Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Terry Douglass writes this in his post about the "ranking" of college coaches: Plus, here's a vote to rank McCarney a notch higher -- he does a very nice job with what he's got at Iowa State.
TD - is Dan sending you a monthly check? McCarney is 45-72 during his tenure at ISU. The Cyclone propoganda department does, however, like to point out he his 32-30 since 2000. Is this what the world is coming to? A .500 coach for the past five years is worth 4-stars? C'mon.
Granted, the guy could sell a popsicle to an eskimo and he is very media friendly, a great interview, all those good things. But, let's not make him a 4 out of 5 star coach. Frankly, these ratings seem funny. How Gary Pinkel, Mark Mangino, Guy Morriss (and Callahan for that matter) get three stars is beyond me. Heck, Mike Gundy hasn't even coached a game and he's worth 3-stars. Odd.
Put it this way -- if McCarney was a 4-star coach wouldn't they have smoked Mizzou in there house last year to go to the Big 12 championship game. I think so.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
A few things to see by the 10th
We will, however, no much more about the Red after the Wake Forest game. And, while Wake is no power they do have a top-notch running back in Chris Barclay and the ACC isn't awful -- I'm sure Memorial Stadium won't be much different to them as Doak Campbell Staidum or the Orange Bowl which they frequent in the ACC.
So, let's give these new Huskers a second game before guaging where we are at. Quite frankly, the season won't have big "turning point" game until the Cyclones come to town on October 1st. It's a contest that could set the tone for the rest of the season. Who would have thunk it? A "big game" against the Cyclones. Sheesh.
Here are a few things to look at and review after that first test on the 10th.
1. Zac Attack - There it was right on the cover of the football preview this morning. How will Zac Taylor handle this offense? It's a burning question right now. He's obviously not as "fleet" as Mr. Dailey was, but will he value the pigskin a bit more. I think so. Zac is a coaches kid and there is something to be said for understanding the game from that perspective.
2. The Newcomers - How much of an impact with this recruiting class have. Callahan has said it for the last year and a half that he needed to upgrade his talent. We should know early and often how good of a job he did. The good news -- the last time the Huskers recruited more guys from California than Nebraska was 1994. Hmmmmmmm.
3. Defense wins championships - Cosgrove has to get this unit to improve -- or else. We were pitiful against the pass last year and that was obvious. Now, with nearly a whole new secondary the front seven will be as important as ever. If the line can stay deep and healthy all season, this will lead to good things in Lincoln.
4. Are the special teams, special - Coach Busch's special units were next to awful a season ago and they are the units that can turn things around in a hurry. A couple DeJuan Groce punt returns during that 7-7 season probably prevented a losing season. We will try to do more than just catch the punts? Can we get a spark from Green or Jackson or Lucky or Hardy in the kick return game? Can Grixby catch a punt and then (gasp) run with the ball? Will freshman Jordan Congdon be as good as advertised?
5. Game planning by Callahan - There were more than a few times a season ago where the coaching was in question. Does anyone remember the last minute of that first half against Colorado? Ugh. Conversely, it seemed when we could start the game with an emphasis on a solid running game (Baylor, even Oklahoma come to mind) it made it that much easier for the quarterback. It seemed we committed to the pass to early during many games (Iowa State, where Dailey threw like 20 incompletions). Let's see if Callahan, Norvell and the staff are able to establish there mismatches early in contests and control the game more from the offensive end this season.
Ok, that's just a little meat to put on the sandwich. College football gets into full swing tommorrow when the "Old Ball Coach" hosts Central Florida. What's the deal with those silly hats he's wearing now?