Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First Quarter Review

I'm an accountant. I'm used to words like "Balance Sheet," "Income Statement," and "Retained Earnings." And accountants like to evaluate things; things like quarterly reports and stuff. Well, since I'm not good at analogies, and since this post isn't actually about accounting, I'll get to the point: We're three weeks into the season. Most teams will play 12 games this season, so, ignoring bye weeks, we're just about one quarter into the season (3/12). Without further ado, I give you:

Mike's First Quarter Report
Players and Teams that stood out in the first quarter of college football play.

(In no particular order)

Jahvid Best, Junior, RB, California - Best is small. At 5'10" and 195 lbs, he's not the biggest running back, but boy is he quick. He's explosive out the backfield and he doesn't take long to hit full speed once he turns the corner. He's got seven consecutive games (and counting) with over 100 yards, in fact, in his lowest performing game of the three so far this season, he only had  131 yds rushing. He's a work horse who gets a lot of touches each game, but he's versatile too, and can line up in the slot for receptions. In my opinion, I wouldn't stop at saying Best is one of the top 5 running backs in the nation, I'd say he is THE "Best."

Eric Decker, Senior, WR, Minnesota - The Minnesota Golden Gophers lost to Jahvid Best and the Golden Bears just last week, but it was by no means any fault of Eric Decker's. Decker is big, has good speed, and great hands.  In only 3 games, he's already over 415 yrds receiving. Decker had a great game Saturday, which included two great plays. One of which was making a big touchdown catch while taking an even bigger hit. The other was taking the end around and then throwing a touchdown pass to the back-up quarterback who had lined up at receiver. I've only seen him this season, but I think he's going far.

To see some exhibition of Jahvid Best,
and the huge-catch-while-taking-a-huge-hit by Eric Decker,
check out this 38 second highlight video from Saturday’s game.

Jacory Harris, Sophomore, QB, Miami (FL) - This kid is the real deal. Have you seen him yet? The 'Canes have only played two games so far this season; Harris has thrown for 656 yrds and 5 touchdowns. He led his team through a back and forth game to a victory over 18th ranked Florida St. in their opening game this year, and then looked dominant in their win over 14th ranked Georgia Tech last week. I'm excited to see how far the 'Canes go this season with Harris at the helm.

Jake Locker, Junior, QB, Washington - Are the Huskies really that good, or was it just luck that they beat USC last week? Maybe a little of both, but they certainly weren't lacking at the quarterback spot. I've been impressed with Locker since he was starting games as a freshman 2 years ago. Locker is big, at 6'3" and 225 lbs, and his ability to get out of the pocket is a threat to defenses. He's not the fastest, or the most agile, but he's not afraid step out of the pocket and run with it when he should. Locker threw for over 200 yards on Saturday and had 1 rushing touchdown. He's always a force.

Jimmy Clausen, Junior, QB, Notre Dame - Notre Dame has a fairly pass happy offense, and that works out just great for Clausen. With decent (not great, but decent) completion percentages in each of Notre Dame's three games so far, Clausen has racked up over 900 yrds passing and 9 TD's. Clausen shows good poise in the pocket and I like him as a player. He's smart and has good vision down the field.

Dez Bryant, Junior, WR, Oklahoma St. - Dez Bryant is explosive and lightning fast. He's got good hands and he burns defenders. Bryant is a tough player who can take a hit and get back up and burn you on the next play, which he did to Bryan Evans in their game vs Georgia in week one. He hasn't put up amazing numbers so far, but he's put the ball in the end zone 4 times in three games and looked good doing it.

Mike Nixon, Senior, LB, Arizona State - Last but not least on my list is ASU Linebacker Mike Nixon. I've been calling his number for the last three years, even if no one else was. In ASU's opener versus Idaho State, Nixon had 3 interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. I was at the game last week, vs Luisana-Monroe, and witnessed Nixon all over the field. He moves great laterally and is in on virtually every tackle. Defense doesn't always get a lot of attention, but Nixon is top notch.

Just a few because this post is getting long.

Michigan - Michigan was terrible (sorry Tony) last year with a better-than-it-looked 3-9 record. But they're off to a much better start this season at 3-0, including a big win over the then 18th ranked Fighting Irish. Coach Rodriguez is getting things together and it's good to see the Wolverines back in the rankings (23rd right now).

California - California looks great this year. As I mentioned in my last post, they've got a good shot at winning the Pac10 Championships this year, and right now, I see them ending up in a BCS bowl game come January.

Miami (FL) - This team has only had two games so far - both against ranked teams - and they've come out of it 2-0! I'm excited about Miami this year and they're fun to watch play. They've got a pretty explosive offense that can put points on the board quickly. Miami used to be a big name in college football. It's good to hear them being mentioned again.

So there you have it. That's my review of the first quarter of the 2009 College Football Season. What do you think so far? Did I miss anyone? Did I give too much credit to someone?

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