Pretty much how Ohio State fans think about James Franklin.
Why would anyone be shocked? They had the best defense in the country last year and return all but one key player. They had the best QB in the Big Ten in 2017 and he is healthy unlike last year. They have the best game day coaching staff in the league. In a year when the Big Ten's best team is probably going to finish 10 and 2, it is hard to go against them.
Talking to those outside the footprint is pretty helpful. Getting an outside perspective is always good practice. Personally, I would probably rank us between 23 and 25 if I had a vote behind Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa and Wisconsin (in that exact order) and just ahead of Nebraska and Northwestern in the Big Ten. Like most, I think we have the talent to crack the top ten this year but probably not the coaching given how strong the Big Ten looks during the pre-season.
Oh we certainly do. Yes it is a limited sample but we have more than enough evidence to say Stevens has a better arm, and not by a little bit. He couldn't make throws a Big Ten QB is typically expected to make in college. There is a reason the Ravens turned him into the NFL's equivalent of an athlete as soon as they drafted him. They wanted him because he is a football player, not a quarterback.
Sorry, not only were both throws not well placed, both were borderline uncatchable, especially Hamilton's, unless you are Calvin Johnson of course but there is only one Megatron. It was too far down field and to the opposite shoulder from where it should have been. That one is on Trace without question. We know Stevens is a better runner and we know he has a much better arm. Whether he can read defenses is another matter but given how much JoeMo simplified the offense to suite Trace, I don't think it even matters.
As for the defense, give it up. In 2016, the defense essentially played multiple extra games by snap count over the course of the season. The same goes for 2017 but to a lesser extent. That is on the offense and again, Trace's limitations as a starter are the biggest reasons. Deal with it.
I don’t have a problem with Trace. He is awesome. With that said, the team would have probably been better if if he were the backup. A lot of the offenses (and by extension due to having to play way too many snaps) problems were the result of the passing game’s inability to challenge the entire field. Mostly the result of Trace’s arm limitations. Both of these are great examples of throws he was consistently off on throughout his career.
That is pathetic. I assume you are referring to the Hamilton drop against Pitt? The one thrown too far down the field and over the wrong shoulder which made it a very hard grab? I am assuming the Thompson’s throw you reference was the one against Michigan State that was throw high and behind him?
Last year he was able to simply maintain the groundwork JoeMo laid in 2016 and 2017. In short, he didn't have to do much. This year is a different story. Last year he had a glorified option QB in Trace and true dual threat in Stevens. They are gone. This year, he needs to evolve the offense to suite a mobile pro-style QB and his backup, who is another mobile pro-style QB. 2019 is a huge difference compared to 2018, especially given how badly he failed as a QB coach the last time he had a pro-style QB.
And sorry, McSorley's injury had almost no impact on the offense. The offense was not going to sustain its early season numbers one McSorley's limitations as a starter were fully unmasked, Injury or not. We lost to Ohio State, Michigan State and get destroyed by Michigan. Not a shock. They were better.
It's what they did. They adjusted their corners, slid the strong safety back and it completely took away they deep ball with a minor adjustment which allowed them to focus on Barkley at the expense of giving Trace what should be easy throws for a good D1 QB only to see him blow the game with a bad pick right after nearly throwing a bad pick on a similar route.
It's not the line, its the passing game. While 2016 is a bit of a odd batch of statistics, dividing the season into two blocks helpful. Pre-Gopher and post-Gopher. The post-Gopher era began once JoeMo said F it and threw out half the passing game because he QB couldn't execute and added more running from the position. This approach was great until the 4th quarter of the Rose Bowl when USC figured out they could take away the deep ball by simply by shifting their coverages without letting Barkley run wild. Since then, most teams have more or less mirrored that approach and the line has taken the blame when its play has been pretty good the entire time.
Sadly, fan sites are just about all that we have left. The internet has laid waste to real sports reporting.
"However, Dantonio retaining everyone on staff from the atrocity that was the 2018 Michigan State offense does not inspire much confidence."
This line is whey fan sites stink out load. The author gives lip service to the Spartan's injury situation early on but clearly doesn't understand how significant it was. The truth of the matter is, the Spartan staff, including the offense, were the Big Ten's best staff in 2018. Despite the injuries they were a better team than we were and were two fluke plays by Miles Sanders from shutting us out, at home.
