What criteria do you use to determine if a team and its players are good?
This might not meet the haughty standards of Heisman Pundit, but to paraphrase former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart “I know it when I see it.” (BTW, Stewart was talking porn, not football greatness.) Let me explain further.
Wins and losses are my first indicator, but I always consider who the team played. I usually respect a 9-2 team that took on the big boys more than a 10-1 team that fattened their record on teams the dregs of division 1A football. Ultimately, I go by what I see and who you beat.
As for player greatness, while I think size and speed and arm strength are important, I come up with something much more objective: can you do what you are supposed to do when everyone is trying to stop you? And when I consider that question, I do account for scheme. Any serviceable back could be a thousand yard rusher in BC’s system. Few have been great. But the offensive line, who blow guys off the ball over and over, and don’t miss assignments have been filled with greatness (Woody, Koppen, Columbo to name a few).
I am more impressed when someone like Reggie Bush returns a punt on the road, in fog and seemingly weaves through all 85 Oregon State players on scholarship than I am when he explodes untouched through a big hole on a run play.
I also have a soft spot for smart players, guys who hustle and do something that you haven’t seen before.
If you could choose one coach to build an offensive system for your school, who would it be? Conversly, who would you choose to devise the defense? Why?
Offensively, I’d go with Norm Chow. You can take your spreads/option hybrids. Give me Chow’s mixed bag of passing schemes and 30-year track record. He may not look as brilliant now that he is going against the best 32 defensive coordinators in the world, but the man can do no wrong at the college level.
He’s taken his game elsewhere, but I’d probably go with Nick Saban for defense. He learned from the best, understands the college game, and does a great job combining talent with schemes.
Describe your typical college football Saturday.
I wake up around 9 am EST. I am on some treadmill, ellipse or stairmaster by 10. I catch the end of Sportscenter and the beginning of Gameday. After sweating my ass off, I ruin any good it did me by going to pick up burritos from Willy’s (the only place in Atlanta to go; all you Chipotle and Moe’s fans can save it).
Once we’re home, I shower and then dive into the Willy’s just in time to see Corso put on a Mascot head. The BC game usually comes on at noon, so we turn the channel and keep it there for the next few hours. Like Larry Sanders -- no flipping. I don’t care what other game is on, I am totally focused on BC. Once the BC game ends, I’ll turn to the most interesting game of the day. We like to head to 5:30 mass, but if there is a really good game, I’ve been known to skip church. We usually have some sort of social plans for Saturday night. Fortunately in Atlanta every party or restaurant or place you might go has a college football game on in the background.
Once we get home Saturday night, I’ll watch the end of the ESPN game and then fall asleep to the late night WAC Gameplan game. This schedule repeats itself until December with variations coming into play if we go to the game or if BC plays on Thursday or Saturday night.