the name of making money. It has to stop now, or they risk losing people to the cynicism that most Americans have been lost to in everyday life.
     The NCAA, by not taking a tougher stand on cheaters and wrongdoers has created a culture of ugliness. Ohio State and USC basked in the glory of the lawless landscape. USC is now paying a price. Some say that it was too harsh, while I say that it was not harsh enough. Now is the time to hit Ohio State like they mean it. The NCAA has a duty to follow through on this and make a meaningful dent, and it has to be as harsh as the law allows for to make a statement, and for the NCAA to finally be able to show that they are serious when it comes to compliance.

     I have to wonder at this point as to where all of the apologists have gone to. When I wrote my Jim Tressel rant back in January (it's available in my archives) I was villainized by a large group of people. I was called an ass, and was essentially told that I knew nothing and all of this would come to pass. Where are all of you now, I wonder? Who was right and who was wrong? If I am to be villainized for shouting out for what I see as wrong in the sport that I love, than I a gladly take the mantle of "Darth Fucking Vader". I refused to minimize my thoughts on the matter because the NCAA and the individual institutions have got to be pushed to do better. They have to be pushed to be better from a standpoint of doing the right thing by their students, their alumni, and by young people everywhere who look up to these programs.
     This is a lesson for youngsters everywhere who think that acting like thugs and sweeping wrong things under the rug is benefical to them. After a while, the dirt builds up, and people start to ask questions about the mound under the hallway carpet. This was as ugky as it gets in America today. What happened at Ohio State is not just about sports, but it is what is pervasive in our society around us. It is why we have people walking our streets acting like they can treat people with indignity and rudeness, with arrogance and deceit. Until now, they have been allowed to act in such a way, because it is uncomfortable to stand up and take a stance against such things. The NCAA has got to be pushed to fix this issue, and we as a people have to demand better behavior from our society, and when it gets bad, we have to take a stand.
     Now I know that I have gotten off on a rant here, and I have taken a turn with this that you may or may not have seen coming, but enough is enough. Are you not tired of having had your head pissed on only to be told that it's harmless rain? The BUCKeyes and Jim Tressel, along with his ass kissing administration consisting of Gene Smith and Gordon Gee have been doing just that. Tressel jumped ship. Gee and Smith should be pushed off the plank. Tressel should be banned from coaching on the amateur level for life. Smith should be working a gas pump and hawking slurpees, because damn, he's oblivious and a bad liar. Gee should just head off to retirement, because he is essentially a bad clown in a cheap bowtie.
     In closing, I was right to post what I did in January. Those of you who took the same stance, you were right too. Those who spoke against us were wrong. Those who backed your BUCKeyes and your coach and your administration were wrong as well. Your perfect "Christian" coach was not so much perfect or "Christian" at the end of the day. He was human and he was greedy, and now it will cost you all because you ignored the warning signs in the road all at the benfit of winning. You won't be winning much when the hammer falls, so I hope that you all enjoyed it when you could. And enjoy the hits that are sure to come, as the show isn't over yet.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tressel SI.com Link


Here is the link to the Jim Tressel story at SI.com that was the final bullet in his tenure at Ohio State. My comments coming soon.

My Tressel Take...Coming Soon!

You know that I cannot stay quiet for long about the Jim Tressel situation at Ohio State. I will have a post up in the next 24 hours as I am awaiting the SI.com story to post that was a likely catalyst in his removal.
Check back soon for my post on this, as well as other posts regarding 2010 reviews and a look into the 2011 CFL season!
Conference 2010 previews are coming in July!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bilo Football Back On The Air

I will be back on the air as a guest on the CFFLive show on Blog Talk Radio this Friday night, May 27th! This week,we'll be discussing the WAC and College Fantasy Football. Join us at 10PM EST for the show, and if you miss it, catch the podcast at the same site! Check for the link on the story below to take you directly to the show!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SEC 2010 Review

Taking a look at each of the SEC schools from 2010, how they finished, and a hint as to what to look forward to in 2011...

