I've been posting brief rundowns of my first impressions on a forum that's just comprised of a few of my buddies. With a new work schedule, this has been the first time I've been able to regularly catch CFB live in years. Anyway, it's been a little slow around these parts, and this is my favorite board on FH, so maybe we can drum up some conversation.
Hundley looked as good as I've seen him in a few weeks. His footwork and throwing mechanics were much tighter than they had been the last couple weeks. I hope he gets to prove himself against a good D in whichever bowl game UCLA attends.
Manziel had his worst game of the season. Missed on a few throws, but I'd only give him full blame for the last INT. He made the right throw on the first INT; his WR just quit on the play. How do you quit on a play when Manziel is your QB? The second INT was off-target but the WR got two hands on the ball. Still, he wasn't as sharp as he has been the rest of the season. But he still went 30 of 39 for 446 yards (that's 11.4 per attempt), threw 5 TD's, and put up over 50 points against an SEC D.
I wrote this about Mariota on 10/29:
I don't think Mariota has the mental makeup of an NFL QB. Seems like a really nice guy, does well academically, and he has great physical traits. To me, he looks shaky when things break down. That offense is such a machine that you rarely see things break down, but when they do, he doesn't handle those situations with grace. I think that Oregon offense would struggle against Alabama. I doubt they'd score over 30. I can see a plight similar to RG3's for Mariota. Looks great for a few games running a read-option offense. Gets hurt. Coaches try to protect him, and everyone sees the flaws the unsustainable system was masking.
Stanford is a nice team, but they AIN'T Alabama. That Stanford D had given up over 20 points four times prior to the Oregon game. Alabama has given up over 20 point only once this season - when they gave up over 40 to the A&M.
C. J. Mosley looks like a top-15 pick to me. I don't know how he'll test, but at times he reminds me of Patrick Willis.
Sticking with 'Bama, Yeldon and Drake will both have significant roles in the NFL. Hard to project where RB's will go in the draft. I had Zac Stacy as the 2nd best RB in the class (because of Lacy's injury concerns), but he somehow fell to the 5th RD. Yeldon has elite feet (especially for his size), and Drake is as explosive as you'd want. I haven't seen a college RB flash burst like that since C. J. Spiller.
Odell Beckham is nasty. Wouldn't at all be surprised if in 5 years, he's seen as the best WR from the 2014 class (assuming he leaves). Landry is also very good. Probably a 3rd or 4th RD pick.
If I'm Steve Ross, there are two CFB coaches I'm looking at to potentially replace Philbin, and both are pipe dreams. The first is David Shaw. Strong, intelligent man. Has the right approach to the game, and we've seen that system translate well in the NFL. The other is Gus Malzahn. Brilliant offensive coach, and we've heard about it, but not enough people are discussing how physical he's made that Auburn team on both sides of the ball. Both these guys get it, and both have the charisma to lead an NFL team. I doubt Ross considers either, and even if he did, I doubt either would leave their current situations to take over the mess that is the Miami Dolphins. Malzahn, though, has (I believe) the lightest contract of any SEC coach. Break the bank, and bring him to Miami.
The Iron Bowl could well be the game of the year. I wouldn't at all be surprised to see Auburn playing Missouri in the SEC Championship.
Nice win for Baylor, but Oklahoma isn't very good. Their QB is an absolute mess. Makes Tim Tebow look like Dan Marino. The OK State game should be a better test.
FSU should be the favorite to win the National Title. They have the clearest path to the game, and I'd give them at least a 50/50 shot against anyone.