Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bowls, Awards, and Changes

A recap of the last month....

A&M was selected by the Chick-fil-a Bowl (formerly known as the Peach Bowl) and will play Duke (who shockingly won their division and played FSU in the ACC Championshp) on New Years Eve in the Georgia Dome.

Bleh.  I hate playing non-traditional power programs in bowl games.

The AP announced their All-SEC teams
  • 1st Team: Johnny, Mike "The Beast" Evans, Jake Matthews
  • 2nd Team: Drew Kaser
The Coaches voted the same but put added Kaser as a 1st teamer

Darian Claiborne was also named to the SEC All-Freshman squad by the coaches and Jake Matthews was awarded the Jacobs Blocking Trophy (as top OL in SEC)

The AP also announced their All-American squads
  • 1st Team: Mike Evans, Jake Matthews
  • 2nd Team: Johnny Manziel, Drew Kaser
It raises the question how the AP could name Kaser to 2nd team All-SEC and All-American but with a different player ahead of him in each?
Those same four Ags were also named finalists for a plethora of national awards this season.
  • Johnny Manziel - Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Trophy, Davey O'Brien Award, Walter Camp PoY, Manning Award, Hornung Award
  • Mike Evans - Biletnikoff Award
  • Jake Matthews - Outland Trophy, Lombardi Trophy
  • Drew Kaser - Ray Guy Award
We came away empty handed, although the Manning Award has yet to be handed out.


FSU QB Jameis Winston (RS-F) is playing in the national championship game with his undefeated Seminoles and their nasty defense.  He is the new shiny toy and got a lot of run as the season went on.  Then in November it came to light that Winston had been accused of rape back in December of last year.  Eleven months later and the Tallehassee Police had yet to even interview the only suspect, Winston.  His lawyer was tipped off months in advance and had plenty of time to put together a game plan to attack the bevy of evidence.

It really is a sad, sad situation.  After 11 months of being pushed into the shadows, the state attorney (who holds his bacholor's and juris doctorate from FSU) decided 3 days prior to the Heisman balloting deadline that didn't have enough evidence to bring charges and cleared Winston.  It was about as shady as they come.

The only silver lining is that the victim has 3 years to file a civil suit so hopefully she waits until Winston signs his rookie contract and then lays the hammer to him.

As soon as that happened on that Friday, Winston went to a 150/1 odd to win the trophy.   You remember all those vocal voters last year who refused to vote for Johnny because he was a) a freshman and b) had been arrested?  Not a word this year.

There were six finalists for the Heisman including Johnny and Winston.  They were joined by Northern Illinois (!?!) QB Jordan Lynch, Auburn RB Tre Mason, Alabama QB AJ McCarron, and Boston College RB Andre Williams (a guy that 80% of sports fans wouldn't be able to name).

Taking a look at the QBs, let's do blind sample....who would you pick?
          TotYds TD Comp% Avg/G
          ====== == ===== =====
Player A   4,013 42 67.9  308.6
Player B   4,557 45 67.0  350.4

Player C   4,418 41 69.1  368.2

Player D   2,697 26 67.8  224.5

I wasn't even going to include McCarron's numbers (he is Player D) because he didn't even deserve the time it takes me to pull up the numbers - the guy wasn't even 2nd Team All-SEC.  But he finished SECOND in the voting (and won the Maxwell Award) because he was quarterbacking a defensive dynasty to their third national championship*

*except they lost and didn't even make it to the SEC Championship

Looking at those numbers, QBs A, B, & C are relatively similar.  But all numbers aren't the same so lets take a look at what kind of defenses they've faced....
Opp. Total Defensive Ranking
               vTop25  vTop50

               ======  ====== 
    Player A     x1      x6
    Player B     x2      x2

    Player C     x4      x6

Player A played 1/12th of his games against Top 25 defenses while player B played 1/6th.  But look at that, Player C played a full 1/3 of his schedule against Top 25 defenses.  That's a significant difference.

You all know where I'm going with this....A is Winston, B is Lynch (who remarkably played a horrific schedule, yet still faced two Top 10 defenses - and then ten really bad ones), and C is Johnny.

And you can't tell me that if Johnny and Winston switched defenses their records wouldn't be reversed.  There is a whole lot of difference in pressure when you know you have to score 30+ points to win as opposed to 11 points.

And here are the RBs....

         Att   Yds YPC TD   YPG    Receiving
Mason    283 1,621 5.7 22 124.7    121 yds 11 receptions, 11 ypc, 9.3 ypg
Williams 329 2,102 6.4 17 175.2    0 receptions

Even with the rough outings against Mizzou and LSU, Johnny still had the better season. 

At this point it's a moot point but it needed to be said.

I'm now going to go around the horn with some quick notes, some quite important:
  • We added Arizona State to the 2015 schedule as the season opener at Reliant (Sept 5th) - I like this, Kyle Field won't be ready so instead of going on the road we schedule a neutral site game against a quality opponent
  • Marcel Yates will be leaving a vacancy as DB Coach as he takes over at Boise State as the Defensive Coordinator - I don't mind this too much - he spent a lot of time in his career at Boise and it's a step up for him.  My only concern is that a replacement has not been named yet - I want that to happen quicker than we've seen in the past.
  • Spav is taking over playcalling duties from Clarence McKinney - this is huge to me.  I don't know if Spav will be a better play caller, but what I like is that Sumlin saw there was a weakness and was not afraid to make a change.
  • Darian Claiborne was arrested for marajuana.  He will miss the Chick-fil-a Bowl and his status for the start of next season has not been addressed.  Jordan Mastrogiovanni will start in his place at MLB (which is where he was projected to start next year with Claiborne sliding over)
  • Our early enrollees for the 2014 signing class have been officially inked and will start classes in January
    • Kyle Allen (QB) - Scottsdale, AZ - 5*, #1 QB nationally in 2014 class
    • Jermaine Eluemunor (OL) - Lackawanna C.C. in Scranton (PA) - 4*; #17 JUCO recruit in country with offers from every top program.  Dude is from London - that's awesome.
    •  Avery Gennesy (OL) - East Mississippi C.C. - 4*; #10 JUCO recruit; another big JUCO OLman
    • JJ Gustafson (OL) - Jesuit HS (Dallas, Tx) 
    • Josh Reynolds (WR) - Tyler JUCO - 3*; will come in classified as a sophomore in 2014 so will have 4 years to play3

    Knocked out some huge needs at OL with guys who can step right in and play and landed Allen who gets a spring and summer to compete with Kenny Hill for the starting job next fall.

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