The Pigksin Stew Blog

Unconventional Wisdom: Spotting College Football's Dark Horse Teams

In College Football, preseason polls are largely filled with the previous season’s best finishers. But each year dark horse teams emerge from well back in the pack to compete for a National Championship or win their conference. How can anyone predict where these teams will come from? Using past examples, there are generally some common factors for dark horse teams. Look for: 1. A team that lost close games 2. A team with an established QB or a great one that lost time or consistency due to injuries 3. A team with a good returning defense 4. A team with a softer non-conference schedule Here are a few examples: 1. 1988 West Virginia: The Mountaineers finished the 1987 season with a 6-6 record-

The Hidden Advantages For a Senior Quarterback

As College Football enters the Spring Practice phase of the year there are always some compelling story lines to follow. This spring keep an eye on the teams with senior quarterbacks. Beyond the obvious reason of having a veteran quarterback there is another element to consider. One of college football’s best-kept secrets is the hidden value of a senior quarterback—particularly a quarterback who has already graduated or is only six credits from getting his degree. Why does that matter? A graduate student quarterback need only enroll in six credits to be considered a full-time student. If your senior quarterback hasn’t graduated, he only needs to take the number of classes required for his de

Ambitious if Imperfect...The College Football Hall of Fame

Last week, while on a Southern three-day speaking swing, there was some free time in Atlanta. Because both BBQ and football rank high with me, lunch was a savory pulled pork sandwich at Fox Brothers Bar-B-Q, followed by a visit to the College Football Hall of Fame. (The trip included a stop in Columbia, SC—Maurice’s has phenomenal BBQ with their regional mustard-based sauce) The last time I’d visited the College Hall of Fame it was still in South Bend, Indiana. Part of this visit was to see the new Hall and the enshrinement of two Hall of Fame Coaches I’d worked for plus teammates who’d been inducted and favorite players from childhood. In what is a sign of the times, the Hall now has virtua

A Telling Statement on The State of College Football

Ever wonder why that 4 or 5 star recruit doesn’t pan out? There are a lot of factors but recently during a phone call with a Power-5 Conference coach he made a telling statement. He said “A lot of kids today like being recruited more than they like playing football.” It speaks volumes, echoing what I’ve heard from a number of coaches this offseason. College football has become so recruit-centric that it is seen as the end-all/be-all for success on the field. Certainly no one is going to argue that it isn’t a lot easier to coach talented players. However it is even easier to coach highly-motivated players who always feel like they have something to prove. But sometimes the high-profile/ big-r

You Have 5 Recruiting Visits....Where Would You You Go?

Under NCAA rules each prospective student-athlete is limited to a total of 5 all-expenses-paid official visits in recruiting. There was a time when recruits took all 5 visits, but now, because of so many early commitments, very few take more than one or two. So for today’s blog, the question is where would you take your 5 visits? For the purpose of this discussion eliminate your favorite team or Alma Mater—so Penn State will not be on this list for me. So with that as the only ground rule—which 5 visits would you take? My list includes a visit to one school in each of the Power 5 Conferences (and keep in mind like all recruits I can and will change my mind): 1. Alabama—Nick Saban and the cur

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© 2014 Jay Paterno