USC, Kellen Moore and Chris Polk covered in this edition.
Q: What do you think of Kellen Moore being a favorite for the Heisman? No Division 1 team really wanted him and he’d be riding the bench at the UW. Is it really fair to include mid-major players against players that play high-major in national awards?
A: Lots of assertions there that aren’t really accurate. No “D-I” team — to use your phrase — wanting Moore probably says more about the evaluation abilities of those who looked at Moore than Moore himself. Obviously, in the right system, he is very successful. And last I checked, Oregon State played in a conference that I don’t think was “mid-major.” We can all argue that Boise State might not have the record it would have if it had to play against non “mid-major teams” such as, well, Oregon State or Virginia Tech, every week. But using that try to make a case that Moore doesn’t deserve to be in the Heisman hunt is ridiculous.
Q: If USC takes 20 recruits for the Class of 2011 as reported, (hoping to win their appeal and reduce the scholarship penalty to 15 over 3 years,) and they lose their appeal, do they only have 25 scholarships to give out over the next two years?
A: If the appeal is denied and USC signs more players in 2011 than it is eventually able to technically sign, I’m sure it will be able to just count back a few to make it work. I haven’t counted it up, but I’d imagine that all those guys who didn’t come to USC this year opened up some slots that the Trojans can just use to count back guys from next year’s class, if needed. Even getting docked just five scholarships a year will impact USC for a while, however.
Q: Nebraska improved its defense from 100+ ranking to top 10. So we know it is possible, what will it take for the Huskies to get there (or at least top 25)? I keep expecting them to be better each year and they are still giving up 500 yards of offense.
A: Nebraska has had some really legit defensive talent the last few years that the current staff inherited — notably, Ndamukong Suh and the two cornerbacks on this year’s team. No offense to the current Huskies, but I think we’d all agree there haven’t been players like that on UW’s roster the last few years. That helps an awful lot. I think UW is probably a class or two away from having the defensive talent to match what it has on offense right now. Until then, I think shootouts will generally be the order of the day.
Q: Chris Polk only has 66 carries on the season, that is 16.5 per game. That seems a bit low to me, especially considering he is averaging 5.4 per carry. Do the coaches want him up around the 20-22 carries per game area, or are they happy with him around 16-17?
A: Ideally yes, they would like Polk in the 20-22 range. But with Jesse Callier emerging, he has to get some carries regularly, as well. And when Jake Locker runs a little more, as he did against USC, that lessens the available carries, as well. There are only so many plays in a game, so everyone can’t get 20 carries. But there are also advantages to Polk getting a few less carries this season. It may keep him fresher throughout the season and lessen the hits on his shoulder.
All for now.