The Grand National Championships

June 29, 2010

Love, Hope, and College Football Gimmicks.

Though in fairness? If it’s a well-regarded post, it’s not a gimmick. For those of you who just got here. The rules of this post are simple. There are 120 teams. And there are reasons to love each and every one of them.

These can be empirical, these can be whimsical. Sometimes? They can even seem irrational. But it’s all good. Something for everybody and whatnot.

ACTION FORCE GO!

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Atlantic Coast
Boston College
: There always seems to be a legit talent in the recent history of  the Eagles. From Matty Ice to B.J. Raji to this years tag team at linebacker? There’s always a reason why the Eagles will kick a little ass in the ACC. This year you get the Freshman sensation Luke Kuechly’s sequel in conjunction with Mark Herzlich. If he doesn’t inspire you by playing football after breaking bad? I have no time for you.
Clemson: The X-Factor for Clemson will most likely be their Corico Vision. For you see? Their secondary is badass. Their defensive line is badass. The linebackers? Brandon Maye is badass. But Corico Hawkins needs to step up if their defense is going to rival…
Duke: At a brocentric school like Duke, there is a semblance of hope that with the considerably lowered entry for a bowl game, and the experienced offense, there could be a Bro trip to a locale like Albuquerque, Boise, or St. Petersburg. Now while I won’t tell such brochachos to reserve their tickets, I will say that Desmond Scott will run the ball for many yards. And bros, that’s a good thing.
Florida State: You want to know the reason why I shed no tears for Bobby Bowden? He had an electrifying athlete who was looking like a shutdown cornerback? And he didn’t start him. Greg Reid was never more than a return man and a nickel back. You cannot be blinded by a cool name like Ochuko Jenije. Best 11 on the field, son.
Georgia Tech: You would think that an inside running beast like Jonathan Dwyer would not be easily replaced. In this instance, you would be mistaken. Anthony Allen has a chip on his shoulder. And he will make every defender feel his pain about being ditched with Steve Kragthorpe.
Maryland: Sometimes, the premise of Linebacker U is something of a misnomer. After all, teams have 3 or 4 of them. And usually only one is interesting. But in the decade of the Fridgening? Maryland has been able to generate quality defenders at linebacker. And while Maryland is a lot worse nowadays? Alex Wujciak is a linebacker that belongs in the beginning of the decade.
Miami (FL) : Doppler 3000 has issued a weather alert for all ACC Backfields. There’s a Storm coming. And with a backfield in some disarray, he has an opportunity to do damage quickly. He may either have been named after an X-Men or random bad weather, but Storm Johnson has a potential to be severe. Yeah. Sorry about that.
N.C. State: If you’re looking for an interesting sleeper candidate for a professional wideout? Jarvis Williams is your man. He’s big and rangy and every fourth catch of his last year? It went for a touchdown. That’s Cris Carterish amateurism.
North Carolina: You want to see a team do an impression of the 2000 Baltimore Ravens? The Tar Heels are your team. On offense, they are stuck with the irrelevant joke of an offensive coordinatior in John Shoop. But on defense? Oh mama. Deep, talented, and experienced. There will be at least six prospects that will dot NFL teams draft boards that will be gone by the third round. (Robert Quinn-DE, Marvin Austin-DT, Bruce Carter-OLB, Quan Sturdivant-OLB, Kendric Burney-CB, Charles Brown-CB, and Deunta Williams-FS). Add in Tydreke Powell-DT and Quentin Coples-DE as juniors with tremendous upside potential and you won’t see many teams getting to 20 against the Heels.

A long way to say, yay defense I know, but they probably could defend on a professional level this year. And only Clemson could come close in-conference.
Virginia: Sometimes with a team of little regard, there’s one bright shiny superstar. For the Cavaliers, whose strength is in an experienced offensive line and Ras-I Dowling, it fits this archetype perfectly. Because Ras-I is big and rangy.
Virginia Tech: Now while the Hokies have a running back tag team that some would consider to be as deadly as Christian Okoye and Barry Word from back in the day and an emerging dual threat in Tyrod Taylor. I’m not here for that. They’ve recruited another awesome name.  From the people who brought you Ju-Ju Clayton, it’s E.L. Smiling! It’s a name that makes you think of keebler and white teeth! And he’s rangy too!
Wake Forest: You wouldn’t normally look upon a Demon Deacon as something akin to hip-hop. After all? The most famous alumnus that I can think of is Tim Duncan. And as bros go, he is most definitely chill. But the nose guard Ramon Booi? This kid is definitively hip-hop. He will turn many P.A. announcers into annoying hypemen.

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Big 12
Baylor
: The significant thing is that you get Robert Griffin back and healthy. He’s the sort of threat that makes the Baylor running game a nightmare to slow down. And when you throw in a potential Terrence Cody impersonator in Phil Taylor locking down the other side of the field? A Vanderbilt-esque bowl run is not out of the question. (The schedule’s a wee bit back loaded.)
Colorado: A highly touted linebacker with a ready-made nickname is ready to step back into the breach. Jon Major is in year two coming off of an ACL injury which forced the hand of the Buffaloes. They used seven linebackers for three spots last year. The prime minister should solve that whole to do,
Iowa State: Some people thought I was mad for saying that Iowa State had a window of opportunity for success. I take the general apathy toward my blog as an apology. For an encore? A healthier receiving corp with Lonzie Range and Darius Reynolds portend a stronger offense. Replacing Army with Utah? Portends a December without a bowl.
Kansas: This is what you get for firing Mark Mangino. Yeah, his methods may have been old school. But guess what? You’re gonna be in Conference USA next year. Nobody wants a great college basketball program. They want a possibly insane football coach. Lew Perkins, you have made this bed, and now Rock Chalk has to lie in it.
Kansas State: Now sometimes I have this long spiel and sometimes I attempt humor. One team gets nothing. But sometimes? It’s as simple as the fact that the leading rusher returns. For K-State Daniel Thomas returns. And I give him an entry as boring as his name. Not his game.
Missouri: There’s history and tradition in the previous decade of quality play at quarterback at Missouri. From Brad Smith and Chase Daniel, Blaine Gabbert has been handed the reins of an offense on the grow. And when you consider his pedigree, there is no reason not to suspect he can’t have a greater level of success. That’s why Derrick Washington is the reason to love these Tigers.
Nebraska: The team that looks to be destroying their conference will be destroying random offensive lines with the blood lines of Baker Steinkuhler and the best name for an 1890’s society woman to say “Well, I never” to in a Mister Jared Crick. Add in the royalty of Prince Amukamara, and you have the perfect heel team for fans of the Big 12. They’re threatening to take the strap with them on to bigger and better things.
Oklahoma: If you want the team that will likely lose the National Championship game? Go to Norman. They have excellent triplets in Jones-Murray-Broyles, with good depth behind them. Add in some nice pieces on defense in Jeremy Beal and Travis Lewis? You can see this team roll through the regular season. And since it’s a Bob Stoops team? BCS death.
Oklahoma State: Kendall Hunter is what you would consider an unselfish bro. Keith Toston was desperate to develop some sort of professional resume. And Mr. Hunter was all like relax, leave it to me. One ankle injury later and Toston was poston defenders.

