Closing up shop

January 6, 2009 by

Due to personal reasons, we will no longer be writing for this blog.  Ben6623 and I will write for a new blog once spring football arrives, but I cannot speak for Prideford on this issue.

Thanks for reading.

Dantonio gets pay raise

December 27, 2008 by

127After rumors of potential interest in numerous high profile jobs, it looks like Mark Dantonio will be the head man in East Lansing for some time to come. No, there isn’t an extension. But Dantonio will receive a hefty payraise from $1.13 to $1.8 million dollars, and could even add a $2 million bonus if he sticks around through 2016.

Interestingly enough, in 2016 Dantonio will be 60 years old. He has said he would like to retire at age 60. But back on topic, he was reached for comments in Orlando: Click Here

Is Tate Forcier the answer?

December 26, 2008 by

130After four years of Chad Henne, it was obvious that Michigan was going to lose a step last season in the QB department. It was inevitable and an obvious concern going into the 2008 season.

But I don’t think anyone would’ve guessed the mess the UM program got into with Steven Threet and Nick Sheridan. From the start, both didn’t seem like a good fit for Rich Rodriguez’s system. Neither were dual-threat QB’s and probably would’ve been better off in the previous system under coach Lloyd Carr. In fact, Rich Rod most of the time didn’t even know to start. Some games it was Sheridan and some games it was Threet. This was kind of expected though. Rich Rod doesn’t have his dual-threat QB that he had at West Virginia yet (Pat White).

So then the recruiting games begin. Kevin Newsome jumped on board early on and it looked like UM got its dual-threat QB. Then after a short while Shavodrick Beaver, another dual-threat QB, committed to the Wolverines. The UM program was looking towards the future with these two highly rated QB’s as they fit Rodriguez’s system to a T.

However, Newsome later de-committed and so did Beaver. In the words of Scooby Doo, “ruh-roh”. But the time between Newsome de-committing and Beaver de-committing, UM picked up four star QB Tate Forcier.

Tate Forcier is only 6″1′  183 pounds but he plays much bigger than he is. He has excellent speed for his position and his arm strength is very good. He’s mainly a passer but is athletic enough to run a spread or read-option attack with ease. Has good mobility within the pocket, and pulls the occasional rabbit out of his hat when a play breaks down. He comes from a football family as his two older brothers both play QB in the PAC-10. Like his brothers, he’s known to have good football smarts and doesn’t make dumb mistakes.

But is he the answer at QB for Michigan?

Right now, I’m going to go with a ‘no’ on this one. Not because of Forcier though. UM still won’t be a good football team or even a decent one. They do return a bit but is that a positive? Not one unit really played “solid”, especially on the offensive side. The offensive line didn’t give Threet or Sheridan anytime whatsoever last year. The WR’s weren’t spectacular. The RB core just took a big blow when Sam McGuffie transferred. Add that it’ll only be their second year in the system and it just spells another down year for UM. So in essence, Forcier doesn’t have much to work with.

Since Foricer is getting hyped up around Ann Arbor, many are expecting great things out of him. Unfortunately for Forcier, he’ll have to step up and play big right away as the UM fanbase isn’t as patient as many other fanbases are. Right after this year many are already ripping Rich Rod’s head off. The first interception he throws, the thoughts of “bench him” will be implemented in some fan’s minds. It’s a given at UM where greatness is expected from day one. The immense pressure that will be placed on him might take a toll against him. For a kid that will be only 18 years old can be almost impossible to handle.

Speaking of Forcier being only 18 years old, he’s kind of getting thrown into the fire. As noted before, UM is not a good team and the fans in Ann Arbor are intense. No one is really expecting him to be “savior” but they do expect him to be a major improvement over Threet and Sheridan. He very well could be but you never know. He’ll be just learning the system as a first year starting QB and he’s expected to lead a 3-9 team to a bowl game? Rough.

I could be wrong though. Tate Forcier could come in and take the world by the tail, wrap it around, pull it down, and put it in his pocket but there are just some things standing in the way of that.

Fiesta Bowl Preview: Texas vs. Ohio State

December 22, 2008 by

Both the Texas Longhorns and the Ohio State Buckeyes are sharing disappointment.

Let’s face it folks. Texas got screwed. They’re one of the few remaining 1 loss teams in the country worthy of going to the National Championship game. But they’re not because Oklahoma, who Texas beat, ran the score up on teams that were considered “style points”. Texas didn’t even get the chance to play in the Big 12 Championship Game because of the stupid tie-breakers the Big 12 has.

This was supposed to be the Buckeyes “year” to finally break through and win the National Championship game in Todd Boeckman’s senior season at QB. Instead OSU went 10-2 with a blowout loss to USC and a tough, close loss to Penn State. Freshman Terrelle Pryor, not Todd Boeckman, was at the helm for most of the season which gave him valuable experience for the future.

Both of these teams are now paired up in the Fiesta Bowl in a marquee BCS game.

When Texas has the ball: We know how good the Texas offense is. We know how good Colt McCoy is. However, we know how good the Ohio State defense is as well. This will be the toughest defense Texas has faced all season but we all know that’s not saying much. This will also be the toughest offense the OSU defense has faced as Texas averages 43.2 points a game.

