Ty and Dan talk with Bill Connelly about a wide range of teams from the Big 12 and SEC before veering drastically off course to discuss first dates. Also, Ty gets shown up in an Asian restaurant in New York City.
Today on The Solid Verbal, Dan and Ty are joined by Bill Connelly of Football Study Hall to talk a whole mess of Big 12 and SEC teams.
Dan and Ty lead the show off with their first in-person meeting after some time while Ty was in New York City. Ty recounts his lunch at an Asian restaurant and the unfortunate consequence of asking for a fork.
Bill joins the show and alerts the Verballers of his forthcoming book, “Study Hall: College Football, Its Stats, and Its Stories.” He then proceeds to reel off a wealth of college football knowledge, which we shall now run through, team by team:
Baylor: Because of their strong showing in the Holiday Bowl this team could be very formidable. Bill thinks that if they develop a pass rush that could be the case, but worries they could have a little 2012 West Virginia in them.
Florida: The Gators purposefully play ugly. And they’re good at it. The problem is there’s little margin for error. It levels the playing field when playing small-time competition and makes it difficult to win when facing a large deficit.
Georgia: Bill makes a bold proclamation and says Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is the best play caller in the country. He predicts the Bobo’s side of the ball will have an incredible year. Bill wants to know if they can patch things together defensively to beat USC and take control of the SEC East?
Kansas State: Wildcat fans should be more worried about losing nine starters on defense than losing Collin Klein. Bill says Kansas State have options at quarterback, good wide receivers and a solid offensive line. Last year’s defense was good at limiting big plays and forcing teams to sustain drives. Losing that many guys will make things a little messy on the defensive side of the ball.
Iowa State: Every year it’s the same problem for the Cyclones: Can they get a complete, solid year of quarterback play. This year the keys to the offense go to Sam Richardson, who only played in three games last year—out of necessity.
South Carolina: Do the Gamecocks have to improve from 2012 to be better in 2013? Bill describes the offense as interesting and remarks that this year’s defense could be a pretty green bunch. But the schedule is very favorable. And they have Jadeveon Clowney. If they win the Georgia game, it’s possible they could be undefeated when they meet Florida in mid-November. Is this the year they get over the hump?
Texas A&M: Bill makes it clear that last year’s team was very lucky in terms of injuries. The offense was as healthy as it could possibly be and it’s unrealistic to count on that again. That being said, the pieces are in place for them to be very good. The Achilles heal of this team could be the defensive line and it’s loss of Damontre Moore.
West Virginia: The good news is the defense can’t really get worse, but it will have to improve if this team is going to experience any success. Losing a star quarterback and a pair of star receivers will truly test Dana Holgorsen’s seemingly plug-and-play offensive system.
Texas Tech: What’s Kliff Kingsbury’s plan for his first year in Lubic? Last year at A&M, Kingsbury liked to evenly distribute passing and running plays. With a weak running game, will his offense look a little more Mike Leach’s out of necessity?
LSU: Bill predicts a potential BCS bowl season for the Tigers. The passing game should click a little better with Zach Mettenberger returning at quarterback. LSU always boasts a strong stable of running backs. They do lose a lot on the defensive line, but they’re experienced everywhere else on defense. And Les Miles should be able to plug those holes with some highly recruited freshmen.
Alabama: Is there maybe a tiny chink in the armor? Eh, not really. Bill says the defense gets thinned out a bit, but their limitless pipeline of five star recruits should cure that. Offensive line is his biggest concern, though, there’s not too much to dislike.
Kansas: Winning only four FBS games during a three-year span, Charlie Weis is taking a gamble. Weis loaded up on JUCOs in a desperate move to improve his program. While it’s definitely not a long-term solution, Bill says they should be better in 2013.
OSU/TCU: Bill thinks he’s got a pair of known commodities in these two teams. He says they’re both very solid could be top-10 teams if things break right.
Texas: The defense last year was super shoddy. If the offense is just as potent and the defense can find 2011-esque form, this could be a top-5 team.
OU: Bill was a little bewildered by Oklahoma, calling them a very interesting team. Very interesting in that, he has no idea what to make of them.
Dan closes out the interview by asking Bill to walk the audience through his first date. Verballers intimate stories of Bill’s very first middle school date and the first date with his wife. He also tells a tale of the time he was almost arrested in Oklahoma.