…yeah. I’m sorry too. But the fact of the matter is that because Kendall Hunter’s ankle decided to move aside, he gets all the carries that he can handle. Your mileage may vary on if it’s a good thing.
Texas: It takes a special talent to see the field as a freshman at a program such as Texas. But Jackson Jeffcoat has the blood lines of a professional as well as the opportunity to roll up on some suckers right quick. All he has to do is beat out Chike’s cousin Alex Okeafor. It can be done.
Texas A&M: There is nothing as appealing and straight up badass as a dude who racks up sacks. And the Aggies? They’ve got themselves a winner in Von Miller. He racked up 17 sacks with a defensive line where he was in fact the only thing you had to watch out for. I’m not invoking Freeney here, but that’s a job skill that can make you millions.
Texas Tech: Mike Leach probably recruited him for the ironic value of having a Red Baron, but Baron Batch is suddenly the most important man in Lubbock. Tuberville has a bit of the riverboat gambler in him, so he won’t totally get away from what Leach has done, but the Red Baron is going to be eluding defenders as if they were a Sopwith Camel.

Big East
Cincinnati
:  They may not have the cachet of Pike to Gilyard, but when you consider the fact that Robo-QB always needed to return to the shop for repairs. And in stepped Zach Collaros. And it was good. He gets to have two potential greats to throw to in Armon Binns and hotshot transfer Vidal Hazelton. He also has Isaiah Pead running the ball. I see no possible joke by that name.
Connecticut: It’s Tod-Man. Trucking bros up and down the East Coast with his running back skills. Once a member of a tag team with Andre Dixon, Jordan Todman has the entirety of the run of the carries. And if you consider that this is the school of Donald Brown? If I had to make a wager on somebody getting 2000 yards, the smart money would be on Tod-Man.
Louisville: One might think that after the transfer of Matt Simms, a quarterback of majestic blood lines would not reside in Louisville. They would be wrong. For you see, Adam Froman returns. And he returns with the promise of cased meats from Chicago and competent game management. And he will deliver on one of them.
Pittsburgh: The Midnight Express return to rush the passer. Jonathan Baldwin returns to catch a goodly sum for passes. But for my money? Dion Lewis may have had a lot of carries, but he’s not hunting any sort of college football curse of 370. He’s not going to tear his ACL for an encore. He makes the Panthers fun.
Rutgers: The relationship between DC Jefferson and his key supporting character in Revenge of the Nerds Father has become strained during the recruiting process and preseason practices. A year later? DC is hopeful. And he is ready to contribute to the Tom Savage Passing Attack. And he’ll do some things.
South Florida: Lost in the tragic injuries of Matt Groethe’s injury was the emergence of B.J. Daniels as a strong dual-threat candidate. If the ball is in his hands, the defense has got a problem. Especially when you consider that the offensive line has everybody coming back. There’s a definite chance of 2000 yards passing and 1000 yards rushing for Daniels.
Syracuse: I’m going to keep this simple. They have a strong defensive presence in terms of Doug Hogue. He’s the returning leader in sacks, tackles for loss, and pass break ups. And if Delone Carter has can manage to keep cool? They’ll get a running presence back in the fall. (Though like Mike Williams, I wouldn’t hold my breath.)
West Virginia: Noel Devine is the obvious speed burner of the couch burner’s eye. But for me? Jock Sanders is running a close second.  Decent skills of a running back. Soft hands like a receiver. Speed of a gazelle. The name of an athlete. His exploits are bound to make Morgantown feel joyous.

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Big Ten
Illinois: One word. Twenty-seven syllables. Scheelhaase. The expectations of quarterback play in Champaign have been lowered somewhat considerably with Juice Williams play post Cinderella run. And with Nathan Scheelhasse growing up with a practitioner of the Petrino supersytem? They may not get all the way back, but they may not be in the crater of 2009 again.
Indiana: Darius Willis is a talented running back with a nice combination of speed and power. With a competent offense returning, even after the graduation of Rodger Saffold, his health is the key to bringing Indiana a chance to roll into a bowl game. The non-conference schedule (Towson, at Western Kentucky, Akron, Arkansas State) is the other one.
Iowa: I’m not going to roll up on you with Adrian Clayborn. You don’t need me to tell you that he’s awesome. Ricky Stanzi? You may not think he’s awesome from a cursory look at the stats. But look at the man’s gunslinger Q-rating. It’s astronomical. He plays for America. He plays for the streets. He speaks to the hope Obama once espoused.
Michigan: Not since the days of Tim Biakabutka have the Wolverines had such a slasher cum home run hitter with a fabulous name. Meet Fitzgerald Toussaint. Out for 2009 with a broken collarbone, there is an opening for a runner with real home run power in Rich Rod’s offense. And Youngstown’s finest just might roll out on a sprint through green grass and opportunity.
Michigan State: Greg Jones. He’s a linebacker with boldness and power to his game. With another stank of controversy wafting through the East Lansing football program? He is a steadying force. And we will see him on Sunday next year.
Minnesota: It’s not often where you can lose an Eric Decker and still have a competent receiving corps. But with the athleticism of Troy Stoudermire? There is some promise that if they actually get a quarterback to complete 60% of their passes to Goldy, they will be able to put some points on the board.
Northwestern: I probably shouldn’t be typing this as I am skipping having some semblance of a lunch, but I can’t kelp but think Arby’s when it comes to love and Northwestern. Arby Fields has a certain Tyrell Sutton to his game. Roast beef between the tackles, curly fries on the outside, and hands as soft and cool as a Jamocha shake. I’ll stop now.
Ohio State: Tresselball looks to be as much of a comforting force as a sweatervest on a cool September evening. Terrelle Pryor cannot be keyed on this season. Team Boom-Saine is back and ready to roll. And with the awesome Dane Sanzenbacher ready to catch more passes? You can see this team ready to lose (or win?) another BCS game.
Penn State: We all know that Evan Royster is awesome, and we all know that with a stronger offensive line and an inexperienced quarterback, we’re not going to see this team roll out in a high defenition wild style. Now that being said, I like Silas Redd better than Evan Royster. It’s for obvious reasons.
Purdue: I know it seems as if I’m going to mock someone for not being able to handle Jacory Harris and The U, but Robert Marve has found a tremendous opportunity. Even a down year at Purdue allows a quarterback chances of success in terms of statistics. And spending a winter in West Lafayette after spending a winter in Miami? If Robert Marve does not have a chip on his shoulder he is lazier than I am.
Wisconsin: As a homer? I have to admit the hype of this years team kind of scares me. Not to say that there isn’t a lot to like here. The Badgers look to have a very strong offense with John Clay having a monster season and with Scott Tolzien looking like the best returning passer. But J.J. Watt needs someone else to emerge as sort of awesome as well. It’s the wrong conference to have an inexperienced D-line.