Auburn Tigers
2010 Reocrd: 14-0 (8-0), SEC Champion
2010 Bowl Game: National Championship Game, Defeated Oregon 22-19

     No matter how it was acquired, Auburn still ended up the 2010 season as the best team in the country, whther or not it was outright bought is another matter for another stage. Cam Newton, the center of the storm, was also the center of production, as he tore the nation apart with 50, yes 50, total TDs on the season. That is an incredible feat, especially concerning the fact that he had 30 of those through the air, and another 20 on the ground. His 203 yards passing and 105 yards rushing per game are something of a rare contribution to state it mildly, and he alone drove the Tigers to their national title. He is gone, so the 2010 focus shifts on offense to the duo of Onterrio McCalebband Michael Dyer for 2011. McCalebb rushed for 810 yards and 5 scores, while Dyer broke the barrier with 1093 and 5 scores. With Newton gone, they will have a much harder time producing, as most teams will stack the line against the Tigers in 2011. Darvin Adams was the top target in 2010, and he returns after posting a line of 52-963-7, and Emory Blake returns as well, after grabbing 8 TD passes to lead all Tiger receivers. TE Philip Lutzenkirchen also returns, and 33% of his receptions went for scores last season.
     Defensively, the Tigers were vulnerable at times, but they always found a way to male the right play at the right time. The secondary was an open target most of the season, as they allowed 250 yards passing per game. The Tigers defense gave up 24 or more points 9 times last season, and with a new QB breaking in, the offense may not be able to keep up the tempo in 2011. The Tigers lose 5 of their top 7 tacklers from 2010, including the anchor of the D in DT Nick Fairley, who had 60 tackles, 24 for loss last season. This creates huge cause for concern entering next fall. With fellow holy terror Antoine Carter also leaving, the secondary could be even more exposed, as those two players combined for 38 QB hurries in 2010. That kind of production doesn't replicate overnight with new starters.
     Wes Byrum also departs at PK after connecting on 17 of his 22 FGs last season, and the Tigers are also tasked with replacing underproductive punter Ryan Shoemaker. Replacing your specialists at the same time can also be costly, so special teams may be a roller coaster ride early on.
Final Notes
     Auburn won out of conference by playing a bevy of nobodies last season. Not one opponent in non-conference action had a winning record with exception to Chattanooga, who comes from the FCS. I compliment them hardily by running the gauntlet of the SEC undefeated, which is a nearly impossible thing to do. The Tigers did accomplish some very heady things last season, but it's likely to be a bit of a crash in 2011 without their superweapon in Newton.

Arkansas Razorbacks
2010 Record: 10-3 (6-2), tied 2nd SEC West
2010 Bowl Game: Sugar Bowl, Lost to Ohio State 31-26

     Bobby Petrino put his stamp firmly on the Hogs in 2010, and the offense took off like a rocket. However, when push came to shove, the Razorbacks still could not overcome their two toughest obstacles, and they fell to Alabama and Auburn, which kept them from obtaining unseen heights since joining the SEC. As good as Arkansas was at times, they still wound up as a second class citizen, despite the Sugar Bowl birth, which was only obtained due to Auburn playing in the title game. Ryan Mallett was the driving force last season, as he passed for 3869 yards and 32 TDs. He is gone now, so Petrino has to start over. Tyler Wilson and Brandon Mitchell will battle for his spot, but Knile Davis will be the new leader on offense, as the sophomore RB pounded for 1322 yards and 12 scores, while averaging just under 6.5 yards per carry. Whomever wins the QB competition this fall will have the grace of having his top 4 receivers from 2010 back in the fold, with Joe Adams, Jarius Wright, Greg Childs, and Cobi Hamilton all coming back.
     Arkansas' major flaw on defense was a basic vulnerability to the run, as they allowed over 150 yards rushing per game last season, but the pass defense was very strong, having only allowed 182 yards per game. 5 of their top 7 tacklers from 2010 return in 2011, led by Jerry Franklin and Jerico Nelson. Franklin and Nelson were joined by Anthony Leon as defenders that all finished with double digit TFLs in 2010, led by Franklin with 13. Leon departed after the season. Ramon Broadway led the secondary with 6 passes defended, but he will not return next season. Isaac Madison and Tramain Thomas both finished with 5, and both return. Thomas also led the Hogs with 4 picks last season.
     Zach Hocker quickly became one of the best kickers in the SEC as a freshman, as he connected on 13 of 16 FGs last fall. The Hogs will be more dependent on his leg in 2011 with a new QB in place, as the offense will likely need some time to gel. Dylan Breeding was a very solid punter as a sophomore last season, averaging just over 42 yards per punt, so the specialists remain intact. Lance Ray was the leading kickoff return man, and compiled over 500 yards as a freshman in that spot, while Adams is the punt return specialist, having averaged 15.56 yards per return with a score last fall.
Final Notes
Replacing Mallett will be no easy task for Petrino. Mallett was simply one of the most prolific QBs in Razorback history, so pressure on Wilson (the likely starter) will be intense. Davis is a special talent at RB, but with a new QB in play, he will be targeted early. The receivers are as good as any in the conference, and the defense looks to repeat their strong play from last season. If Wilson develops early, this team could finally rise in the West.

