Friday, April 03, 2009

Offseason Rountable #1

In an effort to not only increase our chatter about the Cards, but to also increase some reader participation, Edge, RV, and Alan will be doing these roundtables every other week or so? Love the answers? Want to post your own thoughts? Of course you do. And you can do so in the Comments section. Because remember, dear readers, a smarmy sarcastic blog about Ball State athletics is only as good as its small yet powerful reader base. Have at it, boys and girls...

1.) The Nate Davis situation... what do you think the draft, and the NFL have in store for #13?
Alan: Truthfully, I would love for Davis to flourish in the NFL and given the right fit and opportunity I think he will. Davis is a talented signal caller, but his ability is not so other worldly that he can just sit back and watch the dollars roll in. He's got to land in the right place, and that's where we get to the draft. Usually, draft status is in no way indicative of future success or ability, but the fact that Davis' stock has fallen so drastically since he played his last game, that's telling. I think Nate will be a late round pick (4th or 5th) and have to work his ass off to make a successful QB in the NFL.

Edge: I'll be honest. The news that comes out concerning his draft stock does not surprise me. It's not as if he's in AIG territory yet, but that's not out of the question. Davis is an extremely talented MAC quarterback, and probably could have been someone receiving honorable mentions in any of the upper-echelon conferences. But his decision to leave Ball State was hasty at best, and that's not just me being a fan. Next year there's no doubt that the elite QBs would have knocked him down a round or two, but at least he could have put himself back on display for another year and work to be a better player.

The bottom line is that I don't think he's ready. He will need to do some serious developing to be even an "honorable mention" NFL quarterback. This will have to not only come with learning the NFL playbook and learning to read, but it will also include serious physical work. I'm not so sure I'm convinced he'll pull this off, but stranger things have happened.

RV: Alan and I have already argued over this point and have differing opinions. Every year the draft 'experts' continue to prove that it's a battle of flipping a coin. I can understand why a team might not want to take a 1st day pick on a kid with a learning disability, regardless of his physical skills. And Nate has skills. This crap about a system QB holds no weight and is the projection of people who didn't watch Ball State on a regular basis. The state of the NFL scouting is so overblown nowadays, I find it hard to believe that 31 other teams just gave up on a prospect once thought to be a 1st day pick. The gauge of a prospect's NFL success is very difficult to predict, with the sole successful predictor being college starts and even that isn't close to a sure thing, just better than a coin flip. Nate's problem is that he might not be able to handle an overly complex offense without a much steeper learning curve. He can play and deserves a shot in the NFL, but he won't be poised to make an immediate impact unless he finds the right team that has patience. I still stick to a 3rd-4th round selection by a team with a stable QB situation and Nate will have a chance to be a starter down the road.

2.) As spring practice continues, who are the players for the Cardinals you're expecting big things out of in the Fall of 09?
Alan: Well, whomever ends up at QB, most likely Kelly Page, will have to become consistent and able pretty much from the word go. The receivers and tight ends will need to give Page targets to hit and the OLine will have to give him time to throw. I'm confident that those things will happen. Defensively, I look to the linebackers with and players like Sam Woodworth and Davyd Jones to be pace setters and leaders on the defensive side of the football.

Edge: The two players I'm hoping everyone watches are Briggs Orsbon on offense and Sean Baker on defense. I was floored by their performance in 2008, and there's a great chance that these guys will grow into huge playmakers.

RV: Dan Ifft, Cory Sykes and Tanner Justice/Kelly Page. Yes, offense only. With Hiller and LeFevour coming back points will need to be scored to win the MAC. All three of these guys need to prove in the spring that they belong in any conversation about Ball State's potential success this year. Granted, this could be said all around but I really want these three guys to show up and prove that last year wasn't a fluke and Muncie really has become a hotbed of football.

3.) Who are your early BCS Championship Picks, and give me a darkhorse team that will surprise people.
Alan: For me, it comes down to senior leadership and a wealth of talent. Three teams come to mind for that discussion... the Florida Gators, the Oklahoma Sooners, and the Texas Longhorns. We very easily could see a rematch of last year's title game. As for a darkhorse, a team with talent, good coaching, and a somewhat weakened schedule is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Expect ND to finish with no more than 3 losses, and a real possibility of another BCS blowout.

Edge: I will not be the least bit shocked to see a rematch at the 2010 Championship Game. With Bradford returning to OU and Tebow coming back to lead the Gators, it's potentially a no-brainer as to who the top two teams will be. While I root for OU, the edge will go to Florida for a variety of reasons. Namely, if I were writing a Sooner blog, I would be concerned about Bradford's thumb. Any surgery, major or minor, can alter a performance, so it'll be important for Bradford to make quick adjustments if they are needed.