Conference USA
East Carolina
: Dwayne Harris has a chance to develop a special relationship with whoever emerges as the quarterback. He returned three kicks for scores last year and caught 83 passes from Patick Pickney. This year he gets some semblance of the air raid offense with Lincoln Riley calling the plays. Considering the situation the team’s in? He could threaten 130 catches.
Houston: Underrated in the Case Keenum throw the ball all over the field train? The Cougars have two tremendous runners. After Bryce Beall got hurt during the season? Charles Sims came out and won Conference USA’s Freshman of the year award with a decent season running the ball and remarkably soft hands. (70 catches). Sims has a touch of Reggie Bush in him. And they’re gonna be really dangerous because of it.
Marshall: The defense has a real thumper in Mario Harvey. 100-plus tackles and 7 sacks to his credit in 2009 and with Kellen Harris and Vinny Curry along the front seven? This front seven has a chance to be best in breed. The offense on the other hand. They got this interesting recruit to throw the ball around? If only I could remember his name? (Willy Korn).
Memphis: If you want a quarterback with a good omen in his name? Cannon Smith has to be the antithesis of Kale Pick. This Miami Transfer is the best case to improve the Tigers 2-10 record last year. But if he doesn’t… you know who his dad is, right? He’s the CEO of Federal Express and the T. Boone Pickens of this shit. So it’s win win, kid. Win. Win.
Rice: For a team that went into November threatening to join Western Kentucky and Eastern Michigan as a reverse unbeaten, the Owls are downright spry. Last years team was unlucky and young.  This years team returns 20 starters and adds Sam McGuffie to a strong backfield. All right, I’ll say it. The Owls will make a bowl game.
SMU: I know that pass efficiency is not the most accurate of stats. But if you consider the fact that 200 pass attempts is the qualifying number for efficiency rating? Case Keenum was not the best quarterback in Conference USA. It was the Mustangs Kyle Padron. He may have lost Emmanuel Sanders and Shawnbrey McNeal, but he’s got three years of eligibility left. He’s gonna be on draftboards come 2011.
Southern Miss: One of the few teams I have gone to the repeat well upon on multiple occasions was your Golden Eagles. DeAndre Brown is big, rangy, and has the De prefix on the name that just adds a certain piquant flavor to the on-field skills. But they’ve found a defensive counterpart to it as well! Cordarro Law. He’s big. Pass-rushy. And he has a name of a lost Babylonian Code of Conduct. So yay.
Tulane: The portmanteau that makes twelve year old me chuckle the most resides here. Casey Robottom is the leading returning pass catcher for the Green Wave. Previous generations of families were employed as robot butts to the Steam Punk builders in the last generation. It was hard dangerous work. They’re proud of Casey for getting into such a good school.
Tulsa: An unlucky team with an unorthodox full Malzahn styled offense has a chance to be something very interesting. Left Tackle Tyler Holmes should be healthy. And if he’s healthy? G.J. Kinne has a chance to do a real nice Mitch Mustain impression. And Charles Clay? Charles Clay is a real nice thumper.
UAB: The most surprising fact about the Blazers is that quality safety Hiram Atwater is in no way related to badass Denver Bronco Steve Atwater. Hiram hits hard. He covers the field with a quality amount of athleticism. And he makes a lot of plays. Hiram Atwater Senior may have never played the game. But the Sales Rep has brought a strong player into Birmingham.
UCF: I may not be an active trendhunter, but in doing my research, I’ve found something. We are becoming a college football world where the running backs have names of ladies. Christine Michael was the first. But we’ve found two more. One resides in Central Florida. The name? Brynn Harvey. He’s coming off of a thousand yard season.
UTEP: The cultural irrelevancy of conference USA can be locked down to a late night game in El Paso last September. Donald Buckram went off for 262 yards versus the Houston Cougars and helped UTEP get 58 on the then #12 Cougars. Blame him for the lack of interest in Houston going to the Big 12. Blame him for no run for the BCS for the conference. And blame him for keeping Mike Price from being fired.

Independents (FBS)
Army: They went into the last game of 2009 needing a win to qualify for a bowl game.  And all credit goes to Trent Steelman. His talent does not matter. The name implies that he is the sort of gunslinger who is just having fun out there. And he deserves to be treated as such.
Navy: If you could have someone considered to be a service academy NFL Draft prospect? You need to get hyped for Jabaree Tuani. To be a 3-4 defensive end that’s about 4 inches and 30 pounds below your standard issue prospect and find yourself being a real disruptive force is impressive. To do it as a Sophomore is amazing.
Notre Dame: Have you ever been to Braxston Cave? If not you should go. It houses a lot of bats. Blitzing stalactites and stalagmites. But if you go? Be careful. You may roll up and find yourself getting iced.

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Mid-American
Akron: They always say that great writers steal, and from Matt Sussman I will bestow my entry for the Zips. Their quarterback is named Pat Nicely, which is the standard for the Minnesota State Patrol. (An aside: I do enjoy players whose name could be considered a sentence. So yeah. Whoo.)
Ball State: Ball State returns every starter on offense from last years team that went the top of the mountain to 2-10. Stan Parrish believes in Kelly Page as much as you could believe in any quarterback with a girls name.  And with a veteran offensive line and the return of MiQuale Lewis? They will at the very least put multiple points upon the scoreboard.
Bowling Green: The pic-a-nic baskets around Bowling Green, Ohio will be in danger as we come through this summer. The reason? “Booboo” Gates. He’s a freshman with the wheels that have allowed him to terrorize Jellystone Park for the better part of six decades now. Just so long as his mentor “Worldwide” Yogi Bear doesn’t prove to be a negative influence.
Buffalo: The Bulls have a shark hunting the deep third of the field. He led the team in tackles last year. He may not have the De prefix to his name, but you know what? I think Davonte Shannon is just fine enough to do good work without needing a vowel switch. He’s great at the killshot.
Central Michigan: Killer B’s rule the Chip nation after the graduation of Dan LeFevour and Antonio Brown. The linebacker tag team of Nick Bellore and Matt Berning is a dual threat of 100 tackles and can help to withstand the graduations along the defensive line. Add to that a shout-out to famed over-actor Armand Assante in the misspelled Armond Staten? And you have some quality linebacking.
Eastern Michigan: I know when you have two quarterbacks it seems as if you’re stuck with zero. But when that’s the total amount of wins you had last season, the potential future of the quarterback position is where hope begins. And as I pat myself on the back for that segue? I will tell you that Alex Gillett played well in an untenable situation and Devontae Payne has the build and athleticism that could lead to an interesting impression of Terrelle Pryor somehwere down the line.
Kent State: Cobra-la-la-la-la-la is the battle cry for the Golden Flashes. It’s in response to the excellent linebacking of Middle Linebacker and RichRod runoff Cobrani Mixon. He’s got good physical gifts that he brings to the table, and as this team stands to be pretty good, Cobrani may have power in his future.
Miami (OH): In 2008, it was Buffalo. In 2009, it was Temple. In 2010, the Redhawks are the breakout candidate. They had severe bad luck with injuries and turnovers last year. This year? They have potential professional Zac Dysert being protected by an offensive line that returns every starter. Nine defensive starters return.  They won all of a game last year. This year? They could be playing for the conference championship.
Northern Illinois: Following a thread from Central Florida, we’ve got a hotshot JUCO who’s threatening thousand yard rusher Craig Spann. And I will tell you this. Doing a Garrett Wolfe impression makes Jasmin Hopkins feel like a princess. A pretty, pretty princess.
Ohio: It’s going to be another mixed pop culture metaphor, but the Ohio receiving corps, even with the loss of Taylor Price, is going to make fans of the Bobcats fart with an aww yeah. Okay, let’s see if I can’t dig myself out. Price may have been a good home run threat, but Terrance McGee was just as good. Steven Goulet has that essential Goulet. And LaVon Brazill? His return skills make you go aww yeah. Aww yeah.
Temple: If you’re a MAC watcher? You have to be wondering what last years breakout team is going to do for an encore. I’m not going to take liberty of making a projection, but I will say this. Bernard Pierce stays healthy? Chester Stewart will be allowed to molest a defense. And the odds of them getting to ten wins are pretty, pretty good.
Toledo: The Rockets have a shot to get all literary with the return of a Freshman sensation named Eric Page. He led all Freshman in terms of catches and receiving yards. He also does some return work with a decent amount of skills. Austin Dantin has a good target to get the ball to.
Western Michigan: Aaron Winchester is the sort of guy who looks like he could have been better served by being an East Coast Heir going west to find his fortune in Red Dead Redemption. But as such? He’s got the speed and small frame power of a bullet. And he steps into the light as a potential heir to the Bronco’s offense.