LSU Tigers
2010 Record: 11-2 (6-2), tied 2nd SEC West
2010 Bowl Game: Cotton Bowl, Defeated Texas A&M 41-24

     LSU's strong suit has not been their offense in recent years, and the same remained so in 2010. Jordan Jefferson looked like a major flop for most of last season before coming on in the Cotton Bowl, where he finally looked like he could handle the job. Jarrett Lee played a bit, but never developed into the potential starter that LSU desperately needs to find. Jefferson tossed 10 picks to just 7 TDs in 2010. The run game is going to look a little thin in 2011, with Stevan Ridley taking his 1147 yards to the next level. Jefferson was the second leading rusher for the Tigers, and then it was Michael Ford, who only carried the ball 45 times in 2010. Terrence Tolliver, the top receiver in 2010, is gone. He compiled a line of 41-579-5, and his career ended after the bowl win. The next 4 receivers return, but none of them were stars in 2010. In all, the Tigers averaged only 155.4 yards passing, but did rush for 177 yards behind Ridley and Jefferson.
     The defense remained the face of LSU football in 2010, as this unit allowed only 165 yards passing and 135 yards rushing per game, both quality numbers. Kelvin Sheppard led the team with 116 tackles last fall, but he departed after the bowl, as he was a senior. Ryan Baker takes over as the leader of the defense at LB, where he collected 87 tackles a season ago. There are holes to fill, however, and none bigger than CB Patrick Peterson, who functioned as the teams leading pass defender and kick returner last season. His loss alone could create a sufferable void that could lead to a lapse next fall. Peterson had 4 picks, but his biggest contribution comes in the next section.
     Peterson collected 1350 yards in returns last season, and was a threat to break one every time he touched the football. Peterson also blocked one kick last season, so his special teams exploits are reason alone to fret about his impending absence. Josh Jasper was one of the most frequently used PKs in the nation last season, and his leg never wore out, as he collected on 28 of his 34 FG attempts on the year. He too is gone, meaning an even bigger void is created in replacing him. Derek Helton, the big legged punter who averaged over 45 yards per punt, also departs, meaning that the Tigers are in an all out rebuilding phase on special teams.
Final Notes
     The Tigers fell short of winning the SEC West last season mainly because of their ineptitude on offense. If the Tigers could just get close enough to compete offensively to the level that their defense has become known for, LSU could be competing for national titles every year. Defense wins, but you have to score points to allow the defense to win for you! The Tigers were held to 14 points or less 6 times in 2010, and that just does not fly. How they won 11 games is beyond me.

Alabama Crimson Tide
2010 Record: 10-3 (5-3), 4th SEC West
2010 Bowl Game: Capital One Bowl, Defeated Michigan State 49-7

