Andrew Luck Stays at Stanford For Another Year: The Stanford Strategem, Part II

The Brain and the Brawn of Stanford Andrew Luck stays for one more year so he will be a senior, before entering the 2011 NFL Draft. Given the situation with the collective bargaining agreement in the NFL and whether it can be resolved in time before the 2011 Draft, it remains to be seen.  This may not be the most effective decision, but it was the most practical decision in the long term. This decision is coming from a Stanford student who should complete his architectural design degree by next season.  Very practical, but there is a bigger engine at work here perhaps.

Given that Jim Harbaugh has accepted the position as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, it would be given that Harbaugh still has plans for Andrew Luck, even as a senior.  Oliver Luck, his father and an athletic director at West Virginia, denied that the potential NFL lockout or being selected first by the Carolina Panthers did not influence his son’s decision, but I remain skeptical.

It’s an ultimate win-win decision made by Andrew Luck. First, it gives him to time to complete his education, which will be important after his NFL career comes to an end.  Second, it gives him time to consult with NFL quarterbacks, such as Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning and the St. Louis Rams Sam Bradford.  He can get word on the drafts in 2011 and 2012 with their assistance.  Lastly, it gives him to consult with Jim Harbaugh and possibly connecting with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 since most likely, Luck won’t remain first in the draft next season.  He should be able to remain competitive amongst the NCAA quarterbacks entering the draft still, and Harbaugh can trade, as necessary, as Luck’s standing comes into play in the draft. As I said in the previous article, Harbaugh will need a quarterback of his caliber in the stable, and with both Andrew Luck holding out for this year’s draft and the potential lockout occurring, it will give them both time to gameplan.  The only downsides of Luck’s plan are that he will be entering a potentially large pool in 2012, and his rookie wages may be cut.  Then again, most of the elite quarterbacks today weren’t originally selected first in the draft.

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TCU Horned Frogs vs. Wisconsin Badgers: Rose Bowl Post-Game Analysis

The TCU Horned Frogs has NCAA’s best defense against the balanced attack of the Wisconsin Badgers led by their quarterbacks Scott Tolzein and running back Montee Ball.  This did turn into one heck of a game.

Here’s my observations for this fantastic Rose Bowl game:

  • TCU’s quarterback Andy Dalton carried the team for much of the first half.  With his passing score to Bart Johnson mid-first quarter and his rushing touchdown late second quarter, he pretty much carried the team.  With only 32 total yards rushing by the half, TCU did not have much of a balanced attack.
  • On the other side, the Badgers played to their strengths, which was to establish a more balanced offense, with a focus on the run.  Badgers Montee Ball established himself early with an early 40-yard run in the first quarter.  Ball also ran an 18-yarder early in the second quarter.  He has kept the first-ranked TCU defense honest for much of the first half.
  • The Badgers led into the half with nearly 3 times the time of piossession and nearly 1oo more yards.
  • TCU’s Andy Dalton established a more balanced attack into the second half with passes to wide receiver Jimmy Young and running back Ed Wesley.  With that, they also established a rushing offense with Matthew Tucker and ultimately Luke Shivers for the 1-yard touchdown run for a 21-13 lead.
  • The duo of Jeremy Kerley and Jimmy Young for TCU helped Andy Dalton control the time of possession late into the fourth quarter, although using running backs would be much more effective way of managing the clock.
  • The balanced attack of the TCU and the Wisconsin offenses countered each other for much of this game. No one had established any significant momentum for this game after the second half.
  • Badgers running back John Clay pounded the TCU defense with two successive runs late in the fourth quarter of 14 and 30 yards.  Fantastic bit of running…
  • The onside kick to TCU’s Bart Johnson by the Badgers fundamentally sealed the game.
  • Badgers running back Monte Ball had spectacular day with 132 yards rushing and 1 touchdown for a close 21-19 game.

The Wisconsin Badgers offense almost mounted a comeback late in the fourth quarter with a loss of 21-19 to the TCU Horned Frogs.  But their running game simply could not do it alone.  The Badgers did not have the ability to stretch the field, and ultimately, that cost them the Rose Bowl.

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Florida Gators: Outback Bowl Post-Game Analysis

Penn State Nittany Lions has been led by head coach Joe Paterno and its formidable defense.  Meanwhile, Urban Meyer has led his Florida Gators with the West Coast spread offense with John Brantley and their rotating quarterbacks.  And former Florida Gator quarterback Tim Tebow has become the starter for the Denver Broncos.  This game is one where one of the better offenses against one of the better defenses in the NCAA.