Mountain West
Air Force
: The reason why Troy Calhoun stayed in Colorado Springs? He’s got a quality running back stable. For somebody who runs out of the flexbone? You’ve got a lot of talent. Asher Clark and Jared Tew are both quality runners. Tew is the thumper. Clark is the converted ex-quarterback. Tew is by the book. Clark is the loose cannon who plays by his own rules. As much as the service academy would allow.
BYU: Like so many second banana’s, it takes adversity for their opportunity to shine. After Harvey Unga left school, there’s an opportunity for carries. The best choice? JJ De Luigi. And if you need me to explain why he is the perfect second banana running back name, I will tell you to kindly go fuck yourself. Kindly.
Colorado State: I was going to talk about Mychal Sisson’s quality defense in terms of launching himself into ballcarriers. But I paged through The Sporting News College Football Preview. It named Pete Kontodiakos the biggest underachiever in the Mountain West. He’s the Rams Punter. Can you see why this is hilarious to me?
New Mexico: Now, I’ve made plenty of mention on how the “Boy named Sue” has made inroads at running back. But did you know that the Lobos have it at linebacker? It’s true! Carmen Messina led college football with 162 tackles as the team was kind of bad. He returns. And the defensive line may allow him more free reign.
San Diego State: The Aztecs get a hope spot. As last year, Ryan Lindley was getting hit and hit hard by defenses last year. And he managed a 55% completion rate and a positive TD-INT ratio. This year? 4 starters on the offensive line and a solid junior college recruit should protect Lindley better. As such, the Atzecs should get better for it.
TCU: Just like you want a quarterback named Cannon, you would want a linebacker named Tank. And in Tank Carder, the Horned Frogs have themselves someone downright beastly in the middle of the field. He’s the returning leader in tackles, tackles for loss, and in an ironic twist of fate? Pass breakups.
UNLV: I’m always convinced that someone who ends their names with two consecutive consonants, unless it’s something acceptable like Bill or Glenn, will go through life with a chip on their shoulder. Starr Fuimaono is the sort of man built to play middle linebacker. And if he stays healthy? His tackles number could get doubled very easily.
Utah: Eddie Wide is the starting running back with an ironic name. Why? Because the an is simply and positively svelte in terms of running back size. Get it? He’s fast and the back-up is wide! The fact you think this joke is unfunny is the reason why the Utes are joining the Pac-10. That and the money. More the money.
Wyoming: The spread offense is something where the quality of the quarterback dictates the quality of play. And for the Cowboys? Austyn Carta-Samuels led Wyoming to a bowl victory last year with little more than pluck and a dude named Alvester playing wingman. This year, Austyn has the opportunity to consolidate his skill set and grow his brand.

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Pacific-10
Arizona: Considering the tomfoolery coming home to roost of the top two programs? There’s an opening for the Wildcats getting in on the Rose Bowl. They have a spectacular pass rusher in Ricky Elmore, a shut down cornerback in Trevin Wade, and a talented arm in Nick Foles. If Nic Grigsby stays healthy? They’ve got a chance at something special.
Arizona State: Vontaze Burfict is a bad man. If you’re looking for a man who will be voted most likely to knock a sucker the fuck out? Burfict is perfect. There doesn’t seem to be much else here? But Burfict will get Arizona State on SportsCenter at least one Saturday Night.
California: The chain of crazy numbers put up by the Golden Bears running game since Jeff Tedford’s arrival has been underrated. From J.J. Arrington to Marshawn Lynch to Justin Forsett to Jahvid Best? The Bears have always had quality on the ground game. Shane Vereen? He’s going to maintain the lineage.
Oregon: One could politely call the off-season of the Ducks adventurous. Mention Jeremiah Masoli to one Dan Rubenstein and chuckle at his involuntary flinch. But the fact remains (at least as of this writing) they still have LaMichael James. But you have Lache Seastrunk if James can’t cool out. I may just root for Seastrunk on the principle of awesome names alone.
Oregon State: There’s really nothing else beyond the sequel to the Rodgers brothers. These are tiny men who allow the Beavers to matriculate the ball down the field. And they are awesome. They just need a quarterback to manage the game and provide aid and comfort to the Rodgers. Ryan Katz may not be a doctor, but he just might be the proper therapist.
Stanford: You may not realize it when you consider that Stanford spent most of the Aught’s in the wilderness and their one professional draftee turned out to be Trent Edwards, but Stanford’s been a place where good quarterbacks have emerged. Andrew Luck has a chance to rebuild the lineage. With 4 returning starters on the offensive line and a deep and solid receiving corps,  Toby Gerhart’s graduation may not hurt the offense nearly as much as one would think.
UCLA: Kevin Prince has an opportunity to sneak into the radar screens of drafters, draftniks, and general fans of college football, Nick Foles style. He has four returning linemen and two pretty good receivers in Nelson Rosario and Taylor Embree. I know it’s not going to inspire much love from this entree, but that’s something I know Rick Neuheisel has to bet on.
USC: Suddenly, Lane Kiffin gets to do an impression of Terry Bowden at Auburn. Because this is still a tremendously talented team with a strong amount of youth energy. Dillon Baxter is someone you need to believe the hype in. But if they don’t go anywhere, will they give a damn in a conference where suddenly anyone believes they can make a dream run? Lane Kiffin may be good at things, but motivation is not be one of them.
Washington: Jake Locker has probably cost himself something around 20 million dollars with his decision to return and attempt to be the minor circuit champion of the Pac-10. Though it would surprise me if he doesn’t improve his numbers. Chris Polk emerged as a quality running back, and the receivers and line are deep and experienced as well. It’s a difficult schedule, but they’ll get a well-deserved bowl game out of it.
Washington State: Here’s the thing? Washington State may not be completely terrible. They have 9 returning starters from an offense that broke badly last year. It should improve. But their defensive line has a real chance to be strong like bull. 4 returning starters and experienced depth behind them. And Paul Wulff loves the linebacking corps. It may not get them to a bowl game, but it may not be an easy W, here.

