Thursday, January 31, 2008

The "Blue Wave"....wait there's more?

An update to a post from awhile ago involving NFL stars dancing and singing, the guys over at Holy Taco compiled a pretty sweet list of NFL music videos with team songs.  As Dan Patrick reviewed modern-day team songs during the Conference Championship weekend, let's take a journey back to the decade where being flamboyant did not necessarily equate to homosexuality.  And for good measure I'll go ahead and post the much loved "Super Bowl Shuffle" - since it is Super Bowl weekend.  Find the rest of the videos here. - Watch more free videos
More after the jump...

A Follow-up to a Reader...

.... you've never been so right or wrong at the same time in your entire life, and here's why.

My Post Yesterday dealt with a reader pushing for Armanti Edwards and Heisman Consideration. I attacked his defense of App St. beat Michigan who beat Florida who had Tebow because of how little sense it makes in the scheme of sports discourse, as well as the fact that I absolutely hate when people make arguements like that since each and every game is different.

As 4Real pointed out last week Heisman voting has not always been fair. McFadden deserved it in 2006 but he was a Sophomore and didn't receive it. The uproar that followed helped Tebow win it this year. McFadden wasn't the first to get left out of the Bronze Stiff Arm club unfairly. The award was given out 26 years before a black football player won it, 10 years before a Junior won it (still have only won 14 compared to 57 Senior winners). The voters tend to stick to the traditional voting patterns. Hell if voting was done at the end of the season, including Bowl games, like it should be I'm not so sure Tebow would have walked away with the BSA since McFadden amassed 400 yds and 4 TDs in the 2 weeks after votes went out. I'm not saying Tebow didn't deserve it this year, because he had a season like no other. I'm just saying McFadden would have been closer and traditionalists would have had a reason to vote McFadden a little bit higher. But I digress. The point of this is that, though reasoning is absolutely absurd, that reader is right.

Armanti Edwards does belong in contention for the Heisman in 2008-2009 season. That is, if he can have a similar season next year that he did this year. Here's the thing. He won't win, we all know that voting has it's staunch history and Appalachin State isn't going to garner enough attention in Heisman consideration, unless somehow this article gets picked up by the AP and sent to papers world-wide. Again, it's not fair, alas such is life. OTSS - Only The Strong Survive. It's the same reason mid-major teams like Hawaii have to go undefeated just to be invited to a major Bowl Game when the major teams can have 2 losses and win the Crystal Football. It's why USC gets 6 of the top 10 Running Backs and Quarterbacks in every single recruiting class. These kids will sit on the bench for a season or two because they might win the National Championship and will get award recognition when it's their time to play. FBS>FCS. It is what it is. I'm not saying it's fair.

Armanti Edwards went to Appalachin State because they told him he could play there and get an education. He would get a chance at winning the FCS Championship (which Appy State has done 3 straight times now) and he knew that going in. Edwards had 17 passing TDs and 21 rushing TDs, pretty outstanding numbers. Some other numbers for Armanti supporters. 1994, Steve McNair, 44 TDs, 3rd in Heisman Voting, 1977, Doug Williams, 3286 (#1 in all of NCAA) passing yds, 38 TDs 4th in Heisman Voting, Jerry Rice, 1984, 112 Receptions, 1,845 yds, 27 TDs (Best in NCAA), 9th in Heisman Voting, Walter Payton, 1974, 14th in Heisman Voting. What's the point of all of these numbers. Armanti might get some consideration but the sad fact is, a D - IAA or FCS or whatever player, will not win the Heisman. Their numbers may be spectacular enough to get noticed, but none of the staunchy voters will think enough of their competition to award them the trophy.
More after the jump...

Arizona Rattlers Lay Down A Friendly Wager

I don’t know how I missed this one. The Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers have made a hefty wager with their fans. They are offering a 100% money back, no strings attached guarantee that they will make the playoffs. If they don’t you will be refunded 100% of the amount you paid for your season tickets.

What do they have to lose right? Well…..

2007 Average Attendance: 10,077

2008 Season Ticket Packages at $744.75, $645.75 and $528.75 are already sold out. An average season ticket package would cost you around $312 for the year. If roughly half of the average attendance are paying the average season ticket price then the Rattlers are looking at losing over a million dollars just in ticket prices alone. In case you were wondering…the salary cap for an Arena Football team is 1.82 million.

2007 Record: 4-12

Last year the Rattlers finished second to last in the American Conference’s Western Division. This is the same division that the defending Arena Bowl Champion San Jose Sabercats call home. The only team they finished ahead of? The Las Vegas Gladiators. The Gladiators have subsequently folded and moved to Cleveland to disappoint me in upcoming years.

This will be Head Coach Kevin Guy’s first year…no pressure.

4real out.....

More after the jump...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Let's talk Super Bowl...parties

After weeks of being scattered around the Phoenix-Metro area, I've finally settled down into my pad in the heart of Scottsdale, AZ - sans internet at my place ( who would've known so many people at this apartment complex were smart enough to encode their wireless networks). I've managed to ghetto rig my computer to use my cell signal as an internet signal. Yah, you're jealous I know. However lets get to the goodies. I am lucky enough to be smack dab in the middle of the FBR and Super Bowl crowd. Cold-weather migrants have been clogging up the streets to watch these two awesome sporting events for the past week making traffic absolutely amazing. However, with the Hooter's Super Bowl Celebrity Party at Taste, the MySpace VIP Super Bowl Party in Glendale, Lawrence Taylor's Golf/Fundraiser thing happening downtown, as well as a NFL Celebrity Poker tournament at the Fort McDowell Casino, it seems like the only people around here that know that there's a football game to be played are the two teams playing and the stadium crew. Sitting around with basic cable and lacking any sports channels, I had assumed there would be extensive Super Bowl coverage seeing as how AZ is hosting this auspicious occasion. But even the sports segments of these local news channels have failed to report on anything game related - interviews, analysis, football in general. I remember watching the Super Bowl years before and thinking man this is the biggest game of the year, there's people sleeping in the parking lot of the stadium...pulling week long tailgates. Even this months GQ ( if you think I'm a bitch for reading GQ then I have a middle finger full of hate for your redneck face) had an article titled "When The Super Bowl Was Super Bad"(Bad in a good way old man). Michael Silver stated that the Super Bowl used to be about the teams playing rather than the event itself; that the best parties happened in the players' hotels and not at these over-priced clubs. Hearing about these crazy real VIP style parties with our favorite athletes is what I remember hearing about. You know, stuff that Music Videos are made of. Now the only people doing the partying are the players not in the Super Bowl and a bunch of "BrOs" running this overly-hyped parties.

I'm officially over all this hype. The Super Bowl is one of the greatest sporting events in the world, not the greatest opportunity to rape a sport of its dignity. The Super Bowl is about the fans and the teams participating in it, and should not be taken advantage of by whores and douchebags who won't even watch the game. Give me back the days where The Super Bowl was a part of Football - not football being a part of the Super Bowl.
More after the jump...

CAUTION: Venting

I hate the "in turn" arguement. As a Comment to the orginal Heisman post back in December I received a plea for Appy St. QB Amanti Edwards:

"Armanti Edwards is the Truth. He should win the Heisman, he's the best all around football player in the country. He handled Michigan, who in turn, handled Tib [ed. note: I assume he meant Tim here but I can't be positive] Tebow's Florida, what other proof do you need..."

So then by that thought process Arizona should have won the National Championship last year right? After all, Arizona beat Oregon, who beat Michigan, who beat Florida, who beat Kentucky, who beat LSU. Just send the trophy back to Tucson. Edwards is in a lower conference, it doesn't matter, there is not chance in hell that he would get enough votes to win. Just because a Sophomore won last year does not mean that all Heisman Voting rules will be thrown out. And for Tebow to win he had to have AMAZING numbers to over come the fact his team had 3 losses (up to that point, 4 total) and that he was a sophomore. For Edwards to win I'm thinking Tom Brady like numbers. Not to mention "The Truth" Edwards only had 17 passing TDs to 7 INTs. Albeit he did have 21 rushing TDs. But hell Joe Flacco had 23 passing TDs, and 4 rushing TDs to only 5 INTs and the only time anyone heard his name was at the Senior Bowl.

Why stop at Armanti Edwards though? Appy St. lost to Georgia Southern who lost to Chattanooga. You're right, take the Heisman from Tebow and ship it to Tennessee c/o Chattanooga Mocs QB Antonio Miller. Miller Quarterbacked the Mocs to a 2-9 (2-5) record with 13 TDs and 13 INTs, congrats Antonio.
More after the jump...

2008 College Football Top 25 Preseason Rankings

*UPDATE* - This has since been updated. Click the "Top 25" at the bottom of this article for the most recent versions.

Some might say I'm crazy, I think I'm just informed. I released my Top 25 Heisman Candidates 3 days after the 2007 Winner was announced, and 2 days after Double D-Bow finished Thanking God and his acceptance speech. So the question remains, why has it taken me so long to put up my Top 25. The BCS Title game was weeks ago. I apologize for the delay and without further adieu, here it is your 2008 Top 25 team in College Football. In the interest of full disclosure I should tell you that it is rather extensive...and very long so make sure you're comfortable.

1. Georgia: They are tops among teams returning major talent. Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno are top 10 Heisman Candidates in my book and look to cause some serious damage to opposing teams. And their Defense? They held a Hawaii team that averaged 46.16 PPG to only 10 pts, 7 of which coming late in the 4th quarter by a (keep a look out for this kid next year) Tyler Graunke TD pass. If they can stay healthy and avoid some of the offensive stalls (S. Carolina game last year Stafford was 19/44 passing) they are looking at the title game.
Schedule Hurdles: September 20 at Arizona State will be the first major test, both should be unbeaten when they meet in Tempe. Then of course the late season SEC match-ups at LSU and Auburn, Home against Tennessee and the Cocktail Party in Jacksonville vs. Florida.

