Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What Luck, Harbaugh said postgame

Stanford's two biggest football names -- coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterback Andrew Luck -- didn't address their uncertain futures in any depth in the aftermath of their team's 40-12 demolition of Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl Monday night. (Here's my column on the game).

Luck said he wouldn't make an "impulsive" decision on whether to stay or go before the NFL's Jan.15th deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft. When pressed a little, the redshirt sophomore said: "I think there are a lot of worse decisions you might have to make in life. I don't know. I don't mean to be rude but I'd rather not address that subject anymore. I'd like to enjoy the night."

The first question Harbaugh got in his postgame press conference (which I attended after watching Luck play in person for the first time) was whether he had coached his last game at Stanford.

That question obviously irritated Harbaugh, who replied: "Oh, please, please, give me a break! You know, have some respect for the game. It's about the performance tonight of these players, and I love them. Let's talk about them." Later, Harbaugh deflected another attempt at a similar question, saying, "I'd just rather enjoy the moment."

Luck threw four TD passes in Stanford's win, in which the Cardinal outscored Virginia Tech 27-0 in the second half. All four TD passes were to tight ends, and all covered at least 25 yards.

He made throws off his back foot, in traffic, on the run.... In other words, Luck did nothing to dissuade the projections of him getting picked No.1 overall if he comes out. He completed 18 of 23 passes for 287 yards, one interception and the four TDs. (By comparison, Jimmy Clausen never threw for even 200 yards in a single NFL game this season, and he had three touchdown passes the entire year. I know it's a different level of competition, but still).

The Panthers, of course, hold the No.1 draft pick of 2011 by virtue of their horrible 2-14 record in 2010.

But it remains unclear whether Luck will leave. He loves college and seems genuinely torn about the decision. I talked to one highly respected NFL front-office type Monday night after the game. This guy usually knows everything, but he said he wasn't sure at all that Luck would come out.

Harbaugh is generally considered very likely to leave – either to coach the San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Michigan Wolverines (his alma mater), Carolina Panthers or some other mystery team. The guy is about to get some serious offers and has more options on the table than Luck, whose decision boils down to "stay or go."

It should be interesting. But nothing got decided Monday night, except that No.5 Stanford (12-1) was a whole, whole lot better than ACC champion Virginia Tech (11-3).

Stanford fans chanted "One more year! One more year!" at Luck as he accepted the trophy for being the game's Most Outstanding Player, but whether he gives them that or gives Panther fans what they desperately want is still very much up in the air.


Anonymous said...

Me want LUCK. Luck throw good. Luck throw passes don't get batted back in face. Luck sound little like Eli Manning and Fozzy Bear.

Anonymous said...

Luck will be a Panther despite Hurneys efforts to f**K it up.

JR wanted Peyton -- Hewanted Matt Ryan badly.

Luck is better.

Clausen wet his pajamas watching the game

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Ask the Panthers at the news conference why we seem to be the only team, or one of the few who can not sign their players to long term contracts without a CBA. Other teams don;t seem to have that problem! Please ask!!!

Anonymous said...

Its now officially a fact Luck and Harbaugh are prob the only hope for the struggling franchise after the nuke was dropped this season but will they lower themselves?

Deal 24/7 with whiny fan/sports writer backstabbers not to mention players putting out halfazz efforts?

Smitty? Whata joke. Trade him quick. His NFL days are in the tank with the injuries. Damaged goods. Buy the other SS free agent from the Giants.

Panther Dan said...

If Luck doesn't come out this year, he will end up starring for another team. This is a vision that may haunt me for the next ten years if it plays out that way.

Jimmy C said...

Stay another year or two, kid!

Go Irish!

Anonymous said...

The next decade for the Panthers will all be based on Luck's decision in the next week. We could become the next Indy or the next Jacksonville

Anonymous said...

....Mr. Luck is a done deal.......

and I am ready to go buy my jersey!!!

The plight of Jake Locker will be on everyone's mind

Anonymous said...

Why would Luck come out when there is no CBA. There may be no season which would be horrible for someone like him. Clearly Richardson would not sign him for big dollars and would wait anyhow. Mr Hardxxx will mess up this team so he can make another Billion.

David Caldwell said...

Did you happen to catch the Panther Press Conference?

No wonder Richardson hasn't done many of these!

What a freakin TOOL!

This organization isn't going to go anywhere anytime soon!

The media is afraid of the "Three Stooges" composed of Richardson, Hurney, and Morrison!

Brent said...

The Panthers couldn't go wrong with Ryan Mallet either. He was incredible last night against a much better defense in Ohio St than the Va Tech guys. If his receivers didn't drop so many balls he could've had 4 touchdowns too.