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Southeastern
Alabama
: Marcell Dareus may not have been necessary to win the national championship, but he sure did help. If he didn’t seperate the shoulder of a goofy looking motherfucker like Colt McCoy, they wouldn’t have had to force a true freshman to climb out of such an insurmountable hole. Football is a violent game, and Dareus will break some fools again next year.
Arkansas: Arkansas returns ten starters on offense. Not just the chill bro cannon arm of Ryan Mallett. Not just two big power backs in Broderick Green and Ronnie Wingo. Not just all linemen besides the right guard. Not just a deep, talented, and tough receiving corps. (Joe Adams didn’t let a STROKE end his season). Everybody.
Auburn: Cameron Newton once bumped hips with Tim Tebow in celebration of a beat down of some random non-conference strange. He has since found his way through the shadows and into the light of the plains. There’s a real scenario where the Tigers are going to get to the Iron Bowl unbeaten. And it will come from the physical gifts of Cam Effin’ Newton.
Florida: The strength this year? Speed. Pure badass American speed. Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps will start and be home run threats. And Andre Debose may be a better player and athlete. Add Mike Gillislee’s athleticism and Steve Addazio may add a fly sweep to his QB Dive and Y Stick.
Georgia: It’s not an automatic guarantee that a talented 4-3 defensive end is going to rock as a 3-4 OLB. But Georgia has a very interesting talent who’s making the transition. Justin Houston is the SEC’s returning leader in sacks. He comes correct in 2010 and a lot of defensive worries get solved.
Kentucky: I was lucky, I had never made mention of Randall Cobb’s versatile weapon based awesomeness. And he’s a force of nature and he will win at least two games by himself this year. It’s a necessary thing, at least until Mister Cobble and Qua Hizzle are ready for battle.
LSU: The obvious rap song reference to LSU is Aesop Rock’s “None Shall Pass.” The secondary from LSU is deadly. Morris Claiborne’s cat-like agility is strong enough to move Jai Eugene to safety. Brandon Taylor has been great at Strong Safety. And lest we forget Pat Peterson. Nobody’s gonna throw on them.
Mississippi: Mississippi always has a strong defensive line. That’s why the Admiral Akbar as mascot meme has failed. Jerrell Powe and Kentrell Lockett are jocks. Star Wars fans are their natural enemies. One drunken night in Oxford? They walked right in a trap and walked out unscathed.
Mississippi State: Not since A Christmas Story had family dogs upsetting Darren McGavin’s shit have we seen a Bumphis finding a way to wreak havoc. Chad Bumphis has the skills to get open and the athleticism to take balls to the house. A quarterback gets the ball to him, and it’s not a question of maybe. He will be awesome.
South Carolina: He may be the #2 receiver in terms of looks and perception, but you know what? Tori Gurley’s name is infinitely better at being mocked than an Alshon Jeffrey. You know I wouldn’t have the guts to do it to his face, but he’s a big wideout with a lady name. It’s all upside in Gamecock nation.
Tennessee: They may not be in a position to start fast, but this is a team that has some real interesting skill position talent. Gerald Jones is the leader of a veteran receiving corp that helped rehabilitate Jonathan Crompton from catfish to a draftable quarterback. He has another challenge to lead this year. Add in Tauren Poole stepping into the Volunteer running back factory? And this team could finish fast.
Vanderbilt: If you’ve come this far, you know that I am a fan of bloodlines. You also know that I am a shameless (if not pensive) homer. So when I heard that Vanderbilt, whose quarterbackery last year was…sketchy, shall we say, went the JC route to get a prospect named Jordan Rodgers. AND HE’S RELATED TO AARON RODGERS. Vanderbilt has somebody to love. Done.

Sun Belt
Arkansas State
: With the recruiting of Dwayne Frampton, the Red Wolves look to come alive offensively. You have a veteran offensive line and an interesting battle at quarterback between Ryan Aplin and Phillip Butterfield. Whoever wins has a team on the verge of being very interesting.

An aside? How dare Phillip Butterfield accept a number other than 8?
Butterfield 8 Pictures, Images and Photos
Florida Atlantic: If you’re looking for a strong safety, you don’t normally look toward a man listed at 5’9″ and 161 pounds. But then again? Marcus Bartels is not most men. With a gashed defensive line? Bartels was the last line of defense. And he navigated with style and aplomb.
FIU: He may not be listed as the #1 on the depth chart at present, but you have to respect Toronto Smith. One, it allows Bill Simmons to make a reference to Teen Wolf, and you know that’s never happened before. Two, he’s the returning leader in sacks and tackles for loss. And three? His parents named him after a Canadian city. That’s awesome.
LA Lafayette: It may sound crazy, but in the world where the move tight end that spreads the field is in vogue in the NFL? The Ragin’ Cajuns may have a legitimate NFL Prospect. He’s LaDarius Green, and it may just be from one play, but the dude caught a 91 yard TD pass. If he has a good year, do not be surprised to see him drafted in Round 3.
LA Monroe: An inexperienced line may tamper expectations, but the Warhawks have one of the best in the Sun Belt with Frank Goodin. He runs hard and he runs angry. He just needs a little Junior College magic to get back to previous levels.
Middle Tennessee: I try to avoid sequels. So I will only mention Dwight Dasher in passing. He operated at peak efficiency because he had lighting named DD Kyles at tailback. He gets the thunder of Phillip Tanner coming back as well. Favorites of the Sun Belt? Absolutely.
North Texas: Names with lyricism are awesome. Names that you could break out a bad NBA Public Address announcer? Just beautiful. The Mean Green’s best pass rusher fits both of these qualifications. David Akpunku. Try it. Ak-Puuuuuuuuuuuuunk-u! Awesome.
Troy: Now, the urge to make a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang joke in celebration of hotshot recruit B.J. Chitty is strong. But I will fight it. And I will fight making a Sidney Moncrief reference in relation to Brett Moncrief. Why? The double Double J’s. Josh Jarboe is the man good enough to get a scholarship to Oklahoma. Jerrel Jernigan is the reliable target with angry skills in terms of kick returns.
Western Kentucky: It may not be an easy road for the Red Drank to crawl out of last seasons wreckage. But the cupboard is not completely bare. If you consider how consistently the defensive line was gashed last year? Thomas Majors managed 101 tackles. He now has a tag team’s worth of beef protecting him. It’s a long road back, but they’ll take the next step.

