Monday, October 18, 2010

weekend review

I was sorely tempted to take all the recruiting board prospects that are considering both UVA and UNC and drop 'em into the red category. I mean, Travis Hughes had it in his head that UVA had no future until the USC game; did this Saturday convince you that the future is sunshine and oranges? I resisted the urge, however, in favor of calm, rational decision making, which is way less fun. So the recruiting board stays the same this week.

I did give the depth chart a once-over, though. The O-line shuffle continues; actually, it shuffled before the game and I didn't fix it because it was pretty close to game time by the time that was announced, and Friday is my self-allowed day off. Changes for this week:

- Morgan Moses is your new starter at right tackle, as I'm sure you noticed. Backing him up is Aaron Van Kuiken; Sean Cascarano backs up Oday Aboushi on the left side.

- Luke Bowanko moves back to guard to back up B.J. Cabbell.

- Billy Schautz steps in as a backup DE for Jeremiah Mathis, who is now an emergency tight end. That's a temporary arrangement; after the season, I'm moving Mathis back to DE.

Quarterback does not change, as London has announced Marc Verica's job is safe, at least for this week. Obviously an unpopular move, but - I cannot stress this enough - the right one. If there were an exactly equal chance of winning a game with one of the freshmen, then it would make sense to start up a platoon between Metheny and Rocco, and see if one can separate from the other. It would not make sense to pick one or the other. Suppose you choose incorrectly and that becomes evident either this fall or next year; you've wasted a golden chance.

But a QB platoon is a pretty poor way to win a football game. In 99% of QB platoons, the whole is less than the sum of the two parts. Marc Verica would have to be a tremendously awful quarterback to be worse than a platoon of two freshmen that can't separate themselves from each other, one of whom drops snaps. Metheny did that twice against UNC. And London has hinted that the freshmen really don't have full grasp of the offense.

“We called a couple formations opposite of what the signal was,” London said. “So there’s issues that all of them have, and the one right now that’s best to run the offense is the one that started the game.

“So this week in practice we’ll continue to keep evaluating them. Maybe the young guy or the other quarterbacks can make the right calls and eliminate the quarterback-center exchange issues and all that. But for the most part, the guy that’s got the most significant reps is the guy that right now is the No. 1 quarterback. And like I said, every day next week is an evaluation day with all of these guys, and that’s the way it’s got to be.”

I have serious doubts that the full playbook is in effect for the freshmen, when they come into the game. One or the other, or both, are messing it up. The coaches' job is to win games, not sacrifice games this year for a slightly better chance at winning next year. UVA fans need not worry that London is blind to Verica's many miscues; London sounds like he's more than painfully aware of them and doesn't have a choice.


Anyway, let's move on to what the future holds. Or what the present holds for our future. Or something. Going to arrange it a little differently this week. First, articles where our guy gets a mention; then, all the rest of the scores.

St. Christopher's 28, Bishop Ireton 20: Thompson Brown blocked an Ireton extra point.

Petersburg 31, Hopewell 21: Kevin Green rushed for 100 yards (including a 66-yard TD run), passed for 145 on 9-of-14, threw a touchdown pass, and ran for two more.

Hermitage 43, J.R. Tucker 0 (Diamonte Bailey)
L.C. Bird 34, James River 10 (Anthony Harris)
I.C. Norcom 20, Churchland 14 (Kameron Mack)
Ocean Lakes 43, Green Run 0 (David Dean)
Hampton 63, Bethel 7 (David Watford)
Bullis (MD) 42, St. S/St. A 31 (Darius Lee)
Phoebus 44, Menchville 6 (Caleb Taylor and Clifton Richardson)
Cox 14, Tallwood 0 (Ross Burbank)
Damascus 27, Sherwood 20 (Brandon Phelps)
Stone Bridge 28, James Madison 10 (Rob Burns)
Good Counsel 42, Paul VI 0 (Vincent Croce)
H.D. Woodson 20, McKinley 15 (Darius Redman)
DeMatha 21, St. John's 14 (Jordan Lomax/Kelby Johnson)
South Mecklenburg 42, Independence 35 (Adrian Gamble)
Archbishop Spalding 39, Boys' Latin 29 (Marco Jones)
Mt. Lebanon 21, Bethel Park 7 (Tim Cwalina)


I've been working on a basketball depth chart similar to the football one. It's not easy to get it the way I want it, because basketball positions are a lot more fluid than football. The vast majority of the roster will show up at two different positions at some point in the season. It's not any easier when Sammy Zeglinski gets to have knee surgery. Going into a season suddenly without your veteran point guard is a scary proposition. It seems a safe bet that if he misses this season, he'd be awarded a sixth year, but I think from a program-development standpoint it's a lot better if he can return this year. I'm not holding my breath though. Jontel Evans and Billy Baron just got a lot more important.

Oh, and the AP poll study page is updated with the latest. Very interesting week, with Alabama losing; the voters got a chance to stray off the beaten path. The results are enlightening. Teams got an average of one-third of a rank boost from their regional voters. Whether that's significant, I'm not sure, but it's the strongest regional bias yet. Pac-10 voters were totally in the tank for Oregon State - I think the trend at the end of the day will be that Pac-10 voters are especially prone to overrating the daylights out of the less-known West Coast contenders. But it was Big Ten voters that took the crown for most regionally biased this time around.


Dave said...

I love the "regional bias" analysis project you've taken on this year. Really interesting stuff. Frankly I would have guessed we'd see more regional bias than you're finding, which is enlightening.

One quibble: although it's unlikely, it's possible that the West Coasters aren't overrating their teams, but rather that everyone else is underrating them. I wouldn't even entertain this idea if the bias were observed in any other region, but the West Coast teams (especially the "lesser known" ones) do tend to fly under the radar to the rest of the country. You know, 'cause they insist on playing some of their best games until 2 in the morning.

Brendan said...

Believe it or not, I've actually been considering the possibility that the rest of the country carries an anti-West Coast bias. It's something I planned to look at once the last weekly poll is out. The time zone thing is something frequently mentioned: East Coast media doesn't stay up to watch the Pac-10's night games.

Thing is, some of the Big 12 voters are on Mountain Time. Theoretically, the Big 12 voters should favor Pac-10 teams more than the East Coast does. Or perhaps, those voters should vote pretty consistently with the Mountain Time voters in the Pac-10 regions. I doubt either is the case, but that'll be one thing I look at after the season.