2. Oklahoma: Bradford excelled last season, and he happened to be a True Freshman starting at the Quarterback for a Major College Football team. The loss of Malcolm Kelly as Bradford's target won't be easy to take, but for a QB who threw for 3121 yards and 36 TDs last season, I think it might be something they're able to overcome. Juaquin Iglesias was the team's top receiver last year, though less explosive than Kelly, and Fiesta Bowl standout (4 rec. 129 yds, TD) Quentin Chaney should step up. Also available, especially in the Red Zone is Jermaine Gresham, the 6'5" TE wrangled 11 TDs on 37 receptions. Where's Denny Green to tell us that all he does is catch Touchdowns. The Defense loses some key players, especially in the secondary, but this is Oklahoma, Bob Stoops does Defense and he does it well. Now only if he could win a Bowl Game.
Schedule Hurdles: September 6 Home vs. Cincinnati could be a hiccup and then of course the Texas game in early October (Dallas). They will also get Texas Tech and Kansas at home this year.

3. USC: One of the only things that could stand in USC's way this season is all of the talk surrounding Coach Pete Carroll listening to offers at the next level. Distractions of this caliber are rarely good for a program. Mark Sanchez and Mitch Mustain are both highly capable Trojan leaders and as I mentioned during the Rose Bowl, Joe McKnight scares the hell out of me and Staffon Johnson performed admirable last season at RB. They're Offensive backfield looks good, really good. They're losing a couple key offensive linemen but due to injuries last season they learned how to play without them a little bit and this year's starters got a little more game experience. You can never say enough about game experience especially on the Offensive Line, the game moves so fast. One of the biggest gaps to fill receiving, with the loss of Mackey Award winning Tight End Fred Davis. But they have some young talent ready and waiting as well as Arkansas transfer Damian Williams. Defensively they lose Sedrick Ellis (Whose draft stock is rising and I predicted him 4th before all of the increased focus) and they lose LB Keith Rivers, but should be able to contain and outscore their opponents.
Schedule Hurdles: Day 1 - January is basically a Schedule Hurdle. SC in my mind is playing one of if not the toughest schedule of anyone. They start @ Virginia, then Home for Ohio State then the next 7 games of Conference play present some challenges including Saturday October 25 in Tucson. Homecoming for Arizona. If you are unaware of my stance on playing the Kitty Kats at homecoming read this, (I was subsequently right of course) as well as look at the picture on the right side of the screen UA 52 UCLA 14 from a couple years ago, yet another homecoming upset. It's what we do, we dismantle top teams in October and then rush the field.

4. Florida: They got Double D-Bow trying to win back to back Bronze Stiff-Arms. They're leading rusher is also trying to win the BSA, of course that would be D-Bow as well. Which leads to my major concern with the Florida program. Their leading rushers were their QB and a WR. In fact D-Bow and WR Percy Harvin had 1559 of the teams 2602 yards and 29 of 39 rushing TDs. Harvin will be back and actually at this moment of thought has just replaced Ryan Mallet on my 2008 Heisman Candidate list. With Harvin and D-Bow making up all three parts of a triple threat offense, and USC transfer Emmanuel Moody waiting in the wings things look good for Florida offense. Defensively they should be better than last season (9 out of 11 starters last season were first-year starters) and experience should make them a step quicker and smarter.
Schedule Hurdles: The test for their Defense will come in week one vs. Hawaii, just because they lost Jones and Brennan, don't count out Hawaii, Graunke put up 10 TDs as a back-up last season. They get LSU and S. Carolina at home but travel to Tennessee and of course the World's Largest Cocktail party in J-Ville vs. GA.

5. The Ohio State University: Biggest loss might be in prospected 1st rounder DE Vernon Gholston. But the biggest off-season acquisition for Ohio State came in the form of James Laurinaits sticking around another year. QB Todd Boeckman and RB Chris "Beanie" Wells could be finalists for the BSA and should lead this offense well. The defense should be able to overcome the loss of Gholston and actually might be able to improve in the off-season. This is a team that wasn't supposed to accomplish what it did last season and was motivated to get back. Tressel might be able to push them into the BCS for an unprecedented 3rd straight appearance. Hopefully the tougher non-conference schedule this year and an improved Big Eleven will make for tougher tests and better play heading into it.
Schedule Hurdles: OSU will not only be playing USC but will be traveling out West on September 13 (which 4Real and I may be attending) to do it. They will follow that up with a trip back to the Horseshoe to play the Trojans again, this time the Trojans of Troy who had a moderately successful 2007 8-4 run, with a Bowl loss to FAU. As for Big Eleven play they'll sidestep Wisconisin but they will go on the road to Champaign to try and avenge the loss to the Illini last year. They will also be at home against Penn State and Michigan.

6. Mizzou: Double D attack of Daniel and Derrick Washington will have to make this a strong offensive team heading into '08, it looked more promising when Tony Temple was appealing his redshirt status for another season at Mizzou, but according to the AP yesterday, Temple has dropped his appeal and will not return to Missouri for a redshirt Sr. Season. Missouri still has Maclin as a target for Daniel but will miss TE target Martin Rucker. Offense should not be a problem with 2 Heisman worthy candidates in Daniel and Maclin and 10 defensive starters. Their incoming recruiting class isn't too bad so far either.
Schedule Hurdles: Ready to make a run from day one Mizzou plays host to Illinois in most likely the most competitive week one match-up we'll see in '08. Their Big XII schedule is pretty weak, other than a road trip to Texas and the neutral site Border Showdown with Kansas, which could allow for another trip to the Big XII Championship and a BCS bid, which they narrowly missed out on last year.

7. LSU: Defending champs lose a little ground, but more importantly lose a lot of talent. Offensive trio of Flynn, Terry Bradshaw's 2nd cousin Jacob Hester, and top WR prospect Early Doucet all are draft bound. They also lost thier Top DT, LB, and DB in prospected #1 pick and all everything Award Winner Glenn Dorsey, Ali Highsmith, and Thorpe Award runner-up (to Antoine Cason) Craig Steltz. They also will be losing D Coordinator Bo Pelini to Nebraska. These are MAJOR gaps to fill but Ryan Perrilloux might be able to eclipse what Flynn did judging by some of his 2007 bright spots. Keiland Williams should step up and get some good yardage and WRs Brandon LaFell and Demetrius Byrd should be nice targets for Perrilloux. A lot of things will have to fall into place perfectly to see LSU trying to repeat.
Schedule Hurdles: The Tigers face Troy in week 2 but it shouldn't be too difficult. The month of October could be a lot to overcome for these guys going on the Florida and South Carolina and then seeing Georgia in Baton Rouge. If they make it through that 3 game stretch without a loss, they should definitely be looking at a top BCS game and the SEC championship.

8. Texas: Colt McCoy was born and bred to be a Texas QB, and going into his Junior Season it's time to prove it. The Longhorns have been successful compared to most other teams in the last few years but not for Texas standards. Colt's turnovers, 18 INT in 2007 and 4 Fumbles in the Holiday Bowl (1 lost, 1 converted into a TX TD) are becoming a problem in Austin that needs to be resolved for success. Mack Brown is a damned good coach, and he wants to prove that his BCS win over USC a couple years ago was not only because of Vince Young (even though Vince did single handedly defeat the Trojans in one of the most amazing College Football performances ever.) Losing Jamaal Charles and Jermichael Finley will be tough for Texas to overcome, meaning more pressure on the shoulders of McCoy. This season will revolve completely around McCoy. A Heisman worth campaign should lead the team to a top record and possibly to the Big XII Championship.
Schedule Hurdles: Oct.11 Texas meets Oklahoma in Dallas for the Red River Shootout. A win there catapults this team into the driver's seat in the Big XII but tough road tests against Texas Tech and Kansas could end BCS chances in November.

9. West Virginia: We are entering into the Bill Stewart era in Morgantown and WVU is ready. The Loss of Slaton will not be easy to overcome, but Pat White coming back solidifies this offense and Noel Devine will be looking to impress but they won't have top Full Back Owen Schmitt back there to help carry the load. Bill Stewart did a nice job of focusing and preparing the players for the Fiesta Bowl, but will he be able to do it for an entire season. When WVU loses will comparisons be made to the Rodriguez led team of 2007. The loss of leading Receiver Darius Raynaud is not easy to overcome. 8 seems high for WV but the Big East doesn't look to be as competitive as last year so they should be able to have a pretty nice record.
Schedule Hurdles: Auburn in week one will be a daunting task and the difference between starting the season in the Top 15 and ending the season in the Top 15. A win almost ensures a bowl game since the rest of the schedule is rather soft and the only other hiccups are the rest of the Big East which WV looks to be distancing itself from.

10. Clemson: Someone from the ACC has to stand out and with the Hurricanes playing like the Orange Bowl looks it's not going to be Miami. Tommy Bowden has been making strides each year and '08 looks to be the year that he makes it into the Top 10 and possibly heading to a BCS game. Most of their Offensive weapons will be back, but most of their offensive line will not. That looks to be a serious spot for concern. It looks like most of the defensive starters will be back for '08 as well. And Top Recruit 5 Star DeQuan Bowers should make an immediate impact on the Defensive Line, plus he's a December Graduate which means he will have Spring Ball to learn a lot of the Defense. It's still early for some recruits but this is definitely one of the top recruiting classes in the country. 2008 will be a good year for Clemson, 2009 might be THE year for the Tigers.
Schedule Hurdles: S. Carolina at the end of November could be a good late season match-up, but the Tigers look to be the cream of the ACC crop. They'll have to go against Virginia, Florida State, and Wake which won't be walkaway victories but Clemson should be able to walkaway with the W.

11. Auburn: The Tigers had a good 2007 season which culminated in an overtime win against Clemson and an 8-4 record. The biggest questions surrounding Auburn's 2008 campaign are centered around replacing QB Brandon Cox with Sophomore Kodi Burns. This could be promising for Auburn with Cox's 13 INTs last season overshadowing his 9 TDs and 2000 yards as well as Burns' mobility. The Tigers also return top rushers Ben Tate and Brad Lester and top receivers Rodgeriqus Smith and Montez Billings. The even bigger questions though aren't suiting up in the fall. The coaching carousel went through Jordan Hare Stadium this off season with both Offensive and Defensive Coordinators leaving. Auburn stole away Troy's Tony Franklin to attempt to install the Spread in Alabama.
Schedule Hurdles: They start September on the Road up to Morgantown and the rest of September doesn't look much easier playing host to LSU and Tennessee. Wins in those games could mean that the November 15 game hosting Georgia could be one of the best games of 2008.