Western Athletic
Boise State
: Point of fact? The lovely and talented writer of whose that you see in front of you hates memes. They’re hacky and no good joke usually comes out of them. This means I kind of have to root against Boise State early on. Talk of Boise as BCS Champion sounds as painful to me as the spiciest piece of Flying Pie pizza. (But if they get there? I won’t be rooting for an upset.)
Fresno State: Robbie Rouse may not be a trendsetter because his is the name of a dude. But he is adorably Quinton Griffin sized. And with the graduation of Ryan Matthews and Lonyae Miller? He has the entire field to himself for run game purposes. And the line that got Matthews to the 1st Round in the NFL draft? Returns everybody.
Hawaii: The Rainbow Warriors have three quality pieces at wideout. And none of them are adorably gritty like Davone Bess either. Darius Bright is the hotshot recruit with very intriguing triangle numbers. (6’5″ 225 4.47) Mark Salas is the 6’2″ guy who came up from being a walk-on to grabbing 106 balls last year. And Kealoha Pilares is a pass catcher who can turn into a running back when he gets the ball in space. Never mind week one. This team can be good.
Idaho: The one bit of good news that came out of last season was that a nation of college football fans discovered that Idaho head coach Robb Akey was actually pretty awesome. Sweet shades, a cool mustache, and the voice of a jazzman. This team may be underestimated again, but the fact that they recruited Pat Forde’s superhero alter-ego Maxx Forde proves that they are not to be forgotten. (A beefy O-line in a mid-major also helps too.)
Louisiana Tech: Ross Jenkins is what someone would consider to be the luckiest boy in America. He was an efficient and generally solid thrower under the Derek Dooley regime. He gets to be the wheelman for the air raid offense. Or it could be Auburn transfer and spring practice ace Steven Emsinger. Either way? They have a potentially special receiver in Phillip Livas.
Nevada: In the insane offensive numbers that the Wolfpack can pull up on the ground? They had a three headed monster of thousand yard rushers. With the graduation of Luke Lippincott? Vai Taua suddenly has a chance to take a chokehold on the time share. 1,500 yards rushing may only be his floor. Also? Vai is a girls name. So you have to love that.
New Mexico State: Not for nothing, but there is something to build on here. Seth Smith is a nondescript name for a thousand yard rusher. And when you consider how successful the passing game was (6 TD/17 INT),  Smith had a tremendous season. And the Aggies can roll out a quality pass rush as well with Pierre Fils and Donte Savage. They’re kind of like Hawaii. They won’t be dominant, but they should be quite improved.
San Jose State: In history, Pompey was named an emperor in the Roman triumvirate because he was an easy mark. Now while I am clearly mixing my metaphors by invoking Rome with Spartan matters, Pompey Festejo is not a man to be trifled with. He is a bad, bad man.
Utah State: Robert Turbin was a sophomore who one could deem unjinxed. At least until the kid tore his ACL in February.  So, the Aggies turn their lonely eyes once again to Diandre Borel. He had a nice year last year. If the line makes something out of the fact that they’re experienced? He will be great again.

So there you go. 120 teams. All up in here. College football is coming. And it’s gonna be fun.

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January 24, 2010

Briefly?

Filed under: Championship Week,I'm Not Ready For The Football! — by Andrew @ 12:38 pm

The Colts crushed the Ravens. And if they can do that to the Ravens, they have enough to do that to the Jets, and if the Jets have to pass? F-u-c-k Fucked. Fucked. Fucked.

But I’m rooting for a quarantined Zombie Apocalypse.

In the NFC Championship game, one of the most underrated aspects of the Saints is their offensive line. And while the Vikings can generate a pass rush? The Saints just have too much.

Not to say that Favre wouldn’t get 28-31 points? Just that the Saints are coming. And they’re gonna get to 40. And if they win the Super Bowl?

New Orelans will magically be healed! Huzzah!

September 6, 2009

The Seven interesting facts about today in College Football…

I know, I’m rocking you with lists. But I do this because I’m trying to rehab my creative juices and at least attempt to masturbate the text down the page. And as today was most definitely an interesting part of college football, we’ll discuss what happened and what may yet happen.

7) As bad as the ACC’s day was? The Big Ten’s day could have been worse.

I know. Not much can beat the CAA proving that its best is at least as good as the ACC’s middle of the pack. But here’s what the Big Ten nearly had happen.

Iowa had to have two field goals blocked in the final seconds to beat Northern Iowa.
Minnesota nearly lost to Syracuse. In overtime, no less.
Ohio State had to stop a two point conversion to beat Navy.
And Wisconsin had to make a big stop to keep from having Northern Illinois come all the way back from a 28-6 defecit.

Next week? Next week could be really bad for your would be Midwestern heroes.

6) BYU could pose a real problem.

With the upset over Oklahoma? They have three tough games. All three are in Provo. I say if you beat Oklahoma, Florida State, TCU and Utah. You deserve a National Championship game.

5) USC won’t be up for Cal.

But Cal has to win in Autzen to get to USC. Cal destroyed the team that beat them last September. SC has to deal with both Washington teams. The game’s in Berkley. If anyone’s running the table in the Pac-10? It’s not going to be USC.

4) Landry Jones looks like a child molestor.

3) The SEC is as I would expect.

Florida and Alabama are the upper echelon. Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, and Tennessee are the solid second tier. Everybody else inspires nothing.

2) Don’t sleep on Houston next week.

They have a superpowered offense and can go toe to toe with anybody. Oklahoma State just beat a Top 10 team. It’s a shootout definitely, but don’t be surprised if the Cougars spring a trap. It looks to be that sort of a year.

1) This is going to be a mess, much like 2007.

And that’s gonna be fun.

September 5, 2009

The Ten Most…The Ten Interesting Cut Day Moves.

Filed under: Boring Homerism,Cut cut cut,I'm Not Ready For The Football! — by Andrew @ 11:30 pm

Like incidents in congress or picks on Day 2 of an NFL Draft, cut day promises something interesting and delivers little more than a list post among the interested. So I’ll tell you this. Ten moves intrigued me. I will list them accordingly.

10) Tyrell Sutton and Kregg Lumpkin RB Green Bay (In what seemed to be a heated competition, and one where there was a 2nd round draft choice from 2007 who came up lame, the Packers kept him and didn’t keep 4 runners.)
9) Tony Pashos RT Jacksonville (Lost his stride with the rookie tackle infusion, can still play.)
8) Cedric Peerman RB Baltimore (He was the stealthy sleeper pick of choice by most draft wonks going into the season. Just landed on the wrong team to get that opportunity.)
7) Anthony Smith S Green Bay (A veteran who had a solid camp on a team with some injuries in the secondary. Just surprised me tis all.)
6) Ronald Curry WR St. Louis (The most star-crossed athlete from the late-90’s until know. A tougher than leather solid veteran. Baltimore would love him.)
5) Brian Brohm QB Green Bay (Not to belabor the point, but in two years he goes from a future #1 pick to unemployed.)
4) Bernard Pollard SS Kansas City (The Tom Brady Ligament assassin is actually quite good in the special teams as well as on the blitz. And it’s not often that you just out and out cut a starter.)
3) Jeff Garcia QB Oakland (He’s still a solid professional who can be a worthy stopgap for any team that’s missing a starter for four to six weeks.)
2) Jamal Lewis doesn’t get cut (Because at the point that they decided that they were going to keep Lewis, they knew about someone with more tread on the tires who just came free.
1) Dominic Rhodes RB Buffalo (Any team that’s looking for a solid runner who can take the onus off of the #1 can get themselves a veteran runner for little more than a song.)

I’ve never been much for patting myself on the back.