     Alabama struggled to bounce back to championship form last season, and that's no surprise due to how much talent bolted to the NFL after the 2009 season. A bit of a slip was guaranteed, but the Tide still rolled back to win 10 games, and they stayed competitive in the SEC. The Tide's 3 losses came to teams that all finished the season in bowls, and every team that beat Alabama had at least 9 wins by season's end.
      Greg McElroy finished his career at Bama as one of the best that they have ever had. Sure he has some shortcomings in his game, but McElroy was a born winner, and he averaged over 229 yards per game last season. Mark Ingram also failed to reclaim his Heisman that he won in 2009, and injuries cost him 2 games last season, preventing him from busting the 1000 yard mark. Ingram still scored 13 times on the season. Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy now take over the run game, and Richardson, who also missed two games last fall, has every shot at being as good as Ingram was. Richardson averaged 6.25 yards per carry last season. The receiving game misses a huge load next fall, as Julio Jones left early for the NFL after posting numbers at 78-1133-7. The depth behind Jones is thin, so Alabama has some work cut out with a largely new receiving corps and a new QB as well.
      Alabama, much like LSU, lives and dies by their defense, and the defense was incredible for most of the season last year. They did have the benfit of playing San Jose State and Duke, but nevertheless, the Tide was rolling. The benefit of having been young on D last season was that the defense returns basically intact next fall, meaning that the offense will have a little time to get it together, as the now experienced defense can hold the linje for a while. The big loss will be in Marcell Dareus, who leaves after having rolled up 11 TFLs last season. With a bulk of the returnees being on defense next season, Alabama may be in a very nice spot to challenge for the SEC title next fall.
     The Tide used two young PKs last season, and it seemed to work just fine. Jeremy Shelley, a sophomore, connected on 12 of 16 FGs, while freshman Cade Foster hit 7 of 9 on the season. They also combined to hit on 57 of 58 PATs. Cody Mandell has some work to do, as he finished at just over 39 yards per punt last season as a freshman. He can only get stronger. Trent Richardson was the key kickreturn man, while Marquis Maze handled punt returns. Both return after finding solid success as specialists last season.
Final Notes
     Alabama slid back to normalcy after having won the national title last season. That's not a shock. And if normaly is finishing 10-3, most schools would kill for that kind of normal. Alabama has an open chance to take back the SEC West in 2011, but the first challenge is finding a combo to even remotely get near the productivity and the consistency of the McElry to Jones combo on offense.

South Carolina Gamecocks
2010 Record: 9-5 (5-3), 1st SEC East
2010 Bowl Game: Chik-Fil-A Bowl, Lost to Florida State 26-17

      The Gamecocks SEC East title was just a sign of how absolutely below average the East was in 2010. Stephen Garcia, who has made a lifetime of climbing in and out of Steve Spurrier's doghouse (he's back in again, by the way) was thought of by some as having a breakthrough season. If tossing a 20/14 TD to pick ratio is breaking through, I'd hate to see what close to broke down looks like. Garcia is a mess on and off the field, and Spurrier toyed with replacing him with freshman Connor Shaw (brother of Georgia Southern's Jaybo Shaw) at times throughout the season. The unfortunate part of the push was that Shaw, although he completed 23 of 33 passes, he also tossed 2 picks to just 1 score. Shaw may be the guy out of the gate in 2011, as Garcia has gotten in trouble once again, and seems to have an unfortunate alleged alcohol issue.
     The backfield is set for at least two more seasons, as Marcus Lattimore is rock solid and set in stone. Few freshmen impacted the game like Lattimore did for their teams last season. Lattimore totalled over 1600 yards of total offense in 2010, and he rushed for 17 scores, while receiving 2 more. That was in his first season. If he doesn't suffer the vaunted sophomore slump, Lattimore will be one of the best players in the nation in 2011.
     Alshon Jefferey is one of the best receivers in the nation, and the Gamecocks can find a QB that can regularly get him the football, eveyone will be speaking about him this fall. Jefferey grabbed 88 receptions for 1517 yards and 9 TDs last season. If he had a better QB than Garcia, he would have doubled those TD numbers. Jeffery is big and strong, and is built for this game. His presence combined with that of Lattimore gives South Carolina a shot to win what remains a very much watered down SEC East.
     Defensively speaking, there were few teams better at stopping the run than the Gamecocks, but people seemed to have a field day passing against them. They gave up over 250 yards per game through the air, while only allowing 104 per game on the ground. The good news is that 8 of the top 10 tacklers from last season return, as do the top 4 players in TFLs. Delvin Taylor, Melvin Ingram, Antonio Allen, and Travian Roberston combined for 44.5 TFLs last season, but nobody achieved double digits in sacks.
     Spencer Lanning was not exactly automatic last season, as he connected on 17 of 24 FGs. He moves on, and Jay Wooten, who will be a senior, should be the guy replacing him. Wooten has no experience other than one PAT attempt last season (he made it). Lanning's real contribution was at punter, where he averaged over 44 yards per punt. The prospects of replacing him are worrisome.
Final Notes
     Spurrier and the Gamecocks got exposed in their final two games, both losses. The Gamecocks were solely the East champs due to horribleplay by most of the division, and they certainly benefited from Florida's basic inability to figure out how to replace most of Tim Tebow's production. Everyone else should start to catch up, but South Carolina has a chance to pick up what they learned from last season, and use it to defend their divisional title. They do have to figure out the QB situation quickly, and my suggestion would be to just jettison Garcia now and start working with Shaw.

