Awards and stuff: Woodley is a finalist for the Lombardi along with Justin Blalock, Quinn Pitcock, and Paul Posluzny (the Lombardi is sort of a stupid award that's open to linemen from either side of the ball and, for some reason, linebackers.) Chances he wins seems sort of good. Posluszny is saddled with a crappy team and neither Blalock or Pitcock plays a sexy position like DE or tackle. Relatively sexy, anyway. Work with me.
Leon Hall is a semifinalst for the Thorpe. At first glance he seems a shoo-in for finalist status along with Texas' Aaron Ross and Bad Reggie Nelson of Florida, though if the voters are really stupid people who only read fawning media profiles and low-level boxing recaps they may jam in Tom Zbikowski's name for no reason.
Irritatingly, David Harris was passed over for Butkus finalist status in favor of James Laurinitis, Posluszny, and Patrick Willis of Ole Miss. Henne is a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien but won't win it (nor should he).
It will not die. The MZone points out that this new book on Tom Brady contains this little snippet:
This is the journey Tom Brady has taken on. It began in a family wherein the spirit and documents of the Second Vatican Council mean as much to his development as any playbook. It moved along to college, where the whims of incompetent coaching nearly brought it to an end.Note that that "incompetent coaching" did these things in the four years Brady was at Michigan:
- Won two BCS bowls.
- Turned Brian Griese from a preferred-walk-on to a third round pick and multi-year NFL starter.
- Won a national championship.
- Got Tom Brady into the NFL.
Legendary dick Sid Hartman provides another example in an article on former Michigan clipboard holder Jason Kapsner:
Kapsner, a backup quarterback during his four years with the Wolverines, said the Michigan coaches essentially ignored Brady in 1996 and '97. In 1998, Drew Henson, as a freshman without taking a snap, moved ahead of Brady, then a junior, on the depth chart.Hartman combines spin and utter fiction in one tidy sentence. In 1996 and 1997, Brian Griese was an established starter with an NFL future. Brady was a redshirt freshman/sophomore with no on-field experience. There isn't a program in the country that would have played him. In 1998, Henson started zero games. There was something of a competition designed to keep Henson pleased but by the time the season got serious, he was on the bench.
The notion that Tom Brady was a nobody, the Rodney Dangerfield of Michigan quarterbacks, before becoming everyone's fave-rave makes a terrific story. But it's just a story. If you choose to tell it you may as well add in some radioactive biker mice from Mars, because those are pretty cool, too, and just as true to life.
Fantastic FO article on rush distribution in the NFL that I'd love to see applied to college, where there are no doubt differences. Upshot: while the NFL rushing average is 4.1 YPC, a small number of long runs distort that. The most likely outcome for just about any back crossing the LOS is a whopping two yards, which has all sorts of fantastic implications for cursed "ball control" strategies. Of the backs picked out of the pile, our own Mike Hart is more Mike Anderson than anyone else, IMO.
Rod Gilmore is a lawyer. This is hard to believe if you've ever heard him broadcast football -- though admittedly less difficult than imagining erstwhile partner Trevor Matich with a law degree or, indeed, a cerebrum -- or write ESPN columns. Embarrassing error($) not excused by "it's just a blog":
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema's antics in the Penn State game Saturday is evidence of coaches who don't care about players. I couldn't believe what he did.Pedantry? Perhaps. But I can't stand me some subject-verb disagreement. Also note the trademark Gilmore finger-wagging paternalism and offense-taking at a completely innocuous slight. What is it with wispy-mustached ESPN "talent"?
Etc.: Pickin' On The Big Ten; SMQ on Rutgers and Rutgers. Myself on Rutgers. RUTGERS!