The Grand National Championships

June 11, 2008

So, today was a great day.

I took about a day off in regards to the hard work that I took. I know, that’s the wrong thing to do. But I did not avoid learning. The good days are as much of a learning experience as the bad ones.

I shall present you a bulletpoint of things that I have learned, because we are getting into the silly season of sports where it’s baseball or death.

  • I wish to know more about Pepper the Norte Dame Comeback Dolphin. I do not trust mammals that share affiliations with Condoleeza Rice and Ed BeBartolo Jr. Consider me specist, but this has not failed me yet.
  • Blogger pro tip #357: If you get upset that one of the places that you hyped your work doesn’t link it? You need a day off. You have to believe in yourself if you want to succeed. Motivated Frank taught me that!
  • The thing that you don’t know about me? I appeared on a televised episode of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” when I was 18 and took down a cool $64,000. So you know if you were ever in a trivia deathmatch? I’d be one to call. Imagine my surprise when a team of bloggers formed to be in a quiz bowl with the Mainstream Media…
  • …and I was jealous. I’m man enough to admit it.
  • But then I realized two things. Even despite the breakout of the stale, my blog isn’t the elegance nor has the readership of the others. Cripes, Spencer Hall has his own rally dolphin! Also, I could have avoided Derek Belling my way through high school and got into a non-hyphenated real school. Good look to the Blogging Avengers, and if ever you need a sparring partner? I’m not difficult to find.
  • Oh, and Clay Travis? The end topic of that Season 4 Episode of Saved by the Bell? Basketball. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.
  • Also? I made Something Awful Forums! My crossover is nascent, but developing.

Really, I was goofing around and garnering a triple double. Cripes, Jason Kendall homered! Life is good.

So good that this doesn’t bother me…


SCHADENFREUDE!

 

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June 10, 2008

Premise: There is a reason for Blogfrica to like Every Team in College Football

Even an eminently hateable team like Ol’ SC. I am here to speak the truth to power. There’s a reason to love every team in The NCAA Division One. And I’m here to share it with you.

NOTE: The rankings are from one of those entirely too early football magazines. I’ll leave it to you to guess which one.

119. Florida International: We all remember the big fight in 2006 between Miami and Florida International. And if you don’t, here’s all you need to know. FIU had an injured running back who went out amongst the crazy with nothing more than crutches and heart. His name is A’Mod Ned. He is now FIU’s starting running back.
118. Utah State: Schadenfreude fans? You want your best bet to run the table of suck? Look to the Aggies. They will need to beat Idaho on September 20th to have any chance, and that’s coming off games at Oregon and a rivalry game versus Utah. Lose here?
117. Idaho: Bloodlines are made of win here. One of the most productive WAC running backs is Deonte Jackson? Guess who his uncle is? Steven Jackson! He was a Fantasy Football +10 off-tackler runner for chaotic evil!
116. North Texas: They grow offenses bigger in Texas. In Todd Dodge’s first season, he took an offense that only averaged 12 points in 2006 and doubled that. He took a random quarterback named Giovanni Vizza and took him to a 2400 yard season and a game where he threw for 8 TD Passes. And now he’ll have his son as an option if Vizza doesn’t keep his stride.
115. Eastern Michigan: Andy Schmitt is what lazy writers would compare to Matt Groethe. A good arm with some run skills, he will keep EMU in games for as long as he can. Because outside of Daniel Holtzclaw? The defense has nothing to bring to the table. 
114. Arkansas State: Hey look Native Americans! They’re the Red Wolves now! You can show love for All-Conference Selections Corey Leonard and Reggie Arnold! Huzzah?
113. Middle Tennessee State: Are you looking for something in a waterbug speedburner? The Blue Raiders would like to have a word you about Desmond Gee. He’s 5’8″, 168 and he runs a 4.44 40 yard-dash. He plays receiver. He plays tailback. He returns kicks. He allows lazy people to make a joke about him doing other work in the stadium. 
112. UAB: The best kicker in the nation? Swayze Waters. He can drain it from fifty yards and keep Baby out of the corner all at once! GET IT?!?!
111. Army: They’re rolling up on people with the Wishbone. Also, they have a quarterback whose named Carlo Sandiego. He has the loot, and the warrant. And he’s about to nab the Contessa!
110. Buffalo: I know Buffalo has sucked forever. I know they haven’t even sniffed a bowl game since forever. But Turner Gill has an offensive stew going. Drew Willy is a draftable quarterback. James Starks is a powerful runner, and the line has 4 starters back. If the defense becomes even subpar? They’ll have a winning season.
109. Temple: Why cheer for Temple? They have 21 starters and their special teams back. Sure, the line allowed 45 sacks, and that’s no bueno. But Temple’s no longer the irrelevant joke that they were once earlier in the decade.
108. UL-Lafayette: Hey video game fans? Do you love the option? Do you love building teams from scratch? Well, the Ragin’ Cajuns are for you. With two 1,000 yard rushers in Michael Desormeaux and Tyrell Fenroy and a Sun Belt affiliation, those who would play NCAA Football 09 will be in hog heaven.
107. Western Michigan: In a league where the offenses are so high-powered, having a defense that returned all 11 starters is something to cheer. Sure, it wasn’t the most successful defense last year, but behind their secondary they should improve greatly.
106. Northern Illinois: If you can have 10.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss in a 2-10 season and an insatiable motor? You have an excellent pro future. The Huskies may not have a lot to cheer about this year, but they do have Larry English. 
105. UNLV: Frank Summers may not seem like a great running back, but like Will Ferrell after one taste of the beer bong, when Frank Summers gets rolling downhill? He’s going streaking! Whoo! Also whoo!