Mississippi State Bulldogs
2010 Record: 9-4 (4-4), 5th SEC West
2010 Bowl Game: Gator Bowl, defeated Michigan 52-14

      The new era of MSU football began in earnest last fall, as Dan Mullen took the Bulldogs to a whole new level of competition. There is still much work to be done, but Mullen is getting it done, and MSU is no longer the doormat that they once were.
     The passing game is average at best, and if Mullen wants to get to the next level, he'll have to develop a QB that is able to average 200+ yards per game, and he does not have that in Chris Relf right now. Relf is competent enough to do what needs to be done, but he is not a next level QB that can win you championships, and every team needs that to make the top level. Relf averaged 136.6 yards per game passing last season with a 12/6 ratio of TDs to picks. That's not enough.
     The Bulldogs depend and lean on the run game to a great degree, but again, Mullen must find a primary back that can be depended on to bust the 1000 yard mark, and again, they have not isolated that player on the roster yet.  What they do have is a strong committee that rushed for 215.8 yards per game, led by Vic Ballard with 981 yards. His real value was in the red zone, as he rushed for 20 TDs. He's a great big power back that just plows through you, and he has real value in short yardage scenarios, and has just enough to get to the second level. Relf was second on the team with 701 yards. The top 4 receivers all return next season, so the time is now to start developing the passing game.
     The Bulldogs were like many squads in the SEC, as they were concrete against the run, but rather leaky against the pass. MSU held the opposition to 121.7 yards per game on the ground last season, but they allowed 231 yards through the air. Chris White had 110 tackles to lead the team, KJ Wright had 98, and Charles Mitchell had 93. There waqs a huge drop after that, and White and Wright are both gone now, leaving Mitchell, a DB, to lead the squad next season. MSU also loses 33.5 TFLs from the team for next fall. The secondary also loses some experienced depth from a secondary that struggled a season ago.
      The Bulldogs lose both PKs that saw duty a season ago. In the case of Derek DePasquale, that's not a good thing, as he nailed 10 of his 12 FGs last season. Sean Brauchle was not nearly as solid, as he only connected on 3 of 7. What this does mean is that there is zero game experience returning in 2011. Punter Heath Hutchins also departs after a season in which he averaged over 41 yards per punt.
Final Notes
Mullen is moving in the right direction, but needs development from key skill areas to continue so that MSU can make the leap to elite. The defense was key last season, and the bowl win over Michigan was a huge eye opener for folks that weren't aware of the progress that this school was making. The defensive replacements this fall will go a long way towards telling whether or not the Bulldogs can build off of previous progress.

Florida Gators
2010 Record: 8-5 (4-4), SEC East
2010 Bowl Game: Outback Bowl, Defeated Penn State 37-24

