Wednesday, November 28, 2012

TRUE OR FALSE: WILL NOTRE DAME WIN IT ALL? MEYER TOP COACH?

AP Photo
When I was a kid taking tests in school, I loved the true and false questions. I mean, how easy is it to know one is an absolute fact, and the other is blatant lie.

So, I am going to give my readers a small five question true or false test on college football. (The grading key will be supplied at the end of test)

Here we go ...

1. Is Brady Hoke the long term answer for the Michigan program?

2. Should Manti Te'o be in strong consideration for the Heisman Trophy?

3. Should Urban Meyer be the national coach of the year?

4. Has the Big Ten become a mid-major football conference?

5. Will Notre Dame win the BCS Championship?

(Key below)

1. False.

— There are two concerns I have with Hoke. One, he has never been a consistent winner. In his career, he averages five wins every ten games. I don't believe those are proper credentials for a major, historic program like Michigan. And whether the university wants to publicly admit it or not, Hoke was not their first choice, or second choice for that matter, to be their coach after firing Rich Rodriguez. 

The other concern — and it may seem trivial to some — is the fact he doesn't wear a headset on the sideline. I read an autobiography of Bill Parcells, and in it he said if a coach in this day and age doesn't wear a headset, he is separated from the game. Or clueless as to what is going on. It really looked that way Saturday. 

Fact is, he will never make Michigan a perennial power. And he's sweaty.

2. False

— I absolutely love me some Manti Te'o. His play has been stellar this season and he's been a catalyst in Notre Dame BCS title quest this season. But, to be a Heisman winner, you should at least be the best at your position. 

For example, I posed a quest on Twitter about which player you would select to your team? Player A: 115 tackles, 17 for losses, five sacks, an interception for a touchdown, three forced fumbles and 23 passes either defended or broken up ... Player B: 103 tackles, 5.5 for losses, 1.5 sacks, seven interceptions, zero forced fumbles and 15 passes either defended or broken up.

The overwhelming choice was "Player A." — That is Ohio State sophomore linebacker Ryan Shazier, who was selected a second-teamer by the Big Ten coaches. "Player B" was Te'o.

With all that said ... Georgia's Jarvis Jones is hands down the best linebacker in the land.

3. True

— Although Meyer has won two national titles (at Florida) and was the first coach to lead a non-AQ team (Utah) to a BCS bowl win, this season has been the coach's finest of his career.

Meyer inherited a Buckeye squad that lost more games than any Ohio State team had since the turn of the 20th century. He only had about a month to recruit his own players, basically taking over a horrific team as is. He had to work with a brand new staff, and to make matters even more daunting, Meyer was taking over a team that was handed a one-year bowl ban for withholding information of player violations to the NCAA. 

He took those lemons and made lemonade, lemon meringue pie and lemon souffle cheesecake ... going 12-0, winning a Big Ten Leaders Division title, all while changing the culture in Columbus in just one season.

4. True

— And I believe the reason for this is coaching. Other than Meyer at Ohio State, the coaching in the Big Ten has been predictable, lacking any sort of imagination. They haven't changed the style to keep up with the rest of the country. I mean, they selected Nebraska's Taylor Martinez as the conference's top quarterback over Ohio State's Braxton Miller for crying out loud. Obviously, they are clueless.

Also, with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, the league will weakened even more than it is now. They are just a hair better than a mid-major conference. Hmm ... I suggest they change the conference's name from the Big Ten to the Big MAC.

5. True

— The Irish remind me so much of the 2002 national championship Ohio State team it's not even funny. They have a formidable offense, great running game and a quarterback that makes plays when he needs to make them. But they win with defense. In this time of high-powered, up tempo, spread offenses, people tend to believe that you can win titles by just racking up the points. I ask, how many titles have Oregon, Baylor and Houston won?

Yes, the winner of the SEC title game between Alabama and Georgia will be an extremely difficult task for the golden domers, but I believe the Irish defense can keep either offense in check. The Tide and Dawgs' defenses have not been as advertised, meaning the Irish will be able to move the football on the ground with success. And contrary to public opinion, defense and a running game are the recipe for championships.

Sorry haters and SEC-ites ... the Irish are winning it all.