GUESS WHAT MY NICKNAME IS?!?
104. Ohio: Now, Frank Solich has an excellent dual quarterback threat in Theo Scott and Boo Jackson, but that’s not why we’re here. It’s because with minimal help along the defensive line, Jameson Hartke has developed into an excellent prospect. He converts to a 3-4 OLB nicely.
103. Rice: The best passing combination you’ve never heard of in Chase Clement to Jarrett Dillard. They’re seven scores away from being the most prolific duo in NCAA History.
102. Akron: If you’re looking for a Devin Hester candidate, look to the rubber capital of the world. There you will meet Bryan Williams. A man who was an all-conference running back last season, he has moved to safety this season. He sports excellent speed, and as for return skills? How’s 31.9 yards as a Kick Return average taste. Tastes good right?
101. UL-Monroe: The Warhawks beat the Saban last year. Behind Kinsmon Lancaster and a stout defense they also took out Rusty Smith and FAU on their way to winning four out of their last five games. If they get to Alabama A&M with a split? They’ll be dangerous. (They are Arkansas’ trap game).
100. Toledo: This is why you should root for Toledo.


This is Tom Amstutz. He’s the coach of Toledo. He has the gut instinct of Mark Mangino with none of the obvious hype. He needs your love. 
99. Bowling Green: In a world where the minimal spotlight is shining all its power on Dan LeFevour and its sloppy seconds upon Nate Davis, being the third best quarterback in the conference is a tough road to hoe. But don’t sleep on Tyler Sheehan. He was awesome last year, and he is deep in skill positional options.
98. SMU: If Justin Willis comes back, look for him to be a breakout quarterback, as well as the face the predatory homosexuals fear most of all.
97. Tulane: Behind Andre Anderson, this team in no way shape or form will miss Matt Forte and his hyper production. Also, when they Face LSU on November 1st? This team could already be 6-1.
96. Kent State: Eugene Jarvis will see your Desmond Gee and raise you a 5’5″ shifty scatback who rushed for over 1600 yards last season. And he also invented Defender and Robotron! He is your best in tiny all-purpose running backs. 
95. Colorado State: I know it looks bad when a tight end is the thing you should be rooting for, but Kory Sperry has had his dream defferred. And now he has little quarterback experience coming back. He is facing loads of adversity here. If he can thrive? He’ll be in the early part of day 2, Martin Rucker style.
94. Louisiana Tech: Bloodlines! Guess who head coach Derek Dooley’s father is? If anybody outside of the Garden of Good and Evil guessed former Georgia Head Coach Vince? That’s 200,000 college football nerd points! Yaa!
93. Duke: They aren’t affiliated with March Madness or Tobacco Road.
92. Syracuse: Mike Williams may be gone, but Delone Carter does return. And with Andrew Robinson as a quarterback who can string drives togethere? If you want to see a once-proud team try to bounce back from the hardest of times or blow it up yet again? Root for the Orange.
91. San Jose State: Kevin Jurovich is their go-to receiver. Kevin Jurovich is a white guy. If you’re into that sort of thing? Consider your boat floated.
90. San Diego State: They lost three offensive starters to the NFL. Four offensive lineman have left from a team that had 3 qb’s fall to injury. But there is a downy soft opening, and their defense is going to get them through. Or at the very least keep them competitive. 
89. Marshall: Sure, Darius Passmore is a quality name for any receiver in football. But the putative starting running back? Chubb Small. No joke. I’ll leave you to make the dick jokes here.
88. Troy: If you’re looking for another contender for the small school Tebow throne? Watch to see if Jaime Hampton can win the job here. Omar Haugabrook turned Troy’s offense into his own personal playground. And Hampton does have the same style.


HOORAY!
87. UTEP: If you want a sleeper as to a quarterback that for the Nation of Islam Sportsblog will be hyping in September? Look for Trevor Vittatoe. With home games against New Mexico State, Rice, and SMU, he could have 4000 yards this season. Also, he’s a black dude.
86. New Mexico State: Mummeball is a system that develops spectacular offenses for great justice. Also? Their defense usually stink, so it adds to the chucking of the ball around the field. Chase Holbrook has the skills to pay Mumme’s bills.
85. Wyoming: A good running game. A potentially great defense. Joe Glenn has a team that could get to .500, but they’ll settle for vengance on October 11th vs. Utah.


