Yes, I Do Know College Football

Feb. 9, 2007

By Trev Alberts

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Trev Alberts is a football analyst for CSTV and
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You've got college football questions and CSTV football analyst Trev Alberts has answers and opinions. Each week Alberts will be answering questions and queries on the world of college football. So if you've got a question for Trev? Just ask him.


Do you follow college football? Florida State has a whole new staff. 5 out of 9 new coaches and we had no idea who they would be for about a month during prime recruiting season.  We still fill every need including 7 OL's out of 18 recruits, Georgia's top OL, Clemson's top WR and two stud athletes from Florida, not to mention the top LB from Florida. I would really like to hear your take on this. Please enlighten me. P.S.  I better hear from Trev "Hate FSU because they stole my National Title" Alberts. - Scott Brandt, Tampa, Fla.


I do follow college football, Scott. Thanks for asking. And actually this company pays me quite well to do that.


It's not my fault that the entire staff had to be changed over and they couldn't find anybody who wanted to coach there. But I didn't say that Florida State had a bad recruiting class. What I said was for them, it was a disappointing class. Would Iowa State and Wisconsin and a lot of other schools be ecstatic with that class? Of course they would. That's the standard Florida State is measured by. As recently as a few years ago they had consensus Top Five recruiting classes. They filled some needs this year, as you point out, but it's not the dominating class we're used to seeing Florida State have.


There were a number of factors that you could say contributed to that. But you still come up with the same conclusion: it was a disappointing class. Take the Seminole blinders off for just a minute. Be objective and say, "From our standards it's a bit disappointing."


Scott, understand I'm giving you a compliment by saying it's a disappointing class. I'm complimenting you on how dominating recruiting has been for Florida State in the past. If Florida State fans are happy and content with this class then apparently you've lowered your standard.


Do you see Sam Keller starting this year, and do you think he will do well? Zac Taylor did a good job, but he seemed to make the big mistake at the most in opportune time. The media in Nebraska seems to think he was the single reason for the teams turn around. I must disagree. Our defense kept us in most of the games in spite of the offensive mistakes. What do you think? - Kelly, International Falls, Minn.


I'd have to disagree. I would tend to agree with the media in Nebraska. Certainly there wasn't one player who was responsible for Nebraska's sort of resurgence. That being said, because you're changing offenses that's why Zac Taylor has gotten and deserved and continued to get the credit. That's a demanding position and I thought he played it like a man. He showed a lot of poise and he really hung in there.


I'm as excited as anyone to find out who the next quarterback will be. Taylor kind of fell into the laps of Nebraska and it's kind of the same way with Keller. But Sam Keller has played the position and he's been under the fire and played in a similar type offense so I would say it would be pretty obvious that he would have a leg up on the competition. I think it will be Keller who gets the nod.


That being said, I think Nebraska fans down the road would like to see a highly-recruited and touted quarterback who could potentially start for two or three years.


You leave Tennessee out of the list of signing day winners. Florida and USC are teams that rely on their in-state haul to create top classes year after year. As you correctly describe, USC does not have to compete against top recruiters on the West Coast. The job that Tennessee has done is much more impressive to me than what LSU and Texas are doing or even Greg Schiano at Rutgers and Ron Zook at Illinois in that they are keeping in-state kids home. Tennessee has a great tradition and wonderful facilities, but they have to rely on out-of-state kids. Tennessee, in the last 10 years, has been close to the top in talent every year with out-of-state guys (Peyton Manning, Al Wilson, Jamal Lewis, Cosey Coleman, Travis Henry) who spurned in-state programs to star for the Vols. Isn't that the more remarkable story, a team that has little in-state talent hanging with the others year after year? Why does it not merit a mention? - Clayton Wood


We picked out some winners and losers and because Tennessee was left off a list of winners doesn't necessarily mean they weren't a winner.


But I would completely disagree with the comparison to Rutgers. Tennessee has an established tradition and an established coach and established former players. They have facilities that rival no one. And the other thing is do some of their top players come from out of state? Yeah. But Knoxville, Tenn. isn't exactly a long way away from Georgia. They're a powerhouse in a region that produces a tremendous amount of talent.


For a kid to leave Georgia for Tennessee isn't like a kid leaving Florida to go to Rutgers or leaving your hometown in New Jersey to play in Champaign, Ill. That's a different deal.


This is why college football fans are so great. In no way did my omitting of Tennessee as a winner mean they were a loser. I chose not to pick Tennessee as a winner. There are more people on that list who are considered winners than I talked about.


What I think is a remarkable story is that a USC team that is absolutely loaded continues to load itself even more. Common sense tells you if you're a high school kid concerned about playing time, like Joe McKnight who is a five-star running back, and you look at the roster for playing time there are already seven five-star running back recruits. To me that is a story. You see some other powers have some periodic down recruiting periods. Ohio State had a good recruiting class, not great. Oklahoma's was good, not great. But Pete Carroll continues to get the top kids even though he gets the top ones. 


When you're a fan of a school like Tennessee you take for granted that there are other programs out there that weren't even relevant in college football for the longest time. Kansas State was one. Rutgers was not even relevant a few years ago. They were beyond not relevant. Frankly, they were embarrassing. So for them to have a big time recruit like Anthony Davis turn down Ohio State, Florida, Miami and others and go to Rutgers is a huge story.


If you're from Knoxville, Tenn. and a Tennessee fan that doesn't mean anything to you.



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