Pac-10 Far From Overrated

Fighting for title of second-best conference with Big 12

College Football Preview: Week 11

> The Red Zone  |  Tape It Up  |  Strike The Pose  |  Breaking The Code
> B.J.: Heisman Hosses  |  Amsinger: Weekly Picks  |  Sorenson: 10 Qs  |   Braff: Ducks Should Be No. 2
> Trev: Pac-10 No Disappointment  |  National Title Matchups   |  Palm: Jockeying For Other BCS Bowls
> Hart: Woe Is A Missouri Fan  |  Roland: BC Better Beware of Turtle  |  Blackburn: Fiery Perspective
> Caparell: Soft Schedule Could Have Hawai'i BCS Bound  |  Crystal Ball: Weekend Predictions

Nov. 7, 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.


Will Florida State and Penn State ever return to prominence when new coaches are finally hired? - A.O., Pennsylvania




I was thinking after that Boston College game last week that we were so quick at the start of the season to say how great the hiring of Jimbo Fisher was going to be and Rick Trickett's hiring as well. They looked terrible the first couple of times we saw them in a big game, but suddenly they've only given up a few sacks the past four games and Drew Weatherford has only thrown one interception the entire season so I'm not ready to give up on Bobby Bowden and his new staff. They made some changes, Chuck Amato is another coach who came on board, they have athletes -- Preston Parker has been a great addition at receiver. They still can't run, but that win against Boston College kind of looked like the old Florida State. They shut down the run, caused a few turnovers so I was really impressed with Florida State and looking for a really strong finish from them.


It's a difficult situation at Penn State because you have a system and a culture and a head coach who is a legend. That coach will be the coach as long as he wants and to be honest I haven't really seen Anthony Morelli develop like I thought he would, despite some great talent. I think they are who they are. But if you're Graham Spaniard, the president of Penn State, what can you do?


Who are some of the top assistants that are going to become the next head coaches? - Aaron Azinger, Phoenix


There are obviously big name guys across the board and a lot of those guys are always going to be a part of successful programs, but it's unfortunate for guys that have great individual units that happen to be on a team that doesn't do great.


But you'll hear names like Bo Pelini and Will Muschamp mentioned for coaching vacancies, but as time goes on it's going to be problematic for some of the big name programs to take on guys who have never been a head coach. You see time and time again guys that are just cut out to be great coordinators. And I'm not saying Pelini and Muschamp aren't going to get jobs, but I think you're going to see the elite programs tab guys that have done something. Jim Tressel was a Division I-AA coach but was very successful and won championships. I'm talking about guys like that. You can translate success and some people are a lot more comfortable hiring someone who has won already.


I think it's positive for college football that this infatuation with NFL coaches is dwindling. Charlie Weis, Bill Callahan, Al Groh and Tim Brewster are some examples that haven't worked out so great. USC caught lightening in a bottle with Pete Carroll and many schools followed suit.


The bigger thing to me is going to be guys who have had success coaching, but at a different levels, someone like a Chris Petersen at Boise. But since we're talking about coordinators and assistants Gus Malzahn is another name to keep and eye on. Florida State's Fisher is a very good assistant who is positioning himself quite well.


How can the Pac-10 still be considered one of the top conferences in the country when every team that was supposed to be good this season, Cal, UCLA and especially USC are average at best. You do have a surprise with Oregon, but that's simply because they've been beating those other underachieving teams. - Ethan Dooley, Florida


I disagree. I think the Pac-10 has acquitted itself quite well. You have seen a resurgence of Arizona State. USC is still a very good program and a good team. You take a small step back and suddenly they're terrible? Cal has lost three tough games. That Oregon victory over Michigan -- you know Michigan hasn't lost a game since then -- looks better and better all the time.


I think the Pac-10 and Big 12 are fighting it out for the title of second-best conference behind the SEC. I think it's been a great year for Pac-10 football and glad they've gotten more exposure with the big matchups every week and Jim Harbaugh beating USC.