BOZICH | Monday Muse: Louisville's edge against FSU; Your High School Top 10
Will Florida State have QB issues when it visits Louisville? Testing your reaction time vs. Usain Bolt. Ranking the top high school football teams. The Monday Muse is overflowing.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – I’ve made this confession many times. I’m simply not good playing them one game at a time.
I’m already thinking about Louisville’s football games with Florida State and Clemson, Kentucky’s trip to Florida, Western Kentucky’s visit to Alabama and Indiana’s rematch with Wake Forest.
I’m certain I’m not alone. We’re all candidates to run the stadium steps for looking ahead. My guess is it’s not simply a Monday Muse thing. It’s a human nature thing.
Let’s stay human and plunge into the Monday Muse
1. WILL FSU QB INJURY LINGER TO LOUISVILLE GAME?
Florida State visits Louisville Sept. 17. That’s 33 days. It's a noon game. I'd advise your start to hydrate as soon as possible.
Late last week Florida State announced that Sean Maguire, the team’s most experienced quarterback (1,520 passing yard and 11 TDs in 2015), would miss four weeks with a stress fracture in his right (plant) ankle. That’s 28 days.
So you could say that Maguire will be back for the game in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Or you could say he won’t be quite ready to perform against Bobby Petrino’s team.
Or you could say his replacement Deondre Francois, a redshirt freshman with no college experience, will lock down the job by mid-September because he’s the guy Jimbo Fisher likes at the position.
Unless Malik Henry, a true freshman, wins the job.
Or you could say that FSU will have a quarterback competition/controversy raging when they get to town for their annual practice at Waterfront Park. (Remember: No media in a public facility.)
Actually, the only thing you can safely say is there’s legitimate uncertainty at quarterback at FSU. That’s never a bad thing if you’re a team booked to play the Seminoles during the first weeks of the season.
2. ARE YOU FASTER THAN USAIN BOLT?
Two confessions: This is the most fascinating thing I’ve found on the Internet in years.
Two, I had to stop playing it Sunday night because I failed at least 20 straight times.
Don’t tell Donald Trump but the New York Times created a web page hat allows you to test your reaction time against Usain Bolt’s.
There is a button the middle of the screen on this web page. Place the cursor on the button and click when you are ready to begin. You get the ready voice and visual commands. Then the set voice and visual commands.
Then you hear GO.
The challenge is to click the button again as quickly as possible – trying to beat Bolt’s reaction time.
Bolt’s reaction out of the starting blocks has been measured at 0.155 seconds. My fastest click was 0.201.
I’m certain you can do better. Just try not to play there all afternoon. I showed it to Mike Lacett, Jacob Davis and Eric Crawford today. I believe they enjoyed it.
3. HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL?
On Tuesday we’re rolling out the WDRB High School Football Kentuckiana Top 10. Tom Lane, Katie George, Mike Lacett, John Lewis, Eric Crawford and I will rank the teams in this area all season.
We’re going 10 deep – and we’re including teams from both sides of the Ohio River.
I’d like to add a special twist – one weekly vote from a reader.
I’ll rotate the reader participants, according to the response.
But if you’d like to be included, please send me an e-mail at email@example.com -- and include your initial Top 10 because the first poll will be posted Tuesday afternoon.
Thanks in advance. This will be fun -- and even more fun if you participate.
4. WEST GEORGIA CONNECTION
I don’t know which team you’re picking in the Catawba-West Georgia Division II football season opener Sept. 3 in Carrollton, Ga., but I’m going with the Wolves.
Ooops. That’s West Georgia.
How can you pick against a growing Division II power that was picked to win its conference and added Will Gardner (former Louisville starter) and Jason Hatcher (former Trinity High and Kentucky starter) to its lineup?
Sprinkle in halfback Josh Thomas, who led Iowa State in rushing touchdowns last season, and you’ve got considerable FBS firepower in a league of guys who didn’t draw FBS or even FCS offers in high school.
I couldn’t uncover a West Georgia depth chart. Both Hatcher and Gardner are listed on the roster. Gardner will wear number 4 as one of six quarterbacks. Hatcher was given number 9 as one five defensive ends.
By my count, West Georgia has 11 players with FBS experience. I’ll try to track how Gardner and Hatcher perform in 2016.
5. WHICH CONFERENCE HAS THE BEST FOOTBALL COACHING LINEUP?
When I saw the tease was from the website SaturdayDownSouth.com, I figured I knew the answer to that question.
It had to be the Southeastern Conference, correct?
The SEC has the best of everything – facilities, tradition, fans, recruits, bowl victories.