12. Wisconsin: If P.J. Hill can stay healthy he'll have the bulk of the carries for a Wisconsin team looking to improve. If he can't do it Smith and Brown proved they can filling in for Hill last season. Transfer Allan Evridge will be looking to get some PT replacing departed Tyler Donovan. TE Travis Beckum (no relation to Posh and Becks) will be returning and looking to add on to his two previous 900+ yd receiving seasons. The defense is going to have to prove it's muster in the Big Eleven and shut some teams down, relying on your offense in a shoot-out is typically not the way to win in the NCAA. They allowed over 21 PPG last season.
Schedule Hurdles: An early match-up with Fresno State is crying out for Fresno to have their first big win of the season and Wisconsin needs to hold up to have a successful 2008. Playing Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and Illinois in a 5 week span doesn't bode well for a team new to the pressure of Top 25, but luckily only Michigan is on the road during that stretch.

13. Texas Tech: This record setting offense is ready to show it's serious firepower. Unlike Wisconsin, this is a team that can play a shootout and win. They put up at LEAST 31 pts every single game last season and were over 40 8 of 12 games. Harrell's back and with his 5700 yds passing, and he's looking at 6000 this year potentially. Freshman phenom Michael Crabtree will be a Sophomore, and he will be double-teamed every game, but still could haul in 2000 yds receiving. RB Shannon Woods is back to help in the Red Zone (8 TDs last season). Plus the 5 guys who limited Harrell's time on the turf are all returning aiming to drop those sacks down from 16. As I mentioned the defense is more of an afterthought here, but they will be strong on D returning 8 Starters.
Schedule Hurdles: Late season Big XII contests look to be in the way going to Kansas in October, hosting Texas the following week, and heading to Oklahoma on the 15th of November.

14. Kansas: Surprised everyone in the world with their run last season losing once in the regular season. Of course they played one of the weakest schedules in all of College Football so when they beat Va. Tech in the Orange Bowl they opened some eyes. QB Todd Reesing will be returning and looking to improve on last season's coming out party in which he threw for 33 TD and 7 INT. They are losing leading rusher Brandon McAnderson, but back-up Jake Sharp fared well last season, and Reesing isn't afraid to use his legs either. On Defense 9 of 11 starters will be returning. People will be gunning for the Jayhawks this year and it's time to show if last year was a fluke or not.
Schedule Hurdles: Their non-conference doesn't get much harder than last season but they will be playing at South Florida in Mid-September. This year they drew the tough road through the Big XII having to visit Oklahoma and end the season with back to back home games against Texas and Mizzou.

15. VT: VT is looking to rebound off a slightly down emotional 2007 season and loss in the Orange Bowl. Starting QB Glennon is back, and dual threat back-up Tyrod Taylor is too. RB Brendan Ore will be looking for his first 1000 yd season in his Sr. yr. The biggest hit felt in Blacksburg is the loss of their Top 4 receivers, that's about 2000 yds and 15 TDs from last season that won't be back, or the equivalent of 1 Michael Crabtree. They're losing 6 starting Defensive standouts including LB Xavier Adibi.
Schedule Hurdles: This season is a good year to have to rebuild a little bit. Road games to Nebraska and Florida State and a home game against Virginia look to be the only possible major struggles the Hokies face, at least until possibly meeting Clemson in the ACC Championship.

16. Arizona State: Surprised many last season firing out of the gates to one of their best starts in the last decade, but 2008 doesn't look to repeat such success. Sure Scum Devils are among the top 3-4 teams in the Pac-10 but they're losing RB Ryan Torain and Incoming backstabber/RB Ryan Bass won't likely make an immediate impact in Tempe. We saw a lot of ASU's weaknesses come out in their Holiday Bowl loss to Texas, beaten in almost every facet of the game. The bright spot is the return of QB Rudy Carpenter for his Sr. Season, Keegan Herring will likely become the every down back and most of the receiving corps will still be around. The defense will get hit, but it should be able to recover for a successful season. Rather than being disappointed with a Holiday Bowl berth as they were last year, it looks as if the Devils should be excited for the bid.
Schedule Hurdles: The Devils will start out slow but their 4th game against Georgia could be one of the top games of the year. That starts a 5 game stretch where the Devils will have to be playing their best, going on the road to Cal and SC, playing host to Oregon then heading up to Corvalis.

17. Oregon: No Dixon, No Stewart, how could the Ducks possibly be # 17 especially after finished 23/24 in the polls last season. Well unless the Sun Bowl was a mirage, incoming QB Justin Roeper is ready to heal the wounds in Eugene of the what could have been 2007 squashed on the 37 yard-line at Arizona Stadium in Tucson. Jeremiah Johnson should be ready to go this fall after rehabbing his ACL injury that kept him out of the last 7 games last season. They're going to have to shore up their defensive interior to compete, but I think they've got the talent to do it. The return of Safety Patrick Chung should help the Oregon defense immensely.
Schedule Hurdles: Games at Purdue and home against Boise State highlight the non-conference schedule for the Ducks who then must go through the top to bottom improved Pac-10.

18. BYU: Quite simply they've been making noise, and are finally ready to be heard. After back to back double digit win seasons and bowl berths they are ready to get some recognition from day one. The defense was impacted a little bit but the offense will remain almost perfectly in tact. Expect incoming True Freshmen Uona Kaveinga to make an immediate impact in Provo. In another case of mid-major supremacy don't be surprised to see BYU going to another bowl this year and getting a little more attention.
Schedule Hurdles: Sticking with their history of scheduling Pac-10 teams they will be heading to Washington but more importantly will be hosting UCLA. The only tough conference game they're going to see will be at Air Force in the second to final week of the season.

19. Penn State: The Nittany Lions are ready for 2008 and should be competitive within the Big Eleven. The things separating them from OhSt and Wisc are minimal and a couple wins in those games would move the JoePas higher in the Top 25 for sure. They lost QB Anthony Morelli who was a good team leader and QB and as much as they'll miss his 2651 yds they won't miss his 2:1 TD to INT ratio. Daryll Clark will have the pressure on him since he will be leading a team where almost every other starter has been there before and he hasn't . The defense will be key for the '08 JoePas.
Schedule Hurdles: Non-Conference should be a cake walk with only visiting Oregon State being worhty of a little worry, but PSU should get by them. With Home games against Illinois and Michigan and Road games against Wisconsin and Ohio State being the true tests.

20. Illinois: Juice Williams is back, so is Eddie McGee. Rashard Mendenhall is not. If Juice can cut the INTs, a lot, they should be able to adjust. Especially with the Rose Bowl defeat showing us how much they relied on Mendenhall. Illinois can continue to build on last season's success and Zook's coaching or fall back down to middle of the Big Eleven. Zook is, and always has been a great recruiter and last season's Rose Bowl run has helped him immensely. Williams will be the Veteran leader, and will be leading a lot of young, raw, talent out to the field. If they can finish in the Top 25 consider it a good year for the Illini since it's potentially a rebuilding year. And look out for 2009, Juice's Senior year. This year's Illini could be the definition of one year away.
Schedule Hurdles: Labor Day weekend and "The Arch Rivalry" game with Mizzou will be a big challenge and set the tone for 2009. After that it's clear sailing until they play the rest of the Big Eleven.

21. Tennessee: Erik Ainge is gone and the success of the 2008 Volunteers lies on the shoulders of Jonathon Crompton or one of two back-up Sophomore's who never saw the field last year. There aren't any QB's coming in yet in this year's recruits so the position is a little thin. RB Arain Foster had a successful scope job last week and will be ready by spring. RB Montario Hardesty isn't a scrub either and will get help carry the load that will be ground heavy. Lucas Taylor will be a down field target at times and he will lead the receiving corps. Two question marks are the recent off field issues that have been facing the program and whether or not their defense will be able to tighten up a little bit and limit the PPG (after allowing 23 last season).
Schedule Hurdles: Mid season stack up of Florida, at Auburn and at Georgia, then a lesser test against S. Carolina a couple weeks later.

22. Virginia: Cavaliers Defense limiting Texas Tech to 31 points was no small feat. It was the fewest points the Rebs put on the board all season. The only major loss from that defense is top pick Chris Long. Most of their offense is coming back as well as getting back top receiver Kevin Ogletree who missed 2007 with a knee injury as well as RB Cedric Peerman who had 585 yds in 5.5 games. Especially in the weak ACC Virginia could surprise and contend with Clemson and Va Tech.
Schedule Hurdles: Clemson at home and at Va Tech look to be the only real challenges. Unless Florida State or Wake step-up.

23. Michigan: The Rodriguez era is officially beginning and TENTATIVELY I'm putting Michigan in here, of course they don't have a QB right now but are heavily recruiting Terrell Pryor, the nation's top recruit. On record in more than a few places is the already possible questionaly recruiting in Ann Arbor with the pictures of Pryor and a Corvette surfacing. With Mallet gone it really is Pryor or nothing in Ann Arbor. No Henne, No Manningham, no Arrington, no Hart, no Long, and some defensive losses to might have Michigan falling out of the Top 25 early, and not returning at all. Already the pre-season no.5 in the Big Eleven. This could be worse than last year's loss to Appy State. It's a clean state for Coach Rod, we'll have to see if leaving Morgantown was worth it.
Schedule Hurdles: Luckily for the Wolverines they don't play games on the road ever with Notre Dame the master of futility Michigan officially doesn't play a challenging out of conference game but Wisconsin, Illinois, and Penn State in a 4 week span has the Wolverines lucky to be 2-2 when it's done.