WE LOVE YOU FAN IQ!
84. Florida Atlantic: Rusty Smith is the best quarterback that you’ve never heard of. A sophmore quarterback who came out of nowhere last year to take down Minnesota and throw for five touchdown passes in his lone national television appearance. He’ll have a golden opportunity to make a name for himself early with games at Texas and Michigan State.  
83. Baylor: Baylor is where Head Coaching dreams go to die. Sure, it’s a BCS conference. Sure, the leavings in Texas high school prospects like to rock the party. But this is where coaching cred goes to die. Art Briles? Expect a call from Permian in two years.
82. Northwestern: Northwestern is strong in its skill position mojo. C.J. Bacher is a great spread triggerman. Tyrell Sutton and Omar Conteh are pretty good runners. And Mick McCall makes his offenses pop. It may be another 6-6 bowless season in Evanston.
81. Air Force: This is the most Christian team in college football. If you love the Rockies for their morals? Then feast your eyes on the fine moral values of Special Teams Ace Ryan Harrison!
80. Iowa State: You know that school that is lacking in the talent department but will always make games close for three quarters? Meet the Cyclones. With Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech off the schedule? This is a team that could get to five or six wins. Which is actually nice for Clone nation.
79. Washington State: There is one bright spot in Pullman. Brandon Gibson. The winner of the quarterback battle can throw it up, and he’ll get it. Otherwise? They got squadush.
78. Vanderbilt: Here’s the thing about Vanderbilt. They always seem to have one or two good pro prospects, even if it is a lot more academic than athletic at Vandy. This year’s big prospect is Thomas Welch.
77. Southern Mississippi: If you’re looking for a Spec Play for 2009? Look for the Golden Eagles. The putative starting quarterback is a freshman. And while DeAndre Brown’s eligibility has not cleared as far as I know, he would be ready to rock in 2009.  
76. Hawaii: No Colt Brennan, no June Jones. But they do have a bright spot in the linebacking duo of Adam Leonard and Solomon Eilmimian. Expect struggles, but the defense will not get punked by the mid-majors.
75. Minnesota: Last season was a dystopian nightmare. Their only win was an overtime game versus Ball State in the Metrodome. And they lost to Bowling Green, Florida Atlantic, and North Dakota State. But you know what? Their recruiting class is awesome. Give Tim Brewster time and the road will improve*.
74. New Mexico: Love defense? Then New Mexico is your Huckleberry. Rocky Long brought Urlacher to America, and his defenses are strong despite the gimmickry. And if the offensive line gells, the offense has the skill positional talent to destroy some suckas.
73. Nevada: If you’re looking for a gimmick offense with style. Nevada is your bailiwick! With Sophomore Ace Gunslinger Colin Kaepernick and white running back Luke Lippincott, the Wolfpack’s pistol offense will be…firing…on all cylinders.
72. Navy: Ken Niumataolo is the first Pacific Islander to become a major college head coach. And we have the best name since Chris Fu’amatu-Ma’alafala in starting quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada. Let’s see Sameer Mishra spell that!
71. Virginia: The Cavaliers are in a different state of mind this season. Instead of coming off a season where they didn’t live up to expectations, the Cavaliers actually get to flip the script. Peter Lalich could turn into a Matt Schaub clone by 2010. 
70. Miami (Ohio): If you like defense, the best in the MAC lives here. Clayton Mullins is an Outside Linebacker with an excellent pro future. This defense will allow them to contend against every team they play this year.
69. East Carolina: I know I’m going to say something odd here. A blogger? Saying root for a Holtz in an unironic fashion? But Skip Holtz is a man who turned Chris Johnson into a weapon worthy of the first round. He’s made a quarterback tag team effective. He turned a bad defense into a bad defense that gets turnovers. He’s actually a good coach.
68. Ball State: Ball State has a way with shootouts. With a throw-catch combination of Nate Davis to Dante Love and a defense that can’t stop the run (remember how Ray Rice destroyed them). They’re going to have a lot of first to 40 wins games. Those are fun. 
67. Central Michigan: Dan LeFevour. 4,774 yards of total offense (and remember that sacks count against a rushing total). 47 Touchdowns. Tim Tebow? 4,181 yards of total offense. 55 Touchdowns. Catch the fever! LOL!


HOW DARE YOU JOKE LIKE THAT?!?!
66. Stanford: Wopamo Osaisai. All you need to know about Stanford is right there.
65. Indiana: They may not have James Hardy anymore, but let me introduce you to Marcus Thigpen. His yards per carry average may not be the greatest, but he is one of the few who has the 30 yard kickoff return average and three touchdowns. If Kellen Lewis comes back? I see a Detroit Bowl Game in their future.
64. Washington: Even while he is in year two of his Huskie Era, Jake Locker still compares favorably to the Little Mac. And we all know that’s awesome!
63. Kentucky: Now we all know about the magic quarterbacking that Andre Woodson perpatrated. But did you know that Curtis Pulley actually beat him out? It’s true! So maybe Andre Woodson went all Batman in the Summer of 2006. But by this analogy? Curtis Pulley is Wolverine. That’s all good sir. 
62. Cincinnati: Their defense still will have days when it is life-changing, turnovers and pressure, and oh my god how are they getting to Sam Bradford? But the sleeper? Adrien Robinson. His triangle numbers have Mel Kiper Jr. salivating. (6’5″ 250 4.49)
61. Kansas State: Josh Freeman is 6’6″ and 250 pounds of essential single-season recordness. He brought Jordy Nelson as much love as Jordy brought Josh. Jordy may be gone, but Josh Freeman’s rocket arm remains ever powerful.
60. Arizona: If you want a stealth contender for 4,000 yards? Ask for Willie Tuitama. With a Texas Tech offense, every starting receiver coming back, and a sieve-like defense? He is going to be chucking the ball early and often.
59. Notre Dame: There is no reason whatsoever to cheer for Notre Dame.
58. Georgia Tech: Paul Johnson had an ability to consistently win at a service academy. And as miracles go? That’s one tick below parting the Red Sea in modern sports parlance. Now he brings the majesty of the Triple Option to the BCS. How will he do with actual athletes? Therein lies the question. Therein lies the intrigue.
57. Louisville: There are some who are saying to themselves, OH NOES, BRIAN BROHM CAN HAS BACK-UP QUARTERBACK CHEEZBURGER! I say to them, chill baby. Hunter Cantwell is the one you want. He has a cannon for an arm, and he will not punk out due to injury.
56. NC State: You want a sleeper team in the ACC? Go here. Their turnover margin was 116th. Their front four is stout, and if they can find a quarterback? They may shock the Atlantic division. Or make a charge at the Champs Sports bowl, whatever.
55. UCF: If you want a storyline game that goes under the radar, feast your eyes on September 6th. Last year, on the way to the #2 ranking, South Florida destroyed UCF 64-12. This year UCF gets USF at their place. And it’s a trap game if you believe in the Mangino. Also, Joe Burnett could find his way into being this years Leodis McKelvin.
54. Arkansas: We may get an opportunity to see if Bobby Petrino is nothing more than a liscenced asshole. If Casey Dick (a.k.a. the Swiftboat Quarterback for Truth)** can become a good passer? Then Bobby Petrino is the truth in the college ranks.
53. Ole Miss: Good news for Michael Oher! The subject of The Blind Side finally has someone legitimate that needs his…blind side…protected in Jevan Snead. Sure, it’s year one of the Houston Nutt Oxford Era? But they have an offense and a defense of experience! Huzzah? Sure! 
52. Memphis: The Memphis Tigers has a veritable posse of tall receiving options. From 6’4″ Duke “The Duke” Calhoun to 6’8″ fade route specialist Carlos Singleton, the Tigers have 5 receivers who are 6’3″ or taller. Also, doesn’t the name Arkelon Hall sound like a comic book villain?