But today? I look back at this thread. This was my most controversial take in the three year history of my blog. I was severe in my dislike toward this selection. And I actually had some Louisville fans come to Brohm’s defense. I miss that.

But anyway, I make mention of this post because today the Packers have released Brian Brohm. Less than 18 months after they traded to get this pick, he’s gone. He was so bad, that they would rather go with a back-up quarterback who has no clue about the system and a guy with a seperated shoulder as back-ups then Brian Brohm.

Am I gloating? Yes I am. But I called this. I am the champion my friend.

I! AM THE CHAMPION! AGAIN!

No time for L’Ville, because I! AM THE CHAMPION! A-GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN!

August 22, 2009

Oh Josh McDaniels…

You’re going to get fired. Maybe it won’t be this year. But somebody’s off to a really bad start. Like Terry Porter in Phoenix sort of a start. It’s that bad I’m making a basketball reference.

Anyway. The reason why this is sort of an interesting turn of events? This is the sort of thing that Bill Belichick did in Cleveland. It’s true. Ask your resident member of Waiting for Next Year, major stars got run off for a seemingly irrational reason. I mean, Bernie Kosar may not have had the same sort of skills as a Jay Cutler, but they both got run for an odd reason.

And you have McDaniels deciding to not let Brandon Marshall make a run for big free agent dollars. I mean, you don’t have your baby T.O. play free safetyon scout team. It makes you scratch your head. Marshall seems as if he came to camp prepared. And Matt Cassell is showing himself to be hack.

But hey. That’s okay.

June 8, 2009

It’s time to start loving College Football again…

That’s right. This is one of the two things I bring when I bring the awesome. I list football teams. And I tell you why you should love them. This year becomes a challenge. I will try and bring you different reasons to love teams. You can find last years list. Google Eugene Jarvis. It may help.

Anyway…

Air Force: WATERGATE BLOODLINES ALERT! #1 receiver on the Depth Chart Kyle Halderman is a distant nephew of Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman. See? His family added the R to fool people into thinking that he doesn’t have the taint of Watergate on him. But I know better.
Akron: Chris Jacquemain has a chance to be somebody after three years of being somebody’s fool. He now gets to be taught by Walt Harris. Walt has coached 14 quarterbacks to an NFL career. And he could make Chris his 15th if the light turns on. If not? I’m sure the 4 starters at receiver would love to be taught by the guy who helped get Terry Glenn, Antonio Bryant, and Larry Fitzgerald to the pros.
Alabama: Requisite Saban hate aside, there are two names that you have to like. Terence Cody makes B.J. Raji look positively svelte with his monstrous manning midway through the trenches. And Javier Arenas is on Step 1 of the Tebow scale, but after people find out he’s been blogging about how he cheats at Halo and steals jokes from comedians? Heh. Heh. Heh. Seriously, Arenas is shifty at returns and will be a Day 2 bargain.

javier arenas
I am Agent Zero 2.8!

Arizona: The Zendejas name is to kicking as the name Jeff Robinson is to early-90’s mediocrity on the pitchers mound. Arizona has the latest if not the greatest in Alex. He may not be able to launch it from way downtown. But he’s deadly from inside 40. There needs to be a reality show about this family.
Arizona State: The only thing that you really need to like about Arizona State is the fact that their overaged baseball prospect has entirely too much juevos to play a skill position. His name is Mike Nixon. And he is made of heart.
Arkansas: They’re not going to bring the BCS power this year, the skill position guys are either tiny and injury-prone (Michael Smith-RB), inexperienced (every receiver not named London Crawford), or just flat out young. Add to that a defense that struggles to stop the run and an inexperienced backfield? And they are the wino eating grapes of the greatest confluence of talent since the New World Order. That means dude, you have to wait.
Arkansas State: With a team in the middle of Arkansas that resides in the bottom quarter of all esteem in 1-A football, you need to find the class where you can get it. For the Red Wolves, their touch of class comes from Alex Carrington. He is the Mid-Major rush end for the Trump set. THE MOST LUXURIOUS RUSH END MONEY COULD EVER BY!
Army: It would be easy to say that Army is hopeless. They’ve been averaging a coach every two seasons. And they all have been fail since 1997. But new hire Rich Ellerson brought winning to the magnificent vista of San Luis Obispo. He also confounded Wisconsin and really should have taken them down in Madison. I’m not saying he’ll bring glory straight away. But they may go into Navy with four or five wins. Baby steps.
Auburn: Let’s try this again, shall we? Can a system that allowed Todd Graham to become something more than a weirdo raper guy work in the big time? Auburn hired Gus Malzahn to find out. It kind of worked at Arkansas, but what happens when all the offensive players failed at this once already? That’s just intrigue.
Ball State: As MiQuale goes? So too the Cardinals. He’s not exactly Robotron, but MiQuale Lewis is a tiny running back who kept Ball State afloat after Dante Love’s career-ending injury last year. It’s his team now, and the Sproles-Jones Drew diaspora gets decided here. Tanner Justice can only administer his orange retribution via clipboard, it belongs to MiQuale.
Baylor: Here’s an obvious choice. Robert Griffin is awesome. He will carry this team upon his back and take Waco to football glory. You all never thought that happened, didn’t you? Didn’t you!

I know I didn’t…
Boise State: Kellen Moore came out of nowhere last year and nearly (should have) led the Broncos to the Bowl Championship Series. And if the line gells quickly, Kellen Moore has the weapons (Austin Pettis and Titus Young) and the schedule (if they beat Oregon week one, they’ll run the table) to get them back into the BCS.
Boston College: There was some beef in the middle of the defensive line last season. B.J. Raji and Ron Brace were 670 pounds of Ravioli in the middle. They’re professionals now. One of the replacements? Either Kaleb Ramsey or Brandon Deska. They’re linebacker-sized. In fact, Deska is 241 pounds. It amuses me. I love it.
Bowling Green: The 115th ranked total offense last season? Tennessee. The offensive coordinator/culprit? Dave Clawson. Bowling Green’s new coach? Dave Clawson. The schadenfreude from an inexplicable coaching higher can keep you warm at night. But Tyler Sheehan? He is better than what Tennessee has at quarterback.
Buffalo: They won’t fall off much. A healthy season from James Starks is worth a lot. Naaman Roosevelt has professional talent. It will allow Zach Maynard to grow into the job. But the reason to love them? Alex Pierre! He’s the special teams ace who will kill himself to get the experienced defense in position.
BYU: The skill positional weapons are very much the same as last year. Max Hall is still the quarterback, Harvey Unga is the thumper at running back, Dennis Pitta is the master of Y control. If a receiver (McKay Jacobson?) emerges, they could crash the BCS. It vibes like TCU’s schedule last year. Lose to Oklahoma in week one, and possibly run the table the rest of the way. (Granted, Florida State isn’t exactly a guaranteed win, but…)
California: Forget the awesomeness of Jahvid Best. You and know he’s most likely to roll-up on the Heisman like boo motherfucker, darkhorse style. I want to talk about the back-up quarterback Brock Mansion. HE’S NAMED AFTER A BUILDING! Or…Brock Sampson. Either way you know you love it.
Central Michigan: We all know about Dan LeFevour. He’s going to be somewhere in the draft next year. We get that. But you need to get hip to the hop about Antonio Brown. The world is falling back in love with the shifty and the versatile receiver. And he’s already drawing comparisons to Greg Jennings. You have to love that.
Cincinnati: I love a good sort of pass-catching combination. I’ll mention at least one more down the road. But you know who’s going to be the Montana to Rice of this season’s 1-A football? It’s going to be Tony Pike to Mardy Gilyard. And that will keep them near the level of prestige that they were accustomed to.
Clemson: Not to crack wise on the most beloved back-up quarterback in the Dabo Swinney era (Willy Korn), but there is still lightning and the hopes and dreams of a good offense with the skill positional talent. “Lightning” a.k.a. C.J. Spiller and “How the hell did Cullen Harper overthrow me again?” a.k.a. Jacoby Ford are still there. And two good triplets can lift up the third.
Colorado: The last chance to make it work is always something interesting. This is year four of the Dan Hawkins administration. And outside of a classic rant “GO PLAY INTRAMURALS!” and a loss to Nick Saban in the Independence Bowl? There has been little to celebrate. The last chance for Dan Hawkins redemption comes this season.

