Dixon Can Be Contained, But Not Stopped

Right matchup could limit Duck quarterback's effectiveness

College Football Preview: Week 12

> The Red Zone  |  Tape It Up  |  Strike The Pose  |  Breaking The Code
> B.J.: Jayhawks Beware  |  Amsinger: Weekly Picks  |  Sorenson: 10 Qs  |   Braff: SEC-Big 12 Debate
> Trev: Dixon Can Only Be Contained  |  Coach of the Year   |  Hart: Guarantees and Gestures
> Blackburn: Something Strangely Familiar In Kansas  |  Roland: Get Set For Stabilizing Saturday
> Caparell: Georgia In The Know  |  Palm: BCS Stretch Run  |  Crystal Ball: Weekend Predictions

Nov. 14, 2007

By Trev Alberts

Special to CSTV.com



Trev Alberts is a football analyst for CSTV and CSTV.com.
E-mail here!

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.


Is there a way to stop Dennis Dixon and Oregon? Nobody has been able to do it this season. Does LSU have the kind of defense -- assuming they play in the national title game -- to stop Oregon? - Christy, Texas




They haven't been stopped, but Oregon does have a loss. I think that's pretty fair to point that out. With all due respect to Mike Bellotti who has had a great year, the Ducks have great balance on offense, but I still think if you get a defense that can make some plays in space and has some athleticism -- where maybe it isn't quite the mismatch when you have a linebacker in space -- then Dennis Dixon can be contained.


I just think of Ali Highsmith out in the slot, who might find himself in the open field against Dixon. I'd still pick Dixon to win that battle, but it's not quite the mismatch like it would be if it was against a Michigan linebacker. I don't think you can stop Dennis Dixon, but I think you can contain him, and you have to understand that part of containing Dennis Dixon is having an offense that can move the ball against Oregon's defense. That's what happened in the Ducks' loss.


So in a roundabout, complicated way of answering the question; yeah, sort of.


Being that you played defense and that this year's Heisman race is as confusing as ever, what are your feelings about a defensive player winning the award? Why are people so insistent that a defensive player can't be the best player on his team or in the country? - Alan, Florida


I think most of it is ignorance. Most of it is people not realizing the impact a single defensive player can have on a game. The reality is if the award is supposed to be given to the most outstanding player in college football and you truly went according to the basic definition of what it should be, you would have seen a defensive player winning the Heisman Trophy by now.


The facts are, regardless of what you ought to be voting on, you're going to be voting on the most hyped player in college football who gets the most attention who plays on a team that has a very good record who hasn't had any disastrous games on national TV. Those will be your Heisman Trophy candidates and ultimately your winner.


It doesn't make it right, it doesn't make it fair, but that's reality.


What is more important for a coach, recruiting or X's and O's? Is college football more about just putting talent on the field or actually coaching the talent?­ - Mike, Nebraska


Mike, I think I know what you're referencing, and I believe it's X's and O's. College football is littered with coaches who have put winners on the field who didn't have a single guy who would have been rated as a five-star recruit. That being said, you also have plenty of coaches who have all kinds of five-star recruits who haven't gotten it done on the field. So you can see, in my opinion, it's X's and O's.


The five-star recruits are a subjective, arbitrary rating. Five stars according to whom? X's and O's aren't really subjective or arbitrary. It's something you can tangibly point to. We've gotten caught up and overwhelmed by the media's coverage of recruiting and the whole fascination of who the next star player at a university will be that we've lost track of how important the X's and O's are.


My head coach will be an X's and O's guy. You can always hire a good recruiter. A good recruiting head coach who doesn't understand X's and O's puts you at a distinct disadvantage. In a perfect world you'd like to have both and I think you can have a great X's and O's coach and also have a good recruiter.


I'll also tell you that I'm not insinuating in any way that Bill Callahan isn't a good X's and O's coach. Being a successful head coach goes far beyond X's and O's. It's how players relate to the coach, his motivational skills. That's why you see some great X's and O's coordinators, on both sides of the ball, who don't turn into great head coaches because being a great head coach entails a whole lot more than being just a recruiter or an X's and O's guy. There are parts of that job that none of us understand.