“I’ll get you NFL SuperPro, if it’s the last thing I dooooo…..”
51. Nebraska: Joe Ganz is a mythical creature that came from the Kansas hinterlands to mop-up the second and third team defenses of the Big 12 in 2007. This year? He gets Marlon Lucky and four-fifths of an offensive line to prove his cup of coffee wasn’t a fluke.
50. UConn: Randy Edsall is a mystical man who is able to develop talents out of the unheralded. There are 19 starters back from a team that won 9 games last year. Also, Andre Dixon and Donald Brown are a running game that you can have a three yards and a cloud of dust with.
49. Houston: Why like Houston? Because if you like a quarterback who can roll up on you in the two minute drill, then introduce yourself to Case Keenum.
48. Oregon State: It’s not often that you roll up on a dude who lacerates his kidney. It’s less often that a lacerated kidney belongs to an All-American receiver. Oregon State has the rarity. His name is Sammie Stroughter.
47. Purdue: Curtis Painter is a stud. The problem for Mr. Painter is that he has one experienced receiver and gimpy linemen sourrounding him. If Curtis painter improves on his 29-11 TD/INT ratio, it’s proof that he has the NFL in his future.
46. Mississippi State: Hey, did you know the African-American can coach college football? By the lack of black faces, you may not have noticed. But it’s true! And you know what else? They can take a small town in Mississippi and send them to Bowl Game excitement! I wonder why more Athletic Directors don’t consider going down this road?
45. Iowa: Rumors of a lack of institutional control, no experience at running back or cornerback, and a Mike Samuel at quarterback in Jake Christensen are all problematic. But this is the Big 10. There is minimal sexy in terms of the offense. If you can stop the run? You can get to seven wins. Mitch King and Matt Kroul are undersized forces of nature.
44. TCU: At Texas Christian, the defense is always good. It’s the offense that takes them as far as they want to go. Aaron Brown and Andy Raymond are speedy and Joesph Turner has some skill as well. If Raymond doesn’t Sophomore slump, this team is freakin’ adorable.
43. Miami: This is another team that could be outstanding in 2009, but the fact of the matter is the reason why this team is likable is because of a bunch of 18 year-old kids. I’m not saying this as a hater, I’m just saying man cannot win on Freshman sensation alone.
42. North Carolina: Here’s the thing about the Coastal Division of the ACC. There’s open competition for the top of the pops. And the Tar Heels? They could be as good as anybody. 17 Healthy starters return. Greg Little is emerging as a spectaular running back. And the defense is solid and returns 9 starters. And they get Virginia Tech in Chapel Hill. Sleeper lives here.
41. Oklahoma State: Zac Robinson turned Mike Gundy into a YouTube Phenomenon. Zac Robinson led an offense to perfect run-pass balance. His option quarterback game rolls up with some dropbackability. He may even be as good as Pat White.
40. Colorado: Darrell Scott is the Freshman sensation running back who does not have much to climb over to get the bulk of the carries. I am not going to bestow upon him next Moreno status. But if you want the preseason pick? Go here.
39. Utah: A team that had to battle injuries in 2007. 2008 looks to be the year where Kyle Whittingham finally puts it all together. Brian Johnson is an accurate passer who just gets first downs, and along with him return healthy triplets Matt Asiata and Brent Casteel. This is a spoiler in waiting.
38. Tulsa: Come for the 576 yard per game total offense, stay for the coach that looks like a weirdo raper guy!


“Why don’t you come over and have a seat. Come on, have a seat.”
37. UCLA: Rick Neuheisel may be a corrupt son of a gun, but he’s snagged two good coordinators in his sights. Norm Chow will cobble an offense out of those who aren’t walking wounded, DeWayne Walker? He’s already got a good nucleus. Genius will be used loosely in Westwood.
36. Michigan State: As John L. Smith’s players leave the program, Michigan State is developing into something dangerous. Brian Hoyer delivers the danish with style and aplomb, execpt for when he doesn’t, but Javon Ringer is the stud here. Without short-yardage vulture Jehuu Caulcrick, the Ringer is going to be a force of nature in East Lansing.
35. Boston College: Ryan Purvis is the only reason that the Eagles offense will not fall off the cliff straight away. Josh Haden is a tiny running back. Those do well in the Chestnut Hills. Chestnut…hehehehehehe.
34. Maryland: Darrius Heyward-Bey is the best prospect to exit the Fridge since Shawne Merriman. He has height, speed, and no matter if it’s Chris Turner or Jordan Steffy tossing the bean? Darrius is going to be the single greatest Bey the world has ever seen since 1990’s talk show host Richard.
33. Rutgers: Mike Teel has an accurate arm. Kenny Britt is a deep threat extraordinaire. But if you want something in a freshman sensation look at redshirt freshman Jourdan Brooks. He has the power to handle the workload Schiano likes to foist upon his #1 runner.
32. California: Their center’s name is Alex Mack. Those of us who were tweens in the days of SNICK are laughing at that.