To state the obvious, the key for the Bucks is to at least contain Colt McCoy which is obviously easier said than done. Even though McCoy is mobile and can run but the OSU defensive line and linebackers need to be the the difference in applying pressure on him all game long. When the OSU defense can do this, it’s when they’re on their best game. You saw that against MSU, PSU, and other teams this season. Make Colt McCoy a non-factor and you beat the Texas offense. However, it’ll be a tough task to do as this is one of the best offenses in the country. At the same time though, McCoy doesn’t have any big-time WR’s to count on so the OSU secondary led by Malcolm Jenkins shouldn’t be burned by anybody.

When Ohio State has the ball: Ohio State can score on this Texas D. They have the tools to do so. Terrelle Pyror can pass and run. Beanie Wells will run you over and can fly past ya. Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline are top threats in the passing game. But for OSU’s offense, they need Jim Tressel to loosen up the gameplan a bit and not be conservative. If OSU does go conservative, watch out for the Longhorn D to make them pay. This is a big reason why OSU loses these big games. Never really goes for the throat too often and it costs him.

Just like the key for the OSU D is to stop Colt McCoy, it’s equally as key as for Terrelle Pryor to have a big game. He’s had a good freshman season so far throwing for over 1200 yards in ten games this season. Pryor has shown the ability to throw and run the ball effectively and he’ll need to be able to do both in the Fiesta Bowl. If Pryor is on his game, watch out. However, if Pryor plays like a freshman, which he hasn’t all season, it could be a long day for the OSU offense.

Prediction: Though I would love to see an OSU upset to bump the Big Ten rep up because the conference needs it…Texas 30-Ohio State 23.

Michigan loses QB commitment; PSU players “okay” with being underdogs

December 20, 2008 by

130Think the Michigan football program is down enough? Well after now former UM QB commitment Shavodrick Beaver told GoBlueWolverine (UM’s Scout site) that he was “rock solid” with UM and was enrolling in three weeks, he changes his mind and commits to Tulsa of all places.

But the worst part of it…

Beaver said TU coach Todd Graham discussed the importance of growing as a person away from the football field, an emphasis that Michigan didn’t approach. It made a difference, the player said.

Ouch. Major ouch. What a slap in the face to Rich Rodriguez. Everything is just snowballing for UM right now. Two QB de-commitments in the past year is something that can not happen. Of course UM still has Tate Forcier but the point remains that this past QB de-commitments leaves a big black eye on Rich Rod right now.

Though most Big Ten fans (including myself, I admit) like to laugh at this, this is NOT a good thing for the conference. Having a bad UM program/team puts a major hurt in the conference reputation.

213In other news, we all know that Penn State will be heavy underdogs against USC on January 1st. It’s USC, the home of college football’s glitz and glamour. They have the LA vibe, the sweatered cheerleaders, the rockin’ band, the incredibly famous head coach and on and on and on. While PSU is in the middle of freakin’ no where in the slow and boring Big Ten with the senile head coach.

PSU fans understand the underdog role and shove it off to the side. But it doesn’t matter what they think. All it matters is what the players think. And they feel the same way as the fans do as they also embrace the underdog role.

What’s so great about this unit is that they’re used to being disrespected. The seniors were here when a lot of doubt was going around before 2005 and even 2008. They’ve been doubted before but don’t let it affect them and play all out. A pretty reluctant group.

Bring the hate on though. This match-up absolutely wreaks of an upset (though if PSU happened to pull off the upset, peeps at ESPN would be talking about how USC is “down” this year and not give any credit to PSU).

Joe Gets Extension; Newsome to Penn State

December 16, 2008 by

213Yes, folks. It’s official. Joe Paterno will reside in Happy Valley as the Penn State football coach for another three years.

I’m on the fence about this one. We could have a guy come in here and take the reigns of the program by control and make this “sleeping giant” a giant in college football. At the same time though, his assistants are the ones who do the work as he’s still a figure head which definitely still helps in recruiting. I’m glad to see the greatest coach in college football history comeback, no lie. But I’m kind of ready for a new era. A new regime would be good to see.

However, Joe Paterno is coming back. No matter how you spin it, it’s a day for celebration.

213Another day for celebration is the signing of 4 star QB Kevin Newsome. Absolutely HUGE signing for PSU today. Needed this kid bad since Pat Devlin left the program. Now Newsome can come in and learn from Clark then take over in 2010. Newsome reminds me A LOT of Michael Robinson and Darryl Clark. A very big kid that can run as well as throw well.

BIG nab.

McGuffie Out at Michigan; Robbery involving an OSU player

December 13, 2008 by

130It’s official. The speculation that lasted for months is finally over. Sam McGuffie will transfer from Michigan to a school close to his home in Texas. Finally this one’s over. No more speculation, no more controversy. It’s over and done with.

However, this is extremely bad news for UM (no crap, I know). Not only does it look bad on the field but it looks bad off the field. Since McGuffie was the star recruit that came in this past year and has been under Rich Rod and now he’s leaving, it looks bad to other recruits. Now they can be wondering whether or not UM is a comfortable fit for them since it wasn’t for McGuffie. Of course this is UM and I’m sure they’ll still attract other top-notch RB’s to fill his void.