     I was all over John Brantley last summer as the QB that would take over for Tim Tebow. I felt from what I had seen of him that he would be able to do pretty much what Tebow could do, but had a better arm, and that his passing ability would allow for some improvements in the Gator offense. Brantley never got there, and it was evident from game on as to how wrong I seemed to be about him. That being said, Brantley was very rarely placed into situations that showcased his abilities, and was shaken by a rotation that pulled hiim out in certain scenarios. Brantley finished by tossing a 9-10 Td to pick ratio, and was held to a 158 yard average. Brantley looks to still be the guy, but competition is coming, and there was, even for a short time, some transfer talk.
     The Gators did not get a ton from their rushing game, and the problem that Urban Meyer had was that he never would settle on a feature back, and too many people shred the load, creating a vacuum of flow that would go on to suck the life out of the offense. Will Muschamp will be changing the offense in many ways, and the offense wil lnow include a fullback and a TE, meaning that the focus will be on Brantley as a passer, and will focus on two or three primary backs, rather than the scattered playbook that was popular under the here today, and gone tomorrow Meyer. 5 of the top 6 receivers return next season, and with a newly refocused offense, they should all benefit.
     The defense did everything that they were supposed to do. They held opposing passing games to just 173 yards per game, and opposing run games were held to 129.9 yards per game. Both of those totals were solid and commendable. The D held teams to 14 points or less 7 times in 2010.
     Ahmad Black led the team from the secondary with 107 tackles, but he is gone now, and there was a healthy drop to the next tackler, and with 5 of the top 7 tacklers moving on, Muschamp will have some building to do, but that is supposed to be his specialty.
      The PK game was an absolute disaster last season, and it will be the job of Caleb Sturgess to make the job his this season. Sturgis only hit on 2 of his 4 FG attempts, so that may be an adventure at best. Zack Brust could challenge. Chas Henry averaged over 45 yards per punt, but he departs, leaving a massive gap in the special teams game.
Final Notes
     Urban Meyer quit again, apprently for good this time, and Will Muschampwas brought in to replace him. Muschamp, the former coach in waiting at Texas, brings a different philosophy to the Gators, and so you should see a more traditional look to every aspect of the Gator team. Last season had to go down as a huge disappointment, and it will be up to the young Muschamp to bring the swagger back. He has it cut out for him.

The following squads all finished with losing records...

Georgia Bulldogs
2010 Record: 6-7 (3-5), Tied 3rd SEC East
2010 Bowl Game: Liberty Bowl, Lost to Central Florida 10-6

The Good:
  • Aaron Murray had a very strong freshman campaign, as he passed for 24 TDs and only 8 picks on the season. He averaged 234.5 yards per game, and looked like a very nice long term answer to the QB position.
  • Washaun Ealey rushed for 811 yards and 11 TDs on the season
  • AJ Green posted a line of 57-848-9 and parlayed that into a 1st round selection in the NFL Draft.
  • Kris Durham averaged 20.59 yards per reception and Tavarres King looked like a potential star in the making at times as a sophomore.
  • Akeem Dent rackedup 125 tackles on the season
  • Young DB Baccari Rambo looks like the leader for 2011 for the defense, as he piled up 82 tackles.
  • Justin Houston was a major disruptor, as he collected 19.5 TFLs and added 11 sacks.
  • Blair Walsh connected on 20 of 23 FG attempts.
  • Dre Butler averaged over 44 yards on punts.
The Bad

  • Washaun Ealey ran into many issues and eventually left school this offseason with the intention to transfer.
  • The loss to UCF in the Liberty Bowl was like the bottom falling out.
  • Mark Richt finished the season with the pressure building, as he has become looked upon as a major underachiever.
  • AJ Green was the only receiver with over 50 receptions.
  • Georgia lost 4 of their first 5 games, 3 of which came on the road.
  • Georgia only defeated one team all season that finished with a winning record.
  • The Bulldogs finished the season on a 2-3 run.
Final Notes
Nobody enters the 2010 season under more pressure to deliver than Richt. Another average record and non-New Years Bowl will be enough to likely oust him from Athens, as faith has wavered big time. That UCF loss in the Liberty Bowl was like a death blow to this program.

Tennessee Volunteers
2010 Record: 6-7 (3-5), Tied 3rd SEC East
2010 Bowl Game: Music City Bowl, Lost to North Carolina 30-27 (2OT)

The Good:
  • Tyler Bray showed flashes as a freshman at QB, averaging 205 yards er game, and passing for 18 TDs
  • Tauren Poole bustedout for 1034 yards and 11 TDs.
  • Denarius Moore put together a line of 47-981-9 to lead the receivers. Gerald Jones caught 55 passes.
  • Nick Reveiz led the defense with 108 tackles.
  • Malik Jackson finished with 11 TFLs
  • Prentiss Waggner returned 3 picks for scores.
  • Marsalis Teague defended 8 passes.
  • Dan Lincoln made 10 of 11 FGs
The Bad
  • Expected starter Matt Simms was unable to hold onto the starting job at QB
  • There was no depth at RB, as Poole was the only back with significant yards
  • Beyond the first two WRs and the starting TE, there was very little receiving production
  • Other than Reveiz, only two other Vol defenders averaged over 5 tackles per game
  • Tennessee lost 6 of their first 8 games before finishing strong with 4 straight wins
  • Those 4 wins all came against opponents with losing records
Final Notes
Derek Dooley certainly seemed overmatched at times last season, and the refs hosed UT out of a Music City Bowl win that the vols thought that they had won. The talent level still isn't up to par, and the depth is murky at best. Tennessee could be in for some trouble in 2011.

