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Meaningful is fine with me

Join Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Sean from Arlington, VA:
Since we're talking about the 2010 schedule, which home game is most likely to get exported to London (should the Jaguars be selected to participate)?

Vic: It would likely be against a team on the Jaguars' home schedule from the Eastern Time Zone. One of the two NFC East teams (Philadelphia or Washington) or the AFC North team would be a good guess.

Jami from Arlington, VA:
I'm interested in how well the Jaguars are doing in the local TV ratings. Watching the games up here, there are obviously not many people in the stands, but what about when the team is away? Have the ratings fallen off?

Vic: They're down 10 percent from last year.

Matt from St. Augustine, FL:
In your opinion, who do you think are the front-runners for rookies of the year?

Vic: Percy Harvin on offense and Jairus Byrd on defense.

Jim from Jacksonville:
We all know how you feel about crunch-time quarterbacks, but what about other positions? Are there any other position players that stand out to you for getting it done when the stakes are highest?

Vic: There are big-game backs and receivers, too. Emmitt Smith was always a big-game back; Hines Ward has played his best when it's counted the most.

David from Jacksonville:
Yesterday you mentioned some big-name quarterbacks' fourth-quarter passer ratings, but how about Drew Brees this year? I've never viewed him as a crunch-time QB but what do you think?

Vic: Brees is having a fantastic season in every way. He leads all NFL quarterbacks with a fourth-quarter passer rating of 121.6. The next step for Brees is winning in the postseason.

Mark from Jacksonville:
You have been the voice of reason so, please, explain to me why you field playoff questions on a team that has reached .500 against really bad competition and has been smacked around in three of its four losses?

Vic: It's fun. That's why I do it. I like the idea of going to New York this weekend to cover a meaningful game. It's better than having to watch a meaningless game. Tell me why we shouldn't build up Sunday's game as being big? Because we'll run the risk of being disappointed if the Jaguars lose? Are we really that fragile?

Scot from Jacksonville:
"If goofs by the officials entertain you, you should watch some SEC games." Good one, but I'm not so sure they are goofs.

Vic: You said it, I didn't.

Bob from Kingsland, GA:
We're halfway through the season. This is where we will find out if relying on a young squad is going to pay off. Taking a healthy team deep into December that can play strong into the fourth quarter could make all the difference against older teams relying on their second-tier players. How does the youth of the Jaguars stack up to that of some of our late-season opponents? It is a young man's game.

Vic: I think you already know the answer to your question. Young legs late in the season have more spring in them than older legs. All coaches and personnel guys know that to be a fact and that's why they are vigilant about keeping their rosters young. Old players tend to get hurt more often and linger longer on the injury report. Young players recover faster and more fully from injuries. The Patriots have some age on them and they'll bear watching late in the year.

Patrick from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Is there a Jags home game that might be used for flex scheduling?

Vic: I wouldn't think so.

Scott from Aurora, IL:
College football is hard for me to watch because of calls like the no-interception in the Alabama/LSU game. It just screams bias to me and it seems to happen a lot in certain conferences.

Vic: Texas-Kansas when Texas won the national title and Pitt-West Virginia in 2007 when West Virginia only needed a win to play in the national title game are the two most prominent examples. We've had an explosion of suspicious calls this year. I have long been a critic of the BCS because it promotes this kind of stuff. It has actually increased the importance of the rankings, which is the opposite of the BCS system's intent. It's conference against conference and region against region as they compete for the big-money pay-off of a national title game. When hasn't money corrupted? We go through this every year. The college season builds to a crescendo and then it's allowed to die in a flurry of meaningless bowl games. Some day somebody's gonna do something about this. Until then, what's been happening in the SEC is only going to spread and worsen because each conference is free to do as it pleases. There is literally no central office or authority on these matters. In many ways, college football is a rudderless ship and too many people are allowed to dip their hands in the water. It is an amazingly inefficient and convoluted system of management for something that is as popular as college football is. That much I'll give them. Yes, it is wildly popular, but as long as it lacks a system for finishing the season, it will always fall short of the mark and disappoint. It's just allowed to die in December for no good reason, and the NFL is most appreciative.

Cheyne from Greensboro, NC:
In December, the Colts and Pats could be mailing it in.

Vic: If the Colts beat the Pats this Sunday, the Colts could be in position late in the year to coast into the playoffs, but not the Pats. If the Pats win on Sunday, the race for homefield advantage will tighten and likely stay that way through the final week of the season.

David from Gaithersburg, MD:
Loved your explanation of expectation and hope. I, too, have similar expectations but what I believe is so upsetting to most fans is the way by which we've been losing. My expectations are no more embarrassments. Yours?

Vic: I'm not sure what my immediate expectations are. I think I'm more about hopes than expectations at this point. Expectations are a kind of preseason thing. Whatever, my hope now is the Jaguars can find a way to win two of the next three games. That would leave them at 6-5 heading into that three-game home stretch against Houston, Miami and Indianapolis, and at that point I might be prepared to announce new expectations. I've got my eye on that three-game homestand. I want it to be meaningful and that would require the Jaguars to win at least two of the next three games.

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