NCAA Roundtable

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd6QLEZoFWU

 

Notice on the sideline. The referee takes out a Texas player.

Now on to the Rountable. The gang is back in full force this week, as the latest NCAA Football topics are discussed.

1. Where do you see Michigan’s Denard Robinson being drafted?

Stephan– Robinson is a tremendous athlete. I do not think he is an NFL quarterback. That said, I see Robinson going somewhere in the fourth round of the NFL draft next year. I see him being used as a special teams return man, possibly even a running back. He would be a good fit for a wildcat type offense.

Archie– I personally don’t see Robinson being drafted for QB potential at the next level at least
early in the draft. I don’t see the arm strength of RGIII or Cam Newton nor
do I see the accuracy. I know he has a pretty high Rating, but quite frankly
it is not top 20 of college Senior QBs. He has a rating this year of 139 and
that is with 9 TDs and 8 picks, and a completion % of 54.8. When you compare
that to the other QBs that are the top two probable picks this  year of Geno
Smith and Matt Barkley his numbers would indicate that he will go late first
round more probable of early second round; and then to be a Kordell Stewart
“Slash” type athlete.

EJ– This is a tough question for me as a Michigan fan. While, I thank Shoelace for all he has done for the Wolverines, I don’t necessarily see a future for him in the NFL. He’s not a NFL quarterback. Not because he’s 6 feet and 183 pounds but it’s because he’s not an accurate enough passer. However, he is a dangerous runner. If Shoelace can adjust to playing receiver, or running back, he could be drafted anywhere after the 4th round. It’s going to be very important for him to showcase his versatility and skills in the combine and draft workouts.

Zach– Denard Robinson is a speedy guy, there’s no doubt about that fact. However, he continues to regress rather than progress as a passer this season. I have a feeling some team will take him in the middle rounds (4-6), and that they’ll do so with the intention of converting Shoelace to another of the skill positions. He has the talent to help some team out there, but it won’t be under center.

2. After destroying Texas last weekend. Is Oklahoma still a National Championship threat?

Stephan– Alot has to happen for Oklahoma to get back into National title contention. First and foremost, they have to find a way to beat Kansas State. Also, there are several teams above them which could be difficult to overcome. A contender? Yes, a serious threat? No.

Archie– No. I will not promote them until they beat Notre Dame and then go into Morgantown and beat West Virginia.

EJ– Yes. OU put a whupping on Texas and looked damn good doing it. OU still has a shot at the Title Game because it still has Notre Dame on it’s schedule. October 27th in Norman, Oklahoma can be huge for the Sooners if Notre Dame can get past BYU this weekend and come into that game unbeaten.

Zach– Consider me unimpressed. Before they even played a snap in this year’s installment of the Red River Rivalry, the Longhorns were already 90th against the pass and 83rd against the run. What the Sooners did shouldn’t be an eye-opener, shouldn’t be lauded as “Oklahoma is back”… that type of performance should be expected against a defense as motley as Texas’. They aren’t even the biggest threat in their own conference — Kansas State has the inside track, and Oklahoma still has to play one-loss Big XII newcomers TCU and West Virginia as well. Until further notice, Oklahoma is NOT a threat to reach the BCS championship.

3. The Pac-12 Championship game will be?

Stephan– Oregon vs USC. If Arizona State can some how find a way to beat the Ducks this week, you could make a serious case for them in the Pac 12 South. UCLA is still in the hunt in the south but I think those two losses will prove to be too much. Oregon State has a chance, but Oregon is going to have to lose obviously.

Archie– The initial “knee jerk” would be to say USC and Oregon. But not so fast. Let’s at least credit Oregon State as a potential candidate here. Okay. Now we can move on and say Oregon and……I
will stick with USC. Arizona State currently has at least two losses coming,
the first this week against the Ducks. And then, again on November 10th at USC.

EJ– Oregon is steamrolling their competition. Oregon State and the Civil War will be their only challenge in the Pac-12 North, and they should get by the Beavers. Their opponent from the Pac-12 South will be USC. The Trojans still have to face the Ducks on November 3rd and deal with Arizona State on November 17th but if they split those games (likely losing to Oregon) the Trojans will come out of the South. If I’m going to pick a Pac-12 champion, I’ll go with the Oregon Ducks.

Zach– Worried? Well… if any team in the Pac-12 can stop the Oregon offense, it would be the top-10 defense fielded by the Sun Devils. Their offense, piloted by sophomore Taylor Kelly, has been more than sufficient to keep pace in Pac-12 shootouts. Arizona State’s only loss, a four-point defeat at Missouri in mid-September, doesn’t look great as the season progresses, but Todd Graham — for all the traitorous traits he possesses — has ASU playing hard every game. That said… I still think Oregon will be able to control this game enough to come away with the win. Will they win by ten, as the line asserts? They should be able to cover, even against Arizona State.

4. Should Oregon be worried about Arizona State this Thursday?

Stephan– Any top team should not be over confident against any team. Arizona State is a good team, and is playing at home. Over the years, teams in the National title picture seem to get upset by a division rival and it happens alot on Thursday night games. Remember Oklahoma State last season, lost to Iowa State in Ames, which cost the Cowboys a spot in the championship game. Worried? I don’t think that is the right word, but they better not take the Sun Devils lightly.

Archie– Of course. We all know what happens when you look past a team. If they are not focused and
ready , hence the worried part, then they will get beat. IF they play the
game they are capable of they should win handily.

EJ– No. The Sun Devils are 5-1 but other than their loss to Missouri their opponents this season have not been that impressive. Arizona State’s wins over Northern Arizona, Illinois, Utah, Cal, and Colorado should not strike fear in the hearts of the Ducks. The Ducks should only have one game they should be worried for: at USC on Saturday November 3rd.

