While our running game is still young and inexperienced, we have been impressed by the play of both freshmen Josh Haden and Montel Harris through 3 games. Each back has had 2 games to showcase their stuff.
Toss Up - Who do you expect to have a better career on the Heights - Haden or Harris?
Brian: This is a tough question. It's probably still a little too early to tell, but I'll go with Montel Harris. It will most likely come down to which back can stay healthier, and I think that Harris might hold up a little better over the long run. But don't get me wrong - both backs have been fairly impressive through 2 games.
Jeff: Tough question indeed but you are wrong. Haden was named the starter for a reason. So far he has only looked good in the second half of games after the defense is a little worn out. I would love to see him continue to get more touches but don't be too fooled by his numbers so far. Haden will emerge as the premiere back on the team but Harris is a GREAT second option. Reminds me of Willie Green and Derrick Knight.
The two ACC teams we've essentially left for dead have rebounded with big out of conference wins against ranked opponents. Maryland knocked off No. 23 California at home while NC State crushed in-state rival No. 15 East Carolina's BCS hopes beating them in overtime.
Toss Up - Which upcoming ACC opponent looks more like a sure win - vs. Maryland or at NC State?
Jeff: I think Maryland might be or probably is the better of these two teams, but the answer to this question is easy. It's Maryland. Maryland comes to Chestnut Hill where we have to travel to Raleigh to take on the Wolfpack. We're going to win both but the Maryland game will be more of a sure thing.
Brian: No no no. The answer is clearly NC State. We play them in two weeks. Their starting quarterback Russell Wilson will not play this week against South Florida and is out indefinitely. What happened when Wilson was knocked out of the South Carolina game? NC State got shut out 34-0. The Wolfpack will also be without the services of starting linebacker Nate Irving next week as well. If NC State plays without both of those players, I expect the Eagles to cruise to victory. The flipside is we get Maryland at the end of the season when both teams will have worked out all the offensive kinks and who knows, the game might have implications on the Atlantic division race. I expect the Terps to give us a tougher matchup than the Wolfpack at this point.
Toss Up - Who's the bigger threat to derail the men's hockey team from repeating as Hockey East champions - #7 New Hampshire or #10 Boston University?
Brian: This question is right in Jeff's wheelhouse. I'm more concerned with Boston University than I am with New Hampshire this year. The Terriers dismissed last year's starting goalie from the team over the offseason and the job is wide open with a pair of freshmen and sophomore Adam Kraus all competing for the starting job. Still, I think BU has the fire power to stay with just about anyone in Hockey East with sophomores Nick Bonino and Colin Wilson. Wilson, in particular, finished with 3rd on the team with 35 points (12 goals and 23 assists) in his freshman year. There were some rumors that Wilson would leave school before the season starts to start playing for the Nashville Predators. If he does, this will be a significant blow to BU's Hockey East title aspirations. New Hampshire, on the other hand, has to replace their two leading scorers - Matt Fornataro and Mike Radja - as well as Hockey East goalie of the year Kevin Regan. The Wildcats scoring threat comes in sophomore forward James VanReimsdyk. I don't think they will have enough to stay with BU or BC this season.
Jeff: Honestly, I always worry more about UNH and the rankings back that up again this year. UNH has just been a better program the last decade.
SI.com's Bill Trocchi, in his week 4 conference rankings, has the ACC ranked #2 this week, behind everyone's darling conference the "ESS EEE CEE" but ahead of the Big XII.
Toss Up - Through four weeks, who's been the better conference? The ACC or the Big XII?
Jeff: I want to say the ACC but the answer is the Big XII. Their top 4 teams would be favored against any ACC team home or away. This year the other conferences are really competing for third place. After week 1 we were hoping the ACC could squeak out a few wins and finish better than the Big Least. Since then however, things are certainly looking up and the ACC can certainly beat out the Big Ten and Pac-10 to be the third best conference this year. Hopefully the ACC will even get two teams into BCS bowls this year but at this point you have to say that is highly unlikely.
Brian: This week the answer is the ACC. No league has rebounded better from their horrific week 1 than the ACC. Last week the ACC was 6-0 against non-conference opponents, including an upset of #15 East Carolina, a solid win against a middling Conference USA team, a beatdown of an SEC opponent (albeit a bad SEC team), and a road victory over a bad Big XII team. Meanwhile, the Big XII went a paltry 5-4 and had a weekend to forget (two of those five wins were against I-AA cannon fodder). The bottom of the Big XII went 1-2 against the Big East with their lone win coming at home in overtime against a West Virginia team that might be left for dead. Throw in a home beatdown of the Aggies courtesy of the ACC's Hurricanes and an overtime loss to UNLV, and while the top four teams in the Big XII are arguably stronger than the ACC, the ACC has shown much more depth than the Big XII. Next week? The power rankings for these two conferences will shift based on the head-to-head matchups of Colorado vs. Florida State (in Jacksonville) and Virginia Tech visiting Nebraska.
The Georgia Bulldogs have decided to don their black uniforms for Saturday's huge matchup against #8 Alabama. It's only the third time the Bulldogs have worn black.
Last one, Toss Up - If the Eagles were to decide to wear a new uniform color for a big upcoming game - say against Clemson or Notre Dame - what color you choosing - gold or black?
Brian: Gold helmets with a gold jersey might be interesting, but I'm going to go with black here. Florida State's black uniforms look pretty impressive with the gold helmets, and it would be easy to get the crowd to all wear black for one game (we've seen what happens when we ask the crowd to all wear gold). So let's go with a blackout.
Jeff: Georgia's colors are red and black hence the blackout. We should try all gold to get the gold rush going.
Brian: I'll give you Georgia's official colors are red and black, but Florida State's colors are garnet and gold. And yet they have attempted the blackout. Duke's colors are Duke blue and white, yet they have a black version of their basketball jersey. I say give black unis a shot.