SEE? IT’S GOLD!
31. Michigan: Meet Stephen Schilling and Carson Butler. They’re the reason why the cupboard isn’t bare for Rich Rodriguez. Carson Butler is the next Bennie Joppru. And Stephen Schilling is…a right tackle, I can’t do this. The Wolverines are in danger of a 5-7 season. And if you’re a hater? It’s beautiful.
30. Texas A&M: Three things here. Another test of the mediocre pro coach theory as Mike Sherman becomes the new coach. Jevorskie Lane is 285 pounds of doughy steel and short yardage appeal. And all in all? The Aggies have a running game to build off of.
29. Virginia Tech: The Hampton area is where the dominant athletic quarterback lives. From Aaron Brooks to AI to the crazy Vick brothers. Hampton is where you get your quarterback who can run for show, even if they may not pass for dough. Tyrod Taylor is the latest, even if he may never be the greatest. 
28. Boise State: Ian Johnson is still in Boise. He’s the active leader in rushing yardage, touchdowns, and marrying hilariously last named cheerleaders. Look it up.
27. South Carolina: I’m not too proud to be lazy, I’m going to crack wise on the comedy that is somebody with the last name of Smelley, especially when he plays for the Gamecocks. And during my time as a game show gadabout I asked for a smelley gamecock.

…I don’t want to talk about it. 
26. Penn State: Anthony Morelli’s gone! He’s not coming back! I promise! Derrick Williams and Maurice Evans are spectacular playmakers, but that doesn’t matter! ANTHONY MORELLI’S GONE! If you don’t know, that’s just awesome!
25. Florida State: The only intrigue in the land of the Seminole is will Drew Weatherford complete his Chris Rix impersonation in time to keep the Seminoles from staying out of the Top 25.
24. Tennessee: In a world with Percy Harvin, Tim Tebow, Knowshon Moreno, Matt Stafford, and even Michael Oher’s got some juice behind his name. It’s hard out there for an Arian Foster. He’s just a solid back from a school with a good pedigree. Maybe if he gets arrested, he’ll get the hype he needs.
23. Pittsburgh: I know you want me to discuss Wannie’s porn stache. But no. I’m spinning away from that because LeSean McCoy is a force of nature who has the will to improve the 71st ranked rushing offense. Mr. McCoy is the truth. 
22. Fresno State: The go-to mid-major that the four letter network paid their attention to in the early part of the decade is back! With a three-pronged rushing attack, and the Trent Dilferesque song stylings of Tom Brandstater, they’re on the prowl for a BCS berth. Rowr?
21. Oregon: In a parallel universe, they are coming off of a National Championship. But if Justin Roper and Nate Costa start to coalesce as the next Dennis Dixon. They have Jaison Williams and they have an O-Line. Vincent Jackson fans in the house? 
20. Alabama: The Saban is the devil. The Devil is a good recruiter. Julio Jones will be playing Sam to Nick Saban’s Ray Wise. All John Parker Wilson has to do is make a virgin sacrifice at the opening frat party where some white dude’s sporting Blackface. Yes, the one on Water Street.
19. South Florida: Matt Groethe is not Tim Tebow with his run-pass capabilites, but he’s good at what he does. Some call him scramblor. But what you want to know about is George Selvie. 31.5 TFL and 14.5 sacks. That’s scary to all the left tackles. 
18. Illinois: Mike Locksley is the best coordinator that you might not have heard of. He turned Juice Williams into a sensation, Rashard Mendenhall into a 1st-Round Pick, and Aurrelious Benn into more than just a cool name. The Zooker’s got the team reloading instead of rebuilding.


17. Wake Forest: They lead the ACC in starters with awesome names. From Special Teams Ace Sam Swank to Linebacker Chantz McClinic to wide receiver/future anchorman Chip Brinkman, the depth and bredth of quality names in the land of the Demon Deacons is truly awe-inspiring. 
16. Texas Tech: The best pass-catching combination that you’ve heard of in Graham Harrell to Michael Crabtree. Yards and yards and scores and scores! The Red Raiders are gonna put some numbers in bunches. Early favorite to be overexposed with a #2 ranking midway through the year. 
15. Kansas: Todd Reesing does return both receivers and his offensive interior. And if he should fall? It’s a great excuse to bring back this photo.


FAT GUY IN A LITTLE COAT MAGIC, AMIRITE?
14. Arizona State: Rudy Carpenter-Keegan Heering-Chris McGaha are the best triplets that you will find within the Pacific Ten. Also, Dennis Erickson has found a job that for which he will not be leaping away at the slightest sniff of interest for. If the line stays strong? They’ll be one of the best 10-2 teams in football.
13. Auburn: Can a system that allowed Troy to take down Brad Smith’s Mizzou or Zac Robinson’s Oklahoma State work in the big time? Auburn hired Tony Franklin to find out. It ruled for the Peach Bowl, but what happens when all the offensive players are new fish? That’s just intrigue.
12. BYU: This team has an ability to place four players in the highest levels of the NFL. From Quarterback Max Hall to running back Harvey Unga and guard Ray Feinga, and pass rusher Jan Jorgensen, this team will be atop of the Mountain West for years to come. Even if the BCS is only a 2008 proposition.
11. Wisconsin: Forget about Bielema. Forget about Beckum. The Badgers are four deep in the sexy of the running backs. P.J. Hill was a two-year starter who’s averaged 1400 yards a season. He could start 2008 FOURTH on the depth chart.
10. West Virginia: Who’s still in Morgantown? Pat White goes without saying, but could I interest you in a Noel Devine? He was able to run it for 8.6 yards a pop in his limited time last year. And Mike Poitier? He’s as dignified of a back-up as the Poitier name calls for.
9. Clemson: The tigers are street-rated as skill position sexy. Cullen Harper is the cool in the clutch gunslinger. James Davis and C.J. Spiller are truly the most dynamic of running back duos. Also? Aaron Davis Kelly is 6’5″. That’s tall receiver gold. Oh yeah! 
8. Texas: Jamaal Charles had some fourth quarters that were Playstation level. But you know what? The Burnt Orange will not miss a beat. Vondrell McGee is the truth. He runs hard. He runs mean. If Colt McCoy improves? They’re in some good shape. Also? Quan Cosby. That’s a receiver that African-American culture can be proud of.
7. LSU: Now, you and I love Glenn Dorsey. But here’s the thing. The Bayou Bengal’s D-Line may not lose the smooth now that Dorsey’s gone. Tyson Jackson’s a force, and Ricky Jean-Francois may be just one touch higher caliber than Glenn Dorsey. If they can avoid the shootout noid? They’ll be mighty.
6. Florida: Umm, is it all right if I go for the photo and move on? Percy Harvin’s awesome pass-catching skills say it is.


