Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Eyes On A Foe: Warp Speed In O-HI-O?

In the past two seasons, the Big 10 has been looking to shed its tortoise-like label. Coaches outside the conference, and your everyday analysts, will tell you that speed kills and the Big 10 lacks it. Rey Maualuga, during the Rose Bowl post game, when asked about the team’s preparation for Illinois, told a national audience that the USC coaching staff had already alerted the players that Juice Williams and company were slow. And finally, it was topped off with a quote from an Illinois cornerback stating that USC and Missouri were the fastest teams they played all year. Both those teams just happen to be outside the Big 10, and both defeated the Illini easily.

As usual, I went about searching, to see what this year’s Big 10 foe had cooking, and I came across a Buckeyes board that has recruits listed under categories of “speed” and “big speed”. Some of these young guys are fast, but they’re what I’m accustomed to seeing come and go at USC.

When someone says “Big speed”, I expect 40 times in the 4.3’s, but I only see one recruit running that time. Here’s a quick list:

Chris Fields, WR, 4.39
C.J Barnett, CB, 4.4
Jordan Hall, RB, 4.5
Storm Klein, RB, 4.5
Jordan Whiting, LB, 4.61
Dorian Bell, LB, 4.5

These are players for the class of 2009, and I don't have numbers for the current Buckeyes roster. But if the blogger is drooling over the incoming class, my assumption would be that they are either equal or better than what's currently on the field.

Now consider that Chauncey Washington (Which many viewed as a slug, in replacement of Reggie Bush) ran a forty time of 4.35 at USC’s pro day. I would find it hard to believe that many backs in the current USC stable are slower than Chauncey. I can't dig up the running back numbers from this past spring, but here are some interesting tidbits, for those wanting to compare team speed.

Trojan commit, Randall Carroll, recently ran a 10.47 in the 100 meters, which is this year’s fastest High School time in the State of California. Also, incoming Trojan, Brian Baucham ran the fastest qualifying time (37.43) in the 300 meter hurdles.

Forty times from the Trojan secondary, recorded during spring practice:

Taylor Mays, 4.25
Will Harris, 4.4
Kevin Thomas, 4.4
Josh Pinkard 4.5


Rey Maualuga 4.5
Brian Cushing 4.5

And here’s the kicker (literally), David Buehler ran a 4.49.

Those are all good numbers, but having been spoiled throughout the years, I wouldn't consider any as "Big Speed", with the exception of Mays.

During the Pete Carroll reign at USC, some opponents have outplayed and defeated the Trojans, but none have been faster. And when you look at the opponents from the Big 10, “speed kills” has never been a more truthful statement.

2003: USC 38 Iowa 17 (Orange Bowl)
2004: USC 28 Michigan 14 (Rose Bowl)
2007: USC 38 Michigan 18 (Rose Bowl)
2008: USC 49 Illinois 17 (Rose Bowl)
9/13/08: Welcome Buckeyes, to the Los Angeles Coliseum

Fight On!

No comments: