Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday morning thoughts: Graham Harrell a Badger?

Texas Tech did get embarrassed last night by Oklahoma, but anyone who's seen the Raiders play this year has to be impressed by Graham Harrell. The other day I was reading Sports Illustrated, a story about all the great quarterbacks in the Big 12, and it casually mentioned that coming out of high school Harrell chose Tech over, among several other schools, Wisconsin.


Seeing how he's thrived in Mike Leach's pass-happy offense, it's hard to see how Harrell would have ever considered playing for the Badgers. Maybe the fact that we have more quarterbacks in the NFL than Tech is a bigger drawing card than we think!

But imagine Harrell had ended up in Madison for his college ball. It's not a stretch to think that we'd be in contention for a BCS bowl today, warts and all. I'll go into it more later, but looking back on this season, it's apparent that subpar quarterback play sparked the negative momentum that snowballed mid-season and threatened to turn it into an outright disaster. Thankfully Dustin Sherer and the receivers have improved to the point where this year has just been disappointing, ending in a bowl game but not the one we'd hoped for.

Again, though, imagine if Graham Harrell had been slinging balls for Paul Chryst's offense for these past few years ...

Big Ten thoughts:

1. Penn State. They deserve to be ranked higher nationally.

2. Iowa. This one's shocking to me, kudos to Kirk Ferentz for turning the program around after several years of decline. Let's see if they can keep it up.

3. Ohio State. To me, they don't deserve a BCS bowl bid, but I'm hoping they get it to improve our holiday destination.

4. Michigan State. Never a legitimate contender, shouldn't have beaten us, but in a break from the past, they stopped beating themselves and took care of business on a regular basis. Too bad we couldn't say the same about ourselves.

5. Northwestern.

6. Wisconsin. Hard to believe that ending up middle of the pack would be okay, but given how we were feeling about things after that Michigan State loss, I'll take it.

7. Minnesota. Does Brew really have them on the right track, or did they just get back to where they were under Glen Mason: padding their record against a weak non-conference schedule, beating the conference's weaklings, and winning a game or two they shouldn't have.

8. Illinois. This was the Goofs' signature win, remember? The one that had fans lobbying Joel Maturi to extend Brew's contract -- against a team that finished 5-7. The Illini arguably underachieved even more than we did this season, which has to be disconcerting for their fans considering the Zooker's track record. That much talent shouldn't lose seven games.

9. Purdue. Not the fate Joe Tiller deserved, he made that program relevant again and invigorated Big Ten offenses.

10. Michigan. Did you see where Rich Rodriguez said he didn't realize Michigan had so little talent coming back and if he had, he might not have taken the job? Way to throw your players under the bus, jerk! Add that to the fact Michigan didn't seem to do its homework regarding Red Wristband's buyout from West Virginia, and you have a stunningly comprehensive lack of due diligence for a high profile job opening. Hopefully these bad vibes continue for RichRod.

11. Indiana. Guess they didn't defend The Rock very well this year, whatever that is.

1 comment:

Phil Mitten said...

Harrell big in Madison? Maybe if Henry Mason was coaching the receivers ...