That is my take with Rahne. Either he gets it or doesn't. If he does, we set the stage for our first legit playoff run in 2020. We could get tantilizingly close like with did in 2016 or 2017 but were clearly not worthy of a top four ranking or Rahne doesn't and we fall way back. The schedule this year is nothing to laugh at. I don't see us getting through the big four without two losses and four wouldn't surprise me even if Rahne gets it. Then we have dangerous Minnesota, Pitt, Maryland and Indiana teams to contend with. We should beat the four even if Rahne doesn't get it but you never know if the offense slides and they panic and throw in a glorified option QB to get a run first QB on the field like we have had the last three years.
I have a very good understanding of bowl selection. This is one of those years when a .500 record won't assure a bowl spot despite the massive number of games. If the season plays out as I expect it to, the Big Ten will fill its slots with winning teams. This means a .500 team will have to receive an at large bid and they can't jump an eligible team that is above .500. Most are expecting a bumper crop of winning teams from mid-majors.
I am totally bi-polar when it comes to this particular team.
Scenario One - Ricky Rahne Gets It
Penn State goes 10 - 2. Drops two of the big four (Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Ohio State) comes up just short of the Big Ten title game but makes the New Year's Six.
Sean Clifford is first team all Big Ten
Pat Freiermuth is first team all-American, leads Penn State in catches and TDs.
Robert Windsor is our best player
Scenario Two - Ricky Rahne Doesn't Get It
The offense reverts to pre-JoeMo form. Penn State loses to the big four and drops one or two more games to Indiana/Maryland/Pitt/Minnesota finishing 6 and 6 and misses out on a bowl game because all slots are filled with winning teams
Pat Freiermuth leads Penn State in catches and TDs but is not an all-American
Robert Windsor is our best player
A true freshmen finishes the year starting at QB
Except for all those teams with consistently high blue chip ratios that can’t win 10 games to save their life and a pile of teams with lesser ratios consistently winning. The blue chip ratio is over-rated. The fact that when certain coaches maker offers to lesser prospects they are immediately bumped into blue chip status is all you need to know.
There really isn’t one.
The Blue Chip Ratio is the single most over-rated metric in all of sports. Confirmation bias at its finest.
Trace is not the issue. He has never been the issue. Trace is a warrior. We are better for having him even if he put a lower ceiling on the team than Stevens might have. This is all Franklin and his frequently shoddy judgement, hypocrisy and personal brand of cronyism. Trace being installed without a legit competition and not being subject to competition for the starting job in 17 and 18 is it one of growing pattern of symptoms. All showing that he isn’t the man to get us to the playoffs.
No he wasn’t. He wasn’t eligible until it was too late to start summer practice last year.
You know James Franklin didn't want to fire John Donovan despite his job being on the line and the only reason he is still the head coach is because Sandy made him do it. Why would he promote his guy to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach when he was a complete failure at the later the first go around demonstrating a level of incompetence rarely seen at the D1 level? He has some pretty severe judgement issues.
Why would any coach pick the player with the lesser ceiling if the competition was as close as Franklin says it was? Here is a hint. It wasn't fair. It cost us two playoff births. It is nothing against Trace. He was a solid (not good, not above average, solid) player that made the most of playing with Barkley, Godwin, Gesicki and Hamilton. Once they were all gone, he quickly turned into a below average dual threat QB just like the non-Kool aid drinkers said he would. There was not a legit QB battle. There should have been, especially after Trace McTurnover lost the Pitt game and then the Rose Bowl in 2016.
In case you missed it, as soon as he was eligible to a be a graduate transfer he was gone. Had he graduated in time to transfer, he would have been gone last year.
Keep telling yourself that.
Stop this. I don't "believe" for a second that Trace ever beat out Stevens. I have been told (I am not telling who so don't ask but that won't stop me from making questions known) McSorley was handed the job in 2016. He didn’t win it and was protected from competition the subsequent two years. It is darn good thing it didn’t completely backfire on Franklin. It merely cost him two playoff appearances. The fact of the matter is, we are very likely to be a considerably better team without him. Too bad Stevens transferred. Of course, that means nothing as Franklin has shown that he is not above an unfair competition. Does anyone know who Franklin like better personally because whoever that is is the winner?
The bigger issue is, "has Ricky Rahne and Franklin learned from their mistakes with Hackenberg and can they evolve Moorhead's offense to suite a pair of pro-style QBs?" That is the only question that really matters at this point. If the answer is no, we'll see the freshmen by mid-season and hopefully a new head coach in 2020 if Rahne deep sixes the current team.