Mel Kiper is losing it

During one of his recent chats on, Mel Kiper answered a reader’s question about the quarterback class of 2010 and listed Central Michigan’s Dan LeFevour as the next best signal caller behind Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford.

Jeff, Mpls: Looking ahead, will next years QB class be a lot better than this years?

Mel Kiper: Next year’s QB class will have Sam Bradford as the No. 1 guy. After that, you’d be looking at Dan LeFevour out of Central Michigan. Bradford should be the No. 1 overall pick. LeFevour in the top 10-15. Colt McCoy. Then Tim Tebow will factor in. And Pike out of Cincinnati.

I love Dan LeFevour. I’m a CMU grad and credit him for making the Chips relevant again in the MAC. He’s fun to watch and I’ll root for him no matter where he winds up. But I want some of whatever Kiper is smoking because there’s no way LeFevour is the second best quarterback behind Bradford in the 2010 draft class.

First and foremost, LeFevour rarely takes a snap from under center and he plays in the spread offense. He’s mobile, tough and he has decent size at 6’3″, 229 pounds. But he doesn’t have great arm strength or accuracy, doesn’t play against top competition in college and one has to believe that he would struggle trying to grasp a pro style offense. Kiper is nuts if he sees LeFevour as a top 15 pick.

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Tennessee’s next head coach: Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly?

Brian KellySince Phillip Fulmer made the decision to step down at the end of the year, speculation has run rampant on who will replace him as the next head coach at the University of Tennessee. While The Oregonian suggests that Oregon State’s Mike Riley could be in line for the position, I’ve got another name to keep your eye on: Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly.

Five years ago, Kelly was a nobody winning multiple Division II championships at little old Grand Valley State in Grand Rapids, Michigan. From there, he was hired at Central Michigan University, which had won more than three games only once in the previous four seasons. After finishing with a 4-7 record in 2004 (his first year in Mt. Pleasant) and 6-5 in 2005, Kelly led the Chippewas to a MAC Championship in 2006 before jetting to Cincinnati before coaching CMU in the 2006 Motor City Bowl.

In his first season at Cincinnati, Kelly led the Bearcats to their second ever 10-win season (first since 1949) and a top 25 ranking. He was named Big East Coach of the Year and currently has the Bearcats ranked 19th in the nation despite having to play a total of four different quarterbacks this season due to injury.

Tennessee needs a confident, offensive-minded leader and Kelly fits the bill. Many in the Mt. Pleasant area hate him for the way he left CMU in the lurch after winning the MAC Championship in 2006, but the fact of the matter is that he made that program relative again (the Chips are going for their third straight MAC title this season). He was the one that converted Joe Staley (who is currently starting for the 49ers right now) from tight end to offensive tackle, and also the one who recruited Heisman candidate Dan LeFevour. And the job Kelly has done at Cincinnati in his two years has been remarkable to say the least.

When talking to people who have worked with him in the past (like Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun columnist and Central Michigan beat writer Drew Ellis, who is a close friend of mine), you get the impression that Kelly is a cocky, but confident coach. The Vols need someone headstrong that can turn the program around in only a few short years. No offense to Riley or any other candidate Tennessee may consider, but Kelly has won everywhere he’s gone and he seems like a coach that can light a fire under that program’s ass.

No. 17 Ball State’s season on the line vs. Central Michigan

Nate DavisNo. 17 Ball State puts its season on the line Wednesday night in Mt. Pleasant when they take on MAC rival Central Michigan at 7:00PM ET.

I know, I know – it’s MAC football. Who cares right?

Most will look at this game and shrug it off as just another useless game in the middle of the week, but the ramifications for both teams are pretty high and it should make for an exciting game. First and foremost, Ball State is 10-0 and trying to prove that its an elite program, although if last week’s performance against Miami of Ohio was any indication, the Cardinals are who we think they are – a great MAC team, but one that would get destroyed by the likes of any team ranked ahead of them in the polls.

Meanwhile, the Chippewas are 8-2, but more importantly (at least to them), they’re 6-0 in the MAC. A CMU victory would not only be a huge upset, but it would also catapult the Chips into first place in the MAC West Division and a chance to win the conference for the third straight year. This isn’t just a MAC game – it’s the MAC game of the year.

The Cardinals have essentially steamrolled their competition this season, but also haven’t played any truly tough opponents, unless you consider Navy and Indiana as tough. They did crush Northern Illinois – who has vastly improved this season – 45-14 on November 5th, but the Huskies are still far from an elite team right now.

An upset might be in order tonight. At one point this season, CMU quarterback Dan LeFevour was considered a candidate for the Heisman Trophy but an ankle injury sidetracked his season. He led the Chips to win over NIU last week and appears to be healthy again.

The key in this game, however, will be whether or not CMU’s defense can slow down Nate Davis and the BSU offense, which is averaging close to 40 points a game. The Chips certainly have the offense to compete with the Cardinals, but their no-huddle approach only gets BSU’s explosive passing attack back on the field quicker. And CMU has been known to allow opponents to sneak back into ball games in the second half (see their game at Northern last week as proof), which certainly would spell disaster against a solid Cardinal team.

Either way, football is being played on a Wednesday night. And not only that, but a team is actually unbeaten and ranked…and is playing on Wednesday night. You can’t ask for more.

Week 2 College Football Primer

Time to check out the big games, top matchups and potential upsets as college football heads into Week 2.

Top 25 Action:
None. Nobody in the top 25 plays each other this weekend, which must have the television networks really, really excited.

Chris Keep your eye on:
Ohio (0-1) at No. 3 Ohio State (1-0)
The Buckeyes should have no problem with instate rival Ohio this weekend, but it’ll be interesting to see if head coach Jim Tressel plays injured running back and Heisman hopeful Chris Wells. With a trip to Southern Cal on the docket, there’s no reason to play Wells this week against a cupcake like Ohio. (Although I’ll be the first to note that the MAC deserves more attention than what it gets. See the “Upset Watch” section for proof.) A running back-by-committee of David Herron, Maurice Wells and Brandon Saine should be more than enough for OSU to roll the Bobcats, so there should be no reason for “Beanie” to even dress.

Upset Watch:
No. 8 West Virginia (1-0) at East Carolina (0-1)
While it’s true that I wouldn’t even have mentioned this game had it not been for the Pirates knocking off VA Tech last week, East Carolina has proven that it can hang with top programs. ECU will be looking for its third straight win over a ranked opponent, although West Virginia has won seven straight over the Pirates coming into this contest. Oddsmakers clearly feel that ECU can hang with the Mountaineers given that WVU is only an 8-point favorite.

Dan LeFevourCentral Michigan (1-0) at No. 2 Georgia (1-0)
Yes, outside of the MAC last year the Chippewas got smacked by Kansas (52-7) and Purdue (45-22). But as Bowling Green proved by beating PITT last week, the MAC has some talented teams and CMU is currently the class of the conference. They have a Hesiman candidate at quarterback in Dan LeFevour and a playmaker at running back in Ontario Sneed. There’s no doubt Georgia has better and deeper talent and it’s tough for any team to win between the hedges (let alone a MAC team), but could UGA overlook little ol’ CMU with a trip to South Carolina on the schedule next week? Obviously oddsmakers don’t think so as they’ve made the Dawgs a 24-point favorite.

Other notable games:
Miami (FL) at No. 5 Florida – Saturday, Sept 6, 8:00pm ET
No. 15 BYU at Washington – Saturday, Sept 6, 3:00pm ET
Mississippi at No. 20 Wake Forest – Saturday, Sept 6, 3:300pm ET

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