Each week during the off-season we will be doing this feature that is simply called "This Week In College Football". We will cover the biggest news and stories of the past week and give some opinions and analysis.
In addition to covering the weekly happenings we also have started our Pre-Season Previews and we currently have 49 FBS previews up on the site. This week we previewed Air Force, Akron, Cincinnati, Purdue, South Florida, and UCLA. Next week we will have Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon State, Pittsburgh and Syracuse among the teams that we will preview. Let's talk college football:
DECISION 2011: WHO WILL RUSSELL WILSON CHOOSE?
Russell Wilson has been spending his summer playing with the Colorado Rockies Class A affiliate Asheville Tourists. Not a bad city to spend some time if I do say so myself. Wilson has struggled at the plate as he's hitting only .228 (although he is hitting .257 in his last 10 games), with 3 HR and 15 RBI in 61 games. He's not quite making the same splash as his teammate, former Clemson QB, Kyle Parker. Parker is hitting .275 with 9 HR and 52 RBI so far this season. There must be some interesting conversations going on in that clubhouse with two former ACC Quarterbacks on the same team. Right now, those conversations are probably centered on where Russell Wilson is going to play football this season. Most things I've read have it down to Auburn or Wisconsin.
Russell Wilson burst on the scene as a freshman in 2008 when he threw for 1955 yards, 17 TD and only threw one interception. Over the next two seasons he passed for over 3,000 yards in both seasons and threw for 59 TD with 25 INT. Throughout his college career, Wilson has also proved to be a very mobile QB as he rushed for over 1,000 yards combined in his three years at NC State and added 17 rushing TDs. From a style perspective I think Russell Wilson is a good match for Auburn and with their current QB situation you have to be thinking they are making an all-out blitz for him. There are a lot of factors that have to scream Auburn for Wilson. Cam Newton was able to come in and in one year make himself into a household name and get drafted #1 overall in the NFL draft. Wilson is not the same physical specimen that Newton is but seeing that success has to have light bulbs going off for Wilson. Auburn also has one of the best coordinators in football (and offensive minds) in Gus Malzahn. I think Wilson would benefit from playing under a guy like Gus, who has had success in the past molding his offense to a players strengths. Another factor is climate, Wilson is from the south and you have to wonder if he really wants to go up to the cold weather of Wisconsin to play football. Yet another factor is the competition. Does Russell Wilson want to play with the big boys in the SEC and take on the challenge of playing the likes of Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, South Carolina, Florida, and Mississippi State?
Wilson has said that he will make his decision by the end of the month so when I write this column next week we should have our answer. If I was a betting man, I'd say he's going to pick Auburn. I think there are just too many positive factors leading that way for him. I think he can have a good impact for either team he picks (or if he picks a team we aren't considering). He won't make them a National Championship contender but if he chooses Auburn I think he picks them up a couple of notches as many people (myself included) are expecting them to be down this season because of how many holes they have from departing seniors and early entrants in the NFL draft.
YET ANOTHER GATOR TRANSFER
One thing that could really hurt Will Muschamp this year is depth. It seems like every week we are hearing about another Florida Gator football player that is transferring out of the program. Maybe some don't feel they are a fit for the new schemes being brought in, some don't feel it's a good fit for them personally and maybe Muschamp is making them a bit uncomfortable (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). So far this summer we've talked about RB Mike Blakely transferring to Auburn, WRs Chris Dunkley and Javares McCroy also bid adieu to the program this summer, and of course All-Conference performer Janoris Jenkins transfer has been well documented (in fact if you scroll down a bit we have more up-to-date news on that). The latest defection is former 5-Star DE recruit Chris Martin. He's a kid that has a ton of talent but has also gotten into his fair share of trouble down in Florida as he was sited for Marijuana possession earlier this year (cue Florida weed joke here). While Martin wasn't expected to start for the Gators this fall he was expected to be a second-stringer and probably would have played some important football this fall. Now Florida is down to 72 scholarship players and you have to wonder how depth will affect them this season.
UNC GETS NOTICE OF ALLEGATIONS
Earlier this week the University of North Carolina received it's Notice of Allegations (NOA) from the NCAA. Our good friend over at the In The Bleachers blog took some time earlier this week to break down these allegations. So head over there and take a look if you want a blow by blow breakdown on the situation. An interesting note that they bring up is that Butch Davis's name is no where to be found in the allegations. I think that's important for Butch as I personally have been wondering how long he is going to stay around with everything that keeps popping up in Chapel Hill. While it is true that Davis's name was not in the NOA, Davis is responsible for the John Blake hire and he's put himself into a situation right now where he can't afford any more things coming out. I can't imagine how hard it is to monitor what is going in a teenager or young adults life. Now imagine that you have 85 of these kids you have to monitor. I think you would be taking some Advil or something a little harder about now.
But as hard as it is, Butch has to do something to keep a closer eye on what is going on in his backyard. He can't simply turn a blind eye (see also: Jim Tressel) and plead ignorance. At some point it's no longer ignorance and it's stupidity. We aren't at that point yet but we could be soon. I hope Butch gets things cleaned up because ACC football is better with a strong UNC and Butch has proved that he can recruit the players to make UNC a contender. Now can he keep them eligible?
- As we teased earlier it's now official that Janoris Jenkins will be transferring to the North Alabama Lions instead of entering his name in the supplemental draft. I like this decision as Janoris has some maturing to do and hopefully he will take this opportunity to re-habilitate his reputation.
- UCF coach George O'Leary testified this week in the wrongful death suit against Central Florida. This is definitely something to keep an eye on.
- We've touched on the money Oregon spent on recruiting services recently. Now it seems like Oregon has hired a lawyer known as "the Cleaner". This law firm specializes in helping schools be pro-active when being investigated and helps them lessen the blow of NCAA violations. This should be interesting.
- Last week we talked about former Georgia player Leonard Pope saving a drowning child. This week we found out that back in February a player from the USF lifted up a car and helped save a tow-truck driver that was trapped beneath. It's nice to see some positive deeds going noticed by athletes instead of it just being knuckleheads that get the publicity. Danous Estenor, remember that name, his teammates call him hero.