24. S. Carolina: Could be a good season for the Gamecocks and Spurrier after last seasons 6-6 (0-5 in the last 5) epic collapse look for a resurgent 2008 team. Will be overshadowed by the rest of the SEC but as a curse also being a blessing, this gives them ample opportunity to tumble one of the SEC golliaths and move up the rankings. That 6-1 record last year was not a complete fluke and they just need to avoid the complacency. We all know Spurrier is a hell of a recruiter and we'll see more of his recruits take the field this year.
Schedule Hurdles: One of the toughest schedules we'll see full of names like Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, Florida and Clemson gives lots of opportunites for upsets.

25. Fresno State: Tim Brandstater will have the stage to show those on the west coast his talents, and RB Ryan Matthews looks to build on a outstanding Freshman season. We have had a WAC team go to a BCS game in the past 2 seasons. It's not going to be Boise State or Hawaii. Most likely it won't be Fresno State either, but they look to be the class of the WAC right now. And even though it's a mid-major, being the best in a conference usually gets some votes and garners some attention.
Schedule Hurdles: Tough opener at UCLA could detour the Bulldogs hopes at a Top 25 season, and Wisconsin visiting a couple weeks later only makes it harder. From there on out they're in conference play and should hold up against most other WAC teams.

Just missing the cut are Pitt, South Florida, Wake, Arizona, Cal, and UCLA (with the addition of Norm Chow).

That's it for now feel free to Comment or e-mail me if you think I'm wrong. These will likely change after Spring Ball but who knows.

*UPDATE* - This has since been updated here.
More after the jump...

MLB Free Agency: Time to Make Your Team a Contender

We’re about fifteen days away from pitchers and catchers reporting and that means it’s time to make that push for the remaining free agent gems. The biggest blockbuster so far is the Mets signing Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins. Santana turned down an extension from the Twins worth $80 million over the next four years. Instead Santana will get his $13.25 million for next year while in negotiation for a contract extension that will reportedly earn him $20 million a year for four to seven years. The Twins get four prospects in exchange for Santana’s two Cy Young awards.

  • OF Carlos Gomez
  • RHP Phil Humber
  • RHP Delois Guerra
  • RHP Kevin Mulvey

Twin Rebuild. Mets Contend.

Bonus Free Agency Knowledge:

In case you didn’t know or were too scared to ask.
Free Agency works like this: Free Agent players are ranked by a number of statistical categories by the Elias Sports Bureau and broken up into Type A and Type B. Type A players are the top 20% at their position while B are the next 20%. When a deal happens with a Type A free agent the team signing the player must give up their first round pick in the draft to the team losing said player. The losing team also receives a pick in a special round between the first and second rounds called the sandwich round. Those who give up a Type B player do not receive a first round pick, but are awarded a pick in the sandwich round. The only exception is for teams who currently have a top 15 pick in the draft. If they were to sign a Type A player they would give up their second round pick instead of their first.

I’ve been looking over who the top free agents left on the market are, and should be posting predictions and speculations on where they should end up in the next day or so. You have no idea how much I missed baseball.

4Real Out….
More after the jump...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Farewell Coach Smith

Larry Smith (1939-2008)

Former Arizona head coach Larry Smith died early today after a long battle with leukemia at the age of 68. He led the Wildcats from 1980-1986 posting a 48-28-3 record. His resume included an 8-3-1 record in 85' that resulted in a Sun Bowl tie and an 86' team that went 9-3 and earned an Aloha Bowl Victory. Our condolences go out to the Smith family. Larry you will be missed.
More after the jump...

Happy Monday

Hey all hope you had a nice weekend.

As for the new layout, the all-black was starting to ruin my eyes so I opted to update, let us know what you think, if you hate it tell us, we strive to make you happy.

First off for all of you out there who have been responding negatively to the prediction of Jimmy Clausen as a Heisman hopeful, please read the discourse between myself and 4Real in the comment section of my Heisman preview, part 2. That will explain why I put Clausen in the running, and how I don't think he has a shot, but the fact that he is the only name anyone outside of South Bend knows that plays for Notre Dame that's reason enough. There is a pro-Golden Domers bias in the media, and I think we all know this.

Since the Super Bowl talk has been at a minimum around here I figured I would update you on my favorite story of Super Bowl season thusfar. It comes to us from the East Valley Tribune and it's a heartwarming story about former Scum Devil current Giant Guard Grey Ruegamer. Apparently he learned a lot while playing in Tempe. For some reason, no part of that story surprises me.

I hope this ankle thing blows up in Belichick's face. Keeping Brady out of practice, making sure he walks around in a boot, just to stir the media and in turn try to confuse the Giants. I would love it if the mastermind went too far with this one and a rusty Brady throws a pick 6 on the first drive.

According to more than a few published reports Andre Woodson didn't impress anyone in Mobile this weekend. Almost every recap of the Senior Bowl has Woodson slipping in favor of Delaware upstart QB Joe Flacco. So much for Chicago fans who were looking at taking Flacco in the 2nd round, it doesn't appear he'll still be around come pick 45.

A little more College Football/Draft talk for you. Go ahead and Call me a Homer but Spencer Larsen, the Stormin Mormon LB from Arizona is sneaking up a few draft boards and has some serious surprise potential for a lot of teams out there. They just don't know it yet. Currently he's moved up to a late 6th early 7th round projection in a lot of reports (at season's end he was a late 7th-Free Agent in most reports) and looks to be moving up higher. The East-West Shrine Game Defensive MVP put together a solid career at Arizona but was overshadowed by an underperforming team. He finished his career with 312 Tackles (209 solo) 32 for loss, 5 FF, 8 FR, 2 INT, 12 Passes Defended, and 9 sacks. His Senior season was his best to date with 131 tackles (87 solo) 15.5 for loss, 3 FF, 4 FR, 1 INT, 5 PD, and 4 Sacks. To add to that he was a 1st team Pac-10 selection and a 2nd team All-American. He quietly put together a rather nice career and could be a steal somewhere in the draft. He is a serious hard-worker.

Back to compiling data and making annoying phone calls.

More after the jump...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Charlie Weis: Smartest Man Alive or Dumb Luck

Is Charlie Weis a Recruiting Guru? Everyone questioned whether he would be able to recruit on the collegiate level. Yet after the most recent collapse ND still has one of the top recruiting classes of 2008, so far. Could Charlie Weis have planned this? Could the dismal 2007 Falterin' Irish could have been a complete ruse, used to decieve the many. Think about it, everyone knew Notre Dame was not going to compete in the 2007 season. Too much talent gone to graduation. Weis was looking at years of being a mid-level school fighting with other schools for top recruits only to be beaten by teams playing in the Bowls. So he struck a genius plan:

Take the most storied program in College Football history and make them a laughing stock. Do everything in your power to have the worst season in franchise history. And then here's the recruiting pitch:

A few years ago Notre Dame was great, most storied and known tradition in the NCAA, the Four Horsemen, the countless pros who played in Touchdown Jesus' shadow, the stockpile of post-season accolades. Hell there are at least 5 movies made in and around Notre Dame football. One of them was even starring a future US President. Then, in a stroke of recruiting mastermind, instead of hide the teams terrible 2007 performance, use it as a pitch.

Imagine this, you've been playing football your whole life. Before you had cable you were watching Notre Dame on Saturdays (due to their NBC Monopoly). You always dreamed of playing at one of the power-houses and Notre Dame's faceman Charlie Weis shows up. He's wearing his Super Bowl rings, dropping names like Brady Quinn and Tom Brady, reminding these recruits of what Notre Dame football is and what he has accomplished. Then, slightly ashamed, mentions the recent slip into a terrible time, but offers these top recruits a once in a lifetime offer. Help make the once great program on hard times, become the greatest of all time.

As a recruit, you know you're getting national exposure. A 6 win season after 2007 and you're in contention for awards. 8 Wins and you're guaranteed a Bowl game, and it's not gonna be the Brut Sun Bowl. Your name will go down in history as one of the greats to play at one of the greatest schools and you helped bring Notre Dame back to glory.

It's a genius move. This is a man who coached under the evil mastermind of Bill Belichick. Remember? What's next sweatshirts?

Of course this is absolutely ridiculous to think that Weis would intentionally damage a program for a recruiting pitch. It is just pure dumb luck that he landed this group of top recruits. Isn't it?

More after the jump...

2008 - 2009 Heiman Candidates Part 2

If you haven't red the top half here is the first 13 of my preseason 2008-2009 Heisman Candidates. But I'll quickly recap for you. The list is alphabetical at the moment.

Todd Boeckman, QB - Ohio State
Sam Bradford, QB - Oklahoma
Jimmy Clausen, QB - Notre Dame
Michael Crabtree, WR - Texas Tech
Chase Daniel, QB - Missouri
Noel Devine, RB - West Virginia
Graham Harrell, QB - Texas Tech
P.J. Hill, RB - Wisconsin
Ian Johnson, RB - Boise State
Kellen Lewis, QB - Indiana
Jeremy Maclin, WR - Missouri
Ryan Mallet, QB - Michigan
Colt McCoy, QB - Texas

LeSean McCoy, RB - Pitt
Why: Carried the load as a True Freshman last year, Dual Threat capabilities
2007: 276 Att, 1328 yds, 4.8 avg, 14 TD
Why Not: Plays at Pitt, Will get the same attention as Rutgers Ray Rice, not enough

Joe McKnight, RB - Southern California
Why: Flashes during his brief appearances. Featured in 2nd half of Rose Bowl 125 yds on 10 carries, will be featured in 2008, Reggie Bush Capabilities, RB at USC
2007: 94 Att, 540 yds, 5.7 avg, 3 TD
Why Not: Sophomore, Sophomore Slump? Increased workload?

