Rocky’s V: The Irish, old-school coaching, and LSU quarterbacks

10/24/2012

I. Notre Dame finishes undefeated:  The Irish-hater’s nightmare scenario.

The Irish travel to Oklahoma this week for their biggest test so far this season. If they can pull out that victory, Notre Dame’s next three games — Pitt, Boston College, and Wake Forest — are very winnable before a season-ending showdown with USC. If the Irish somehow finish this season undefeated, you cannot tell me that the BCS powers-that-be would fail to put them in the championship game given Notre Dame’s national draw and appeal. And this is where those who show no love for the Irish go berserk, especially SEC fans. One of these top teams — Alabama, LSU, Florida or Oregon out of the Pac-12 — would potentially be denied the championship game in favor of Notre Dame when anyone who has watched college football clearly knows that as good as the Domers are, they are not in the same league as the previous four teams mentioned. It is a not so far-fetched scenario that would send folks on both sides of the fence into an absolute frenzy.

II. South Carolina unravels

From looking like a juggernaut two weeks ago to getting embarrassed in consecutive weeks, it’s clear that the wheels have come off the Gamecocks’ promising season. And it’s been an across-the-board drop off. Two weeks ago, LSU punched them in the mouth for 258 rushing yards on 53 attempts and this past week it was Florida forcing four turnovers and holding the Gamecocks to just 35 yards rushing. Things got so bad that starting QB Connor Shaw got replaced by backup Dylan Thompson. Having seen them in person, this much is clear: South Carolina has a lot of play-makers, but are just too finesse right now to compete in the rough-and-tumble SEC.

III. The Big East is going down swinging

The Big East has taken a lot of flak in the last couple years as a conference that is more or less surplus to requirements where the BCS is concerned. But it will not go away quietly. There are only 11 undefeated teams left in the FBS and two of them hail from the Big East: 19th-ranked Rutgers and 16th-ranked Louisville. I know they haven’t played any SEC teams, but by comparison the mighty ACC has not a single undefeated team. It may be inevitable that the Big East goes away in the future, but it can’t de denied that it has some fight left in it.

IV. Old School: Coach Bill Snyder leading Kansas State

At 73 years old and stoic, Bill Snyder stands alone among many of today’s college football coaches with big egos and dramatic personalities (Lane Kiffin, anyone?). On his second tenure at the helm of Kansas State, he has led the Wildcats to a perfect 7-0 record and a #3 ranking in the BCS. If you like drama-filled interviews and flamboyant speeches Snyder is not your guy. If you like tough, disciplined teams that don’t beat themselves and play collectively better than any other team in the country, Kansas State is your team this year.

V. Why can’t LSU recruit a top QB?

I gave Zach Mettenberger a chance, but after watching him first hand he clearly has not lived up to the hype so far.   How does this happen to the mighty Bayou Bengals? LSU recruits some of the top talent in the country year in and year out. Last season they had five players drafted and at least five more will get drafted this coming year. With all that talent going to the NFL year after year, how come never a QB? Matt Flynn is the last one to get drafted but it was in the 7th round and he has yet to be a starting quarterback in the League. It makes no sense. All around the country, week-in and week-out, quarterbacks from obscure schools put up fantastic numbers and play at a high level. Just north of me at Miami of Ohio (MAC), there is a quarterback named Zac Dysert, who by the time he ends his career this year will finish with over 10,000 yards passing, will have broken many records by a previous Redhawk QB named Ben Roethlisberger, and will go in the first round of next year’s draft. How does LSU not find and convince a kid like this to go their school with the other five-star recruits that they sign every year?

- Rocky Boiman

Rocky Boiman is an analyst for Westwood One’s coverage of NCAA Football. Each week in “Rocky’s V,” the former Notre Dame captain and Super Bowl champion writes about five topics that have captured his interest from around college football. You can also follow Rocky on Twitter.

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