Brentson Buckner's thoughts on the Wake Forest Game
Greenville, SC-Like many of the voters across the country, Carolina Panthers starting defensive tackle Brentson Buckner was most impressed with the performance of Alabama in the Crimson Tide's victory over Florida this past weekend. As a result, Buckner moved Mike Shula's team up 12 spots to number-six in the nation in his vote in the Harris Interactive Poll. Buckner is the only active NFL player who has a vote in the poll that will help determine the teams who will play in the BCS bowls at the end of the college season.
"Four games into the season you could have made a case that Florida was among the best teams in the nation," said Buckner. "Then Alabama just manhandled them. It was an impressive performance. They can score, have great defense and special teams. They have all the ingredients for a special year, a magic year at Tuscaloosa."
Buckner continues to be impressed, but not surprised by the performance of former NFL coaches at the college level. "With the exception of Dave Wannstedt at Pittsburgh, the former NFL coaches are really doing well at the college game. Mike Shula at Alabama, Charlie Weis at Notre Dame, Al Groh at Virginia, Chan Gailey at Georgia Tech and of course Pete Carroll at Southern Cal are all in my top 25 this week.
"These coaches have brought the NFL style of preparation to the college game. It is not that these guys have the best players, although when you see Southern Cal play you think they could compete in the NFL right now. But these coaches understand the offensive and defensive strategies. When the NFL coaches get their players to buy into the system (at the college level), you can tell the difference. From the players standpoint, it doesn't take much for the players to buy into the system because the players know the coaches with an NFL background know what it takes to get to the next level.
"When I watch Notre Dame this year I feel like I am watching the Patriots. They run a lot of the same plays. Imagine how Notre Dame is going to be in a couple of years because the recruits are watching this knowing that Charlie Weis knows what it takes to get to the next level. That is what has happened at Southern Cal in my opinion."
Buckner was also impressed with Penn State's win over Minnesota and the Nittany Lions undefeated start. "Penn State has a bunch of young players and they are fearless. Young guys love to play and they don't care who they are playing. They don't know they are suppose to lose. They just go out and have fun and ride the momentum and that is what Penn State is doing. They really handled a good Minnesota team."
Buckner is also impressed with Virginia Tech, his third ranked team. "Virginia Tech might be closing the gap on Texas. I would love to see Virginia Tech's defense go against Texas's offense. What a matchup that would be. We also have another 'Vick factor' in college football. I think Marcus is farther along at this stage than Michael was. He can throw the ball with a flick of his wrist. And, he is efficient because of his threat to run. He is ranked in the top five in the nation in passing efficiency. He can make all the throws."
1. Southern Cal
3. Virginia Tech
5. Florida State
8. Ohio State
9. Miami (FL)
11. Texas Tech
15. Boston College
16. Notre Dame
19. Penn State
22. Michigan State
23. Georgia Tech