CATCHING UP

Del Olaleye: This week in college football

Ed Oliver is 80-1 to win the Heisman. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

A look at some of the happenings this week in college football:

The Status of Virginia Tech starting QB Josh Jackson

This has not been a good offseason for the Hokies. Justin Fuente’s squad lost three underclassmen to the NFL Draft including Terrell and Tremaine Edmunds. The brother combo are the first ever to be drafted in the first round in the same draft. Tim Settle, the third of the underclassmen to leave early was drafted in the fifth round by the Washington Redskins. That is a lot of talent that could have been part of a stingy Hokies defense in 2018. The attrition didn’t end there. Two cornerbacks who were expected to be on the roster will not be part of the Hokies program as well. That is five contributors off the depth chart from one side of the ball.

The latest news concerns the status of Hokies QB Josh Jackson. A report suggested that he would be suspended indefinitely. That report was disputed by Jackson’s father along with multiple outlets. The redshirt sophomore to be is coming off a season where he started all 13 games and the Hokies finished 9-4. A season opening game against Florida State exacerbates the situation. The Hokies depth chart behind Jackson is light on experience and facing a energized Seminoles roster led by new coach Willie Taggart isn’t the best way to be baptized into major college football for one of Jackson’s understudies.

Bronco Mendenhall will say what he wants

The University of Virginia head coach said something damning of this team this week. He told the Daily Progress,  “I believe we have 27 ACC-caliber football players on our roster today.” Twenty seven players capable of playing in your conference would be outstanding for the baseball team. It is atrocious for your football team. Mendenhall is entering his third year at Virginia after a successful 11-year run at BYU.  A bowl appearance in 2017 followed a two-win 2016 in Charlottesville. Mendenhall appears to have UVA going in the direction. Through recruiting and development he expects to have 85 ACC-caliber players by 2020. Shoutout to the two-thirds of the current Cavaliers roster that isn’t fit enough to play in the ACC. I see Bronco working. How do you sell recruits there is playing time available? Tell them that over 50 guys taking up spots don’t belong on the roster.

The Heisman is just a quarterback and running back Award

New odds are out for the Heisman from the Westgate Sportsbook and only quarterbacks and running backs are listed as having realistic shots. The last non-RB or QB to win the Heisman was the great Charles Woodson twenty-one years ago. He had to do it all to win the award. Play cornerback, wide receiver and return kicks to hold off Peyton Manning. The last offensive player to win the award that didn’t play quarterback or running back was Michigan's wide receiver Desmond Howard in 1991. The Wolverine wide receiver returned kicks just like Woodson did. Running backs head the list this year. Stanford’s Bryce Love is 5 to 1 win the the award and Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor is next in line at 7 to 1. Houston’s star defensive tackle Ed Oliver is the first player who doesn’t play running back or quarterback to be listed. His odds are 80 to 1. You can make a lot of money if you’re an elite corner or defensive tackle. They are premiums positions in the NFL. You just can’t win the Heisman.







 

Are Buzz Williams and the Aggies No. 1?

Fresh off a run to the championship game by Texas Tech and some high profile recent coaching hires in both football and basketball, the state of Texas appears to be in great shape when it comes to Division I college coaching duos. We ranked each sport, then took the total. The lower the score, the better. It's a pretty impressive group. We stayed with the six biggest programs (SMU would be No. 7, but there simply is not enough to go on to rank beyond that). Here is how your duo stacks up:

6) Baylor (10 points)

Baylor v Syracuse

Getty Images

Scott Drew (fifth in the basketball rankings) has built a perennial tournament team at Baylor, but they have never been able to get past the Elite Eight. Still, he has been very good. Matt Ruhle (fifth among football coaches) took over a mess of a program and after a one-win season got the Bears to a bowl game last year and could take another step this year.

5) TCU (9)

TCU football coach Gary Patterson Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Gary Patterson (3) has been one of the best coaches in the state for a long time and the Frogs are lucky to have him. Jamie Dixon (6) put up a resume as impressive as anyone's at Pitt but has missed the NCAAs twice in two years at TCU.

4) Texas Tech (7)

Chris Beard. Sarah Stier/Getty Images

It's hard to argue with Chris Beard (1) as the top coach in the state, considering he was just minutes from a title and there is no reason to think he can't continue to thrive. Matt Wells (6) was an off-season hire who came off a 10-win season at Utah State but also had only three winning seasons in six years there and this is a tough step up.

2t) Texas (6)

University of Texas football coach Tom Herman Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Longhorns might have found the right guy in Tom Herman (2) for football, as Texas already has a New Year's Six win, his second as a head coach in the state. Shaka Smart (4) has been a mixed bag at the school, but is one of only three coaches in the state with a Final Four appearance.

2t) Houston (6)

Kelvin Sampson. Bob Levey/Getty Images

Kelvin Sampson (2) has engineered a remarkable turnaround with the basketball team with two straight appearances and a bright future. He also has a Final Four in his past. He has taken four different schools to the tournament. Dana Holgorsen (4) did well in a tough place at West Virginia and should thrive at Houston. He remains one of the best play callers in college football.

1) Texas A&M (4)

Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies debuted with a win. Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Jimbo Fisher (1) has scoreboard with a football national title at Florida State. He did a nice job in his first year at A&M and the future looks incredibly bright, although there will always be that pesky Alabama, LSU and Auburn to deal with. Buzz Williams (3) was a home run hire who had success in a tough Big East and then the rugged ACC. Aggie basketball should be a factor for years to come.

The basketball rankings

1) Beard

2) Sampson

3) Williams

4) Smart

5) Drew

6) Dixon

I had a tough time ranking 4-6, so I went to college basketball A.J. Hoffman, and this is how he ranked them.

The football rankings

1) Fisher

2) Herman

3) Patterson

4) Holgorsen

5) Ruhle

6) Wells

This one seemed a lot more clear cut, although you could make arguments among the top three. Would you trade your duo for any of these?

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