Daily Blog - Monday August 31st

During the regular season and beginning next week, I will have my News and Notes up each week. I watch 12 games at a time all day long on Saturday and then go thru the play by play of every game on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. On Mondays here on Phil Steele.com I give you the information that is not in your local newspapers. Your newspapers generally say X team beat X team by XX points and so and so scored 3 TD’s. My Monday News and Notes will tell you that a team lost but outgained their foe by 232 yards in a game. It will go in depth on the key plays that swung games and also key injuries suffered during the week. This will be every Monday right here on my Daily blog.

Since there were no games this past weekend I will go thru some injuries and some things you probably do not know about this year’s teams.

If Clemson starts rFr Kyle Parker at QB as expected in the opener, he will be the first time since 1945 that a frosh has opened the year at QB for the Tigers. The last time that Clemson’s starting QB had not taken snaps prior to the season opener was way back in 1974 when a non-freshmen started but had no experience prior with Mike O’Cain and Mark Fellers splitting the duties.

Joe Paterno has been around 43 years. Jeff Rice of the Centre Daily Times pointed out that in those 43 years there were 14 times that Paterno had a veteran senior QB (at least 1 year starting experience). In those 14 years his teams averaged 9.7 wins (8.9 is his average win total) and they won 81% of their games with 2 national titles (1982 Todd Blackledge, 1986 John Shafer) and were also undefeated in 1969 and 1994 with the same edge.

You need to go to the injury list on the front page and update your magazine. There are over 150 players that were lost since the magazine was written. I use a red pen to circle players that were lost prior to the year and then a blue pen to circle players lost during the year. This gives you a real good idea of the most beat up and also the most injury free teams during the year. Remember when Oklahoma won their national title in 2000 they had ZERO starters miss ZERO games with injury. Also in 2007 Utah went just 9-4 as they led the nation in starts lost to injury. How did that team do with less injuries in 2008? They went unbeaten and finished #2 in the country. I keep a weekly tally of starts lost for the year with injury and will have a list here on PhilSteele.com each week.

On page 318 of my national magazine, I list the teams that play much tougher and much easier schedules than last year and list them in the “Going Up” and “Going Down” boxes. One of the teams in the going down box is Minnesota. The Gophers have the most returning starters in the Big Ten with 18 but last year they faced a grand total of ONE ranked team (Ohio St #14). This year they have 4 teams on their schedule that are currently in the AP Top 25 and another 3 that are just outside the Top 25 at the moment but could be in it by the time the game is played.

Indiana officials point out that their defensive end tandem of Greg Middleton and Jammie Kirlew have a combined 36.5 career sacks. That is the TOP returning tandem of DE’s in the country in terms of career sacks this year. Need I say that the Dline is one of the strengths of this year’s Hoosier team?

As you know I am a voter on TEN different Awards for the upcoming season. I love all of the College Football Awards and check out the Awards tab on the left side for the latest updates on each award. CLICK HERE to go to the current menu. You will notice I have the history of the Awards and all of the this year’s Preseason Watch Lists up for each award for the 2009 season right now! I will also provide stat updates during the year and share with you the information that I use to make an informed vote for each award at the end of the year.

I do want to remind you that I answers dozens of questions each week on the Fans of Phil Steele on Facebook. Once you become a fan (you are just one click away) you can go thru and read all the questions and answers over the last month. When you get to the bottom of the page, just hit the Older Posts and it will keep going back. I have spent a lot of time typing and researching the answers so I hope that A) you become a Fan B) read all of the researched information.

The non-conference poll is now closed and I will post the results on Wednesday’s Blog. Find out the Fan votes on all the key non-conference games.

The Week One Poll is available right now!

You can vote on all of this week’s key games matching FBS teams. Vote today and I will announce the winners of the weekly poll each week along with the prizes. The tie breaker will be FCS upsets of the week and here is how it will work: For the tie breaker you can pick as many FCS upsets that you want (upsets over FBS teams or IAA beating a IA foe). You can also choose zero upsets. This first week the prizes are as follows: First place – Complete set of Phil Steele magazines (7). Second Place – Your choice of any THREE magazines. Third place – Your choice of any Phil Steele magazine. Make sure you get in on the week one vote I will keep a running talley of the leaders during the year in two categories A) Total Wins B) Winning Percentage. I will update this weekly as well. Best of all the contest is FREE!!!

On Tuesday’s blog I will break down all the games involving Top 25 teams this week and have a couple of upset picks as well.

We still have some slots available to be the blogger for a team. Click on the Team Pages and look at the menu and if you follow one particular team very closely and would like to be a blogger, contact jcarter@philsteele.com!