from Colonel Mustard
As spring practice starts it is time for a long-overdue look back at last season and some things to watch in the spring.
2000 in my mind was a disappointment because we had more talent than a 10-2 record. Why didn't this team live up to its billing?
1. Crouch's health. I don't remember a team being soo dependent on one player. You heard me whine all year that he had too many carries and as a result was injured when we needed him. In '99, using him as the primary ballcarrier worked because he had a light work load early in the year. The key for '01 is to keep 7 healthy. Because as a magazine once said about Gill, the difference between good and great for us is 7.
2. The O-line. This group wasn't as dominant as at the end of '99 and with the same people. This is the greatest mystery of '00. Their lack of dominance left Crouch in the early games much longer than he should have.
3. Chemistry. Too many individual agendas with this group -- worried about the pros and how many touches they have. You could tell by the body language on the field something was wrong. At Oklahoma they panicked and then gave up.
4. Lack of playmakers on defense. Vanden Bosch didn't show up until the end of the year. Our speed linebackers and safeties made very few big plays. The line had zero pass rush and Bohl couldn't get any pressure on Heupel and Beasley. I thought that our corners and Polk did a good job.
5. Coaching adjustments. Against both Oklahoma and K-State, Frank had the best gameplan to start the game. But in both cases the opponent adjusted and we didn't. Our play-calling was inconsistent and sometimes just flat bewildering. Frank needs to turn the play-calling over to someone because he is too emotional during the game to do a good job. Bohl did not adjust well, but it was his first year. This staff has to learn to adjust if we are to contend for the national championship because at that level the talent is even. This area worries me tremendously.
In the spring we need to see if our young linebackers can play. We need improvement there and it probably will mean playing the young guys over the veterans. Also, God forbid if Davies is out for the year. Frank needs to use our surplus of talent at tight end to employ an H-back like the pros do and two TE's in the Maryland I. We can split Wistrom and Johnson more as wide receivers to help overcome our lack of WR's.
This is a critical year for Frank, the schedule is in his favor. We have a lot of holes to fill and some of our returning starters were disappointing. Expectations will be high and I worry that we don't have enough talent to meet them. We need an I-back and playmaking linebackers to emerge this spring for me to feel better.
-- The Colonel