Knowshon Moreno, RB - Georgia
Why: 6 - 100+ rushing games last season as True Freshman
2007: 248 Att, 1334 yds, 14 TD 0 Fumbles
Why Not: Sophomore, Sophomore Slump? People know he's a threat now

Ryan Perrilloux, QB - Louisiana State
Why: Played well splitting time with Matt Flynn, Esp. in the SEC Champ. game
2007: 51/75 for 695 yds, 8 TD 2 INT
Why Not: The pressure will be on, defending champs, Early Doucet gone

QB - Southern California
Why: QB at Southern California
2007: (Sanchez) - 69/114, 695 yds, 7 TD, 5 INT/ (Mustain) 2007 - DNP (Transfer) 2006: 69/132 894 yds 10 TD 9 INT
Why Not: 5 to 7 ratio for Sanchez, can he be a leader? Mustain could be rusty, Big play state of mind high TD #s and High INT #s

Matthew Stafford, QB - Georgia
Why: Starting QB on College Football's top team in '08, improved big between 2006 and 2007
2007: 194/348, 2523 yds, 19 TD , 10 INT
Why Not: Pressure, Pocket Passer, doesn't create with his feet, Leading WR is gone.

Tim Tebow, QB - Florida
Why: Definition of Dual Threat, The White Mike Vick, minus the dogfighting with actual passing accuracy, Only one who can vote for himself
2007: The only number that matters, 1. Amount of Heisman's won last season.
Why Not: Matt Leinart Factor. Being deserving does not guarantee a 2nd Heisman. Voters aren't big fans of dual winners

Mike Thomas, WR - Arizona
Why: Arizona will be entering into year 2 of the pass happy spread. Thomas will be #1 target, Gronkowski as another target and improved running game will help open up the passing game.
2007: 83 Rec, 1038 yds, 11 TD
Why Not: Teams know he's Willie's favorite target, Gronkowski will improve and steal some of his catches, plays at Arizona

Willie Tuitama, QB - Arizona
Why: Year 2 of the pass happy spread, Injury free most of last season, 2006 LSU game in the past, has Thomas and improved Gronkowski
2007: 327/524 3683 yds, 28 TD, 12 INT
Why Not: Injury and Mistake prone, plays at Arizona

Chris Wells, RB - Ohio State
Why: Impressed us last year carrying the load, Ohio State return most of line-up could be a top tier team
2007: 247 Att, 1609 yds, 15 TD, 0 Fumbles in 2 years
Why Not: Ohio State's offense doesn't draw the attention to Columbus, if Boeckman can't get it done, it's on Beanie.

Pat White, QB - West Virginia
Why: Has improved each year, has Devine in the running game, Spread offense, good TD:INT ratio
2007: 144/216, 1724 yds, 14 TD 4 INT
Why Not: Lot's of questions, new coach, added pressure

Juice Williams, QB - Illinois
Why: Can make a play when it counts, especially with his feet
2007: 153/267, 1743 yds, 13 TD, 12 INT, 7 Rushing TD
Why Not: 12 INT, lost Mendenhall, Sophomore Eddie McGee will be putting added pressure on Juice
More after the jump...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

2008 - 2009 Heisman Candidates

With the list of those entering the NFL Draft in a few months finalized we can now sit back and look at the possible/probable Heisman Candidates for the 2008-2009 season. For a Background here is my first foray into the field of likely Bronze Stiff Arm Finalists on their quest to strike the Reverse Desmond. (In case you wonder why I call it the "Reverse Desmond, it has to do with the fact that Howard sticks he Left arm out and Left leg forward, while the Bronze Stiff Arm is the Right arm out and Right leg forward. It's the details people. Anyway due to my expansive knowledge of College Football as well as Heisman Voting Procedures I can tell you all why my Top 25 could be the next, and why they most likely won't. Since it helps me get through the day (and since I go home in 15 minutes) I'm going to break this up similarly to how I broke up the NFL Draft columns. Without further adieu my Top 25 2008 Heisman Hopefulls (In Alphabetical order)

Todd Boeckman, QB - Ohio State
Why: Led Ohio State to the BCS Championship
2007: 191/299 2379 yds, 25 TD 14 INT.
Why Not: Needs Brian Hartline to really step up and be a serious down-field threat.

Sam Bradford, QB - Oklahoma
Why: Oklahoma 11-2 in games he finished as True Freshman
2007: 237/341 3121 yds, 36 TD 8 INT
Why Not: Missed Time, injuries, Sophomore

Jimmy Clausen, QB - Notre Dame
Why: Plays for Notre Dame (Tim Brown Factor)
2007: 67/104 636 yds 6 TD 1 INT (In last 3 games)
Why Not: Those games were against Air Force, Duke, Stanford. Didn't start 6 of the team's games, Sophomore

Michael Crabtree, WR - Texas Tech
Why: Insane Numbers
2007: Seriously, insane Numbers, 134 Rec.1962 yds, 22 TD, Clutch
Why Not: He's a WR, He's a Sophomore, He plays for Texas Tech.

Chase Daniel, QB - Missouri
Why: Led Mizzou to a #1 ranking last season, Still has Jeremy Maclin
2007: 384/563 4306 yds, 33 TD 11 INT
Why Not: Losing Tony Temple, Team's leading receiver

Noel Devine, RB - West Virginia
Why: BearDown Fan Favorite, According to the last post, Performed well backing up Steve Slaton.
2007: 73 Att, 627 yds, 8.5 avg, 6 TD as a back-up
Why Not: Late in the game carries, yards, defeated teams, we'll see what he can do as #1

Graham Harrell, QB - Texas Tech
Why: Insane Numbers throwing to Crabtree, passing offense, has all the tools.
2007: 512/713 5705 yds, 48 TD 14 INT
Why Not: Texas TECH, spread offense, inflated numbers, Colt Brennan Factor

P.J. Hill, RB - Wisconsin
Why: North/South Runner, last year was a DOWN year for him
2007: 233 Att, 1212 yds, 5.2 avg, 14 TD, 0 Fumbles
Why Not: Wisconsin won't garner enough attention for him, Soph slump could be more.

Ian Johnson, RB - Boise State
Why: PR Factor, people know who he is
2007: 207 Att, 1041 yds, 5.0 avg, 16 TD, 0 Fumbles
Why Not: Boise State, WAC, Numbers down, a lot, last year, Whipped (proposed to his GF post GW Fiesta Bowl TD

Kellen Lewis, QB - Indiana
Why: Numbers have been increasing steadily, Indiana is improving
2007: 265/442, 3043 yds, 28 TD, 10 INT
Why Not: Indiana, Lost James Hardy, Still Indiana

Jeremy Maclin, WR - Missouri
Why: Solid Freshman Numbers, Should be # 1 Target for Daniel
2007: 80 rec, 1055 yds, 9 TD, Plus 4 Rushing TDs and 375 yds on 375 Att.
Why Not: WR, Sophomore Slump?, being the #1 receiver

Ryan Mallet, QB - Michigan
Why: Performed well as a True Freshman thrust into the spotlight on a Michigan team constantly in the spotlight (repetition intentional)
2007: 61/141, 892 yds, 7 TD, 5 INT
Why Not: Rich Rodriguez spread? Terrell Pryor? 5 INT to only 7 TD

UPDATE: Refer to the bottom of part 2 where 4Real points out that I'm an idiot. Rather than try to cover it up, I admit my mistake and cross it off without altering it in any other way, narrowing the field to 24. As I have said before, I am an idiot, please do not forget this.

Colt McCoy, QB - Texas
Why: Texas QB, his name is Colt McCoy for heaven's sake.
2007: 276/424 3,303 yds, 22 TD, 18 INT
Why Not: 18 INT, Hasn't impressed a lot.

Well That's it for now, I'll give you more brief overviews of the next 12 guys sometime Friday. Here are the next 12 (remember alphabetical order)

LeSean McCoy, RB - Pitt
Joe McKnight, RB - USC
Knowshon Moreno, RB - Georgia
Ryan Perrilloux, QB - Lousiana State
QB - University of Southern California (Whichever one starts between Sanchez and Mustain)
Matthew Stafford, QB - Georgia
Tim Tebow, QB - Florida
Mike Thomas, WR - Arizona
Willie Tuitama, QB - Arizona
Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB - Ohio State
Pat White, QB - West Virginia
Juice Williams, QB - Illinois

Check out Part 2 here
More after the jump...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Conan vs. Colbert

First off, yes I know I have been posting a lot of videos recently and some of you are looking for honest, unbiased, in depth, good hearted Sports reporting here. OK all joking aside, I was planning on not posting any more videos due to the fact that I have posted a lot in the last couple weeks. With that said, I came across this and it was too priceless not to pass on to my loyal readers. If you like Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert, Chuck Norris, Mike Huckabee, or any combination of them you will appreciate this. I guarantee this or your money back. As I mentioned in a past article, Stephen Colbert might be responsible for Gov. Huckabee's recent political climb, apparently Conan O'Brien has something to say about it.

More after the jump...

College Football: Post Season Awards Don't Always Add Up

What is the perfect ending to a college football season dominated by upsets? How about crowning the first underclassmen in the Heisman’s storied history. Tim Tebow becomes the first sophomore to ever have his named etched on the bronze stiff arm, but does the mythical image created by the media really live up to what the trophy has historically represented?

The issue becomes whether or not the media has influenced the award to the point where it no longer holds the same prestige. The media has undoubtedly placed the Heisman in a league of its own in terms of prestige, but how do the other top honors predict its winner?

Breakdown of Top Honors in College Football:

Tier 1:
The Heisman Memorial Trophy: Awarded to Nation’s Most Outstanding Player (Dates back to 1935)
Voting: United States is split into six regions each of which contains 145 media votes. Each previous winner also has votes as well as one going to the public. Every ballot works on a point system assigning 3 points for first, 2 for second, 1 for third.

Tier 2:
Maxwell Award: Awarded to College Football’s Player of the Year (Dates back to 1937)
Voting; All members of the Maxwell Football Club have the right to place their vote for this and many other awards. What does that mean? For $35 a year or $750 for life you too can vote.

Walter Camp Award: Awarded to College Football’s Player of the Year (Dates back to 1967)
Voting: Done by what appears to be an exclusive group of 20 members that oversee the foundation and thus become eligible to vote. A small $25,000 dollar annual fee is all you’ll need for this privilege.

