College Football Notes

– Tennessee has a starting quarterback now – senior Jonathan Crompton. When Lane Kiffin’s choice had to be between him and junior Nick Stephens then you know that Kiffin is in for a long year because neither guy is very good. Both of them looked very spotty last year – and that’s being kind. I am undecided on what Kiffin’s long term future holds, but in the short term it won’t be pretty.

– I think Jeff Tedford made a good decision when he named Kevin Riley his starter. Riley wasn’t particularly consistent last year, but he had Nate Longshore breathing over his shoulder all year. I think he’ll be better when he knows that he is the starter. Cal has a lot of talent, and it makes much more sense to me to go with the established senior than taking a risk on a guy who hasn’t played as much.

– I really want to like Miami and Randy Shannon, but they are making it hard for me. Not one but two backup quarterbacks have decided to leave the team. That leaves them with a very scary depth chart. Jacory Harris is the starter. Behind him is a true freshman. The only guy behind Harris who has ever taken the snap is the holder, and he only played in one game back in 2006. If Harris gets hurt then Miami is going to be a disaster.

– Very sad news out of Buffalo – senior running back James Starks needs shoulder surgery, and will miss his final season of eligibility. I saw Starks play in person last year and then watched him on TV a few more times – he has serious game. I had him penciled in as a real contender for the end of season running back honors, and I was looking forward to big things. He’ll apparently be rehabbed and totally healthy by draft time, so I hope he finds his way to an NFL roster – this guy has NFL potential.

– Justin Burke has been named the starter at Louisville. It’s amazing how far Louisville has fallen in a short time. They used to be a quarterback factory, but now it came down to a contest between Burke, a guy who was odd man out at the powerhouse of NC State (he says sarcastically), and a junior college transfer. Worse yet, Burke won by default because the other player was injured. Brutal.

– It looks like Aaron Corp is going to beat out Matt Barkley to be the man at USC. What I find most interesting, though, is that MitchMustain is nowhere in the conversation. He has gone from being praised as the next big thing entering Arkansas to a third stringer with the Trojans. Tough game. There must be something more to it, too -Mustain was national player of the year in high school and was 8-0 as a freshman starter at Arkansas, so he has game.

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