For my darkhorse, I can tell you that it most certainly will not be Indiana. At this point, and it's freakin' early to be doing this, I'd have to say keep an eye on Northwestern. They had a nice run last season, and it could turn out the same this year. BCS buster? Meh... But, like I said earlier: stranger things, man...

RV: I think Oklahoma brings enough back to rip a few teams to shreds right before getting destroyed by LSU. If LSU can figure out their QB problems they always have enough talent to be an immovable force. I think North Carolina will be a top 10 team with a relatively weak schedule and Butch Davis' recruiting acumen at the table. If they could've learned to keep their QBs from being constantly injured they would've been even better last year.

4.) There's been a few off-season incidents this year what with Ian McGarvey, Dane Cook, etc. Are you troubled by these sorts of incident which never seemed present in the Hoke years?
Alan: I think it's only natural for players to test a new coach's resolve, especially given the change in personality from Brady Hoke to Stan Parrish. From all accounts I've heard, most of the incidents have been fairly minor, even those that didn't make the paper or this blog, and Stan has handled them all consistently and swiftly. And truthfully, you can't really ask for more than that.

Edge: Kids will be kids. You never made a mistake? 18-22 year olds are going to do stupid shit. But, it's important that Papa Stan lay down the law early and set examples. I wouldn't say that I'm troubled or concerned about misbehavior. Ian's situation is going to happen, hell, it happened to a player related to Hoke last year - it just wasn't a huge media fanfare because the kid didn't play much.

Ian McGarvey should be no different than any other teammate. I think Stan's doing it right, and I expect some serious repent on Ian's part in order to get his chance to play this season. Now, any of those players start pulling a Devendorf or if we are mentioned in the same breath as Duke lacrosse, then yes, I'll be concerned. But this seems isolated, and I think it shows that Stan won't tolerate stupidity.

RV: We all know that Muncie isn't the best town for anything resembling safe fun and anytime a HC leaves there is the threat of lack of institutional control. It's not uncommon for any program to have a few kids getting their DUI on, especially with the Indiana Excise going all CSI Muncie on the college kids. Did you know that if you're underage you can get arrested for driving - sober - with a case of beer in the back even with an of-age person in the car? Gotta love Indiana.

5.) We've been through an NFL declaration, a coach leaving, constant chaos and turmoil in this offseason. What, in your mind, will constitute success for these Cardinals on the football field this season?
Alan: I think success for these Cardinals will be anything above my expectations, and I expect them to be pretty good. First and foremost, I'd like to see them go undefeated through their non-conference schedule. That is tough, but doable. I'd also like to see them control their own destiny for the MAC West when the month of November dawns. If those to things happen, then we're again looking at a decent bowl bid and the potential of a conference title. All great things for this BSU football program.

Edge: Success will be the polar opposite of the GMAC. Everything about it was ugly, right down to the coaching. Granted, the cards were stacked against the Cards in that one. I think if the QB situation is solidified, the coaches are all on the same page, and the key players remain healthy, we could see a shot at a MAC title.

RV: Typical football cliche. This team has to play together and believe they can succeed together. Believe and Achieve. This team will only go as far as they want to, and instilling this kind of attitude is necessary for a MAC Championship this year.

What say you, dear reader?


Anonymous said...

1.) Nate goes in the first couple rounds, still, because he's too good not to. From there, he has a successful pro career after a few years as a back up and moves into a starting job.

2.) Say it with me... Trempe. Trempe. Trempe. A tight end is imperative in Stan's offense. Myles has got to step it up.

3.) Ohio State versus USC for the championship. Darkhorse will be Tennessee.

4.) Kids will be kids. Especially athletes.

5.) Gotta win the MAC West and then the MAC Championship.

Anonymous said...

What about Cwaw-daddy...I expect that he an Baker will anchor the defense.

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Anonymous said...

1). Absolutley zero chance he gets drafted in the first 3 chance. 5th round maybe, and from there he'll need som luck...good luck!

2). kelly Page...has some major shoes to fill and Cardinal fans will all of a sudden demand excellence and problably not be as patient with him as the need to be.

3. Florida kills however...I'll say Texas.

4. As long as they keep it under control, I see no problems. The best football players I know aren't angels and to put it nicely, they're major assholes.

5. I think they'll make a bowl game and win it...won't be as flashy and as highly advertised as it was last year, but we'll win, our coach won't leave us and our QB won't be worrying about playing on Sunday.