As likely as a shitty spoof movie!
5. Missouri: I know Chase Daniel is the Heisman Favorite. (By the logic of no repeat winners in the modern era…) But he’s not what you want. Jeremy Maclin is the one you want. 199 touches. 16 touchdowns. 4.32 in the 40 yard dash. And he went for a 1000 yard season at receiver. Trust in the Maclin. It will reward you.
4. Oklahoma: Sam Bradford is your ace, but if you love sexy in the trenches? Phil Loadholt, Duke Robinson, and Austin English are the elegance on both sides of the ball. If you want emergence? Look for DeMarco Murray. He’s got takeittothehouseability.
3. Ohio State: Now here you would expect me to make another cheap joke about how there’s no reason for anybody anywhere to like Ohio State. But, the divinity of Beanie Wells is undeniable. And Terrelle Pryor has some schadenfreude points in your favor.
2. USC: I’m sure that you all love Lofa Tatupu and his undersized one man hit squad. Meet Rey Maualuga and his tag team partner Brian Cushing. They are big, they are bad, and they can run. The defensive line may be something half new, but few runners will even sniff the second level.  
1. Georgia: If you want one off the Knowshon Moreno-Matt Stafford path? There is a sleeper of potential emergence, if you believe that freshman defenders only grow? Then you need to feat your eyes on Rennie Curran. If not? I heard that Knowshon’s got a good shot of getting the Heisman.

Yeah, I know. This post may roll up on people as a TL;DR. But you know what? If you took your time, read it in chunks, you’ll be rewarded.

I hope you understand.

Love,

The Grand National Championships.

*Statement void if eligibilty issues don’t get smooth.
**See because his claims of quarterbacking legitimacy are spurious at best? Yeah, I know…

 

June 3, 2008

This is why the Bucks will remain in the Gorsh.

Because when they could have waited and found themselves with a possibility of Mo and Redd playing Seven Seconds or Less or Avery Johnson being the Rich Man’s defensive genius, what did the Bucks do?

They hired Scott Skiles, the poor man’s defensive genius. Who’ll get about 18 months out of a team and then watch the team burn out. It happened in Phoenix, it happened in Chi-Town, it will happen again in Milwaukee. Count on it.

And another thing? Yes I am bitter that now Flip Saunders is available. He is the perfect choice to transisiton a team from bad to decent and decent to good. Yeah, he may never win the big strap, but he can get a lot out of bad and decent.

Kohl woud have broken the bank for the Flipper.

May 31, 2008

The Internets are going to ruin the deal.

(Would you still love me if I called him the White Mickey Mantle?)

We at the Grand National Championships love the Manic Indie Thrill. We feel a certain sense of pride in showing love for Curtis Granderson before anybody else did on a regular basis. And why else have we not interviewed anybody of the field of sports?


It’s Indie!

But that’s not to say that we don’t enjoy the enjoyment of the consensus. Spurs hate? We’ve got Spurs hate. Love for the classy lady. We have that too.

But here’s one problem we have. We cannot abide those who reuse memes. Sure, Chuck Norris had an array of spectacular tall tales about him. And it ran good. They got a book deal out of it.

But what the problem is? CHUCK NORRIS WASN’T FIRST.


“I ONCE SAW HIM SCISSOR KICK ANGELA LANSBURY!”

If you don’t know, there’s no need to call somebody. I’ll tell you. That was a Bill Brasky quote. And in the modern days of Pop Culture. This was the innovator. This was the jam.

Chuck Norris sampled the Brasky Beats and got himself famous on it. Now? With any developing superstar, there has to come a site with recycled “fun” facts. If it’s not Tim Tebow, it’s Cole Hamels. And it is all made of suck.

All of it.

So where’s the problem at? See, friend of blog Babes Love Baseball had to roll up with news of Jay Bruce and his game winning homer. And while that wasn’t a problem…


BOO-YA!

The comments section was.

sweetbob said…
Jay Bruce could probably beat up Kimbo Slice….but he would probably need to use a baseball bat.

Saturday, May 31, 2008  
Megs said…
Jay Bruce could probably teach Chuck Norris a thing or two about hi-yas.

Saturday, May 31, 2008  
Jacob said…
Jay Bruce could probably eat more hot dogs in one meal than Kobyashi could in a year.

————————————————-

Let me say this as plainly as possible. Stop it. Stop it now. Memes aren’t cool.

And if any of you suckers tag me…

You don’t wanna know!

May 13, 2008

Okay, so CBS Sports has been hyping Gregg Doyel recently.

And when you scoop ESPN by about twenty-one months? You deserve to get dap. And I’m not here to hate on some old-fashioned investigative journalism. Gregg Doyel got in on the O.J. Mayo is corrupt ground floor.

