Here are this weeks questions for the Roundtable Discussion.
1. Will the winner of the LSU vs Florida game this weekend be in the SEC Championship game?
Stephan- NO. There is no way that LSU is going to overtake Alabama for the top spot, unless Alabama just implodes. Even so, Mississippi State is playing very well right now, so make a claim for the number 2 spot in the SEC West. As for Florida, they have a brutal schedule, playing Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida State. I think the winner of the Georgia, South Carolina game takes the East.
Zach- No, I don’t think either the winner or the loser will be in the SEC Championship come December. In the West, Alabama still looks like the team to beat… and I think Mississippi State is a better team than LSU as well right now. In the East, Florida still has to get past both Georgia and South Carolina, and I can’t see the Gators passing both of them for the division title. So while this should be an exciting game this weekend, and it will certainly have implications in the SEC pecking order, I don’t see either team winning their respective divisions this season.
Archie- While it is possible that the SEC champion will be on the field between these two schools on Saturday, it is just as possible that neither of them will be. Florida has to overtake Georgia and LSU of course still has to take ‘Bama. I do NOT see LSU beating Bama. I can see a way that Florida with their running attack could upset Georgia. Florida has not given up more than 20 pts in any game this season and the whole nation saw how Tennessee rush for almost 200 yards against them last week. IF either of these two schools plays for the SEC crown it will be Florida.
EJ- Well, I don’t think LSU could win the SEC West over Alabama. However, I do think Florida can win the SEC East and I also think the Gators will beat LSU at the Swamp. Florida has a stingy defense, and Driskel has played well so far this season. I’m also impressed with the Gators wins against Texas A&M and Tennessee which were both crucial SEC road wins.
Stephan- BJ Symons currently holds this record with 5833 passing yards with Texas Tech in 2003. Currently through four games, Smith has 1728 yards. If he keeps this pace, he is looking at 5184 yards this season. Well off the record mark. So No, I do not think Geno Smith sets the record. However, the completion percentage is currently at 83.4%, this could be accomplished as a record breaker.
Zach- Smith is playing as well as any quarterback has ever operated in a Dana Holgorsen offense. He’s currently sitting above the 200 mark in QB efficiency rating, rarefied air that has never been maintained through a whole season. But Smith might just be the guy to do it, and here’s why. Last year two players, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III, broke the nine-year-old record for passing efficiency set by Boise State’s Ryan Dinwiddie in 2002. This year, in addition to Smith’s eye-popping numbers, EIGHT other quarterbacks have efficiency ratings that would rank in the top 20 ALL-TIME were the season to end today. Sure, some of those players will see their numbers dissipate, but it’s going to be a history-making year, and Geno Smith will rewrite the history books a year after Wilson and Griffin broke the old mark.
Archie- At first I was not sure which record we were talking about. I think he has a good shot at the passing efficiency record but I don’t see setting the single season all time yardage records. They still have to face some pretty good teams in the Big 12 and I don’t see him throwing another 600+ game against Texas, OU or Kansas State.
EJ- I want to say yes, but I don’t think so. I think Smith is the hands on favorite to win the Heisman this year but I just can’t see him repeating the performance he had against Baylor against Texas, Oklahoma, TCU, etc… That Baylor performance opened every one’s eyes but they also put a bullseye on Smith for the rest of this season.
Stephan- I see one more win for Penn State this season. It comes at home against Indiana. Purdue is playing better than last year and will be at home. They are not going to beat Northwestern, Ohio State, Nebraska, or Wisconsin. Their best shot is against Indiana or on the road against Iowa. They will split those games and end at 4-8.
Zach- The Nittany Lions have certainly proven themselves to be resilient in the wake of everything that transpired last season, through the offseason and into an 0-2 start to this year. With wins in three straight, Penn State looks like less of a pushover week by week. Whether or not that means they get to six wins or not is another question. They should win their games at Iowa and against Indiana. Ohio State, Purdue and Nebraska are likely to hand the Lions defeats. Unless Northwestern regresses suddenly from last weekend, the Wildcats should win in Happy Valley this weekend. So it will all come down to the final weekend of the season, at home against Wisconsin. The way the Badgers have played in 2012, six wins is possible, but I’m guessing they end up 5-7 after Wisconsin takes the season finale.
Archie- I only see PSU winning one more game this year. I think they lost too many key players to compete steadily through the rest of their conference schedule. I have them winning against Indiana and that is pretty much it.
EJ- Yes they get to 6. Penn State can beat Purdue at Purdue on November 3rd and beat Indiana at Happy Valley on November 17th. They might even have a chance at Wisconsin on November 24th but I think the Nittany Lions finish this season at 6-6 for sure.
4. Should coaches be allowed to put any type of limitation on players’ social media participation?
Stephan- YES!!! Social media has got players using less than good judgment when it comes to Facebook, Twitter, Touts, and whatever they create next. You would like to think that these “young adults” could be mature enough to know how to use these outlets. I think coaches should have a say in what players can and cannot put on social media. If they violate…suspend them.
Zach- Coaching is all about keeping your team in line and on the same page. Coaches shouldn’t be able to censor their players, nor should they be able to put prohibitions on players using Twitter and Facebook and other social media platforms. However, a coach should have the right to limit players’ participation. Players shouldn’t be pulling out their smartphones and tweeting away during practice, for instance, or posting a new photo on Instagram from the sideline during a game. They also should impart upon their players the importance of proper decorum; as high-profile representatives of the universities for which they play, the coach needs to make sure the young men of a football team are not saying (or typing) anything that reflects poorly on the university.
Archie- I say absolutely. The way the media takes every tidbit from Twitter, Facebook and all other media sources and exploits them to their advantage is completely out of control. I feel that Coaches have an obligation to the players and their institution to eliminate as much of the distracting media BS as they can.
