Monday, May 24, 2010

Mega-Conferences? Texas and Notre Lame? Is it August Yet?

All right, the offseason sucks. There's nothing more painful than June and July for a college football fan. The news and rumors are flying! The Big Ten is considering expansion. Texas is considering independence. What we know is that we will soon see 14 game regular seasons and that has sparked talks of [echo effect] MEGACONFERENCES! [end echo effect]. So, let's put it out there. What would the conferences look like if they went to 14 or even 16 teams?

ACC Great Lakes Big 14 Pacific-10 SEC
Boston College Indiana Nevada Boise St. Florida
Clemson Northwestern Colorado California Georgia
East Carolina Ohio St. Houston Oregon Kentucky
Maryland Penn St. Iowa St. Oregon St. Miami (FL)
NC St. Purdue Kansas Stanford South Carolina
Syracuse Rutgers Kansas St. Washington Tennessee
Wake Forest Wisconsin TCU Washington St. Vanderbilt
Duke Illinois Baylor Arizona Alabama
Georgia Tech Iowa Oklahoma Arizona St. Arkansas
Cincinnati Michigan Oklahoma St. Brigham Young Auburn
North Carolina Michigan St. SMU Hawaii Florida St.
Virginia Minnesota South Florida UCLA LSU
Virginia Tech Missouri Texas A&M USC Mississippi
West Virginia Nebraska Texas Tech Utah Mississippi St.
B.E.A.F. Sun Belt Mid-American Conference USA MWC/WAC IA Independent
Louisville Troy EAST EAST NORTH Notre Dame
Pittsburgh Middle Tennessee Ohio UCF Wyoming Texas
Connecticut LA-Monroe Temple Southern Miss Utah St.
Air Force Florida Atlantic Bowling Green Marshall Nevada
Navy LA-Lafayette Kent St. UAB Idaho
Army Arkansas St. Buffalo Memphis LA Tech
FIU Akron San Diego St.
North Texas Miami (OH)
W. Kentucky
C. Michigan Tulsa New Mexico St.
No. Illinois UTEP San Jose St.
W. Michigan Rice UNLV
Toledo Tulane New Mexico
Ball St. Colorado St.
E. Michigan

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Transfers and Moves all around

We're sure by now you've heard that DE Jake Johnson and WR Patrick Terry are transferring out of the Virginia Tech football program. There's another move to be discussed as well, but first let's talk about the players, whose transfers have been granted by Coach Beamer.

Johnson came in as a completely hyped linebacker. He is physical and fast and played that way whether he was starting linebacker, backup linebacker, or defensive end. But let's look back at our analysis of Johnson coming out of high school in the February '08 Recruiting Class:

"This kid is all intensity and he brings a pile of bricks to the football. Fundamentally, however he needs a lot of work. He reaches a lot and makes horse collar and jersey tackles and sometimes on his monster hits he doesn't wrap up. Now in high school that about knocks the RB or QB out, but in college you need to be sound in your tackling. The super-exciting thing about it is that Johnson has the things you can't coach - size, intensity, football instincts. And to address his fundamentals he merely has the best linebacker coach in the country (and we make no reservations about saying that) in Foster to guide that talent into a tackling machine at Virginia Tech. It should be interesting to see where Johnson ends up on the defense. You will hear us say this a lot during this recruiting analysis - sorting out the immense LB talent in this class and the '07 class and getting them into the right positions is a great problem that Coach Foster has."

The fact is that Johnson wasn't able to get solid in his tackling and as a result he wasn't making plays at LB. While Coach Foster is the best LB coach in the country, he also isn't going to tolerate missed tackles. That led to Johnson getting benched in favor of tackling machine Lyndell Gibson and eventually moved to end. But at a lower level of football, Johnson is going to have a chance to play LB because he is tough and fast and will likely overpower the competition.

This is good for Johnson and the only downside here is that the Hokies are not nearly deep enough at defensive end. That said, super stud freshman Zack McCray gets onto campus this summer and he knows what this departure means in terms of opening up a real shot for him to get playing time this fall as a backup. McCray is going to be fired up and working hard this summer, you can bet on that.

Patrick Terry on the other hand, is really a win-win for everyone. He departs a position, WR, that is absolutely over-run with talent in the program. DJ Coles is coming back from injury and Nubian Peak looks like he fits right in, so there is just no playing time left for Patrick Terry. Transferring gets him playing time and frees up another scholarship for Virginia Tech (punter Brian Saunders will likely be the beneficiary here).

Both players represented the program well while they were at Tech and we wish them both the best as they move on to their next steps.

Speaking of next steps, MadJay is taking one as well, utilizing the summer lull to relocate himself and family away from the friendly confines of HokieNation to a job outside of Kansas City, Missouri. Coming back for home games will be much more difficult, but we still plan on trying to make a game or two when we can. And ESPN3, ACC Select and Pay-Per-View are all going to financially benefit from this as we will now be ordering every Hokie game on Saturdays this fall. Life goes on but we are, and will always remain SuperFans and MadJay will still be posting on here every week come football season.