So why did nobody catch on to this when he first reported? Simple.

As columnists go? Gregg Doyel has no cachet. He spends a lot of his time just writing for hate mail. Provactive can be worth your time. But when you’re most famous for a column that’s e-mail from angry readers? 

You are merely a diversion. Nothing more. 

And you know what? I’m sad. I honestly am. He actually has the talent to be a respected voice in college basketball. But he’s got to try and be Mister Comedy Pants.

He may have comedy plans, but his pants do not match.

Moving on.

April 30, 2008

Dear Readers,

The Month of April had you looking at our website for 73,636 pageviews. That blew every other month we’ve had out of the water. And if you’re wondering why?

Clearly, it’s because we’re putting up photos of women. Not the Matt Fraction interview. Not the draft coverage. Not even the classic posts of the Tigers. It’s because we have pretty girls doing stuff.

Yes. Partying dudes and nerds. Because this last month was so awesome. One more for the road, amirite?

That’s Rachael Nichols a.k.a. Scarlett in the childhood raping remake of GI Joe. I’ll let you decide if she’s more attractive than Rachael Nichols.

Yeah. I’m moving on. I suggest you do the same.

I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care, care, care anymore.

If you’ve read any sort of a sportsblog today, you know that Deadspin Editor Will Leitch got attacked by a crazed Pulitzer Prize winner last night on Costas Now. You know what else?

I don’t really give a shit.

I mean really. This isn’t some Epic battle of good versus evil. This is Rap Music in 1992. This is Rock and Roll in the mid-1950’s. And so on and so on and so on. Sure, nobody in the Mainstream Music Media said Dr. Dre creates beats in his underwear from his parents basement, but that’s beside the point.

Bissinger is just on the wrong side of the fence, which is a shame, because he’s too rich to really have to give a shit about this. He’s not one of those sports columnists who bring nothing to the table outside of yelling at sports. The blogosphere is not the migrant worker that can do his job for pennies on the dollar.

Then again, ego is a funny thing. If you’re great at something, you feel a sense of professional pride on it. Tom Shales probably blanches at unpaid writings of television criticism. Hunter S. Thompson would probably have sent death threats to anyone who would dare throw bombs in areas that he once wrote about. And Buzz Bissinger isn’t the only one qualified on sports writing.

I mean, I can name you ten websites that provide intriguing points of view about sports in general and sports in particular. (Point of fact? The NBA Blogfrica is scary good.) And when you have that sort of talent brusing up against the fevered egos of the hack sports columnist? You get a certain amount of “How Dare They?” Same as what Tommy Dorsey felt when Elvis made his way onto the scene.

And that’s what brings us back to do.

(And for the record? This was posted in my underwear from my basement apartment.)

April 19, 2008

Those of you who were here from the beginning know about Brandi Hawbaker

If you don’t? Here’s a cliffs notes. Reasonably attractive, but mentally disturbed poker player/con artist.

But to get you up to speed, she fell in with noted poker author David Skalansky and his Two Plus Two Forum. And when things were good? David was thrilled with the exploitative purproses for his website.

All that and worse, after the jump.

LET’S GET DIRTY! 

(more…)

April 3, 2008

Do you wish for an ability to drop Draft Knowledge? (Part 1)

We are helpful people at The Grand National Championships. We like you. And when you’re gonna watch the NFL Draft on the last weekend in April? You’re gonna want to know stuff. I will bring you the stuff to know.

Elvi Patterson can hate me now, but I won’t stop now.

Let me tell you all you need to know about the quarterback class.

There are five that should go on Day 1. That you know. But did you know that if you wish to know where the sleeper goes, all you need to do is look inside an [Anchorman Reference]?

(Heh. Heh. Heh.)

The Magnificient Seven (Quarterbacks)

1. Matt Ryan (QB-Boston College)
6’4″ 223 4.95

There are some whom would compare him to Joe Montana. There are some whom would compare him to Tom Brady. Hell, Pro Football Weekly would even throw in Peyton Manning. Wrong. All of you are wrong.

His arm is not laser, and he will let you down going deep. He can manage the game well, but his vertical game blows. Out and out shitty.

Not to say he won’t have real world value in 2009, it’s just that you aught to temper your hopes, guy.

brees_ribeiro.jpg

But being Drew Brees means you know how to learn the Carlton Dance!

WHY Matt Ryan is the next Drew Brees? He will struggle mightily for the first few years with a bad offensive line.

2. Brian Brohm (QB-Louisville)
6’4″ 224 4.82

 

Brian Brohm has lived a sheltered life at Louisville. A spread offense guaranteed to put up numbers for any quarterback? Two brothers as coaches? His daddy as a constant presence? Even though he was injury prone, the fix was in for him to succeed.

I know, I’m being mean. He does have a laser arm. He does have on-field football smarts. He’s not fast, but he’s not a statue in the pocket. Leadership is not a strong suit, however.

WHYhe will be the next Brady Quinn? His intangibles are questionable, his arm is not that great, and if the Ravens fall in love with a cornerback? He will lose millions on draft day.

3. Joe Flacco (QB-Delaware)
6’6″ 236 4.85

 

Kerry Collins had a passing camp in South Jersey. It crossed paths with a computer camp. Theirs was a love that could not last. Fortunately, Kerry does not believe in sexual congress with condoms. Nine months later, Ms. Flacco’s baby boy was born.

Don’t believe me? Think this story libelous? Well, how about we explain that Flacco is a statuesque laser, rocket-armed quarterback who is not great under pressure and has a drinking problem*?

He’s only going to be good as his coaching and supporting cast.

WHY he may be the next Matt Schaub? He’s going to be drafted as some teams back-up in the second round, have a good game versus the Patriots, and be rumored to get dealt for two years hence. 

