Across the Commonwealth 8/4

08/04/2011 10:22 AM

Oklahoma is No. 1 in the first coaches’ college football poll. That surprised some people who had tabbed Alabama for the No. 1 spot. On paper, OU and ‘Bama stand clear ahead of the rest of the pack in college football. But who really should be No. 1? I’m using the same system I used to break down UK and U of L to give you my answer.
Here’s another look at the system:
10-One of the top three units in the nation; contains first-round NFL caliber talent. Can carry a team to greatness (i.e. Cam Newton with Auburn last year).
9-Among the top 10-15 nationally at its position. Unit is loaded with returning talent and experience and will have the edge on just about every unit it lines up against.
8-Unit is among the top 2-3 in its league. This group isn’t totally dominant, but the position coach can rest easy.
7-Very solid unit that contains proven performers. There may be a couple of issues (depth?) but this is generally not an area of concern.
6-Stable unit that also has some holes. Is capable of performing well at times but could also have issues with consistency.
5-Could go either way. Has the potential to be a dependable unit or an area of weakness. The outcome usually depends on health and player development.
4-The area is a sore spot and will need unproven players to perform better than expected to keep it from being a glaring weakness.
3-A below-average unit, due either to a lack of talent and/or experience. Might have a big game or two during the season, but overall this will be a unit that opposing teams will be able to exploit regularly.
2-Major issues here. This unit will cost the team at least 2-3 games due to lack of performance.
1-Time to panic and hold walk-on tryouts. These guys just can’t play.



As you can see, Alabama gets the slight edge. The Sooners are better at quarterback and receiver, while the Tide has more weaponry at running back, offensive line and all three positions on defense. I also think the Crimson Tide’s schedule gives them a better chance to wind up in the BCS title game. ‘Bama doesn’t have a game on its slate that jumps out at you as a potential loss. Yes, they do go to Penn State, Florida and arch-rival Auburn, but that triumvirate will be average in 2011.
Oklahoma could lose at Florida State (yes, the Seminoles are back) and/or Oklahoma State.

-The Big East was shut out of the coaches’ Top 25 poll, but I think both West Virginia and Pitt will find its way in the rankings.

-In other news, the C-J’s C.L. Brown has five questions for the U of L football team, who had its first practice at 6 a.m. Thursday.

-U of L’s athletics web site has a write-up of that first practice.

-The Herald-Leader’s John Clay writes about John Calipari the entrepreneur

-According to Jody Demling, U of L Coach Rick Pitino has offered scholarship to a pair of local standouts, DeAngelo Russell and Quentin Snider

-Western Kentucky basketball now knows its schedule for the 2011 Charleston Classic

-The C-J’s Rick Bozich doesn’t think Rick Pitino is anywhere near done.

-And in case you missed it, Denny Crum will help coach the UK pros in the two-game exhibition series against the Dominican National Team.


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