Week 6 And Another Thing
1: The Ezekiel Elliott case has now stretched into October but, according to the NFL, an end might be in sight. After oral arguments in front of the 5th circuit court the NFL believes that a decision will soon be forthcoming regarding the delayed suspension of Ezekiel Elliott. It is worth noting that the NFL believes it has the strongest case and, therefore, believes that victory is likely theirs for the taking. Until the court sides with the league, however, they are essentially siding with Elliott in delaying his suspension.
2: The Chargers situation is one of the most embarrassing situations in the recent history of the league. Dean Spanos moved the team to a Los Angeles city that did not want them and has no connection to them - aside from a few fans over the age of 70 that remember their inaugural season in Los Angeles. Spanos made the move because he felt like half of the Los Angeles market was better than the entire San Diego market. The problem is that in Los Angeles football is not all that popular and there are dozens of other ways to have fun on a Sunday. Now the Chargers can’t even sell out a 29,000 seat stadium. This is not sustainable.
3: Kansas CIty is the best team in the league and they appear to be Andy Reid’s best chance to win a Super Bowl. Breaking in a new quarterback next season will probably preclude the Chiefs from being as strong a contender as they are with the veteran Alex Smith. This is Reid’s most complete team ever and the first that shows any kind of offensive evolution from the west coast offense disciple. Run Pass options have been added into the offense this season, as have some spread rushing techniques which have allowed the team to better take advantage of Ty Hill, Travis Kelce and Alex Smith - as a runner. The emergence of Kareem Hunt has simply solidified what would have already been an improvement over Reid’s previous offenses.
4: Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr are now going to miss some time which should mean an opportunity for Colin Kaepernick, but likely won’t. In Tennessee Kaepernick is the team's best chance to approximate what Marcus Mariota does while the Oakland fanbase would be among the most welcoming of Kaepernick and he would have a better chance of salvaging the Raiders season then EJ Manual.
1: Some new faces are entering the Heisman discussion. While Saquon Barkley still looks like the favorite, Sam Darnold is pretty much out of the discussion, and a few new faces are starting to make some noise. First, Bryce Love is putting up ridiculous numbers. Although both Christian McCaffrey and Toby Gerhart had better numbers than the running backs they lost the Heisman too, Love is looking very extreme averaging 217 yards per game and over 11 yards per carry. It will be difficult to deny Love the Heisman if he keeps up at this pace. Second, for the second week in a row Jarrett Stidham has been the best quarterback in college football. Should Stidham continue to put up efficient numbers in SEC Conference games he’ll start to get some votes from the southern media. Finally, Luke Falk is having a pretty good year as he leads Washington State to a top 10 ranking. If the Cougars win the Pac-12, and Falk continues to excel, he should also find himself in the discussion for the Heisman.
2: Ed Orgeron might have set LSU back even further this year. Matt Canada and Dave Aranda were heralded as game changing coordinators in LSU, finally. It was reported that they would have complete control over their sides of the ball. There is no reason to believe that isn’t the case, but Orgeron needs to make some adjustments to his team's preparation and game planning or LSU might miss out on a bowl all together.
3: Speaking of LSU underachieving, Neil Brown very well might have just gotten himself a top SEC job for 2018. Tennessee, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and possibly LSU and Auburn will have vacancies and a locally grown candidate with an exciting offensive scheme will garner some attention, especially when he has a victory over LSU at Tiger Stadium on his resume.
And Another Thing
Joe Tiller passed away this week and I always felt Tiller was far more important to college football than people realized. What Tiller did was prove that smaller programs in major conferences with high academic requirements could field competitive teams. He brought the spread offense to the Big Ten, won games, and developed two future NFL starting quarterbacks. He did so while maintaining high graduation rates in degrees that mattered. Tiller was able to develop personal relationships in the style of an old school coach while bringing in an innovative approach to his game planning. He was the most perfect blend of old and new school during the early 2000’s. On a personal note, of all of the football personnel I have met in my 19 years covering the sport Joe Tiller was the most honest of all of them, as well as one of the kindest. He also had a winning record against Nick Saban.