Welcome to a surprise Monday edition of Five Wide Fullbacks.
1. One Foot Down recently gave some of their favorite non-playoff bowl games to look forward to this month. What is the stinkiest of the stinky bowl games, though?
Typically, the worst of the bowl games either occur early in the post-season or especially in recent years those few that get placed after New Year's Day. We have a few particularly bad games mixed in with what looks to be a very promising bowl season.
The Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (South Alabama vs. Bowling Green) and the Pinstripe Bowl (Penn State vs. Boston College) are among the worst. At least the former is the late 9:15 ET start after a not terrible but still pretty bad opening Saturday the 20th. The latter has to be one of the biggest snooze fests between Power 5 teams in recent memory. Plus, you know my aversion to the Pinstripe Bowl anyway.
However, the worst has to be the GoDaddy Bowl on January 4th. Yes, the last bowl game between Arkansas State and Toledo most assuredly will not be watched by more than 27 people.
2. It was no surprise as Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota took home the Heisman Trophy over the weekend. That means it's time for some early 2015 Heisman hype. Who are the super early front runners?
We should see a bunch of the top 2014 candidates off the ballots for next year. Among the top 10 receiving votes last weekend half will be moving on to the NFL, including all three top vote recipients in Mariota, Gordon, and Cooper.
That leaves 5 to come back and I'll rank each for 2015 as thus:
Trevon Boykin- He'll be in the enviable position as being the player coming back with the most votes from the previous year, plus he plays quarterback. TCU will have to put together another great season but that doesn't seem impossible considering Texas is still rebuilding, Oklahoma still spinning its wheels, and Baylor loses Bryce Petty. Even playing in the Big 12 is a bonus from a stats perspective.
Tevin Coleman- It's tough to imagine that a running back from Indiana will be the first at his position to win the Heisman since 2009 but Coleman did finish 7th this year--a minor miracle unto itself. Opponents will surely gameplan harder to shut him down next year but that could be off-set by Indiana's offense improving and giving Coleman some more help.
J.T. Barrett- He'd probably top the list if we knew he was going to be the starter at Ohio State next year. If that is the case he's an easy candidate for all that hype.
Scooby Wright- Just by the sheer ridiculousness of some of Wright's stats this year it'll take a Herculean effort to duplicate his success from 2014. He's the only defender worthy of making a pre-season list though.
Dak Prescott- I just don't see it happening for Prescott, assuming he comes back for a fifth year. The Bulldogs play LSU, Auburn, and Texas A&M within their first 5 games so he won't be able to build up a quick and impressive resume against a bunch of weak out of conference opponents.
Elsewhere, I'd watch out for Clemson quarterback DaShaun Watson, LSU running back Leonard Fournette, FSU running back Dalvin Cook, and if he stays in school USC receiver Nelson Agholor.
3. A couple weeks ago Under Armour unveiled some new gold uniforms for the men's basketball team. They've since worn the uniforms a few times and haven't lost in them yet. Give us a break down on this look.
The nice thing that I'll say is that I'm getting used to the uniforms, so yeah. That and at least the old gold is a step up from the sandstorm gold from years past. Additonally, they appear to be (in some form) a nod to the Adrian Dantley-era duds from the mid 1970's.
This is almost entirely a color combination problem. I've remained steadfast that Irish athletics should work either with blue/gold/white or green/gold/white. Of course trying to pull off a gold uniform is foolish to begin with but if we aren't scrapping that I can only suggest tweaks. Be that as it may, this is easy to solve. Replace the blue on the uniform with white. It's that simple.
4. Even though Michigan is loading up the catapult to end up with egg all over their face let's go ahead and assume that Jim Harbaugh does in fact go to Ann Arbor at some point before next season. Is there any reason to believe he wouldn't dominate as head coach of the Wolverines?
Yes. He's crazy.
Harbaugh walks that razor thin line and not usually for the better. No doubt he's a tremendous coach but there are a few scenarios that could see him falter in Ann Arbor. One, he'd be moving from three straight NFC title games capped off by a single .500 season in the NFL and moving back to the college game. That sounds great for Michigan fans of course but I'm not sure that's great for Harbaugh's psyche.
He'll be more driven than ever, more obsessed to succeed, and more maniacal for running away from the NFL as a failed coach. Now, the notion that Harbaugh is a failed NFL coach is pretty ridiculous but if he's going to Michigan (even if to 'save' his alma mater) I have no doubt he'd feel that way.
Secondly, and maybe most importantly, Harbaugh would be walking right into the prime of the Urban Meyer's Ohio State Machine. Remember, it took several years for him to build up Stanford. The reclamation project at Michigan wouldn't be nearly as difficult--and it'll be far easier to win games in the Big Ten--but how long will it take to compete with the Buckeyes? Would a Harbaugh-led Michigan team even beat Ohio State until 2018?
I am Bo Schembechler?
I'll be fascinated to see how Harbaugh handles this challenge if he becomes Michigan's coach. He'll be 51 in just over a week too, so it's not like he's a spring chicken anymore. For comparison, he'd be a couple years older than Lloyd Carr when he took the Michigan job.
I've long thought that Harbaugh was going to burn out spectacularly. I don't say this to make fun of him but I really think there's a couple screws loose and at some point friends and family will step in and shut things down. That he might go from being a .700 winning NFL coach back to a place where he doesn't have warm and fuzzies forcing him to succeed at an insane level (from his point of view) to make the move worth it just feels like walking right into a wonderful psychological test for someone who isn't all there upstairs.
5. With Christmas nearly upon us give everyone your favorite Holiday movie.
There's no question in my mind that it is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
It never gets old and I hope that it never does. I'd throw Elf in there because that is a sweet and fun movie for all ages. Just don't make me watch A Christmas Story. I don't understand the love and adoration for that movie.