Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Revised Big Boards

About six weeks ago I stole a nice idea from Barking Carnival and listed how I think the Kansas Big Boards would look. With no regard to position, depth, etc., I simply tried to rank the best players on the team. By doing this (and I believe Mangino does, at least to an extent) it makes you find ways to get the players that will help you win on the field. Through four games it appears I was more wrong than even I had anticipated. So in an effort to stay up to date, I've revised said lists in abbreviated fashion…

Offense (previous)

1. Todd Reesing (1)
2. Kerry Meier (5)
3. Dezmon Briscoe (4)
4. Dexton Fields (2)
5. Johnathan Wilson (10)
6. Angus Quigley (11)
7. Daymond Patterson (NR)
8. Jocques Crawford (3)
9. Ryan Cantrell (7)
10. Tim Biere (NR)

Comments: Think they've been pass happy? I don't think I have to defend numero uno. And really, I can't imagine getting any argument from two or three. Some may argue they need to be flipped, and while Dez may have more skill, Kerry has shown more ability to block and is currently leading the nation in receptions. Despite losing Dex to injury so early this year, we've seen plenty from him to know that this can't be very inaccurate, if at all. Wilson obviously needs work blocking, but has turned into a very reliable receiver and even a big play threat. Quigley & Crawford have not done a ton yet, but I don't think it's because they lack the ability. Patterson exploded in his first two games and we haven't seen much since – that may continue with Dexton's return, but at this point I think he's plenty deserving and with his punt return abilities, he still helps the offensive out quite a bit (though if he becomes solely a punt returner I'm not sure he belongs).

Finally, we have our only two interior blockers that crack the top 10. And quite frankly, I may be reaching. I believe Spikes should be here on talent, but his hands aren't nearly as good as his feet. And I have high hopes for Thorson (and I know I'm supposed to disregard position), but I haven't yet seen the guy play. The real disappointment here is Darton – 6'6" 310 pounds and he's been in the program five years and he can't beat out a redshirt freshman that should be playing guard. I mentioned earlier that I hoped Hatch winning the tackle spot was because he was too good to keep off the field and not that Darton was too bad to put on it; let's just say that it doesn't look good...

Defense (previous)

1. Darrell Stuckey (4)
2. James Holt (3)
3. Joe Mortensen (2)
4. Mike Rivera (1)
5. Chris Harris (5)
6. Justin Thornton (6)
7. Arist Wright (7)
8. Justin Springer (16)
9. Russell Brorsen (8)
10. Richard Johnson, Jr. (15)

Comments: The first four remain the same, though scrambled. And while most people would rank the LBs in the exact opposite order, I really think that through these four games this is the way they've played. So far I think I was pretty accurate with Harris, Thornton and Wright. The big jump goes to Springer (although we've barely seen him) simply because it's pretty clear the only reason we're not seeing him is because JoMo occupies his spot. As for the d-line members rounding out this shortened list, I think Brorsen and RJJ have consistently been the best to date. The big difference here is that while I was hesitant to add either Cantrell or Biere to my top 10, there were plenty of other defenders I wanted to throw in here at the end.

Clearly the offense has been the better unit over the past two games, despite the lack of a running game. But honestly, I think while the defense doesn't have the star power of the offense they have much more serviceable depth. The other name I didn't even get on here (because we haven't seen him) is Kendrick Harper. And from the looks of the freshman trio stepping in for him, we better hope he's good enough to crack this list sooner rather than later.

Your thoughts? Your lists?

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