My observations for the game:

  • This has been a turnover-prone game for the Lions and the Gators, as they had a total of 6 turnovers.
  • Neither quarterback, Florida Gators John Brantley or Penn State‘s Matthew McGloin, played spectacularly.  McGloin had two interceptions heading into the second half. Neither of them is up to NFL standards in this game.
  • The Florida Gators defense stepped up the second quarter with a blocked punt by Solomon Patton and retrieval by Lerentee McCray for a touchdown changed the  face of the game.
  • McGloin’s pass to 44-yard pass to Derek Hoye to the 1 yard line was a great counterpunch for the Nittany Lions offense after the Gators special teams touchdown.
  • Gators wide receiver Chris Rainey’s run for 51 yards was great after the breakdowns in the Lions defense.  The Miami Dolphins quite possibly wished they had Rainey in their lineup about now.
  • Matt McGloin’s 2-yard rushing touchdown for the Nittany Lions in the third quarter was fantastic and it built the lead to 24-17 over the Gators.  However, his third interception wasn’t great into close of the third quarter.
  • Gators Mike Gillislee 1-yard rushing touchdown gave them the 27-24 lead.  This gave a chance in momentum in Gator’s favor, but McGloin’s questionable quarterback play near the end zone also helped.
  • The Nittany Lions defense held its own in the red zone with only permitting the explosive offense a field goal.
  • The interception by the Gators Ahmad Black sealed the game with a score of 37-24.

The Penn State Nittany Lions defense kept the potent Gators offense in check for most of the game, but the offensive weapons of Chris Rainey and the combination of rushers ultimately won.  McGloin’s horrible gameplay also helped.  Four interceptions won’t win a game, no matter how good the defense is.

With Meyer leaving the Florida Gators in relatively good shape, the Gators are poised for another run next season. The Nittany Lions ultimately lost 37-24, but they fought well…until the fourth quarter collapse.

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Michigan State Spartans: The Capital One Bowl Post-Game Analysis

This is one interesting game between the arm and comeback ability of Michigan Spartans Kirk Richardson and the running backs of Alabama Crimson Tide‘s Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. This game had relied on the comeback ability of Kirk Cousins for over a quarter or so.  However, he was facing an aggressive Crimson Tide‘s defense as he was facing an uphill battle into the second half. However, with his injury in the third quarter, Andrew Maxwell took over against a huge lead until he suffered an injury as well. The third string Keith Nichol was forced to start, and well, this isn’t Any Given Sunday, and he isn’t Steamin’ Beamin.

Here are my observations of this college bowl:

  • Crimson Tide’s running back Mark Ingram has shown he is still playing for the 2011 NFL Draft.  He scored two touchdowns in the first half. Greg McElroy‘s 30-yard pass to Mark Ingram in the second quarter demonstrated how versatile Ingram is.  Hopefully, it doesn’t take three years for Ingram in the NFL, like Darren McFadden of the Oakland Raiders.
  • Meanwhile, his partner running back Trent Richardson scored a touchdown in the first half. Richardson is just as devastating with his running potential.
  • Tides wide receiver Julio Jones 35-yard reversal for a touchdown in the second quarter was phenomenal.
  • The Crimson Tide had outplayed the Spartans into the second half and had a lead of 28-0. Part of it was the Spartans defense was outrunned and tired as a result.
  • Spartans quarterback Kirk Cousins was harassed seriously for the second quarter and afterwards.  After the Tide gained the big lead, it was up to Cousins and his comeback ability for this team.
  • Remember that XBox360 now has ESPN3 and Kinect, according to the commercial in the intermission.
  • The running game gave the Tides quarterback Greg McElroy a pocket to Marquis Maze a 37-yard touchdown in the beginning of the third quarter.
  • The Spartans defense was just plain tied and frustrated coming into the third quarter.  With the Tides using second and third strings against the Spartans defense, it was quite a sad to watch the Tides offense still capable of moving the ball efficiently down the field.  With fourth string running back Eddie Lacy’s two touchdowns for the Tides to lead 49-0 by early fourth quarter, the game has been sealed and over.

This was a dominating performance by the Alabama Crimson Tides over the Michigan State Spartans with a score of 49-7.  Their running back tandem of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson was simply too much for the Spartans defense too handle by the half. With the abundance of injuries to the Spartan offense, this game was long over.