Powered by the dwindling clock at the top of this page, on to the notes:
*Coincidence or BON influence? You decide. Since we brought ESPN's Ivan Maisel over for a little interview and gushed about Jamaal Charles, the ESPN cognoscenti have had awfully nice things to say about him. First, Maisel noted Horns' fans love for Charles in his 3-point stance. A week later, Bruce Feldman says that three things had recently gone from good to great in his head. Among them? Jamaal Charles' Heisman chances. And now yesterday, Joe Schad noted in his chat that he thought Charles would be among the Heisman finalists in New York City. I'm sure it's coincidence, but I'm still happy to see Charles getting his due praise. As he's Texas biggest game-changing player, he's the key to the season.
*The Heisman Pundit1 with some eye-opening posting of late. Of particular interest:
Defense may win championships, but you have to be in position to recruit the talent needed to field that championship defense. That first requires building an identity and establishing a winning tradition as a program.
That's exactly what Louisville has done, thanks in no small part to its offensive prowess.
(Emphasis is mine.)
Two excellent points in here. First, teams at a recruiting disadvatange -are- well-served by being more innovative on offense to make a name for themselves. Second, if that's a means to an end, as opposed to an end unto itself, I'm in complete agreement. I don't know if this marks a shift in philosophy on HP's part, or just a better clarification of his views all along, but as it currently reads, the usual objections to HP's philosophy don't apply. Defense wins championships, but offensive creativity can play an important role (both for schools that need to make a name for themselves, and for teams with talent that can be too stagnant - e.g. Greg Davis 2000-03).
1I have vowed to discuss Heisman Pundit on the merits or demerits of the content he writes.
*Later today: a tribute to the 2004 Rose Bowl win over Michigan, plus some thoughts on preseason polls.