He gave the victory to the Big 12, in part because of churn in the SEC lineup that removed Steve Spurrier, Gary Pinkel and Mark Richt after last season.
Listen to this: I don’t agree. I think the SEC and Big Ten are better.
You’ve still got Nick Saban, Les Miles, Bret Bielama, Dan Mullen and Hugh Freeze on the job in the SEC, while the Big Ten can fire back with Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh, Mark Dantonio and Pat Fitzgerald.
The Big 12 has Bob Stoops and Gary Patterson. But Bill Snyder is near the finish line at Kansas State, Charlie Strong is fighting for his job at Texas, Baylor is in turmoil and there are unknowns at Iowa State and Kansas.
6. BANKING ON EDDIE GRAN AT KENTUCKY
If there is one thing Kentucky needs this season, it is a confident, focused approach on offense – explained and executed by new offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.
Fairly or unfairly, much of the blame for UK’s offensive struggles in 2015 were directed at coordinator Shannon Dawson. He departed after one season to work at Southern Miss – and the grumbling about Dawson’s inexperienced play-calling accelerated after he left town.
Gran is expected to make things better. His pedigree is solid with experience at other major programs like Auburn, Tennessee and Florida State. He’s been impressive in his dealings with the media, flashing confidence and a philosophy.
Will it translate to improved offensive production?
Jonathan Waldrop of the SB Nation web site TeamSpeedKills.com believes that it will. Waldrop graded all the new offensive and defensive coordinators who have moved into the SEC East this season.
He gave Gran a thumbs-up, saying:
“Eddie Gran is a running back's dream and Kentucky has one of the best in the conference in "Boom" Williams. This can work. In the last fifteen years, these are the running backs Gran has coached: Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown, Ben Tate, Deuce McAlister, John Avery, Montario Hardesty, James Wilder, Jr. and Devonta Freeman. This can work.”
You can read the entire story by clicking this link.
7. DEMARCUS COUSINS ON THE MOVE?
One of these days the Sacramento Kings will decide their best path to changing the ragged arc of the franchise is by trading DeMarcus Cousins, their best player.
One of these days Cousins will pursue an opportunity where he can actually win and not be the center of attention and controversy.
Maybe that time is coming for the former University of Kentucky star.
Elazje Carene Pytch Carillo of the morningledger.com has written that Cousins could be on his way to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kevin Love or to the Chicago Bulls for Nikola Mirotic and Denzel Valentine.
I know that’s not Adrian Wojnarowski delivering the news, but until The Vertical catches on, I’ll start with this report.
8. TRAVIS FORD’S BIG SCORE
I’d forgotten that former Kentucky basketball star Travis Ford has already landed another head coaching job after his dismissal at Oklahoma State after last season.
In fact, Ford found a nice landing spot in Saint Louis, which had several good teams with Charlie Spoonhour and Rick Majerus. Ford will need time to build, but his first recruiting victory appears to be on the board.
Ford landed a commitment from Jordan Goodwin, a 6-foot-4 guard ranked as a Top 50 prospect by at least one recruiting service.
Goodwin had offers from Northwestern, Illinois and Missouri. It helped that he grew up across the Mississippi River from Saint Louis in Belleville, Ill. It also helped that Goodwin had AAU connections with Corey Tate, one of Ford’s assistant coaches.
9. SOLAK ON YANKEES’ RADAR
It’s premature to say that former Louisville star Nick Solak will be the Yankees’ next second baseman, even though nobody is comparing the current second baseman, Starlin Castro, to Robinson Cano or Bobby Richardson.
Solak has earned the Yankees’ attention this summer with his play in short-season Class A ball at Staten Island, N.Y.
Solak had a 14-game hitting streak stopped Sunday after he was featured in this story at MILB.com. Even though he failed to extend his streak to 15, Solak scored twice and kept his batting average at .304.
Solak has delivered 15-multi-hit games this summer and solidified his spot as the second hitter in the batting order.
“You're playing great competition here, better than you have in your entire life,” Solak said. “The game is hard and you're going to go through rough patches, but you just deal with the failure. I've learned that if you fall back on your preparation and hard work you do before the game, you can trust that you'll come out of a slump."
Solak has to climb through four more levels to make it to Yankees’ Stadium. But as a second-round draft pick, expect him to get a long and serious look.
10. POLL RESULTS
Which scheduling format would you prefer for ACC football teams?
Eight ACC games, two Power 5 non-league games – 70.6.
Nine ACC games, one Power 5 non-league game – 29.4 percent.
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