- - - - -

Sunday Morning Quarterback

Sunday Morning Quarterback

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
By popular demand - 31 blank spaces and the dubious voracity of the identity of signee "Denver Lamberth" not withstanding - SMQ begins his final week of fire sale, non-binding predictions with the mythical champs

- - - - -
Three white whales - a rival, a conference, a national crown - felled in one swoop, but whence the state of Mack's new kingdom sans Sir Score-a-lot?

PAST FIVE SEASONS: 56-8 (36-6 Big XII) - 2005: 13-0 (9-0 Big XII, Champs), Won Rose Bowl, Mythical National Champs
STARTERS BACK, ROUGHLY: 13 (6 Offense, 7 Defense)
WHAT'S CHANGED: On the bright side, Mack Brown Inc. stunned doubting Thomasi (like SMQ), finally achieving nirvana by riding its loping, rocket-armed chakra past its main blockage in the South Division and on to enlightenment in the Rose Bowl. Loosening Oklahoma's psychlogical death-grip on the the teams' series - and, subsequently the conference - should not be underestimated.

Of course, even few Sahasrara are otherwordly enough to have these actual, very earnest words written about them:

For Vince, it had always been about "team," and as the Rose Bowl approached and passed, it became obvious that the world would no longer allow him to fit in that role. With his magnificent performance in the National Championship game, Young became larger than life, and as much as he tried to deflect credit and give it to his teammates, the media and the fans would never allow that.

And so, just as the mythical character in Kahlil Gibran's poem "The Prophet," Vince Young sailed off in the sunset on Sunday. Behind, he left an amazing legacy, a rare and unique person whose qualities were many, whose significant shadow will be cast on Texas football forever.

Yet lest fans despair in the wake of the adulatory funeral pyre of their gridiron yogi's amateur career, they are comforted, for "Young's final, selfless act for the Texas Longhorns was to talk to his would be successor about leadership." In this case, the reference is to iconicly-named and thickly-eyebrowed redshirt freshman Colt McCoy, though "Wait, he's white?" all-star Jevan Snead was an early enrollee and competed during the Spring. To date, neither has anything to recommend him but the ungodly prep stats one would expect of a potential freshman starter at one of the nation's primo blue chip magnets. Also, neither is quite as highly regarded as Chris Simms was out of high school. So ve know nottink.

- - - - -
McCoy: More or less acquainted with Vince Young

WHAT'S THE SAME: "Ungodly" is also a nice way to describe Jamaal Charles' 7.4 yards per carry and 11 touchdowns (on just 119 carries) as a true freshman, and the Longhorns' returning skill talent in general: Charles, Selvin Young, Billy Pittman, Limas Sweed, Quan Cosby and SMQ fave "Heavy" Henry Melton collectively topped 4,000 total yards from scrimmage in '05 (a little over 308 per game, or about 10 yards per touch) and could all play and start for just about anybody in the country. Those numbers do not include all-purpose virtuoso and epic hash hound/armed peanut farm brawler/banished MySpacer Ramonce Taylor, who had more than 800 total yards and a stunning 15 touchdowns on 103 offensive touches but may or may not return for the fall. Whether losing a quarterback whose talents commanded ad libs and many carries of his own, as well as defenses' undivided attention, hurts or helps those numbers is probably a toss-up, but whether opposing coordinators will grow pale and jelly-legged watching these guys on film is not.
HEROES AND VILLAINS: While Taylor was busy getting his multiple felonies on, McCoy was living up to his moniker's big-hearted maverick potential by intrepidly helping to rescue a neighbor suffering from a seizure on Memorial Day (an act accompanied by a story, coincidentally, that stops dead in the middle of Colt's harrowing climb up a bank of rocks to get to the man to point out that a few other neighbors were - gasp - Texas A&M fans! "I'm an Aggie, but I'm darn proud of that kid," one reluctantly reports).

