Thursday, June 12, 2008

Preview Review....Part Two

(Note: The west coast copy of Phil Steele's Preview features three players: Taylor Mays (stud), Rudy Carpenter (cry baby), and Jake Locker (over rated QB). No WAC players. If I'm not being a homer, even I can admit a guy like Ian Johnson should be on the cover for his senior year over a guy like Jake Locker who is only a sophomore and hasn't done anything yet. BCS bias...oh well.)

Steele's take on the Pack:

Steele takes a more historical look at the team leading up to present than most other mags do. He picks the Wolf Pack to finish third in the WAC and goes into a whole spiel about Tormey getting the team pointed in the right direction but Ault scheduled weakly and they kicked a bunch of kids off and blah blah. He really just says a bunch of crap that isn't important to anything and then finally gets to the point. He says that he has the team in the top 3 in 6 of 8 of his power ratings (earlier in the magazine he says he has the team as the top team in 6 of 8, make up your mind) and that we play the hardest schedule in the conference (yeah, that's right Fresno, tougher than Wisconsin, Rutgers, and UCLA). He expects a bowl eligible season for the 4th straight season.

Steele's Preseason All WAC team:

Wolf Pack Players on the 1st Team: RB Luke Lippincott, WR Marko Mitchell, OT John Bender, LB Josh Mauga

Wolf Pack Players on the 2nd Team: QB Colin Kaepernick, C Dominic Green, K Brett Jaekle

Wolf Pack Players on the 3rd Team: WR Mike McCoy, LB Jerome Johnson, SS Uche Anyanwu

Wolf Pack Players on the 4th Team: DT Mundrae Clifton, DE Kevin Basped

Steele's Take on Position Rank within the Conference:

#2 QB's, #2 RB's, #6 WR's, #2 OL, #7 DL, #5 LB's, #7 DB's, #6 ST's, #2 CH

I just don't agree with the WR's or DL here. And again, as with Athlon, things just don't seem to add up. I mean, how can Mauga be first team and Johnson be 3rd team and we are the #5 line backer corp in the conference? How does that add up?

Steele's Starting Line Up:

Interestingly, he has Sudfeld starting over Puloka. Also has Michael Andrews starting over Slack and Agaiava. He messed up on Erics Clark because it looks like we aren't getting him back. He also has Jonathan Ott and Dayton Guillory penciled in as the starters at the corners.

Steele Likes the Pack to be a Better Team:

He picks the Wolf Pack to be the #18 most improved team in the nation this season (he picks Notre Dame to be the most it's really that hard after that season).

Steele Ranks the Pack Players by National Rank at Position:

#30 QB Colin Kaepernick, #40 RB Luke Lippincott, #56 WR Marko Mitchell, #33 C Dominic Green, #32 OT John Bender, #43 ILB Josh Mauga, and #38 SS Uche Anyanwu. He also lists Nevada as being the #31 best QB unit (Kaepernick, Graziano, and Collis).

Steele Isn't Overlooking Kaepernick:

On the last page of the magazine (next to the hotty in the bikini) Steele gives his thoughts on the 2008 Heisman race. In the middle of the list of "Darkhorse" candidates is the Wolf Pack's own quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Other WAC players listed are Holbrook and Johnson under the "Possibilities" category and Brandstater joins Kaep in the "Darkhorse category. Not to shabby for a sophomore for a non BCS team to get a nod like that.

Steele's Overall Rank of the Wolf Pack: # 65 in the Nation.

Again we think we are a bit better than that, but we understand. Other WAC teams rankings: Boise St #32, Fresno St #45, Hawaii #69 (LOL), New Mexico St #86, San Jose St #87, La Tech #102, Idaho #114, and Utah St #116. Overall Steele is a bit better than Athlon with this, but again read previous comments for our take on the overall ratings.

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