Add that if UM can get a QB that fits Rich Rod’s system, the duo of him and McGuffie would’ve been lethal as McGuffie’s running style fits into Rich Rod’s system. Now he has doesn’t have a QB (for the moment, I expect Forcier to be that type of QB) and that type of RB. Sure Michael Shaw has that potential but I don’t think he’s capable to be the #1 RB there.

Rumors are that Texas A&M could be a possibility for McGuffie.

194Odd story out of Columbus. A robbery involving Ohio State freshman defensive end Nathan Williams as he was arrested on a shoplifting charge but he said he didn’t do it.

“I took the blame for somebody; I didn’t do anything,” Williams said last night.

“I didn’t expect any of this,” he said. “I thought I’d just get a ticket and pay a fine. I’m at a loss for words.”

Expected just a ticket and a fine? Really? I have no clue how he thought shoplifting is just a small “boo-boo”.  The charge is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Now he’s completely screwed for taking the blame for someone else and could be in jail. I can understand backing up a friend but not in this case especially since he’s on the OSU football team. Now there’s a chance he might get kicked off the team, very least will probably miss the Fiesta Bowl game with Texas.

What Does Devlin Transfer Mean to Penn State?

December 13, 2008 by

213As we all know now, Pat Devlin has transferred from Penn State and will be going to Delaware.

Ugh.

Obviously not good news at all for the Nittany Lions. If Clark gets hurt in either bowl practice or in the Rose Bowl, Devlin won’t be there and instead will be Paul Cianciolo (yikes!). But what’s even more scarier than that is the possibility that PSU could only have one scholarship QB on their roster next season. ONE. That means a walk-on will be a back-up to Darryl Clark, who God forbids, gets hurt next season.

So what does this mean?

PSU MUST land either Kevin Newsome or Tahj Boyd. One of them, preferably Newsome, needs to come to Happy Valley. If both don’t, regardless of the fact that PSU has a good chance with 2010 QB Paul Jones, then PSU could be majorly screwed if Clark does get hurt next season. Imagine a walk-on QB that no one knows in his first game against let’s say…Ohio State. Can not take that chance. Add that our offensive line won’t nearly be as good as it was this year and there’s even more of a risk of Clark getting hurt which makes this transfer so huge.

In other (and good) news, PSU has landed four-star safety Gerald Hodges. HUGE get. We have an opening for the safety position and he should fit in perfectly. Joe Paterno also mentioned at “silent verbals” in his presser yesterday. Obviously Hodges is probably one of them but I wonder who’s the other one? (Hopefully Newsome).

Beanie Going Pro?

December 9, 2008 by

194It’s been pretty much expected since Ohio State Running Back Chris “Beanie” Wells has stepped onto campus, when he was the #1 rated player throughout high school, that he was only going to be a Buckeye for three years. Surprisingly though, the rumors of Beanie leaving for the pros have been quiet.

That’s until Columbus Dispatch writer Tim May spilled some info on Beanie’s possibly entry into the NFL and surprisingly coach Jim Tressel is perfectly okay with it – in fact, he wants him to go.

“If it were me, it wouldn’t be tough,” Tressel said.

He should go?

“Shoot, yeah,” Tressel said. “In my opinion he ought to be one of the first five guys picked. I know he is very focused, and this game (against Texas) is very important to him but we’ve always said if you’re going to be a top-round pick, you ought to think about going.”

Very cool for Tressel to do something like this. Not many coaches would do the same and I’m sure most coaches try to bring back juniors who are first round bound for their selfish reasons. I’m sure Tressel would rather want Beanie back to make his team better but he understands a player motive to get “his” and understands the game. It’s something that I actually appreciate in a coach and gain more respect.

However, at the same time, even though this will be a big loss for OSU, you know they’ll have another quality running back. It’s Ohio State for crying out loud. It’s not like the cupboard is bare there. I’m sure they’ll find another RB that will torture the Big Ten once again like Beanie did and everything in Columbus will be fine. Plus they have a running QB in Pryor so it’s pretty much like having two RB’s at the same time.

Even though I’m the type that feels all college athletes should graduate before going pro because of life-threatening injuries  that plague their career and life, Beanie should go pro. He’s easily a first round draft pick. I mean a big RB who can run pretty fast? Scouts will be all over the kid.

Big Ten’s bowl picture takes shape

December 7, 2008 by

After a slight delay, the Big Ten’s bowl picture appears to have cleared up.  Listed below are the bowl match-ups for the Big Ten’s seven bowl-eligible teams.

Rose Bowl – #6 Penn State vs. #5 Southern California

Fiesta Bowl – #10 Ohio State vs. #3 Texas

Capital One Bowl – #19 Michigan State vs. #16 Georgia

Outback BowlIowa vs. South Carolina

Alamo Bowl – #22 Northwestern vs. #25 Missouri

Champs Sports Bowl – Wisconsin vs. Florida State

Insight Bowl – Minnesota vs. Kansas

More bowl information to come at a later time.

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