EJ- I would like to think 17 to 22 year old men should be able to police themselves on Twitter or Facebook but clearly we have seen examples of that just not being the case. Coaches should keep an eye on them because these young men are not only a representative of themselves, and their families, but their also a representative of the coach and the University.
5. From #4.. If you were a head coach in college football what would you do with social media outlets regarding players?
Stephan- If I were a head coach, I would not ban social media outlets, because they can be beneficial at times for STUDENTS communicating with each other. Here is my outline. Any player may use social media for the sole person of interaction, or school. Players will not be able to post anything regarding their particular sport, with the only exception being something like “Big game tonight, can’t wait” or something on the lines of that. As I stated in the last question, any player using social media for derogatory comments towards another team, or player, will sit for the next game.
Zach- I would be pragmatic and proactive in teaching my players what they should and should not be doing online through social media. I would bring in guest speakers skilled in social-media etiquette to talk to the team, and then I would have one of the graduate assistants or somebody else on the staff tracking the players’ posts online. If something incendiary came out, I would sit the player down and personally discuss the need for smarter decisions in our virtual interactions. At the same time, though, these are kids and you have to let them make some mistakes. Lay out the expectations — and the consequences of defying those expectations — immediately, and then let these college students be college students within that framework.
Archie- I would start by not allowing any cell phones, ipads or laptops in the locker room. I would place lockers for those items in a convenient location and not allow players to have access to them during practice or games. After games I would insist on an 8 hour “cool down” period before any player was allowed to post items to the media.
EJ- If I were a head coach I would block players from using social media. Why? It’s clear that it’s more trouble than it’s worth. I wouldn’t want a player I recruited to be a representative of my University to act like a fool on social media.
6. Some say the West Virginia vs Baylor game last week was the best game this season in College Football. Is that true?
Stephan- If you are an offensive guru, then yeah that would be one for the highlight reels. However, two games I think surpass this. Georgia vs Tennessee last week, and Florida State vs Clemson. While FSU won handedly, they dominated in the second half, and made for a great college football game. Georgia and Tennessee were trading touchdowns back and forth as well, in a huge game for the Bulldogs.
Zach- It was an offensive explosion, yeah, but does a basketball score necessarily make for the most exciting game? We knew coming into last weekend’s game in Morgantown that both WVU and Baylor could score at will… and that both teams were defensively deficient. The best game, in terms of excitement and the result, had to be ULM’s upset of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The WarHawks scored first, then Arkansas took a 28-7 lead on the first drive of the third quarter. At that point it looked like any other among dozens of cupcake games, a paid-for victory by the big-time school over an overmatched minnow. Then Louisiana-Monroe came back with 21 straight of their own, scoring on 4th and 10 with 47 seconds left to force overtime. After the Razorbacks kicked a field goal on their OT possession, Kolton Browning scrambled for the winning points on 4th and 1 to complete the improbable and set the Razorback implosion in motion. THAT, in my mind, was the best game of the season so far.
Archie- IF you like scoring and a wide open game then, great game! If you were looking for defense then I guess you were disappointed. All in all, being a Big 12 fan, I thought the Texas vs. Oklahoma St. was a better game.
EJ- West Virginia-Baylor was a great game. Smith’s performance was so good that it overshadowed Nick Florence’s impressive performance as well. With that said, it was a game in September. The college football season still has two whole months to go. Way too early to christen that game as the best game in the season.
7. Your Top 5 Power Rankings?
- Alabama- Until this team loses, they will be on top. They are the best team in the nation hands down.
- Oregon- The Ducks have scored 50 or more points in three of five games, and forty or more in all five of their games. This is a National title threat, and the team to beat in the Pac-12.
- Florida State- Struggled a little against South Florida, but still a dominant force in the National rankings.
- Georgia- Showing they can score big, and come from behind against Tennessee. They will be tested this week against South Carolina. A win will move them up in the rankings.
- LSU- I really wanted to leave LSU out of the rankings this week. They looked awful against Towson, a team they should have dismantled from the ground up. Which ever coach voted them as the number 1 team in the nation, should be banned from College Football. The only thing keeping them here, is because I was not impressed with South Carolina, or West Virginia enough to elevate them.
- Alabama — The Tide continue to dominate while they watch the rest of football’s powerhouses eliminate themselves from the national-title discussion.
- Oregon — The Ducks start quiet in road opener but finish strong in Seattle, overpowering Wazzu despite sputtering at times to stay in shotgun seat for BCS.
- Kansas State — Wildcats get a weekend off before running into the heart of Big XII schedule; Collin Klein makes them a favorite for first title since 2003.
- Florida State — Slow start for Seminoles at South Florida was shaken off, but FSU needs to win bigger in a league that isn’t any better than Big East this year.
- Georgia — Bulldogs chewing up yardage via air and ground thanks to two-headed freshman tailback tandem, best balanced team beside Bama in SEC.
- Alabama – Has not changed since day 1.
- Oregon – Slow start then they hit the gas and put it on cruise control last week.
- Florida State – I see them running the table until the last game of the regular season.
- Kansas State – I’m sticking with the Wildcats until they prove me wrong. I think this is a much better team than people think.
- Georgia – I think last week I said something like flip a coin between Georgia and South Carolina? Well, this Saturday the coin will be flipped and then we will have a decisive winner of these two schools.
- Alabama- The best damn team in the land.
- Florida State- Offense is clicking. Defense is strong.
- Oregon- A joy to watch. Can win the Pac-12. Still not sure if they can win it all.
- Georgia- I like Aaron Murray. Should be able to get by South Carolina this weekend.
- Kansas State- If they can get by West Virginia on October 20th, they could run the table.