Tier 3:
Doak Walker Award: Awarded to Nation’s Top Running Back (Dates back to 1990)
Voting: Run by SMU. Ten semifinalist are voted on by the the SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors who send that list to a National Selection Committee for the Award the cast votes for three finalists and then again for a winner. This panel is made up for Media and former All Americans and All Pro players. You can see the list here

Davey O’Brien Award: Awarded to Nation’s Best Quarterback (Dates back to 1981)
Voting: A selection of Media personalities and past winners. New this year is the addition of the fan vote which takes the public’s top three picks into the semi finals and adds 5% to their total votes during the voting for finalists and the winner.
Selection Committee List

Now that we’ve run down the awards lets take at some history of the winners and how the other four awards influence who wins the Heisman.

Three Resumes to Keep in Mind:
Tebow is the first underclassmen to ever win the Heisman. He played on a team that went 9-4 and landed 16th in USA Today Poll, 13th in the AP poll, and 12th in the BCS standings. He currently has two more years of eligibility left and has made numerous comments about graduating being the most important thing to him and his family… inferring he won’t leave early.

Tebow also won the Maxwell and O’Brien Awards.

Archie Griffin is the only player to ever win the Heisman twice (1974 & 75). 1974 saw them as co-champions of the Big Ten while in 1975 they won outright. Both years they lost in the Rose Bowl ending with records of 10-2 and 11-1 respectively.

Grffin won the Walter Camp both years and the Maxwell in 75.

Darren McFadden became only the second player in Heisman history to be named runner up twice without winning the award. Glenn Davis took second honors in 1944 and 45 before winning it in 46, however, with McFadden declaring for the draft that stat is solidified. He also becomes the second player to ever win the Doak Walker Award Twice ( 2006 and 07). Ricky Williams did it (1997 and 98) before adding the Heisman to his resume later on in 1998.

McFadden’s total: Walter Camp 07, Doak Walker 06 and 07, no Heisman.

What does this mean?
Starting at 1990 from the conception of the Doak Walker Award the Breakdown looks like this:

1990-2007 (18 Seasons)
13 players winning the Walter Camp Award won the Heisman

7 players had won the Doak and the Walter Camp. Five of those players went on to win the Heisman ( McFadden becomes the 2nd player not to)
• Larry Johnson was the first without winning the Heisman even though he brought home the Walter Camp, Doak Walker, and the Maxwell.

9 Players have won both the Maxwell and the O’Brien: Five went on to win the Heisman. Jason White won both in 04’ but won his Heisman in 03’ with just an O’Brien.

Like I had written in a previous article,the Heisman is inconsistent. At one point or another the talent portrayed by these athletes was rewarded. Slighting McFadden in this years Heisman race was worse than what Larry Johnson endured in 2002 in which he didn’t even finish second in the Heisman race. This is during the same year that he took home the other three most prestigious awards (Brad Banks takes the O’Brien and Runner Up position to Carson Palmer for the Heisman). It comes down to the issue that first the media won’t let him win it because he is a sophomore, the next you tell me that it was because his team wasn’t good enough. Arkansas finished with an 8-5 record, 3rd in SEC West with a conference record of 4-4 and lost in the Cotton Bowl to Missouri who finished fourth in the AP Poll. Instead you are going to give it to a sophomore whose team went 9-4 and sat third in SEC East with a 5-3 record. To top it off Florida with Tebow behind the helm lost in the Capital One Bowl to a Michigan team who was 18th in the final AP vote.

McFadden Deserved the Heisman. Take nothing away from a stellar individual effort from Tebow but were we ready to put him in place to join Griffin as the only two time winner, or God Forbid let him stand a top as a three time winner solidifying the mythical stature the media has created for him.

4Real Out....
More after the jump...

2008 NFL Mock Draft Update 1-31

Here's the newest, and final installment of my (pre-combine) version of the 2008 NFL Mock Draft. As always catch up on the past installments here:

Picks 1-6

Picks 7-12

Edited/Updated Top 12 PLUS and additional pick.

Picks 14-20

First the Top 20 again:

1. Miami - Glenn Dorsey, DT - LSU
2. St. Louis - Chris Long, DE - Virginia
3. Atlanta - Darren McFadden, RB - Arkansas
4. Oakland - Sedrick Ellis, DT - USC
5. KC - Jake Long, OT - Michigan
6. NYJ - Ryan Clady, OT - Boise State
7. New England - Dan Connor, LB - Penn State
8. Baltimore - Matt Ryan, QB - Boston College
9. Cincinnati - Vernon Gholston, DE - Ohio State
10. New Orleans - Mike Jenkins, CB - South Florida
11. Buffalo - Brian Brohm, QB - Louisville
12. Denver - Kenny Phillips, S - Miami
13. Carolina - Andre Woodson, QB - Kentucky
14. Chicago - Sam Baker, OT - USC
15. Detroit - Jonathon Stewart, RB - Oregon
16. Arizona - Derrick Harvey, DE - Florida
17. Minnesota -Early Doucet, WR - LSU
18. Houston - Rashard Mendenhall, RB - Illinois
19. Philidelphia - DeSean JAckson, WR - California
20. Tampa Bay - Antoine Cason, CB - Arizona

Now the Updated/Amendmended Top 20.

17. Minnesota - Instead of Early Doucet the Nordics look out west for WR help. As I said last time DeSean Jackson is DANGEROUS and would be a steal at 19. He'd still be a steal at 17 and that's where I think he'll fall.

19. Philidelphia - With Jackson off the board the Iggles are still looking WR and just because he slipped a couple spots does not make him any less dangerous. LSU WR Early Doucet looks just as good here as he did at 17 last week. I think this one is a no brainer. Instead of picking a new QB to threaten your starter, why not get a quality Receiver to help him out.

20. Tampa Bay - As of recently Kansas CB Aqib Talib is moving up many draft boards as a top DB prospect I think he might eeke ahead of Cason come April. Also, I kind of fear that putting Cason that high was a slightly more emotional choice being that I love the guy. He's working out down in Florida right now so don't be surprised to see what he can accomplish at the Combine.

Now for 21-31:

Skins - Nelson Miller's pride and joy from the nation's capital is looking to improve on a playoff run. What to do? Protect Todd Collins/Jason Campbell and open up some running lanes for Clinton Portis. The answers being either Pitt OL Jeff Otah or Vandy OL Chris Williams. I think Williams has a slight edge right now, we'll have to see how many of the Trident Saloon faithful cheer on either of these welcome additions.

'Boys - The Cowboys are looking at 2 things in the first round, a WR and a CB. I think they're going CB here and it will be the aforementioned CB from Arizona, Antoine Cason. Now if Tampa goes for Cason then Talib will fit nicely here as well. Judging by my board though, Talib is gone, and Cason is heading to Dallas.

Stillers - Mike Tomlin's innaugural season in Pitt actually went pretty well, with the exception of that one call, I think you all know which one I'm talking about, vs. the Jags, you know. The Stillers are actually in pretty good shape, but it wouldn't hurt to bolster the Defensive Line a little bit. Enter UNC DT Kentwan Balmer. He's a good fit for the Burgh's defensive schemes.

Music City - The former home of the original "Miracle" in the NFL (I'm talking to you Kitna) is looking to continue to build on a successful season. Vince Young is doing his thing but his passing yards are not where they should be. LenDale White is doing well and the running game in Tennessee is deep enough, but who does Vince have to throw to? Mike Williams has been a bust, Eric Moulds has been hanging around for over a decade but isn't the same threat he once was, and Bears cast-off Justin Gage has been less than impressive in the last 5 years. It could be former teammate Limas Sweed from Texas who missed the last half of his Senior season, and Oklahoma WR Malcolm Kelly. I'm leaning Kelly here, but we'll have to see how Sweed has bounced back from wrist surgery. Watch Texas' # 2 all-time TD receptions to see how much he has lost being on the shelf for the last 6 months.

Hawks - Seattle looked good this year, just like the past few, but coming up short. One big reason is the lack of a running game. Shaun Alexander doesn't break tackles like he once did, instead he crumbles to the turf on first contact. Having a running back with him will either inspire him to run harder, give him breathers, or will become the featured back. I think the perfect addition to share time as well as be a VERY capable running back is Arkansas RB Felix Jones.

Jags - Jack Del Rio is finally making some moves in J-Ville after a few years adjusting to the head coaching position. Jacksonville had a good run this year, especially in the latter half of the season. Fred Taylor is heading to his first Pro Bowl and Jacksonville was beyond competant this year. I think they bolster the D-Line a little bit and look for DE from Miami Calais Campbell to do the job.

Bolts - After a tough loss last weekend where they just couldn't convert on the Pats defense, when Brady looked human (3 Picks) the Chargers are in good position. They made some strides under Norv Turner this year, and went through some growing pains in the first half of the season. Look for a surprise pick up here of Reggie Smith, CB - Oklahoma. He will be a solid fit for San Diego and has some serious athletic upside.

Boys - Assuming, as I did, Dallas goes Corner with the 22nd pick by the time pick 28 rolls around they will be looking WR. I think they stay in state and pick up the Texas WR Limas Sweed, assuming he's still on the board. I think he's the top WR left at the end of the 1st round and would be a better target for Bromo than Clayton.

Niners - The Niners need a lot of help and having that # 7 pick would have worked out very nicely for them, unfortunately for the San Fran faithful their pick is slightly lower in the draft order and they look to pick up Auburn DT Pat Sims. By this point of the draft though let's be honest at most I have 9 picks above right and someone will be pulling the Quinn/Leinart free-fall, I mean can you say Adrian Peterson with 7 and Ted Ginn Jr. with 9. These are just educated guesses at this point. But if everything were to fall into place ahead of SF like they have in my make believe draft, look for Pat Sims' name to be called.

Cheeseheads - The Pack made a tremendous turn-around this season making it to the NFC Championship and only losing to the Bears twice, and someone else once. I had a point here. Oh, Ryan Grant proved to be an asset, and there really aren't a lot of recievers left worthy of a 1st round pick. I think they go Defense and they bolster the LBs. Keith Rivers LB from USC could help out Hawk right about here, and he would possibly be the best pick of the draft of anyone outside of the top 3. The one downside is he played at USC which has been known to add a little too much to your draft resume without 100% panning out, at least on the defenive side of the ball. He could be looking like a great pick up right here specifically because of his Maroon and Gold Wardrobe.