*The Mileage on Joe Flacco’s drinking problem may vary.

4. Chad Henne (QB-Michigan)
6’2″ 230 4.94

Being as my friend Elvi lives in Michigan, he is inundated with hype from Ann Arbor. He is sick of Chad Henne. In that way? He’s like your average Michigan fan.

But like anything that can be much-maligned, the fact of the matter is that Henne brings more to the table than you think. He throws hard, he plays hurt, and he has played well in big games not involving Ohio State. However, he is inaccurate and like the bastard child of Kerry Collins, when the line breaks down Henne cannot stand and deliver. The devil he may take ya.

WHY he may never be a full-time starter? He has a lot of bad habits that would only be correctable by good coaching. And do you know what’s the most translatable skill of a quarterback from college to the pros? Accuracy.

5. Andre’ Woodson (QB-Kentucky)
6’4″ 229 4.88

 

Let it be said that we will make an effort to speak upon him fairly. We love his style and his ability to come up big in the biggest of games. He is poor in throwing technique. He would need to land with a team that has a swanky quarterback coach to polish the rough edges. He was not great in the all-star games.

But that being said, the man is a gunslinger. He brought them back versus three teams in the Top 15 and stood toe to toe with the son of Jor-El. And while some dream of him as a Jason Campbell or a David Garrard, if everything breaks right? (And I do mean every damn thing?)

 

WHY I just might not be crazy? A 2nd round graded quarterback who can move around from a southern school who can bring his marginally talented team back against powerhouses? He’s got the heart and the balls.

These are your day one quarterbacks in terms of value. Sure, an Erik Ainge or John David Booty may sneak in if some team has a grade for them, but they’re backup value at best (Ainge more than Booty). But in Day 2 the only city that bears an interest?

San Diego!

Day 2 Sleepers

A. Josh Johnson  (QB-San Diego)
6’2″ 213 4.55

 

There’s an impetus to find upside in your quarterback. Josh Johnson is the best and brightest. He destroyed competition in the Division 1-AA (FCS, whatever) with a 43-1 TD-INT ratio. And get this? His throwing style isn’t raw either! He may not be used to the speed of the pro game, but he’s not just some spread option sucker.

He played under a pro-style offense in San Diego. Jim Harbaugh was his sensei.

But there is some dark clouds in this ray of sunshine. He’s not one of the 6’5″ 240 sized types of quarterbacks, it means he may get launched. And he may never settle into his happy feet. But the fact of the matter? If Throwing Into Traffic wants to talk about what dreams may come? Talk up Josh Johnson.

WHY he might be drafted on Day 1? You remember Tavaris Jackson? Josh Johnson is the Platinum Edition of Tavaris.

B. Kevin O’Connell (QB-San Diego State)
6’5″ 225 4.64

He may not be the one, but Kevin O’ Connell [a.k.a. Cush] sure is the prototype. Strong arm with good accuracy, good footwork along with timed speed, and he has pretty good accuracy. And his sensei is a strong molder of quarterbacks. Chuck Long made Kevin O’Connell a prospect. Chuck Long made Kevin O’Connell blossom in the most heterosexual way possible.

And yet? The man can’t stay healthy. The man could not destroy a mid-major conference even with Chuck Long’s Mr. Miyagi-style.  He can lose the plate every so often and he will not stand tall and true. He is not the gunslinger you are looking for.

WHY won’t he be another Dan McGwire? He’s agile and mobile. That and he doesn’t juice. He is not going to be a bust.

That’s it. About 1200 words in regards to your fine quarterback prospects. Yeah. This was a bit of an effort. Woot and what not.

March 26, 2008

The AL West Preview you’ve always wanted.

Okay, you know what? The AL West is like a set of pretty girls doing stuff. Aesthetically pleasing. Initially interesting, but ultimately insubstansial. They do not bring it when it counts.

Quite frankly? The AL West is roughly equivalent to the English Pin-Up Girls. And I will preview them thusly.

4) The Texas Rangers are Katie “Jordan” Price

Of all the teams in the AL, the Texas Rangers are the most uninterestingly garish. Sure Josh Hamilton and the Middle Infield are the rough equivalent of Miss Price’s Mammary Glands, but that’s all they’ve got. Pure and simple? The Rangers are the ugly plastic girl with a poor personality. If they get to 75 wins? They’ll be lucky.

3) The Oakland A’s are Vikki Blows

Like a team that has a youth infusion, there will always be new attractive models in this world. Of the English set, the women in question is Vikki Blows. All the prospects that came after the A’s changed gears will not make a splash for the A’s in 2008. But point of fact? Chris Carter and Gio Gonzalez may not be first, but they sure as heck will be next. And Vikki will emerge for great attractiveness when the A’s kids get ready for battle.

 

2) The Seattle Mariners are Lucy Pinder

As Lucy Pinder is an attractive woman, the Seattle Mariners are a good baseball team. Not oh my god special. But they are pretty good. They loaded themselves up to make a move to escape the shadow of the Angels. But the fact of the matter is, the Angels are a prettier team on paper. And Erik Bedard cannot answer the high cheekbones of John Lackey. They are good, just not good enough to get the pennant.  

1) The Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) are Keeley Hazell

This is the preeminent model type woman across the pond. The Los Angeles Angels are the pre-eminent team in the AL West. Sure, the loss of Kelvim Escobar is like a bad hit of plastic surgery on the beautiful playoff contender, but Jon Garland will knock down 85% of all of that production. The only question? Will she float across the pond and knock out the sexy crossover potential?

Yes. I get the sense you may find this a cheap ploy. You may be right.

But the fact remains, the analysis is trenchant. And there will be only one more comparison post until football season.

Thanks for reading.

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