I don’t talk about college football on this blog, in part because I live in the heart of ACC country, and I’m still in denial that they have morphed into a football conference. It’s still college basketball heaven right here where I am, and that’s good enough for me.
On the other hand, I flipped on ESPN late this morning to see whose mascot head Lee Corso would wear today, and I left the Minnesota-Purdue game on in the background.
Right now, the Vikings probably wish they had this Laurence Maroney kid wearing their uniform in the Metrodome. He’s a good strong back with a touch of speed and an eye for open spaces. What’s more, he’s getting good blocks from Gophers center Greg Eslinger, who’s apparently a pretty high NFL Draft prospect in his own right.
Meanwhile, the Vikings have no running game, and they are clearly missing C Matt Birk, who’s out for the season after yet another hip surgery. Birk offered to play the season on painkillers if the Vikings guaranteed his contract, but Zigi and the gang decided that wasn’t a worthwhile gamble, especially with the team about to pour $280 million into a new stadium. Whether the gamble would have paid off or not, Birk’s presence is clearly missed on the Vikings’ line.
This season may prove to be a huge disappointment for the Vikings, but if they can draft guys like Maroney and Eslinger, next season might be far more interesting, especially to local fans with ties to U of M. Good players with local ties help sell tickets. Just look at the number of people wearing Panthers’ #90 jerseys at the BOA.