Week #8: Minnesota – Preview and Open Thread

OSU FootballOnce.

Only once in Jim Tressel’s career has he lost two games in a row (during the 2004 season, if you’re wondering). Unless you’re the type to have spent the week poking your Pryor doll in the shoulder with pins, you’re probably not expecting that stat to be duplicated.

The fact is that Pryor is not as terrible as we scapegoat-hunters would have you believe. Don’t mis-quote me on that – Pryor obviously has issues – but it’s much too early to assume that he’s a lost cause. One has only to look at Vince Young to see what rewards patience might bring.

Their stats are eerily similar:

Pryor vs. Young – first two seasons
Year 1
Young 84 143 1155 6 7
Pryor 100 165 1311 12 4
Year 2
Young 148 250 1849 12 11
Pryor (proj) 153 273 2000 17 14
Year 3
Young 212 325 3036 26 10
Pryor .. .. .. .. ..

For those wondering whether Pryor could turn the corner and achieve greatness someday, look at the huge jump that Young made in his third season.

Of course, similarity in one year does not guarantee similarity in later years. And there are some apples-to-oranges comparisons of the Texas and OSU coaching staffs, offensive lines, etc. I’m not predicting that Pryor will be another college football legend like Vince Young, I’m only pointing out that he very well could be someday. And OSU fans should note that they probably won’t find a Texas fan that isn’t glad Mack Brown stuck with Young, even when the Texas offense was crumbling and inconsistent.

Still don’t believe me? Read this recap of a Texas loss, also humiliating, also halfway through VY’s second season, and compare the similarities with the last weekend’s Ohio State game.

If you’re still looking for a scapegoat for Pryor’s slow development, then it should start with Tressel and flow down to OSU quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano. When QB coach Joe Daniels moved on last year, Tressel gave the job to Siciliano, a loyal assistant from his Youngstown State days. At the time of his promotion, Siciliano’s position with OSU was listed as “Offensive Quality Control,” which is nothing more than a glorified film room assistant.

In case you missed that, they essentially put the team’s A/V club president in complete charge of developing the #1 recruit in the country. Are we shocked that Pryor’s struggling? Grab your torch & pitchforks, boys.

But what does all this have to do with Minnesota? Nothing.

This week’s questions:

  • How many turnovers does Pryor account for this week?
  • What is the fewest number of points the offense will have to score for you to be encouraged that solid progress is being made? (Consider that Minny’s giving up 23 points per game)
  • How many officials will the SEC suspend next week for continuing to ensure Tebow victories?
  • Penn State vs. Michigan?

sportsMonkey’s predictions:
Pryor’s TOs: One (thinking positive)
# of offensive points: 63
SEC officials suspended: The remainder, as the SEC will soon announce that Tebow himself will be making all the calls for the remainder of the 2009 season
PSU vs UM: Going with the upset – UM.

el Kaiser’s predictions:
Pryor’s TOs: One (thinking really positive)
# of offensive points: I’m torn here. Less than four touchdowns will mean to me that the offense isn’t progressing. But I think anything less than 40 points and I won’t feel sated. But I know we’ll win this game 17-7 and everything will not be honky-dory.
SEC officials suspended: The SEC is going to install “Tebow Sessions” with the refs. Just five minutes with the guy will make them all better (at their jobs) men.
PSU vs UM: Michigan shocks the world and Penn State fans melt the internet down. Their tears are going to be so delicious.


  1. •Only two turnovers this week since BSaine gets a lot of carries.
    •Consider that Minny’s giving up 23 ppg: 24 points
    •None. Tebow will invoke Prophets to make the officiating calls.
    •Penn State

  2. Pryor’s TOs: ZERO-I don’t believe Pryor will be throwing the ball all over the field. I think Tressel/Hazell will put Pryor into situations were he can be successful and gain confidence.

    # of offensive points: 24-I’m not looking for this offense to break any records. Their OL is banged up and they are down to Brandon Saine at running back. They SHOULD be able to score vs a terrible Minnesota defense…especially on the ground.

    SEC officials suspended: Only until Tebow wins President of Earth.

    PSU vs UM: Penn State…and big. UM gets EXPOSED.

  3. Oh man. After seeing that loss, and then UofM hanging more than 60 on someone (even a 1aa team: we all know how the maize and blue struggle with those guys) I cried myself to sleep every night this week, and have only just now emerged from my bunker deep beneath Tokyo to hope for good news this Saturday. It was a long, six-day healing process.

    Oh yeah, anyways, predictions:
    Pryor TO: 1, a fumble, recovered by someone on the offensive line with better hands.
    Points: To be considered progress? 31. It IS Minnesota, after all.

    SEC officials suspended: It depends on what the memo Urban Meyer sends to the conference says. I’ll go with one officiating team per week.

    PSU vs UofM: Sadly, I think UofM continues its ownership of Methuselah. I won’t hold out hope for evil to be vanquished this week, I mean, if they can beat a 1aa team at home, they can beat anyone anywhere.

  4. Not to poke too many holes in the Young-Pryor comparisons, but that humiliating loss halfway through Vince’s second season came against OU, a team that ran the table until they were embarrassed by USC. Pryor just gacked against Purdue, a team that looked to go 0-fer-the-Big-T(elev)en. It’s not exactly apples to apples.

    And getting beyond the statistical comparison, part of the reason Vince turned the corner and won his last 20 games or so is that Texas completely revamped the offense to fit his strengths. Vince started out his UT career playing largely under center in a pro set offense, and ended it playing almost exclusively in the shotgun, with 3 WRs, a flexed-out TE, and a tailback. I have a hard time seeing Tressel make such a dramatic change. Also, when push comes to shove and games get tight, Tressel goes into a shell with the playcalling…

    In terms of your questions:
    Pryor turnovers–zero. Seriously. “Don’t turn the ball over” has probably been branded on his forehead this week.
    30 points would work.
    SEC official suspensions–oh, I think another crew may have to be disciplined after the fact this week. Starkville is the Bermuda Triangle for Florida, so they might have to work real hard to ensure St. Tebow’s victory.
    Penn State or Michigan–this is a toughie for me. Going to say Penn State in a close one.

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