G-Men - The resurgent Giants who continue to play the role of surprising underdog led by underdog leader Eli Manning will have the last pick in the 1st round win or lose. The Patriots lost their pick due to the fact that they got caught cheating to start of this Magical* Super Bowl run. Anyways, the Giants looked pretty good and have built a solid team, particularly on the Defensive Line, and chemistry is at an all-time high in New York riding on the aforementioned underdog card. I think they look to improve their DBs a little bit and look to long shot CB Leodis McKelvin from Troy. McKelvin's two biggest downsides are the fact that Troy didn't play wnough good competition to warrant 1st round consideration, and that his first name is Leodis, seriously.

Look for a new draft update after the Combine and All-Star games are over. And don't be surprised to see a midnight alteration on or around Friday the 25th of April for a finalized projection where I will most likely say the Falcons take Matt Ryan because the pressure will be too much on them to take a QB despite the fact that McFadden is a superior talent.

As always to catch up on my past draft prognostications

Picks 1-6

Picks 7-12

Edited/Updated Top 12 PLUS and additional pick.

Picks 14-20

See you in the Green Room.
More after the jump...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Farve's Fountain Finaly Finishes

Sorry, I really love alliteration.

As I wrote before here don't be fooled. Brett Favre (from here on spelled phonetically as Farve) is not as rejuvanated as he appears. It's the first time in a few seasons that he has had half decent receivers the throw to and a running game that works to open up a passing game. His numbers improved and he looked like the second coming of Brett Farve. As I have been saying for years Brett Farve is one of the top Quarterbacks of the last 15 years. He is one of the top quarterbacks of all time, and is he a hall of famer, he would get my unbiased vote. I think he is top 25 for sure. Top 10 on the other hand I do not. This has less to do with my hatred for the Packers than it does the numbers, and they are quite simple. Brett Farve made a career out of beating up on lesser teams.

The NFC conference formerly known as the NFC Central, of which my beloved Bears belong, has been pretty damned weak over the last 15 years, and Farve made it his duty to show just how bad those teams were by constantly, continutally, and anually defeating them. Brett Farve was a good quarterback that looked better compared to his surroundings. It's that simple. He is one of the WORST game managing signal-callers of all-time. He tries to make big plays out of nothing and more often than not they cost him. People laud Farve as a gunslinger, ummmm that shouldn't be a compliment. Yeah throwing the hell out of the ball 75 yards down field is a talent and a way to make a living as a quarterback. Unfortunately for him, sometimes you're playing against better DBs and better Defenses and they pick you apart waiting for you to make that boneheaded move. And they know you will. They sit back and wait for it, because it will happen and they just hope their DB can make the play. Case and point Sunday's 2 INT performance for the aforementioned Big-Game Brett.

To Paraphrase my earlier article about this:
"Big Game Brett” in the last decade does not have the most amazing numbers especially in the post season. In fact since the Cheeseheads won Super Bowl XXXI after the 1996 season Brett really has barely been average let alone a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback. In the year following their SB XXXI victory, Green Bay lost to the Broncos in Farve’s 2 Turnover performance leading to 10 Denver Points. Since then there haven’t been a whole lot of high points for Brett...
Without going into too much detail, entering this post-season he has 16 TDs 19 INTs 5 Fumbles and 2 lost since Green Bay's Super Bowl Win."

This year's resurgent 3TD game vs. The Seahawks and his 2/2 performance Sunday even him out at 21TDs and 21INTs in the post-season over the last decade. Big game players show up big for big games.

What's the point? Well it's actually quite simple. Brett Farve is one of the top QBs of all time but someone for the love of God cover him for what he truly is. A Gambler, Risktaker, Gunslinger who has cost his team more big games than won, especially over the last decade. He's getting old and he doesn't have the arm he had 10 or even 5 years ago, and when he chucks it into a crowd of off-color jerseys things don't go well for him. For the sake of his image, take this gift of 2007 comeback player/MVP Candidate/Post-season run and go out on a high note. If he's waiting for a Super Bowl, he's gonna be waiting a long time. It's not the end of the world, he just doesn't have it anymore, and the sooner he realizes it the better for Green Bay. He's only the 45th best QB with at least 300 completions as far as Pass/Interception Percentage, the 51st best QB with Pass/TD Percentage, has the 3rd most fumbles and most INTs in a career. Go out while you're still near the top.

Of course I don't mind him sticking around to play the Bears every year, he's averaging 4.3 picks per game the last 3 years. Plus he's got a few fumbles to his credit over the same period.
More after the jump...

Quick Post

Hope you all had a nice/relaxing/fun whatever 3-day weekend. The best thing about 3 days weekends has to be the shortened work week. And I'm not saying that in a Duh factor kind of way. I mean the day off is obviously nice, but far better I think is the fact that one only has to be at work for 4 days. And yes I know how stupid it sounds but anyways here's for a quick update.

Back-to-back Manning trips to the Super Bowl. If "Peyton" Eli shows up this could be an interesting game seeing how well they played the Pats a few weeks ago. Unfortunately if "Cooper" Eli shows up it will certianly be curtains on the G-Men.

Tom Brady is in a walking cast after "injuring" himself Sunday. The only thing injured should be his holier than thou ego after throwing 3 picks against the Bolts. And of course his fashion sense, visiting a Brazilian Bikini Model in shabby jeans and a sweatshirt with flowers in hand is quite a statement. I guess he's learning more by the day from the Hooded/Evil Genius Belicheck.

Speaking of Belicheck and the walking cast, I hope no one in New York is being psyched out by this at all. Brady has been listed as "Probable" or "Questionable" every week since Belicheck took over. No one is buying the Patriots injury report anymore.

Speaking of injury reports, yes it's true that LdT probably could have played Sunday, but he is 100% right when he said that he could have played but why would he. No he wasn't being selfish. The Chargers have a very capably back-up in Turner and a 100% Turner is a better decision than an 80% Tomlinson. Besides LdT's injury was in his Knee, a sprained MCL, I don't see a guy with a hurting MCL breaking a whole lot of tackles and juking his way downfield. Could he have been effective? Sure. Would he have been the league leading rusher LdT? Absolutely not.

Work is piling up as we speak, the only downside of a day off, is 5 days worth of work in a 4 days span.

Finally saw an episode of AMCs acclaimed Mad Men this weekend. Pretty good, the era portrayal is excellent, guarantee a lot of time went into research. Not one scene without a lit cigarette, it's like watching Dennis Leary's No Cure for Cancer. For a guy who quit smoking not that long ago, it's kinda difficult to watch, the cravings come back with a vengenance. The Fiance's first conclusion of the show about 3/4 into it, "These guys are assholes". Same response I got while watching the Big Shots premiere with her a few months ago. Note to self, stop watching shows where the main characters are cheating on their girlfriends/fiances/wives. It's putting bad ideas in her head.

That's all I got for now, time to get back on the phones. There will be another Draft Update coming up sometime this week, but work is a little backed up so it might be later rather than sooner.

Till then.
More after the jump...

Friday, January 18, 2008

2008 NFL Mock Draft 14-20

So if you are keeping up to date with my current mock draft then you know where I stand on the first 13 picks but are eagerly awaiting picks 14-20 so here they are. If this is your first time joining us here on The BearDown, Here's what you missed.

*Picks 1-6

*Picks 7-12

*UPDATE on top 12, bonus 13

So the top 13 picks are all but set in stone but my first go through has it looking like so:

1. Miami - Glenn Dorsey, DT - LSU
2. St. Louis - Chris Long, DE - Virginia
3. Atlanta - Darren McFadden, RB - Arkansas
4. Oakland - Sedrick Ellis, DT - USC
5. KC - Jake Long, OT - Michigan
6. NYJ - Ryan Clady, OT - Boise State
7. New England - Dan Connor, LB - Penn State
8. Baltimore - Matt Ryan, QB - Boston College
9. Cincinnati - Vernon Gholston, DE - Ohio State
10. New Orleans - Mike Jenkins, CB - South Florida
11. Buffalo - Brian Brohm, QB - Louisville
12. Denver - Kenny Phillips, S - Miami
13. Carolina - Andre Woodson, QB - Kentucky

Some of those may come as a shock to some of you. Trust me I've gotten the emails. So I reiterate what I said in post #1. THIS IS NOT WHAT I THINK WILL HAPPEN. THIS IS WHAT I THINK SHOULD HAPPEN. I firmly believe that the chances of the draft falling into place like this are not that great. I think Atlanta can find other options available in other venues. I also expect some trades to go on this year. Specifically, with Parcells at the helm, #1 could be traded a lot easier than in past years. ALSO there is still a coin-toss and playoffs to decide the final position of the picks. With all of that disclaimer out there here are the next batch.

Da Bears - at 14 the Bears need to find something and though the Defense was god awful this past season a lot of that can be attributed to injuries. I think the later rounds will see a Safety and D Tackle coming off the board to bolter the oft injured Bears D. But round 1 is offense. And if one of the top 3 QBs happens to fall this far he will be a Bear, no questions asked. A lot of that will fall on the shoulders of Buffalo though. Assuming that one of those QBs isn't available Da Bears are going to fix their running game. Yes more help is needed at Running Back but I'm talking offensive line. They're getting up there in years. OT Sam Baker from USC should be getting taken right about here. And as a Bears fan I am very ok with that pick.

God's Team - The Lions are picking 15 and are thouroughly confused at picking so low. They're not used to being able to think so much about the draft pick Typically they just take the best receiver in the draft and move along. This year things will change for Millen's bunch. With the "capable" arm of Kitna returning post being touched by God and the years of WR drafts making the Detroit passing game look, well it has a pulse, the Lions are hitting the backfield and it's gonna be Oregon RB Jonathon Stewart. Something has to open up that offense for Detroit and Kevin Jones isn't doing it, he's been hampered by injury and Antoine's cousin Aveion, sorry to say, is a return man. Lions are going Stewart or Mendenhall and I give the edge to Stewart.

