Green, Chavous recap September, preview what lies ahead
October 5th, 2012 By Corey Chavous Patrick Green
DraftNasty.com lead journalist Patrick Green recently sat down with President/Founder Corey Chavous to take a look back at the month of September in college football. The pair also discusses the Heisman race, the first couple of weeks in October, and college football's balance of power in their one-on-one chat.
Patrick: The big talk coming into the season was that college football had turned into a chase of the SEC. You’re very familiar with the SEC, of course. Is it good for college football that the SEC has been deemed this sort of rabbit, and secondly, if that’s the case, where do you see that chase thus far this season?
Corey: Well I think it starts and stops with Alabama. When you look at the rest of the conferences chasing the SEC, I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing when you consider the future of the final four pairings (Future college football playoff format). Because you’ve got to look at the polls. You’ve got a great chance of having at least a pair of SEC teams in there every time out, if they don’t beat each other up in the process. You’re talking easily about having at least a pair. You see this year, you’ve got Alabama, and LSU’s right there. Then Georgia, South Carolina and even Florida, right there in the mix. You could have a one loss SEC team getting there and even a two loss team could slide in on the brink of the fourth spot. The other major conferences, particularly a conference like the Big Ten, have to find some footing. Why I think so many look at those conferences as not being as strong is because of these unexplainable losses. Iowa loses to Central Michigan. In the Big 12, Kansas loses to Northern Illinois. That shouldn’t happen.
Patrick: You even have a Middle Tennessee upending Georgia Tech, a team perennially challenging for the ACC title.
Corey: You think about it. Towson played LSU pretty well, and that’s why LSU dropped in the poll. A lot of people still believe LSU’s a top two or three team. But the SEC is loaded. That matchup with Georgia and South Carolina will expose a lot.
Patrick: The SEC East is almost the forgotten half of the SEC, as most people are often referring to the West when they acknowledge the superiority of the SEC. How scary is it that you have a resurging group of teams coming out of the East?
Corey: You couldn’t have said it better, particularly when you have a Florida team that’s still undefeated facing off against LSU this week. A lot of people believe they can beat LSU. Essentially, what you’re looking at is five teams in the Top 10 coming out of the SEC, no matter who wins those games this weekend. The Georgia-South Carolina game is a big one. Conner Shaw has the Gamecocks really productive even with a shoulder injury. He’s shown unbelievable leadership. And if Florida can beat LSU, that will really change the conversation a little bit, because they will have beaten both Tennessee and LSU, which would be considerable.
Patrick: What are some other big contests that will have your eye?
Corey: Miami and Notre Dame is a major battle. Miami’s a little underrated in my opinion. Can they go in and spring an upset? West Virginia and Texas is another key contest. Is Geno Smith legitimately a Heisman candidate? Because, I don’t think Geno Smith has seen a defense this fast since LSU in 2011. He shredded them up in Morgantown, of course, so it’ll be interesting to see how he responds.
Patrick: Speaking of Heisman talk, who do you think has solidified himself in that Heisman race?
Corey: There’s a number of legitimate candidates. Obviously, Geno Smith. We both know that unfortunately it’s an offensive award. I say unfortunately because I’m a defensive player. La’Veon Bell out of Michigan State has the one loss but he’s still an outsider, if he can continue to be dominant. And Braxton Miller from Ohio State is a guy you have to throw out there. He’s done everything you’ve asked him to do. He’s one of the leading rushers in the country. I think he’s replaced Denard Robinson from the Big Ten. Another guy that has to be mentioned is DeAnthony Thomas. His multi-skill set makes him a threat all over the field and Oregon’s playing pretty prolific. EJ Manuel has entered the discussion, having Florida State undefeated. Matt Barkley may rebound if he plays phenomenally and USC wins out.
Patrick: Is there a defensive player that could disrupt the offensive party at the Heisman table?
Corey: I just don’t think there’s one out there this year. There’s not anyone having a multi-dimensional impact on the game that you would see from like a Tyrann Mathieu that would make people realize his total impact. He could return punts, tackle, create turnovers, make tackles on special teams. No real defensive backs like that. Linebacker wise, Monte Tao has played tremendous for Notre Dame this year. Has overcome some great tragedies. I just don’t know if he can gain enough momentum. Maybe if Notre Dame continues to win, he gains some momentum. I thought maybe Jadaveon Clowney from South Carolina coming into the season would have a shot. Maybe if he has a big weekend, he could get a bump. September is really early. Once you get to the middle of October, you can really determine the frontrunner of the Heisman.
Patrick: Moving away from awards, what players do you think have helped themselves with regard to draft status?
Corey: Zac Dysert from Miami of Ohio. He’s really a quarterback that has done much of what you want to see done on the next level. I just believe he has a lot of what you look for. I’m not sure where he’s going to go, but I believe he’ll be a gem for someone. Geno Smith was already on the radar, but he’s playing in a way that’s saying you’ve got to see what I’m doing over here. He’s only thrown 28 incompletions on the year and they throw the ball a lot. A guy we thought would have a great year coming into the season is actually leading the nation in receiving: Terrence Williams out of Baylor. Incredible. I was talking to a couple of scouts and that’s all they were talking about, the things this guy could do. There’s a lot of players out there who are making people take notice.
Patrick: What about some players who have slid?
Corey: Johnny Adams has been dropping down our board some. He’s struggled. He’s been getting beaten and has gotten some penalties. He’s always been a reacher and a grabber. No doubt though that he’s a good player and he’ll have a shot to move back up, but out of a number of guys, his stock has probably taken the biggest hit. Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson – they haven’t hurt or helped themselves. Denard Robinson’s stock may have fallen and he may not have been that high in the beginning. Our board is evolving constantly, with guys moving based on our continual grading system.
Patrick: In other words, there’s still a lot of football to play. What are some other exciting things on the horizon at DraftNasty?
Corey: We’ll definitely be trying to increase the awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness in the month of October. One of our own has experienced that at home and we take it very seriously. We’re going to continue to give away prizes, tee-shirts, wristbands, and more – just to get and keep people thinking about it. It’s such a serious topic. You always pray that it’s something that someone can overcome. It’s extremely important to us to heighten awareness. More than anything, we’re excited about our role in that.
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