Hitting the Links Goes All-Out ACC
This scares me, and this is why Ohio State has been so successful. McMillan is a guy who's going to explode this year; he's 6'2", 240, can move in space like someone ten pounds lighter and he can out-muscle offensive linemen, blowing up a whole lot of running schemes in the process. But if he's dedicated, puts in the work, and can quarterback the defense with leadership .... I mean, come on. That's championship-level football right there.
Grantland previews Michigan football.
Davis was poised for a 'breakout' campaign, given that he still wasn't a household name to most Big Ten fans. The senior may be able to return to East Lansing for a sixth season.
With the season ending loss of MSU LB Ed Davis, the Spartans will probably move up Chris Frey or may try Drake Martinez at the MONEY LB.— Rico Beard (@RicoBeard) August 13, 2015
In other injury-related news, one of Vanderbilt's leading wide receivers, C.J. Duncan, was also lost for the season. Rumor is also breaking right now that Michigan's own Bryan Mone suffered a broken leg and will miss several months.
Adams is having a hard time making it to fall camp with ongoing academic obligations.
On a slightly related note, Thomas Tyner has been ruled out for 2015. The former five-star recruit had a solid sophomore campaign, starting the title game despite a season marred by injuries. He will be able to take a redshirt.
I'm dipping back into the NFL, but I loved every bit of this. Klemko discusses, among other things, Geno Smith's injury situation and another fall camp fight that, while superficially similar, was much healthier and more productive.
Yeah, I know - one of the most redundant topics in the sport. Still, multiple Big Ten coaches make an appearance, from Tim Beckman under "Flowing Lava" to Kirk Ferentz in the "Humming Microwave" section. Surprise appearances by Les Miles and Mark Richt.
Different teams have different ways to crowd out the noise, and this has worked well for the ACC's two dominant forces.
Cowherd will take part in some pre-game NFL coverage, as well as rehash a conversation with an old friend:
Duke is competing in a wide-open and intriguing ACC Coastal division, which also features incumbent Georgia Tech, upstart Pitt, and a trio of other potentially dangerous teams in Miami, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina. Virginia rounds off the group, which might tell you about Mike London's chances in the earlier hot seat column.
I liked this quote by him: "Football is not a combine game... We're in a world where we're all enamored with a guy's abilities. How about how he plays? Does his production equal his talent?" Put that on a bulletin board somewhere.
AU enters the season with high expectations, as Bill Connelly covers below. That makes this game important for both sides as they try to start off a long, long season on a good note.
The defense is "under construction," as it were, and the offense might be without Duke Williams.
Bill C. raises two interesting points about MSU: they exceeded their advanced stats in going 10-3 last year, and they play a killer slate in the SEC West. To summarize, here are the Projected S&P+ rankings for SEC West teams: Texas A&M, #22, Mississippi State, #21, Arkansas, #12, LSU, #8, Ole Miss, #6, Auburn, #5, and Alabama, #1.
But put me a little bit on the Mississippi State bandwagon. For one, part of those projected rankings are based on five-year recruiting numbers, and Dan Mullen has proven to be the SEC's latest James Franklin - taking a roster of mostly three-star talent and building it up into a competitive unit. Dak Prescott and last year's running back, Josh Robinson, were both three-star recruits originally. A secondary that Bill calls "potentially nasty" is mostly three-star talent. And the offensive line has been run on three-star talent since Mullen and John Hevesy arrived in 2009, and yet they've had a 950-yard rusher in every season except 2013. So we know they can do more with less.
Plus, I'm not as sold on LSU or Arkansas. LSU has famously not been able to develop their quarterbacks consistently, but Tigers fans have also been complaining for some time now about the development of the offensive line. This year, they have to find a way to replace 66 starts up front, and outside of that one-deep, there's a lot of youth that might need a year to mature. Arkansas, meanwhile, loses all their best play-makers in the front seven. Philon and Flowers - guys who could blow up plays no matter who they faced - were a big part of what made their defense nasty.
LSU is almost the epitome of the SEC this year: new defensive coordinator, question marks at quarterback, unbelievable talent at wide receiver and running back, and a defense with potential and question marks.
Dabo Swinney returned to #Clemson practice today after death of his dad, Ervil. South Carolina sent Dabo an arrangement with orange flowers.— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) August 12, 2015
This was a really great look at the program and what Narduzzi is trying to do there.
Stanley Morgan is definitely someone to watch, and Mikale Wilbon was also a name coming out of fall camp as an exciting talent.
So, there's this sentence: "Daniels is the only running back with a three-star recruiting grade or a Power 5 offer to get a carry since 2012, and there's not another one on the roster at the moment." Um, holy cow.
Anyway, Jordan Canzeri will be a storyline. He's one of Iowa's better talents (despite starting off as a two-star), but Ferentz has preferred to play bigger, slower, cloud-of-dust types for a while now. I haven't seen Canzeri recently, and he's not without reproach, but I think he's worthy of a long, long look for that starter's spot. He brings a different combination of speed and strength than what they've had for a while.
Yes, there's a gaping hole at wide receiver, and yes, the front seven is undergoing a massive overhaul. Quarterback has to get sorted out, too. But an under-the-radar problem is their offensive line, which will sink or swim with their young talent in 2015. There's also a problem of the unit underwhelming throughout Randy Edsall's tenure. If this unit doesn't perform, it will be hard for anything else to.
(And yes, their second-year line coach, Greg Studrawa, had his share of underwhelming offensive lines at LSU before coming to College Park.)
Clemson is not under the radar nationally, but its young, five-star corner just might be. This column explores someone who might be part of the game's next generation of stars.
Not jealous at all.