Some Impressions from the Weekend

Now that all the main Heisman business for the week is taken care of, it’s time to reflect a bit on last weekend’s games…

—I know it’s early, but I’m struck by the dearth of weapons Ohio State has on offense.  Outside of Terrelle Pryor, who is a threat to make a big play?  As good as he is, can he carry this team on his shoulders yet?  I’m not so sure.  I get the sense that Jim Tressel has nothing new planned against USC and will probably try to grind out a win.  In other words, he is going to do what he always does–play Tressel ball–or lose trying.

—The BCS needs to wake up to reality and either kick the Big East out of its setup or bring the Mountain West Conference in.  There’s no doubt in my mind that the MWC is better than the Big East right now.   The conference’s marquee team the last few years–West Virginia–just squeaked by Liberty.  This doesn’t look good.

—Man, people sure are impressed by Tennessee’s 63-7 win over Western Kentucky.  Of course, Lane Kiffin had his quarterbacks throwing late in the game as the Vols piled up 28 points in the fourth quarter.  This was to boost the scoring and total offense averages for later in the year, I’m sure. 

—USC looks like it has the second coming of Mike Patterson in sophomore tackle Jurrell Casey.  Also, to my eye Chris Gallipo is an upgrade at middle linebacker over Rey Maualuga.

—I feel very good now about ranking Michael Floyd as the nation’s No. 3 receiver heading into the year.  He looked like a man amongst boys on Saturday.

Tate Forcier looked very good in his debut, and now I feel better for putting him on my Freshman Impact list.  (This whole process is about making me feel better).  But gosh, who isn’t intrigued by Denard Robinson, who might be the fastest QB in the country (10.44 100m)?   That could be quite the two-headed monster at QB for Michigan.

—I think Oklahoma’s State’s win over Georgia was a big ‘prove it’ game for the Cowboys.  They handled a team with quite a bit of talent and ended up winning solidly.  This should give them a lot of confidence against the likes of Texas and Oklahoma.  Oh, and now Georgia is finally aware of the pitfalls of playing a quality team on a real road trip.  I wonder how long before the schedule starts filling up with patsies again.

—Speaking of ‘prove it’ games, Baylor did just that on the road against Wake Forest.  Looks to me like the Bears will probably start out 4-0 and then get Oklahoma without a healthy Sam Bradford on Oct. 10.  Sometimes it takes a little bit of good fortune to have a dream season.  I’m thinking that Baylor now has a shot to go 8-4 or 9-3, reach a decent bowl and then head into Robert Griffin’s junior season as one of the country’s rising programs.

—The nation’s most valuable player might be Washington’s Jake Locker.  Mind you, the Huskies went 0-12 last year while he missed eight games, but people forget he was this close to leading UW to a win over a quality BYU team.  He single-handedly kept an outmanned UW in the game against LSU, too.  I’d say he’s worth about 20-25 points on a given day, which means he more than offsets the negative 2 points from his coach.  If the Huskies can play a little defense, they might win between 2 and 4 games this year.  Not sure what they will do when he is gone, though.

–I tuned into the Miami-FSU game with major trepidation.  But what a game!  Jacory Harris is a rising star, but Miami MUST keep him healthy over the next three games–Georgia Tech, Va. Tech, Oklahoma–or the season could fall apart.  If he holds it together, the ‘Canes could be on their way to a solid 9-3.  Oh, and I think Graig Cooper is about to have a breakout year.

—I think Dan Hawkins is not headed for a breakout season and is likely to be gone after this one.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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2 Responses to Some Impressions from the Weekend

  1. Tim September 8, 2009 at 9:29 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more about the Tennessee victory. While the Vols are doubtless somewhat improved from last year (I mean, how couldn’t they be?), there was nothing in this victory to suggest that the Lane Kiffin era is debuting with success. They were pitted against a team that was playing its first game as an FBS program and kept their starters in well into the fourth quarter. Jonathan Crompton threw for 5 TD’s — well, he also threw two picks against terrible competition. I wonder what he’ll do once he plays a team that actually has a pass rush and a secondary.

    On the other end of the spectrum, you have Florida, which played a similarly outmanned opponent, pulled its starters (those that were playing) in the middle of the second quarter, and managed not to provide any interesting tape for future opponents to study. And they still won 62-3 with over 600 yards of offense.

    This Tennessee thing is smoke and mirrors.

  2. Ed Newman September 9, 2009 at 7:26 am #

    AS much as I hate to say it, OSU will have to prove they can beat a team of USC’s quality, even in the Horseshoe at night, before I will believe it. I know Navy is tough to game plan for because of the triple option, but still. I think there is more offensive talent at OSU than you think, HP. They are very deep at tailback and their wide receivers have promise. Really, the skill positions at OSU have not been a problem for a long time, and I doubt they will be this year. Look at the O and D lines though. That is where the breakdown against elite teams occurs.

    Don’t think I didn’t notice the shots you took at the former USC assistants. You’ve been ragging on Kiffin since day one, but needling Sarkissian is new. On just what kind of terms did you leave USC’s athletic department anyway?