Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Football Wrap Week 12: The Return of a Urban Legend

So Urban Meyer returneth eh? The man who wanted to spend time with his family, leave college FB for health issues and enjoy his ESPN gig has come back to do it all again for his first love. That’s college for ya.

First things first, I always respected Meyer. He and Pete Carroll are the best coaches of the last decade and Meyer was great at 2 schools in the BCS era. But the lionization of him came with people overshadowing his faults and the fact that if any other coach had that many arrests at one program as he did at Florida, they’d be looked at sideways.

(Case in point, Jimmy Johnson is arguably one of the greatest and smartest football coaches of the last 25 years. Yet people think of The U as a program full of Black thugs and arrogance and remember the Cowboys running wild. Meyer has somehow escaped that. )

That said, he’s going to make Ohio State dominant again, which won’t be that hard. That’s still a top-5 job in college football and he’ll bring some athletes out there.  The Big 10 won’t be as hard as the SEC so he’ll be all good.

But here's the big if - when Ohio State gets NCAA sanctions courtesy of Jim Tressel, Terrelle Pryor and Co., will Meyer will be the perfect coach to boost morale and keep folks happy? And considering he left Florida after his worst season there, he can be considered a front-runner if there ever is one. And what if his health is another factor - if Florida stressed him out, what about being home? Ask Ken Griffey Jr. how returning home to Ohio worked out. 

I hope he stays healthy. The pressure of winning at OSU will be worse than Florida or maybe Florida prepared him well. Either way, it's going to be interesting to see what happens.

NCAA Tidbits

Shoelace vs. Braxton Miller – can’t wait for Round 2 next year. Glad the Big 10 got to see some modern quarterbacking at work. Shoelace is showing that he’s a better passer and I’m excited to see what he’ll do in a bowl game. Congrats to Michigan finally beating Ohio State. 

Only Georgia stands in the way of LSU v. Alabama Round 2. But after seeing Arkansas and Auburn push up daisies this past weekend, it’s clear the SEC is super overrated this year. Just as I predicted.

Your Heisman Finalists in Virgo's Opinion: Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson, Case Keenum. Hate to say it but Matt Barkley can finish above Andrew Luck too. It doesn’t matter because it’s no bearing on A. Luck’s NFL projections.

Speaking of which, shut up to the folks who saw Luck is overrated. I watched Stanford play several times this year and he still showed why he has great poise, size, IQ, decent speed and an incredible arm. Just because other QB’s have risen up doesn’t mean he’s overrated, it means he’s not head and shoulders above everyone by that much.

He did, however, prove, that coming back one more year means folks will dissect you more and karma will be a witch. See Sam Bradford, Matt Leinart, Jake Locker and the list goes on….

NFL Tidbits

San Diego has lost six in a row. Dallas is playing better in November. The roles have reversed since my teams faced off in 2009 when I said the Chargers are what the Cowboys should aspire to be.

Now it looks like Romo is finishing games better after he led a last minute drive to beat Miami while Phillip Rivers looks handcuffed to protect him from himself. My teams are going in reverse and while I still swear Rivers is hurt, that whole team is mentally stunted. Dallas, on the other hand, looks motivated and hungry and ready to seize the division.

It's strange. But hopefully this will lead to Norv Turner finally getting clipped. 

Houston Texans may be the best snakebit team in the league. Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Mario Williams and now Matt Schaub have missed several games due to injury. Now Matt Leinart is on the shelf. Go figure.

Don't be upset Jason Avant, I do this to everybody. It's what I do.

Eagles are unraveling worse than the Magic Carpet when Jafar turns it into a ball of yarn in Aladdin. Tom Brady did his surgery and picked them apart like it was bird hunting season.

Props to Stevie Johnson for maturely handling the aftermath of his celebration by owning it. It was a little low but after I saw it, it was pretty funny. However, he didn’t cause his team the game with it compared to him dropping a few passes in the 4th. But when will folks learn one play in the first half doesn’t affect a game?

Low twos also to Bob Costas and his reaction on Sunday Night Football. Reminds me of Joe Buck going crazy over Randy Moss and his fake mooning. When people defining what’s acceptable celebration, typically they overreact and 1) go off on guys who do it with style, 2) elevate certain players who keep it simple. There’s a place for both.  I’m all for hating guys who go way too overboard but at some point, we need reasonable folks to have enough influence to say lighten up.

You think they're scared of us yet? Nope? Guess we gotta keep winning and scoring with no mercy.
How is Green Bay 11-0 and still under the radar? I don’t think Denver in 1998 has this less pressure when started off 13-0 after winning the Super Bowl. They just keep winning and winning with no weaknesses and if that defense keeps playing well. Look out.

Let me give the kicker some. Shane Lechler of the Raiders had an 80-yard punt that was a thing of beauty. He just boomed it over Devin Hester’s head and Hester looked lost trying to handle it. Great stuff. 

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