The College Football Sideline Report: July Edition

Joel Barker@joelabarkerSenior Writer IJune 28, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 05:  Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes snaps the ball against the Texas Longhorns during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Game on January 5, 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

That's Mr. Heisman to You

Among the numerous reasons for Ohio State fans to be happy going into the 2009 season, Terrelle Pryor has to top the list.

The sophomore phenom is ready to build on the foundation that he laid for the Buckeyes in '08.

Not since Reggie Bush and Vince Young have we seen an athlete of Pryor's caliber in college football. Sure, Tim Tebow has won two titles and a Heisman since those two dominated the competition, but even Tebow is not on the level of pure athleticism that Terrelle Pryor enjoys.

Behind an experienced offensive line in '08, Pryor was 100 of 165 passing for 1,311 yards with twelve TD's and four INT's. He also rushed for 631 yards on 139 carries with six TD's.

What makes those stats really special is that he was a true freshman in '08.

Now a year older, smarter, and competition tested, Pryor just might have quite a treat in store for the Buckeye-faithful. Sure you lost WR's Robiskie and Hartline, but Ohio State almost always reloads with top-notch, skill position talent.

Pryor is a once-per-decade talent. Combine the quickness and speed of Vince Young, with the elusiveness of Reggie Bush, and the arm of Tom Brady and the result will be something close to Terrelle Pryor.

Pryor is a hybrid player. The kid is just an all-out athlete. 

Maybe you call this player-worship. Maybe you'll say I am crazy. Hey, maybe I am, but I know an elite player when I see one. I am not even remotely a Buckeye fan. I just love good college football, and this guy is the very epitome of what is good about the game.

I expect big things from the Buckeyes in '09. Terrelle Pryor winning the Heisman may just be one of those big things.

Next week I will continue my Heisman preview with Tim Tebow.

Top NCAA FB Stories (My opinion on the latest in the college football world)

Alabama decides to appeal the NCAA ruling that cost them 21 wins-

Well, technically the NCAA ruling didn't cost the Tide the wins. The fact that 200 plus student-athletes were illegally obtaining books for friends is the real culprit. Hey Bama, you have a great program, try keeping your nose clean for more than five years at a time.

Cincinnati adds one year to coach Brian Kelly's contract-

Brian Kelly is a tremendous coach. He was my choice for the Tennessee job until the Lane Train rolled through Knoxville and took us all by storm. Cincy may struggle a bit this season, but Kelly will have the Bearcats back in the BCS before too long. He will now make roughly $1.5 million per year through 2013. Congrats coach!

BCS Rejects Mountain West's Playoff Poposal-

Wow,I don't know about you, but personally, I am shocked. The truth is that college football's championship participants will continue to be determined by an Intel Pentium processor for years to come.

ACC Title Game is Back in Prime time-

Rightfully so. We had a few laughs at the ACC's expense last season when it seemed the conference was one of the nation's worst. In '09 the ACC will be one of the nation's best. Ga. Tech, FSU, UNC, Va. Tech, Clemson, NC State, and even Miami have quality teams and great talent. That prime time game will definitely be one to watch!

NCAA Quotes of the Week:

"They're (recruits) so excited about everything but they say 'Coach, who's going to throw us the ball?' - UT Coach Lane Kiffin on not finding a QB for the 2010 signing class so far.

"It quickens the pace of everything we are doing." - Former Alabama head coach, and current Georgia State head coach, Bill Curry, talking about his decision to schedule 'Bama for the upstart program's 2010 inaugural season.

"The league is going to get some unbelievable exposure." - Florida AD, Jeremy Foley on the SEC's 15 year media deal with ESPN and CBS.

My Preseason Top 35:

After much discussion, reading, and internal turmoil I have finally completed my 2009 Preseason Top 35, and will publish the Top 30 in my August edition of the College Football Sideline Report. Here are numbers 35-31 just to whet your appetite.

35. Texas Tech - The Red Raiders lost a lot of talent after last season, but with this prolific system in place Tech usually doesn't miss a beat. This season, however, they may struggle. I still expect the Raiders to get to a bowl game, but you can forget a top 10 appearance in '09.

34. Miami - The young talent at Miami is stout. They are ready to put the program back on the map. Too bad they'll have to wait until next year. How's this for an opening month; @ Florida State, vs. Georgia Tech, @ Virginia Tech, vs. Oklahoma. The 'Canes will make some progress, but expect a breakout in 2010.

33. Arkansas- This Razorbacks team is a year away as well. While they return 9 starters on defense, and 8 on offense they have to compete with a loaded SEC West. Not to mention those nine defensive starters started on the 72nd ranked defense in the nation last season. Ryan Mallett will put up grand numbers in '09, but it wont be nearly enough.

32. Cincinnati - I love what Brian Kelly has done with this program. But only one returning starter on defense will prove to be this team's downfall in '09. That's mainly because of the competition it will face. South Florida, Rutgers, and West Virginia will all be better in '09.

31. East Carolina- Skip Holtz has a large task. Becoming the hunted rather than the hunter usually brings with it some bumps and bruises. While East Carolina brings back a ton of talent, including QB Pinkney, it will struggle some in '09. Still, Holtz could parlay 08's partial success and any success he may gain in '09 into a big time coaching position elsewhere. My guess: South Carolina, after Spurrier steps down at the end of '09.

Next month's edition will feature my top thirty, bowl predictions, conference predictions, preseason All-American teams, and many more exciting features.

Stay tuned.

As of 8:58 on Saturday, June 27, 2009 there are sixty nine days, or 1671 hours, or 100,262 minutes, or 6,015,707 seconds until college football kicks off the 2009 season...I can't wait.


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