Ret-ardinals - Can't ever seem to get anything right, but are also inching closer to a playoff birth. With continuing semi-success, a new stadium, and a weak conference they get closer by the year. A solid draft pick could put them over the top. They have a guy made for the Cards defense right here and its Florida DE Derek Harvey. Harvey is perfect for the Cards 3-4/4-3 scheme as he can play both DE and OLB. He would be a major piece that makes the Cards a contender in the weak, errrrr competitive, NFC West division.

Nordics - The V-Men from up north had a pretty successful season with the amazing outburst of Adrian Peterson. As much as they need help at QB (Tavaris Jackson is their starter, seriously) I think they look receiver. Bobby Wade (DVHS, UA, Chicago Bear alum) was the team's top receiver last year. I like Bobby as much as the next guy. He played at my high school, and my college and is one of only a handful of NFLers I have actually met and hung out with. He can't be a team's leading receiver, he's too small. He can be a good #2 or 3rd down option, but be honest. Minnesota needs some punch and they get it from LSU WR Early Doucet. Doucet is, in the opinion of many, the best WR in this draft and it's shocking that the Lions didn't pick him. Doucet could be a great fit for a growing Lions team. If they don't go WR they're going DB and my man Antoine will be heading up North.

Texans - A couple years ago they were picking 1 and "wasted" their pick on Mario Williams. Well a 16 spot draft position swap might prove the Texans, and me, right and silence some of those critics. Picking much later than usual it's surprising that the Texans are going to be able to get such a quality guy like Illinois RB Rashard Mendenhall here, and good for them. They need a guy like Mendenhall to open up that offense. This is one of the picks I am most secure with getting right, it will be a running back unless they all go earlier than expected for some reason. So with that said this is most likely the one I get wrong.

Philly - Their QB, whoever it will be next year, needs a target. I think they get one of the STEALS of the draft and pick up Cal WR DeSean Jackson right here. Jackson is a dangerous Receiver and to any of us who watched Cal play the last couple years, he has DANGEROUS speed. This could be a major help to an Eagles team who hasn't really had a weapon at reciever since T.O. left.

Chucky's - Jeff Garcia and crew were almost in it this year and are close to getting back into the playoff mix. If one of the top receivers is still available here, he might be a pick but as you can see above, I don't think there will be. I think they're going Defense and they have two options DB or shoring up that Defensive End spot. They picked up Gaines Adams last year and that turned out well. I think this pick is going to rely a lot on the next month. I'm leaning towards the Bucs taking Arizona CB Antoine Cason.

Gotta take a sales call back in a couple hours with some updates and a little more on the 2008 NFL Draft.

Continue here for picks 21-31 with a couple of updated top 20 picks.
More after the jump...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Random Ramblings

I know I discussed it earlier in this post but how does Isiah still have a job. He brought down the english language, the Pacers, the CBA, the Raptors, and now is doing it to the Knicks. 10 years ago people heard Isiah Thomas and the first thing that came to mind was the Hall of Famer's toughness, or more simply that he was in fact a Hall of Famer and regarded as one of the best to do what it was he did. (fun senetence huh?). Now they hear his name and realize exactly how bad of an executive he is, or think about his recent sexual harrassment lawsuit (he cost the Knicks $11.2 Million. And no one seems to care, well except for the entire sports community, Knick fans, the city of New York. On second thought, everyone seems to care except for his boss, James Dolan.

Why is Pacman allowed anywhere near strip clubs? This isn't a off-the-cuff joke, I'm seriously looking for some answers, can anyone tell me why they still let him in?

Green Bay fans are sick. I mean absolutely out of their minds. I'm talking mentally unstable. I guess it's like the entire "city" is more like the hotel in The Shining. Trapped in the cold, drinking a lot, surrounded by nothing by white snow, and no one there has enough command of the english language to write a novel.

After requesting a Coors Light/Miss Teen South Carolina video the other day I was thinking, what can we compare this batch of Coors Light ads to in sports culture? The Spread Offense? Everyone loves the format and there are plenty of repeats/versions of it. I mean the Mora one was great, the Parcells one was hillarious, and even by mid 2006 NFL season when Denny Green flipped out I immediately knew that it would be a Coors Light commercial. My buddy Casey and I both knew it was coming. And now there are immitations of the ads. Check out YouTube, there are more than a few GREAT parodies already made.

The second a coach or player says/does anything great in a press conference Coors Light is on it, or else people at home are there to pick up the slack. Also, 4Real has mentioned a couple times to me that Matt Holliday was on Best Damn and had his young nephew do the "I'm a man" rant, but the only clip I can find is the whole 5 minute segment and don't feel like posting it.

The sports world just loves to piss me off. Really. The probable options for this years Super Bowl, The Patriots and The Packers. I hate both of them, and don't know how I can, in good conscience root for either one after all the shit I have talked about them over the years. And I have to watch the game, there isn't an option. They did it to me in the World Series too. A team I hate vs. I team I can't root for. The Super Bowl just looks to be two teams that I hate.

Congrats to Bobby Knight on 900. There's no joke, I'm genuinely happy for the guy. We're supposed to not like him because he gets amped and throws chairs? Last time I checked passion was a good thing, maybe he goes a little far sometimes but his passion and 900 wins go hand in hand in my book.
More after the jump...

Who are you - Monk?

The Woj over at got major inside access to the recruiting trail recently and sat in on a conversation between Lou..Atl..Arkansas? Coach Bebby Petrino and a potential recruits father. One of the major highlights:

"Well, so far he's talked to Notre Dame, LSU, Florida, Mississippi and Auburn."
"Weird -- so did I. What I meant to say is, has he made any kind of verbal commitment?"
"Yes, to Auburn."

"Weird -- so did I. I mean, he's only given them his word, right?"

Absolutely hysterical. I would definitely swing by and read that one when you get a chance.

More after the jump...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cubs Continue to go International

The Chicago Cubs recently re-signed the 37-year old Jon Lieber, who is also the last 20 win Cub starting pitcher (2001). This seems like a good idea for the Cubs, he is a solid veteran pitcher who had a couple of injury shortened seasons. BUT they were non arm related injuries meaning he might just be slightly rusty. Cubs GM Jim Hendry has been close with Lieber since he met the 37-year old in Junior College and jumped at the chance to get him back in the clubhouse. Especially with some of these young arms on the Team's roster this could be a clutch pick-up who can deliver some serious innings and give some nice starting pitching to the Cubs.

This gives the Cubs and interesting look at the pitchers as Spring Training (pitchers and catchers report in 29 days.) Lieber jumps onto the list of potential Cubs starting candidates that includes (last year's rotation of) Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Rich Hill, and Jason Marquis. As well as failed closer, possible starter Ryan Dempster, and the sometimes troubled young pitchers Sean Marshall, Sean Gallagher and Kevin Hart. Having a vet like Lieber will be nice, but heading into Spring Training with 9 starting candidate is a little ridiculous. This seemingly large numbers of starting pitching candidates doesn't shock many of the ball clubs closest followers. "You try to get as many arms as you can," Hendry said. "As proven in the past, the good years or bad, when you think you have enough, you never do." Hendry is going to great lengths to test his new "more arms" theory by heading to India to look at a couple of young prospects.

The BearDown is not able to find much information or stats on the two but we were able to uncover the names and a couple of drawn pictures (photos being outlawed at major ball parks). Ganesha and Vishnu, have much more experience in the game of cricket and only recently have started to pick up Baseball.
The scouting report on Ganesha (left) is one word, Innings. Ganesha can and will go late in ball games and expect more than a few Complete games. On the other hand Vishnu (right) is more flash. We've heard reports of a pitch called the "Peri-ball" that is the world's only actual rising fastball. No one yet has any acutal proof of this pitch yet. It is also rumored that Vishnu carries a pretty heavy bat, especially for a pitcher, and will only consider playing in the National League. Hendry has paid 300 Rubies to both Ganesha and Vishnu's agents while attempting to contact.

More after the jump...

What's going on in Morgantown?

Here's a new thing for school's to consider when hiring a new coach. Character. And I have undeniable proof of just why that is important. Let's look at the character of Rich Rodriguez.

*Steals Terrell Pryor, a top recruit, right out from under the nose of West Virgina before even announcing his departure to Michigan.

*Accepts a job to Michigan despite less than a year ago saying he was staying in Morgantown.

*Files a countersuit against WVU after they try to recoup the $4 Million he owes as stated in his SIX YEAR contract that he walked out of.

*Shreds and hides important player related files as far as the current WVU roster is concerned.

Why do I mention all of these things. Well it's proof that Rodriguez's real character came out recently and he just so happens to be someone you wouldn't want to model yourself after. Yet people are sending their young boys to learn by his example. Could that be dangerous?

Rich Rodriguez coached the Mountaineers 2001-2007.
Bengals WR Chris Henry attended WVU and played for Rodriguez from 2002-2005.
Titans CB Adam "Pacman" Jones attended WVU and played for Rodriguez from 2002-2005.

Henry has a "Criminal History" section on his Wikipedia entry.

Pacman has a "Legal Troubles" section on his Wikipedia entry.

Search for Chris Henry, you get mostly sports related, but you still get things related to the suspension and off field problems.

Search for Pacman Jones, you get 3-4 sports related entries and 6+ (especially if you click the news link) strip-club/shooting/warrant/arrest/etc entries.

Have you ever heard of Quincy Wilson? He was arrested in June of last year. Played his college ball at West Virginia for Rodriguez, and is close friends with Pacman and Henry. Close enough that the two showed up at his football camp.

It just makes you wonder exactly how many of Rodriguez's former players have criminal records, including the two years he spent at Clemson or even earlier at Salem, Tulane, or Glenville. It will be interesting to see which Michigan players get suspended a few years from now.

Is it something in the water in Morgantown?

What's the connection to Mike Vick here?

Well Surry County, Virginia, the home of Michael Vick, is just over 200 miles from Morgantown.

Well that's a little absurd but the point remains. We saw Rodriguez's character the last couple months, and we've seen the character of some of his former players. This doesn't bode well for Pat White and Steve Slaton or the future of Michigan football alumni.
More after the jump...