Cole Brock’s EndZone

imagesYou’re looking at this and thinking, “Who the heck is Cole Brock!”  And then you’re probably wondering what this blather is doing on this website. I’ll help you understand, maybe…

Die-hard Alabama football fans, especially the older ones, might recognize the name when I unroll all of it – Ernest Cole Brock IV. The IV addendum to the name may cause confusion until they go backwards and realize that by the numbers I am the grandson of the Ernest Cole Brock, Jr., MD, who was the University of Alabama football team doctor under the iron-fisted reignimages-4 of “The Bear” – Paul “Bear” Bryant.

That explains why I’m a die-hard Alabama fan; but really what else could I be?  It naturally follows then, that I’m also a fan of the SEC, more as a whole rather than any particular team beside the Tide.  Most SEC fans I’m sure feel the same. What other fans chant the conference name, “SEC-SEC-SEC,” when their team beats a non-conference opponent?

Oh yeah, I’m Greg Sitek’s son…

I read recently that for the season opener, Pete Carrol, USC head coach, recently dumped junior, Aaron Corp, in favor of last year’s #1 high school QB in the nation Matt Barkley, according to Rivals.com. The golden boy, from the same, Mater Dei High School in Orange County recently beat out Corp, and much-maligned Arkansas transfer Mitch Mustain.

Now I probably shouldn’t rant about my extreme disapproval of the idiocy that inherently is Mitch Mustain, but I’m going to anyway. This kid had it made, coming out of high school with almost every national player-of-the-year award on his nightstand. He eventually ended up choosing his home state Razorbacks over the likes of Florida, Notre Dame, and Michigan etc., which may or may not have had to do with the hiring of high school head coach Gus Malzhan, by Houston Nutt.  Mustain’s true freshman season saw him go 8-0 as a starter but he eventually got dumped for the SEC championship and Capitol One Bowl games for the more experienced Casey Dick.

Well after a fit, thrown by the higher ups in his hometown of Springdale, Houston Nutt was forced to let Mustain transfer initially to Tulsa, following his beloved coach Malzhan, and subsequently to USC. Sorry Mitch, maybe the mid-west would have done you better. Anybody remember the other five star high school QB’s from his class? Tim Tebow and Mathew Stafford. Ha.

After, most notably his mother, and her merry band of Mafioso’s got Mustain and high school teammate Damian Williams out to Southern California, they got Nutt fired. To me this sounded like high school football politics? The rich kid doesn’t get to play, so his parents throw a fit; every one looks the other way and all of a sudden the rich kid is playing over better and more qualified poor kids. It happens all the time, especially in the south. Well, too bad, mommy’s money won’t buy you your spot at USC.  Hey but what do I know. Matt Barkley is from the OC. I guess Springdale’s influence only goes so far.

Wow, sorry if you already knew this dreadful tale…  especially if you are a Razorbacks fan and still wish Swine Flu on all who call Springdale home. Lets just hope second-year coach Petrino is happy with Michigan five-star transfer Ryan Mallet, before he bolts for another fixer upper. Replacing a quarterback is probably the toughest job a coach faces, how many Mannings are there? This year saw some greats leave for the NFL. Here are some of the more intriguing situations.

USC imagesUSC-Mark Sanchez- USC has had no problem replacing big names in the past. Carson Palmer passed his Heisman crown on to Matt Leinart, followed by a solid John David Booty. Matt Cassell never played a down backing up Palmer and Leinart, but managed to find a starting role for the New England Patriots, after Tom Brady went down with a season ending knee injury.  This year is no different with two five stars and four star, Aaron Corps, battling it out. For now it seams boy wonder Matt Barkley will start the season opener. “It’s clear to us as a staff that Matt Barkley is ready to be the starting quarterback at USC,” Carroll said in a statement Thursday. “He has exceeded all our expectations. He has all the physical ability, he has the mentality and temperament to handle the position, his personality is very well received by all the players and he’s extremely talented.” Lets hope this isn’t politics and Barkley really is that good. I have to wonder if Carrol really believes he is the best or if he is planning on a throw away year as Barkley learns the ropes….

imagesWVU-Pat White – Now he may not be playing QB in the NFL, but he sure played it well for the Mountaineers. The second round pick of the Dolphins, he amassed staggering numbers for WVU over his four-year career with nearly 10,000 all-purpose yards. He left campus claiming more individual records than I could name. His 4-0 record, as a starter in bowl games, is bigger than any other statistic of his. His big time presence will be sorely missed.  Fifth year senior Jarrett Brown has long secured the job, but regardless, has limited game experience. All signs point to yes with this guy. We’ll all know in a week!

Georgia-Mathew Stafford- Loosing the number one pick in the draft is never lightly felt, but Georgia is looking to take it in stride with visionsimages-1 of another SEC championship with eerily similar comparisons to the 2005 D. J. Shockley season. This year another fifth year senior looks to replace a career starter. Joe Cox may never be the first pick in the NFL draft, but he could certainly stake his claim in bulldog lore with a win over the hated Gators, something four-year starter David Greene and three-year starter Stafford only accomplished once in their careers at Athens. With a win over Florida, an SEC championship berth would seem inevitable.  Not to be forgotten sophomore Logan Gray has kept heat on the starting spot with first team play throughout fall camp.  It remains to be seen how Cox will handle the pressure. If history repeats itself, expect big things from the often-overlooked Georgia Bulldogs.

Texas Tech- Graham Harrell — With Graham Harrell leaving, after cracking the top ten of nearly every NCAA career passing record, and images-2owning the career touchdown mark, it would seem Tech would be reeling. With another heir-apparent to the QB-throne no one seems worried, least of all Mike Leech. In eight out of nine seasons the Texas Tech quarterback lead the nation in passing; in the other season Graham Harrell was second to Hawaii’s Timmy Chang in ’06.  Taylor Potts appears to be a perfect fit claiming, “When I first got here, everything was different. The names of the routes were different, and it was almost like I was learning a foreign language.” Potts continued, “But now, after being here almost three years, I feel like I’m finally fluent in it.”

“Sometimes I take it for granted because it comes so easily. But after you’ve studied it for a year or so, it comes simply, and everything becomes pretty clear the more you are exposed to it.”

I don’t know about Potts…  my money’s on Leech. I don’t doubt that Taylor Potts is ready to be on the ever-growing list of Tech QB’s to be nothing short of spectacular. The only question now is if he’ll continue the tradition of undrafted Leech prodigies.

images-3Missouri-Chase Daniel- Missouri hasn’t had the luxury of five straight 4,000 yard passers and but with a four and three year startingquarterbacks back to back in Brad Smith and Chase Daniels, a new sophomore is set to keep the trend going. The reason for the Missouri football resurgence the last few years, Daniels broke nearly every Quarterback record the tigers had to offer. But as is always the case change is necessary. It seems once highly touted five star prospect, Blaine Gabbert is on course to start the 2009 season off right. He had stellar spring and fall camps, beating out freshman trio Blaine Dalton, Ashton Glaser, and Owen Leander.  Gabbert at 6’5 240 fits the bill, and hasn’t disappointed.

Cole Brock

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