McCoy - whose Wikipedia page is already as long, before he's taken a snap, as 'Horn legend and NFL Hall-of-Famer Bobby Layne's entry - will soon find that off-field virtues earn little acclaim if one looks more like Chris Rix under the lights, and his inexperience (or that of Snead or fellow true freshman Sherrod Harris) will be the main impediment to this absurdly talented team's chances of repeating. The only two teams in SMQ's lifetime to win a mythical title with a non-junior or senior QB were Alabama in 1992 and USC in 2003, and both of those very different quarterbacks were redshirt sophomores, not freshmen. It's not a particularly original question, but it must be asked: even at home, how much confidence can be placed in any of these kids when they line up against Ohio State in September? Against Oklahoma's rabid D a month later? That's a steep learning curve, one no freshman or redshirt freshman quarterback in SMQ's memory - probably Michael Vick included, given his opponents as a redshirt - has ever aced out of the gate.
THE DIRTY WORK: The goal, of course, will be to take everything out of whichever kid's hands are being employed at any given point, and the backfield talent are offensive line are geared to pick up that sort of slack. Mack Brown commissioned a study two years ago to determine exactly what ingredients made a champion over the past decade or so, and determined that line play was the most consistent factor present in every title winner. Hence, the 'Horns put together probably the best combination of offensive and defensive line play in the country last year, and might be in a position to pull that off again. Departed Jonathan Scott and Will Allen were the most decorated of '05's veteran line crop, but all-leaguer Justin Blalock is back at one tackle with honorable mention pick Kasey Studdard and center Lyle Sendlein. No Rodrique Wright is no big whoop on defense, where there's ridiculous depth at end and size in the middle in the form of Frank Okam. It was a group that wore down towards the end of last year, though - it allowed opponents more than 5 yards per carry in four games, all in the last six - lost three of its four leading tacklers and might have a hiccup or two in the good-looking but Michael Huff/Cedric Griffin-less secondary.
OVERLY OPTIMISTIC POST-SPRING CHATTER: Oh, that Colt, saving the neighbors, fending off the preppies and receiving high praise from Austin's former quarterbacking Zeus:

"I see a smart quarterback, and a lot of hard work, a lot of hard work," Young said. "I've seen a great arm, as well. He's already gained the respect of the guys, and like I told him all year, that's the biggest key."

Added Young, "He's been answering a lot of questions in meetings that when I was a freshman, I couldn't even answer. I'm just proud of him as a freshman and I look forward to seeing him play."

Of course, Vince Young's been known to struggle with the answers of a lot of questions. Oh! Thank you.
REASON FOR HOPE: Obviously. This team is still absurdly talented everywhere you look.
REASON TO BE AFRAID, VERY AFRAID: Obviously. Vince Young could have carried this group like it was a two-year-old on his shoulders, but it's going to seem more like a, well, herd of longhorn steers to McCoy if he's forced to assume anything remotely resembling the same burden. Even as a "within the offense" type for now, will the passing game be good enough to keep more competent opponents from ganging up on the stud backs?
IF THIS TEAM WERE ANY POP CULTURAL, HISTORICAL, LITERARY, POLITICAL OR OTHERWISE NOTABLE FIGURE, IT WOULD BE... Spider-Man 3, the much-awaited, spare-no-expense follow-up to other big-budget, star-studded, massively successful mythical champions - one on the box office, one on the field - and hoping the dollars and mostly returning talent, under the same direction, can live up to the franchise's recent past success.

- - - - -
Ramonce Taylor's second-favorite Mary Jane

HONESTLY, WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE SCHEDULE, SMQ'S THINKING...: Two losses max, BCS game as Big XII champ or at-large. The quarterbacking youth would seem to preclude a successful mythical title defense, but it's going to be tough to pick against a collection of athleticism and experience across the board like this in any game. Beat Ohio State, and SMQ will believe.

- - - - - -
June 3: Boston College...June 4: Arkansas State...June 6: Hawaii...June 8: Virginia...June 10: Rice...June 11: Boise State...June 14: Tulane...June 18: Oregon...June 21: Colorado...June 24: South Florida...June 26: Fresno State...June 30: Minnesota...July 2: UAB...July 7: Virginia Tech...July 9: Michigan

April 3: Central Michigan...April 4: BYU...April 5: Kentucky...April 7: Bowling Green...April 8: Southern Cal...April 11: Rutgers...April 12: Marshall...April 13: Florida State...April 15: San Diego State...April 16: Alabama...April 19: Oregon State...April 20: Buffalo...April 21: N.C. State...April 23: Arizona...April 24: Memphis...April 25: Louisiana Tech...April 28: Iowa...April 30: Toledo...May 2: Ohio State...May 3: Mississippi State...May 5: Southern Miss...May 7: Louisiana-Lafayette...May 11: Akron...May 12: North Carolina...Michigan State...May 15: Air Force...May 17: Stanford...May 18: Georgia Tech...May 21: Connecticut...May 23: Purdue...May 24: Navy...May 27: UCLA...May 28: New Mexico State...May 29: Tennessee

- - - - -

12:53 AM

no one can deny the constant influx of 5-star talent into Texas. Even with the loss of VY, Huff, Griff, etc there will be players of comparable talent ready to step up. Yet, talent is not what gets a team to BCS games. Look for lack of experience at the helm of the offense and in the secondary to prove costly early in the season (tOSU) and later on the road (OU, Nebraska, Texas Tech).

fire sale:
Texas A&M (obligatory)
Iowa State
Notre Dame
Thank you Jesus, I mean SMQ
Post a Comment
Powered by Blogger


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
And don't let the name fool ya - second guessing the phenomenal athletic feats and split-second decisions of college kids under extreme physical duress is for every day of the week.

AWWW!! The totally nicest people, like, ever!...

How much football does he watch? Dude's got insights on -everybody-, and by everybody, I mean everybody. Throw in some of the best writing in the blogosphere, and we're talking about a daily must-read.
- Burnt Orange Nation

SMQ starts to sound more and more like the Gregg Easterbrook of our ideal memories every day - whip-smart, systematic, omnivorous in his intellectual tastes and yet unafraid of the cheap joke.
- Every Day Should Be Saturday

Sunday Morning Quarterback is one of our favorite football blogs on the internet.
- State Fans Nation

Sunday Morning Quarterback is a killer football blog if you are a college football junkie. It is run by one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and analytical writers in the college football blogosphere...The guy is thorough and detailed and provides a level of analysis you are not going to find anywhere else .
- Bruins Nation

Just another hack writer who hasn't done one lick of research... - SOT2

...the pride of Southern Mississippi ever since Brett Favre turned into an ESPN soap opera, has the sort of prose knack that can keep you riveted to a preview about any one of D-IA's scrubbier members ... should be given gifts.
- MGoBlog

- - - - -
e-mail Sunday Morning Quarterback at sundaymorningqb@yahoo.com

- - - - -

2006 Preview
Anatomy of an Underdog
BlogPoll: 1-10/11-25/Roundtable
The Big Ten
The Big XII
The Sun Belt

Running Departments
The Rap Sheet
July 29/Aug. 1/Aug. 9/Aug. 16/Aug.19/Aug. 25/Sept. 28/Oct. 4/Oct. 5/Oct. 18/Oct. 26/Nov. 2/Nov. 7/Nov. 8/Nov. 28/Dec. 2/Dec. 8/ Dec. 11/Dec. 18/Dec. 21/Feb. 6/Feb. 10/April 7/April 14/April 21/April 29/May 6/May 12/May 19/May 26/June 2/June 10/June 16/June 24/June 30/July 8/Aug. 4

- - - - -

News from the Big Guys
ESPN/ College Football News Wire
Sports Illustrated
CBS Sportsline
USA Today
Opinion: Columnists and bloggers
Around the Oval (Ohio State)
Badger Sports (Wisconsin)
The Blue-Gray Sky (Notre Dame)
Block U (Utah)
BoiFromTroy (Southern Cal)
Bruins Nation (UCLA)
Burnt Orange Nation (Texas)
The Corporate Headquarters of the San Antonio Gunslingers
Dave Sez (Virginia)
Dawg Sports (Georgia)
ESPN: Ivan Maisel/Pat Forde
Every Day Should Be Saturday (Florida)
FOX: Pete Fiutak
Golden Tornado (Georgia Tech)
Heisman Pundit
I'm a Realist (Georgia)
Journalism is for Rock Stars (Alabama)
Mark May Be Wrong
MDG CFB (Fresno State)
Mountain Lair (West Virginia)
MGOBlog (Michigan)
Orange::44 (Syracuse)
Paradigm Blog (Michigan)
Paul Westerdawg (Georgia)
Pitch Right (Navy)
Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer (Alabammer)
Section Six
Sexy Results (Virginia)
SI: Stewart Mandel/John Walters
Sporting Fools (Florida State)
Straight Bangin' (Michigan)
Texas A&M and Baseball, In No Particular Order (Texas A&M)
The 614 (Ohio State)
The House That Rock Built (Notre Dame)
The Sporting Gnomes (Clemson)
Tiger Pundit (Clemson)
We Must Ignite This Couch (West Virginia)
The Wizard of Odds

- - - - -
The Blog Poll

- - - - -

College Football Data Warehouse
College Football Research Center
College Football News
Football Commentary

Tackles For Loss
Field Goals
Kickoff Returns
Punt Returns
Rushing Offense
Passing Offense
Total Offense
Scoring Offense
Rushing Defense
Passing Defense
Total Defense
Scoring Defense
Turnover Margin

- - - - -
Past Seasons
Thursday Morning Quarterback
Sept. 29/Oct. 6/Oct. 20/Oct. 27/Nov. 3/Nov. 10/Nov. 17/Nov. 24/Dec. 1
Sunday Morning Quarterback
Oct. 2/Oct. 23/Oct. 30/Nov. 6/Nov. 13/Nov. 27
Stat Relevance Watch
Part One/Part Two/Part Three
SMQ Bowl Blitz
New Orleans/GMAC/Las Vegas/Poinsettia/Motor City

SMQ's [Hurricane-Abbreviated] 2005 Preview
Top 25 Countdown/Methodology
All-America Team