After taking two Thursdays off, the Your Best 11 Mailbag is back with a vengeance folks. We've got six questions, all different and we are going to tackle them pretty fiercely, let's jump into it!
@InTheBleachers I gotcha... here is my question for Mailbag, With Crowell out at GA, is Vince Dooley right? Is it for the best?— J. William IV (@GridIron32) July 12, 2012
My man is referring to the comments from Vince Dooley about the loss of Isaiah Crowell being a blessing in disguise for the Bulldogs, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Honestly, I'm not sure. Up until the arrest, I was expecting Crowell to have a big season in 2012 because of the pressure being applied by the young players such as Keith Marshall. I expected the sophomore year to be more about him fighting to stay in the game instead of him taking himself out of the games after a couple of carries.
However, I do think "addition by subtraction" is a real thing and we'll see how the Dawgs play without the standout freshman from 2011. It most certainly could be a situation where losing Crowell, IF he was a divisive guy in the locker room, helps out the team from where camaraderie is concerned. That said, I wouldn't be true to myself if I didn't mention that team chemistry is not always what fans and folks on the outside see; "bad apples" can still be good teammates and beloved members on the team.
@InTheBleachers True or False, Mizzou QB James Franklin's career average of scoring on 6.18% of his touches goes down in SEC?— Patrick S. Johnston (@TheRealPSJ) July 12, 2012
For those of you not sure where that comes from, those are James Franklin's career touchdown per touch numbers. Last year, the quarterback had a 6.06 touchdown to touches rate. That would have put him ahead of guys like Tyler Wilson, AJ McCarron, Kiehl Frazier and Jordan Jefferson. In the SEC, Georgia's Aaron Murray posted a 7.55 touchdown to touches rate, and that was after an outstanding season where he missed LSU and Alabama in the regular season.
Franklin is a heck of a quarterback, and he absolutely has the tools to be successful in the SEC. However, don't expect that touchdown per touch rate to remain steady; he's got Florida, Alabama and Georgia on the schedule, all teams that will boast elite defenses.
So basically, true.
@InTheBleachers who has the best recruiting class looking ahead to next season?— die konsiquenz (@jasoncampbell_) July 12, 2012
Recruiting rankings are a fickle mistress because they are part quantity, part quality and no parts "fit" when it comes to the school itself. Michigan is beating the doors down with 22 kids, most of whom are among that "elite" grade. Georgia, Notre Dame and Alabama have some great names on their list. Ohio State and Auburn continue to push towards the top. It would also be criminal to not mention Kevin Sumlin and the Texas A&M Aggies as a squad that is just out there crushing it on the trail.
However, if I've got to tip my cap to just one, I'm going with the Laner. Lane Kiffin at the University of Southern California only has 14 commits, and the coach won't be taking much more in the way of athletes because of scholarship restrictions. But, he has some high-profile, elite-level talent set to enroll, and while it is not the biggest, it can be called the best for the way he's building this group.
@InTheBleachers can LSU win the NC this yr?— Jason (@bravesoul79) July 12, 2012
Absolutely they can. They have a great defense coming back. Talent all over the offensive line. A quarterback who wants to stretch the field. A stable of running backs that is likely the best in the nation. Yes, LSU can win the national title this season.
Alright, in school alphabetical order: DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, Rashad Greene, Tobias Palmer and Marcus Davis. Hopkins and Watkins are at Clemson and they give the Tigers one of the best duos in the nation; outside of Robert Woods and Marqize Lee, there is no combo that comes out ahead of them outright from a production or "scare defensive coordinators" standpoint. Rashad Greene came into his own last year for the Seminoles, and I expect that sophomore campaign to be even more productive.
With Tobias Palmer and Marcus Davis, it is about finally stepping up to the expectations. Each has shown flashes of what they can do; now the goal is going to be consistency. Both are seniors, so the "I think he's finally going to put it together" element is in hyper drive. This year has to be the year. In Palmer, you have a speedster that is capable of causing trouble in the open space. He's electric with the ball in his hands.
In Marcus Davis, you've got a guy that is a true specimen. Athleticism that is nearly unmatched at the position from a bigger, faster and stronger standpoint. Physically, he is a monster. He has speed and he has the ability, due to his size, to muscle defenders out of position and make catches in traffic.
@InTheBleachers What are your thoughts on Nkemdiche situation from last week? Blown out of propotion if you ask me.— Paul Geddings (@SraGeddings) July 12, 2012
Ah, I get to talk Nkemdiche just a bit. Even prior to his clarification, I liked the move made by the Grayson High School defensive end. Let a coach know that if he really wants to lock you he should over your boy and then you make it clear so that the ball is in his court. This idea that Nkemdiche was "strong arming" or "blackmailing" a college football head coach is outright laughable. Dabo Swinney could absolutely say no. Nick Saban would say no. Butch Davis said no to the Robert Crisp-Patrick Singer package deal. Coaches say no all of the time.
The fact that people are blaming a kid for asking is flat-out hilarious. Especially when his point was less about giving the coach an ultimatum and more about asking to see what he could get. I come from the land of "closed mouth don't get fed" and "use your words because I'm not a mind reader." The only way you can get something you want is to ask, and once the question is posed, the other party gets a yes or a no option.
So, to answer your question, absolutely I think the drama around it was overblown. But ultimately, it became another chance for media types and fans who hate athletes to stand on their soapbox and spout off at the lip.