Peter Bean at Burnt Orange Nation hosts this week BlogPoll Round Table
1. Handicap your team's chances to win your conference championship. If your team is not the favorite, who is?
USC has a very good chance to win their 6th straight Pac-10 conference title. They have the #2 toughest schedule in D-1 so a bump in the road is not out of the question, either from Cal or Oregon.
2. Outline the (realistic) best case and worst case scenarios for your team.
Best Case scenario, and very possible, SC goes to the BCS Title game and wins. Worst case scenario is that SC loses 2 conference games and goes to some Garbage can bowl.
3. We're only three games in to the season, but teams and storylines are starting to take shape. Compare your team to a character or theme from a fable or children's tale.
Where the Wild Things Are. More for the title and less about the story. There is no make believe about this team.
4. Imagine you're the coach of your team. Give three specific changes you'd implement immediately which you think would have the biggest impact on improving the team.
- Special Teams - I love Desmond Reed but he is not who I want to return kicks. His fumble against Nebraska was not the first time as he fumbled against Washington ST. last season and almost let the Cougars back into the game. I'd get the Ball to Travon Patterson, C.J. Gable or even Joe McKnight, even though he has a case of the fumbles in his first 2 games. Also with McKnight I'd continue to force-feed McKnight the ball every game, game experience will only increase his comfort and confidence. Once he's settled in he will the unknown "X" factor that can be that downtown threat especially in this very physical, plodding offense which gets bogged down at times because defenses can collapse in a bit.
- Fullback - I would have a solid replacement for Havili if he were to go down to injury. I'd do everything I could to get him game-ready. When they want to the coaches have been able to surprise in spots and force-feed young players who weren't expected to do anything (See O'Dowd). Some of that's on the player (and O'Dowd is CLEARLY a hell of a player), but it's coaching too. I see this as a decent spot for Bradford but they need to sell it to him and he needs to embrace it. It is not perfect but it could be an adequate substitution.
- Tackling - I'd do more tackling drills, get the team tackling situation improved. If USC were a little better at this they'd save a few yards from broken/poor tackles once in a while, get the ball a little earlier and in better field position, i.e. shorter drives, more points, it's win win win situation.
Some are picking WVU but I need to see more. But I think Penn St. will quietly get themselves back into contention.