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This may be like trying to stop kids from racing downstairs at 7:01 a.m. on Christmas morning, but let's provide a little perspective for Ohio State fans. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who announced his intention to play for the Buckeyes next season on Wednesday, six weeks after signing day, already has been compared to Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. As a freshman in 2006, Tebow backed up senior Chris Leak and ran a package of plays that Gators offensive coordinator Dan Mullen created especially for him.
The speculation is that Pryor will back up senior Todd Boeckman in 2008, step right into the lineup a la Tebow and begin winning Heismans.
AP Photo/Darren Abate
What approach will the Buckeyes take with Terrelle Pryor?
Ivan Maisel is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Send your questions and comments to Ivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. The last place Rich Rodriguez believed that Michigan football would be vulnerable to attack is academics. But The Ann Arbor News series this week illustrated how Wolverine football players congregate in the general studies major, and in the classroom of one professor in particular. Michigan lashed out at Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, a former Wolverine quarterback, when he criticized his alma mater last year. He's looking pretty smart these days.
2. John Cooper, Lou Holtz and John Robinson are among the eight coaches on the 2008 College Football Hall of Fame ballot for the vote next month. But as successful as these coaches were -- and Holtz and Robinson each won a national championship -- none rank in the top 50 in winning percentage. In fact, they're not close. The NCAA lists the top 50, and the late Bobby Dodd of Georgia Tech, at .713, is the final name. Cooper finished at .695, Holtz at .651 and Robinson at .629.
3. Granted, Big East co-champion UConn bulked up its 9-4 record on a junk-food diet (five victories over teams that won 15 games total). But if you like experience, you'll love the Huskies next fall. They have 19 returning starters, and coach Randy Edsall has had the same staff for three seasons. Here's another clue: If the offensive line has players who have started 75 games, the team is usually pretty salty. UConn's O-line has 92 starts.
Frank Beamer surrendered a lot of production when he told tailback Branden Ore to clean out his locker. Without Ore, the Hokies have four returning running backs who rushed for a total of 384 yards and five touchdowns last season. They combined for exactly one start, by junior Kenny Lewis, who, gained fewer than 100 yards total in nine conference games.
Yet there's no doubt that the Hokies are better off. Ore had four seasons' worth of second chances, yet he never chose to commit to Beamer's way of doing things. Coaches may be benevolent despots, but they are dictators for a reason. If a guy like Ore doesn't play by Beamer's rules, why should anyone else in the locker room do so?
Mississippi State has come a long way since hiring Sylvester Croom four years ago. The Bulldogs went 8-5 in 2007, one win fewer than they managed in Croom's first three seasons. One look at the roster better illustrates the progress.
Mississippi State has only three fifth-year seniors, and one of them is kicker Adam Carlson. But 13 players on the roster for spring practice will be redshirt freshmen this fall, and none of them are listed on the first team. In fact, the Bulldogs have 16 senior starters. The SEC West isn't getting any easier but a more mature Mississippi State team will assert itself.