Kentucky Wildcats
2010 Record: 6-7 (2-6), 5th SEC East
2010 Bowl Game: Compass Bowl, Lost to Pittsburgh 27-10

The Good:
  •  Mike Hartline passed for 3178 yards and 23 TDs, while completing 66.2% of his passes.
  • Derrick Locke rushed for 10 TDs
  • Randall Cobb rackedup 1017 yards receiving, while Chris Matthews racked up 925 more. They combined for 16 TDs. Cobb also returned a punt for a score.
  • Danny Trevathan piled up 144 tackles, and Winston Guy had 105 more.
  • Trevathan added 16 TFLs
  • Randall Burden defended 6 passes
  • Ryan Tydlacka averaged 43.81 yards per punt.
  • Wins came against Louisville, and eventual SEC Champ South Carolina
The Bad:
  • No 1000 yard rushers
  • Very little production behind Cobb and Matthews
  • Other then Travathan and Guy, very little production on defense
  • Trevathan was the only TFL threat on the defense
  • Only 19 sacks on the season, with nobody collecting more than 2.5
  • 3 wins came against Western Kentucky, Akron, and Charleston Southern
Final Notes
The Rich Brooks era ended witha thud against Pittsburgh. It has become apparent that going to a bowl...any bowl...is all that really matters to UK fans, as they seem completely ok with going 6-7, and they are treating it like a winning season in a lot of ways. UK goes into complete rebuilding mode now under new HC Joker Phillips.

Ole Miss Rebels
2010 Record: 4-8 (1-7), 6th SEC West
2010 Bowl Game: None

The Good:
  • Brendan Bolden seemed to be the heart of the offense as he rushed for 976 yards and 14 scores
  • Marketh Sumers averaged over 20 yards per catch on the season
  • Bryson Rose hit 16 of 18 FG tries
  • Tyler Campbell averaged 46 yards per punt ast fall
  • Jonathon Cornell collected 14 TFLs
The Bad:
  • The Jeremiah Masoli experiment was a basic abject failure, as Masoli never lived up to his billing after transferring from Oregon
  • The season started ugly to a home loss to FCS member Jacksonville State and former Arkansas coach Jack Crowe
  • Lost 6 of last 7 games with only win coming against Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Gave up just under 400 yards per game
Final Notes
The Houston Nutt honeymoon in Oxford appears over with at this point. The loss to JSU was embarrassing to say the least, and it set the tone for the rest of the season. Nutt has a ton of work to do, and will be toying with a new transfer at QB in Barry Brunetti from West Virgnia. Look for more of the same in 2011.

Vanderbilt Commodores
2010 Record: 2-10 (1-7)
2010 Bowl Game: None

The Good:
  • Richard Kent averaged 41.8 yards per punt
  • Sean Richardson, Chris Marve, John Stokes, and Casey Hayward all averaged over 5 tackles per game
  • Hayward defended 11 passes and picked off 6
The Bad:
  • The offense averaged only 298 yards per game
  • QB productivity was almost non-existent
  • the run game was a vacant lot all season, wth nobody stepping up to be the primary back
  • defense gave up 419 yards per game
  • Held to 21 points or less 10 times. Only scored more against Ole Miss and Eastern Michigan
  • Defense gave up 226 yards passing and 193 yards rushing per game
Final Notes
Remember just a couple of years ago when Bobby Wallace took the Commodores to a bowl game and it looked like things were looking up? Wallace quit 3 weeks before the first game, leaving Robbie Caldwell to run the show right into the ground, and now Caldwell is gone as well. It's going to take a while for new HC James Franklin (former Maryland OC) to get the ship running, and it may never happen at all.