Which early departure (transfer or early NFL entry) would have made the most difference this past year? MM? Boren? Mallet? Other?
at least it's not just us?
DeBord. No doubt.
No Antonio Bass or Tacopants references yet?
If Mallet had somehow checked his attitude, and meshed with RichRod, and stuck around last year (three HUGE ifs), we probably would have won at least three more games.
Utah, Toledo, and Northwestern are three games where, putting the ball in the hands of an experienced quarterback with some swagger and accuracy instead of a walk-on who throws zepplins probably nets you those games. In Utah we had three chances to move the ball at the end to win...and the offense stalled on the air-balls we were launching. Toledo: the whole game the offense languished miserably. Any sort of cromulent ball control would have allowed us to snuff them out, even if it was a struggle. And Northwestern...I know it was cold and wet and rainy, but that's all the more reason to have some experience and some pedigree at QB. No offense to Nick Sheridan.
I don't think we would have set the world on fire, but certainly those games would have moved back into the winnable column based on QB performance alone.
Then we would have played FAU in the MCB, and I would have had a Merry Christmas.
But still, nobody needs a potential cancer like Mallet on the team...except Arkansas, I guess.
May you be richly rewarded for use of the word cromulent!
Jason Forcier, although he left before Lloyd's final year, would have made the most difference.
If you are looking post-RR hire, then it would be Boren. Offensive line was in much worse shape than the skill positions (other than QB) and with only one returning starter (Shilling) a talented and experienced Boren would have helped, especially with the loss of Zirbel for the year.
Mallett would have helped marginally but he is still not a great fit for this offense. Manningham is obviously a great playmaker, but who was going to get him the ball. The lack of receiver production this year is more likely due to poor QB and OL play than lack of talent - even considering that none were as talented as Manningham.
While there is no question that Braylon bailed out Henne as a Freshman, I don't think that Manninham's game would have had that same capability. Maybe would have won one of the close losses with Manninham but on a down to down basis, I think the loss of Boren hurt the most from a pure football standpoint (meaning his bad attitude not taken into account).
That being said, I hope he never sees the field in Columbus.
But I forgot Forcier pt 1.
I agree with Boren. Hands down.
But for 2nd place:
Want some life in the 2008 offense? Then look no further than one Adrian Arrington.
Manningham's specialty was getting loose deep. While that was quite a skill to have, who could have gotten him the ball? Not Threet. Certainly not Sheridan.
Arrington, however, could have been a lot of help. He would have given either quarterback a solid option, and I believe they would have come to rely on him as a 10-yard outlet. He was a 3rd and long machine. And putting AA opposite Mathews would have provided two reliable sets of hands. Arrington gets us maybe two more wins.
Then again, I can't fault him for leaving early. He was the better pro prospect over MM I thought.
Tim Tebow. End of discussion
Patrick White would have also worked.
Naw, Boren is the obvioius choice. Because the O-Line fell apart like a poorly put together lego set. However, I don't think people are giving enough credit to RR's schemes. There were alot of open receivers, just not alot of them ten feet tall. If you have a viable quarterback who can throw the ball acurately it would have made a world of difference. I read one of the posts that spoke of 2 to 3 more wins. I would throw in the Penn State game as well. Minor was starting to come into his own around that time, you add a viable passing attack and you have a defense on its heels. If the team were able to get three more wins that would put them in a bowl game and give them an extra month worth of practices. That would have been vital for their progress. So I am changing my pick to Antonio Bass, Carlos Brown and John Navarre when he could throw to old man Walker and Avant sprinkled with a little Braylon and oh yeah Breaston returning kicks would have been nice.
on the run, outside of the pocket. This was Nick and Steve's kriptonight(SP?). Not that I was high on either but this is a very important component for a spread option attack, especially when you have a young line. Hopefully Tate will make all the difference and turn things around.
Johnny "Touchdown" Navarre.
i never cared for john. he always looked like he was scared of getting hit.