Sprints Considers the Impact of Jeremiah Masoli on Ole Miss // 08.03.10

MASOLI-IPPI

Brandt: Guarded optimism
Now that Jeremiah Masoli is headed for Oxford, what could he mean to Ole Miss? David Brandt offers a measured assessment.

While Masoli certainly adds some punch to the offense, I wouldn’t expect too many miracles. The Rebels still have an inexperienced offensive line and a lot of new faces at receiver. To me, the one big plus is opponents will be worried about Masoli, giving more room for Jesse Grandy and Brandon Bolden to operate in the open field.

As for current starting quarterback Nathan Stanley, I still think he’ll have a role in the offense at the beginning of the season. If the sophomore plays well, then you’ll see a two-quarterback system. If not, then Masoli will take the vast majority of the snaps.

Which might not actually be the best thing for the Ole Miss offense, at least in part because Masoli is not going to be ready to run all the plays in the playbook on Day One. It's going to take time. But this is still unquestionably good news for the Rebels, right?

Dr. Saturday is skeptical
He parses Masoli's impact against top-60 defenses and finds that there's not a lot of "there" there. Against those defenses, Masoli has a worse passer rating and yards per game than Ryan Mallett, Stephen Garcia, Greg McElroy and Jordan Jefferson.

Against the two BCS-bound defenses the Ducks faced in '09, Boise State to kick off the schedule and Ohio State to close it in the Rose Bowl, the result was largely nothing. And Masoli has never put much of a scare into respectable defenses (here, we'll define "respectable" as "among the top half of the country") with his arm -- compared with other SEC quarterbacks we have a little data on, Masoli's niche at Ole Miss is clearly going to be as "the scrambler"

Again, Masoli is not a game changer, and I would be surprised if Houston Nutt actually thinks he is. But having him is worse than not having him, and that could be enough for the Rebels right now.

OTHER NEWS

Robbie Caldwell is the sort of permanent head coach of Vanderbilt
Your humble correspondent's take from yesterday.

It's still not clear what that means
Vice Chancellor David Williams say he doesn't "want to start any speculation one way or the other, but we see him as our head football coach." This is not exactly what you say when you're lifting the interim tag long enough for Caldwell to start redecorating what was Bobby Johnson's office. It sounds like this is aimed at recruiting, essentially telling Vanderbilt prospects that the coaching staff is something approaching permanent -- at least as permanent as it is anywhere else. Which, of course, is not exactly true. The coaches at Vanderbilt don't have any long-term contracts in their current jobs. And there's no reason to believe, barring a moderately successful season by Vanderbilt standards, that they will be when the year is out.

Mississippi State has set a season-ticket record
No pressure, Dan Mullen and Co. No pressure at all.

This breakout season is different than the last breakout season
Gamecock Man outlines the reason that South Carolina isn't headed for another 2007-type meltdown.

Well said
A Sea Of Blue issues a warning about what could happen if agents are allowed to get too involved in student-athletes' lives as part of the NCAA's review of its rules.

Oh. hooray.
The Orlando Sentinel makes the case that there might yet be another round of conference realignment in the next few months. I would love to disagree with them -- but I can't. That's not to say that we are inevitably headed toward realignment. But there's no reason to think that Larry Scott has given up on the idea of a Pac-16 -- in fact, he's as much as said he hasn't -- or that Jim Delany is done considering the next step for the Big Ten+2. We all might hope it's over, but that doesn't make it so.

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