Questions offered up by Vico over at Our Honor Defend.
1. We're all basically in conference play now, sans Purdue who played visitor to Notre Dame over the weekend. What did you see in the conference opener that you liked? What did you see that sucked noodles? If you're one of the Purdue blogs, what did you see against Notre Dame that has you nervous (or even optimistic) for your conference opener against Penn State this Saturday? Oh, and, have fun with that game, by the way.
The offense could pretty much move the ball at will, periodically sketchy playcalling and poor execution being their only hurdles. What sucked? Benn pushing off for the Illini’s second TD and lack of holding calls against their offensive linemen aside, I notice a disturbing trend of at least one horribly blown coverage each game that goes for an easy TD by our defense. Just awful and inexcusable that it keeps happening time after time.
2. Ole Miss punked #4 Florida in Gainesville. #1 USC got punked by Oregon State on national television? What's the underlying theme behind these bizarre upsets? You guessed it: magic. Some kind of hocus-y pocus-y sorcery in the form of "familiarity". The idea being pitched around is that these upsets come in conference games because the underdog has played the heavily favored team before, and thus isn't afraid of them nor surprised by anything they do. Should I buy this idea? Or are these upsets more likely the combination of something more conventional, like great/horrendous gameplanning, preparation and execution by the underdog/favorite team respectively?
It’s not magic, it’s illusion! It’s generally a different reason for each game. USC looked flat against Oregon State and were thoroughly dominated along the lines. Familiarity does create the situation where a team is no longer awed by their opponent, the favorites expect an easy game and the underdogs show up and punch them in the mouth. Once USC went down, I think teams got caught up in how high they could rise in the polls, the proverbial counting your chickens before they’re hatched, couple that with underdogs approaching the weekend thinking if Oregon State can do it, so can we. In Wisconsin’s case, it seemed more like taking their foot off the gas when they had the lead.
3. Entering the season, Beanie was the Big Ten's Heisman favorite. After a few games, Javon Ringer had put up the Heisman stats, though I don't think anyone could've believed that Ringer would have the hype machine necessary to get him to New York. Yet, after this week, I see his name mentioned more and more in the Heisman race. Do you think Ringer, at this pace, gets to New York on something more than a courtesy visit (on courtesy visit, see: everyone last year not named Tim Tebow; everyone in 2006 not named Troy Smith)? How about Daryll Clark? Is Daryll Clark of Penn State legitimately in the Heisman race after week 5?
If Ringer stays healthy and can continue on his tear, he has a legitimate shot at the Heisman. Clark? No, not a realistic shot. At this point, I think it’s Chase Daniels’ award to lose and if he does, look for another Big 12 quarterback to pick it up, say Bradford or McCoy. This year’s outsider that gets a courtesy invitation is reserved for Max Hall from BYU.
4. With the non-conference schedule basically over, do you think the Big Ten collectively bettered its standing from the maligned position it was in before the season began? For every Wisconsin victory over Fresno State and Penn State thrashing of Oregon State, there's Michigan's turnover bonanza against the Irish and Ohio State's neutering by USC. Long question short, what sticks out more: the positives or the negatives for the conference?
Ohio State’s loss what sticks out most, coming off the last 2 championship game performances, but it comes with the caveat that Beanie Wells and Terrelle Pryor didn’t play extensively or at all. This past weekend makes Penn State’s victory over Oregon State stand out in a positive way, unfortunately the Beavers blew all their good buzz by choking at Utah. Look back at the end of the season for a better view, but I think the Big Ten solidified themselves in the number three slot behind the Conference of Football Gods(SEC) and the Big 12.
5. As I'm sure you may have seen on your moving pictures box, the Ernie Davis movie has been getting a lot of publicity for its imminent release to theatres. The story, of course, centers around the first African-American Heisman winner and some of the trials that come from being a black athlete, playing before the Civil Rights movement and playing in the Cotton Bowl. Does your football program have an uplifting story that you think is movie-worthy? If so, please share it.
Penn State’s only Heisman winner, John Cappelletti, already got his in the TV movie Something for Joey, but the obvious answer would be Adam Taliaferro, who just finished his Law degree, he was paralyzed in a game at Ohio State, recovered, eventually regaining the ability to walk. He lead the team onto the field against Miami in 2001, but his playing days were over. Personally, I would love to see a Rosey Grier film. He’s the cousin of the star of Coffy and Foxy Brown, actress/icon Pam Grier, was a member of the “Fearsome Foursome” and wrote the book Rosey Grier’s Needlepoint for Men. Oh yeah, he was also a bodyguard for Robert Kennedy during his presidential campaign and was protecting the Senator’s wife on the night RFK was shot, he broke Sirhan Sirhan’s arm subduing him.