Thursday, January 1, 2015


Prediction number one does not seem to be an accurate one.  I picked Florida State.  It is the fourth quarter and Florida State is losing by 39 points.  As the color man has just commented, the Seminoles--defensively at least--have quit.  In the second half Florida State turned the ball over five times and Oregon just ripped off scores on each occasion.

I will make another prediction, however, that I think you can take to the bank.

Marcus Mariota is playing terrifically.  If today is the norm, the guy can run and throw and he seems to be smart in that the offense he is running is complex and tonight he is making wise decisions.

I remember seeing Vince Young play when he was in college at Texas.  And Michael Vick was virtually unstoppable at Virginia Tech. Then there is Johnny "football" Manziel who was great at Texas A&M and RG 3 who was terrific at Baylor.

Young was great at Texas. Made smart decisions and had great skills, but he did not last long in the pros.  Vick has proven to be just mediocre as a pro.  Nobody ever laid an egg like Manziel did in his debut a few weeks back. RG 3, after a great start, is not doing a whole lot as a pro.

The thing is that quarterbacks who are great in college, and are great in part because they can run, are not so special in the pros.  What makes them remarkable in college is that half the time the defenders don't know if they are going to pass or run.  In the pros they might run a bit, but after they take a few shots, they are not going to be running a whole lot. So in the pros a dimension that made them special is a relatively insignificant asset.

What makes quarterbacks great in the professional ranks is a combination of brains, industry, and passing talent.

I am not suggesting that Mariota is not smart--to the contrary.  But one of his assets is that he is playing in a fast offense in which he is a running threat. Professional teams--with the exception of Philadelphia--do not play up tempo and no team is successful when the quarterback as runner is part of the offense.

So here is my prediction. Someone will draft Mariota in the first round and think he will be a savior. And he will not be.

Of course I predicted that Florida State--now getting tattooed--would win today.

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