Zach– Worried? Well… if any team in the Pac-12 can stop the Oregon offense, it would be the top-10 defense fielded by the Sun Devils. Their offense, piloted by sophomore Taylor Kelly, has been more than sufficient to keep pace in Pac-12 shootouts. Arizona State’s only loss, a four-point defeat at Missouri in mid-September, doesn’t look great as the season progresses, but Todd Graham — for all the traitorous traits he possesses — has ASU playing hard every game. That said… I still think Oregon will be able to control this game enough to come away with the win. Will they win by ten, as the line asserts? They should be able to cover, even against Arizona State.

5. With Monte Ball having a huge game for Wisconsin, and Geno Smith struggling against Texas Tech. Is Smith still the favorite over Ball?

Stephan– I have said this so many times. One game does not defy a season. Monte Ball had a great game, and just so happens that Geno Smith struggled a bit. This was ONE GAME!! Smith is still the favorite in the Heisman race. Ball gained some ground, but Smith is still the one to beat.

Archie– IMO yes. We talked about this earlier in the year and I said the Geno would be
facing more tough defense and the run of huge offensive passing yards would
not continue. However, he is still the favorite in my book.
EJ– I’m assuming we are talking about the Heisman. If we are, then I have no idea why we are mentioning Ball. Ball has not had a good season to this point. The game against Purdue has been the highlight of his season. Geno Smith, however, has been putting up Playstation numbers all season before the game against Texas Tech. Geno is definitely still in the conversation. Braxton Miller of Ohio State should merit some consideration, so should Collin Klein of Kansas State. Montee Ball? Thanks for playing the game, son. Hope you enjoy being the Big 10 career leader in touchdowns.

Zach– Honestly? I don’t think either of these two players ought to be the favorite at this point. Ball is well off last year’s pace, and if those numbers didn’t win the Heisman in 2011 they won’t win it in 2012. And I say that having grown up a fan of the Badgers. As for Smith, will one subpar game kill him? Probably not… it isn’t like Robert Griffin III didn’t have a clunker last year on his Heisman resume. But at this moment, I wouldn’t call him the favorite. In my mind, the most outstanding player has been Kansas State’s Collin Klein. The Wildcats have pole position in the Big XII, and it’s largely thanks to their dual-threat quarterback. He’s carried Bill Snyder’s team, and thus he would get my vote (if I had one).

6. Rutgers, Cincinnati, or Louisville. Which team wins the Big East, and can that team win their BCS game?

Stephan– I like Louisville. They get Cincinnati at home on October 26th, and end the season at Rutgers. Teddy Bridgewater has looked great this season with a passer rating of 160.4. Louisville has the best offensive weapons in the Big East. They are at home for all but two of the remaining games. The only away games are Rutgers and Syracuse.

Archie– I still see Rutgers coming out of the Big East as conference champs. I don’t see them winning their BCS game should it be against Florida State, winner of the ACC.

EJ– All three teams have not played each other up to this point. Rutgers has the best defense of the three but their offense is questionable at best. Rutgers also has Cincinnati on the road and closes the season out at Louisville. The Big East feels like one big coin flip and after flipping a coin, I’ll go with Louisville as the winner of the Big East. Teddy Bridgewater, the sophomore quarterback from Miami is having a decent season and he has some good talent around him. The Cardinals win the Big East but will lose their BCS game. The talent in the Big East pales in comparison to the other BCS conferences.

Zach– This might be the toughest question of the bunch. I currently have Louisville ranked highest among the three undefeated Big East teams in my personal top 25, but either the Scarlet Knights or the Bearcats could easily trump the Cardinals. I think Charlie Strong’s crew will benefit from having QB Teddy Bridgewater operating that offense, and that they’ll earn that automatic qualifying spot into a BCS bowl. Once there, it all comes down to matchups. Whichever team emerges will certainly have a shot… remember that there have been “upsets” before, such as Kansas defeating Virginia Tech in the 2008 Orange Bowl.

7. Do you like the projected playoff format that has the BCS games as semi-finals, and then the National championship game?

Stephan– I like anything better than the original BCS computer rankings. I like the idea of the (plus 1) game to determine the National Championship. The only drawback is that teams are still going to be left out of the chance to compete for a championship. It is an improvement, but I still like a full playoff format.

Archie– It’s better than what we have. I realize that there can’t be too many playoff games that stretched the season any longer. At least under the 4 team format , you would only have to play 1 additional game to get crowned and for the most part, the nation would only be able to argue over who should have been in the top four.

EJ– If we get the best four teams in the nation in the semi-finals then I will have no complaint. While, I like some of the controversy that comes with the BCS I would be happy as a sports fan to see the top 4 in FBS football go at it for the right to declare a National Champion.

 

Zach– I like it well enough… as a starting point. I would have preferred home games for the higher seeds, and I’d prefer it to be seeded 1-8 — if not 1-16 — instead of just taking the top four teams. On its own merits, we’re bound to continue having controversy with the new system. But we’ll also have a more definitive champion than we currently receive under the BCS system. I like the concept of playoff, but I’m not a fan of the execution. By keeping it in the bowl’s hands, it forces both schools and both schools’ fan bases to travel… and travel again if they win. Call it a wrist-job for the bowl operators, just like the power conferences have been happy to provide for decades.

That wraps it up for this week. Glad to see the gang back into the swing of things. If you have a question that you would like our panel to answer for you, email me at swhall3@hotmail.com or send me a tweet @StephanHall.

Have a great weekend!

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