- Darren McFadden’s (RB – OAK) propensity for injury makes Fred Taylor look like an Ironman during his career. (props to The Minnesota Kid for his contributions on that thought)
- The Stat of the Day is that Denver now has more wins than the rest of the AFC West combined.
- Many people outside of football have clamored for NFL teams to hire a Madden video game expert to help coaches with clock management (since this seems to be an area that coaches often struggle with, while seasoned Madden players have down). It hit me though (as Alabama & Georgia both made mistakes in their title game) that it’s even more ludicrous that no college has employed that tactic. They have a campus FULL of experts that they have access to! Just give a written test the first week of school for qualification to the Madden Tournament, hold the tournament, make the winner and the runner up both student managers on the team with them and have one on the sideline of every game to assist. It’s brilliant, low cost, and low risk!
- The PELICANS?! New Orleans never seemed like a town that should have a team named the Hornets (and kudos to MJ for saying that Charlotte would be interested in taking that name back), but if you are going to re-brand a team and try to excite a fan base and a souvenir market (and avoid having the rest of the league laugh at you), you HAVE to better than the PELICANS!! Heck, at least if they were the Beignets it would make people flock to the concession stands! Obviously the right name would be to give them back the Jazz name, but Utah seems to think that is their heritage. I just don’t get how the Pelicans can seem like the right move. I’d rather the Hornets stay there instead.
- I get a lot of the reasons being tossed around for getting rid of kickoffs in the NFL, I promise, but if you remove kickoffs then you aren’t playing football anymore. Obviously this idea won’t be approved without having some provision for late in games when the onside is the only hope that a team has, but it just seems like the whole idea weakens the product. I mean, do we remember the Super Bowl that New Orleans won?! That surprise onside kick was critical, gutsy, and exciting. That would never be seen again. Field position is a crucial part of the game and you weaken that aspect of the game. And you can tell me that 50% of kicks are now touchbacks, but that means there are 50% of drives that don’t start that way. And I get the risk… my brother-in-law ended up in surgery because he was too good of a gunner on special teams and a team felt he had to be taken out. That doesn’t change that the product will be degraded if this goes through.
- I don’t know what’s moving faster, the Conference Carousel or the Coaching Carousel. I will say that I was surprised that Bielema left Wisconsin for Arkansas. Kudos to Arkansas on a smart move. I don’t buy Bielema’s story that the primary reason was that Wisconsin wouldn’t pay to retain assistant coaches. That may be a factor, but it’s not as big as he’s making it out to be.
- The Heisman. This year’s Heisman Trophy is interesting. I think the thing that benefits the chances of Te’o and Manziel is that 2/3 of the good options this year would be “firsts”. If only one of them was a unique situation (a defense-only player or the first freshman) then I think that folks would shy away from doing something that hasn’t been done before, but with both of them there and Klein being the only other option I think it helps those two guys out. Now the question becomes, is the bias more against freshman or defenders? I think we’ll find out this week. If I HAD to bet on the outcome, I think I would bet on Te’o. If I had to vote, I’d vote for Manziel (though I’m not about to say that Te’o isn’t deserving). When you look at ‘Johnny Football’s season it’s just something else. He has 2 losses for Texas A&M in their first season in the SEC. The first loss was to a BCS at-large team in his first college start and he played well. The other one was to a good LSU team where he didn’t play well. He and Klein each had one dud of a game, and then were very good. At some point the ‘Wow’ factor and the stat lines just take over for me when it comes to a tiebreak. Speaking of stats, both of these guys were pretty special:
Klein: 66.2% completions / 2,490 passing yds, 15-7 TD-INT / 890 rushing yds, 22 TDs
Manziel: 68.3% completions / 3,419 passing yds, 24-8 TD-INT / 1,181 rushing yds, 19 TDs
(Can I point out that the winner for best running back had 1,730 rushing yds and 21 TDs?! And none passing…)
Just so he’s not left out, Te’o had 101 Tackles, 7 Interceptions, and 4 passes defended.
I say it comes down to Te’o and Manziel… but good luck to all 3 kids.