Dan Hawkins
Or he is going to be the happiest Offensive Coordinator ever.

Colorado State: Well, any two deep that allows me to drop the line “East-Man! He comes from the east to do battle with the Amazing Rando!” is enjoyable. Thanks to Juco transfer Jon Eastman, there. But I’m here to talk professionalism. And Rashaun Greer? He is going to go the way of Gartrell Johnson.
Connecticut: There’s been a tradition of strong defense and special teams in Randy Edsall football, and this season’s linebacking corp will be the linchpin of whatever success the Huskies have. And while Greg Lloyd will be the face of the defense, Scott Lutrus was the most productive part of it.
Duke: David Cutcliffe is a man whose made of quarterback success. It’s not just because he got to teach both Mannings how to quarterback. He coordinated a national championship with Tee Martin for Pete’s sake. This means good news for Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis. I know they have an awesome defensive tackle, but you know what? I don’t want to spell it. So Thaddeus wins.
Eastern Michigan: It’s rare that you can actually find an interesting quarterback on a team with such low expectations. But I mentioned Andy Schmitt last season, yeah? And players like the four returning starters on the line, intriguing big back Terrence Blevins, and possession receiver Jacory Stone mean this is an offense that can threaten to put up forty points on anybody. And that’s just fun.
ECU: The Pirates have Patrick Pinkney back to be the triggerman for a passing game that looks pretty solid. But the thing that allowed people to engage in ESPN logic about a BCS party crasher is back and its deep. The defense is strong. 8 returning starters, and great speed. They have another chance to make the media go all exuberant.
FIU: The Fighting Neds have an Action Jackson sort of consonance under center. Paul McCall took a team that was supposed to be blatantly awful, and got them five wins. For a sequel? He has five home games. And the inspirational leader that is A’Mod Ned has graduated. Can Paul McCall keep Mario Cristobal enthralled? He has the returning experience to do it.
Florida: You know what? The internet is bored with Superman too. Truth, Justice, and the American Way is hack. But enough about Tebow. Their defense is spectacular (with all 11 starters returning!) and will carry them through to their one conceivable challenge, October 10th, a road game (off a bye week) at LSU. Look for some New England Patriot styled boring dominance.

tim tebow
Meh.

Florida Atlantic: Rusty Smith is probably the most underrated quarterback going into 2009. He’s 6’5″ with a laser, rocket arm. He has skill position talent coming back. If he doesn’t get killed in the first weeks of the season? The Boy Adventurer is going to be great.
Florida State: The hopes and fears of Florida State are always tied to the core competency of their quarterback. The problem? Not since the days from Peter Tom Willis to Danny Kanell have they actually had a quarterback that has been able to bring something to the table. Christian Ponder is the latest in the line of tantalizing prospects. Kid does not have much help at wide receiver, but if somebody emerges? Ponder has the gifts to restore the chant, so to speak.
Fresno State: Bloodlines are what make the Valley intriguing. The interesting contender to start at quarterback a Freshman named Derek Carr. His brother was the former #1 pick. And apologies for not hyping you to Bear Pascoe last season. But at the very least? I’m giving you brother Vince. Last year he was the lead blocker to the rush’n’ attack. This year? He’s looking to make a “y” dynasty.
Georgia: They like Cox to lead them. The fans will utter let’s go Cox from Between the Hedges. Get it? Okay, putative new starting quarterback Joe Cox is a lot more David Greene than Matt Stafford. But since he has A.J. Green? He will be a very solid quarterback with a name that makes the 12 year old in me laugh my ass off.
Georgia Tech: Yes, we all know and love the option. And Jonathan Dwyer is a man who brings lightning and thunder all at once as the Flexbone fullback. But you know what? There’s a whisper. You don’t want to make this comparison lightly. But with a receiver of such size and physical skills in Demaryius Thomas? There’s whispers that he could develop into Megatron. He’s professional.
Hawaii: I could talk about the inherent evil of someone who holds the surname Funaki. But lacking a Michinoku, Hawaii missed a real opportunity. But there’s redemption at linebacker. The immortal Blaze Soares still resides in Honolulu. He will be good again.
Houston: Case Keenum is a gunslinger like no other. He has Bryce Beall running the ball and Tyron Carrier as the leader of a coterie of talent at receiver. And you know the fun part? None of them are seniors. 2009 may be good (and I can see them going 12-1), but 2010 is where the rubber meets the road.
Idaho: I mentioned Deonte Jackson last year. He’s back, but not nearly as interesting as a junior strong safety on the other side of the field. His is a game that makes Shelby Foote get up from his grave and applaud. America? Meet Shiloh Keo.
Illinois: Jeff Cumberland was a microcosm for the way the Illini broke last season. A physically gifted but underperforming team that was unwilling to change its ways even after shit got real and Jeff Cumberland broke a dude’s jaw. But he’s a 255-pound wideout. How can the Zooker bench him? Juice needs weapons, baby.
Indiana: Do you like pass-rushing? I like pass-rushing. Indiana can generate the sack attack. Jammie Kirlew finished strong last season. Greg Middleton was an All-American in 2007. When their powers combine? Indiana may coalesce enough wins to get to a bowl game. Baby steps.
Iowa: Their defense always amuses me. From the undersized defensive tackles to the lamest superhero ever manning the middle, (Pat Angerer: He likes it when you’re angry) the black heart and gold pants is always a delight when they don’t have the ball. And with potential parody of a Raffi song in offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga? They will be arrested for another crime. Stealing the heart of a nation.
Iowa State: I know Iowa State’s history. It’s not very pretty. But Paul Rhoads has an ample opportunity for a quick turnaround. He has a good passing game in Austen Aurnaud, he’s going to throw it to Sedrick Johnson and Darius Darks. And they have two years to build this team back to the bowl level. Why? They don’t have to face Oklahoma or Texas. A Kansas run may be a bridge too far, but eight wins by 2010 isn’t.
Kansas: Now I actually have an excuse to break out my most favorite photo of all time. No, it’s not a photo of Dezmon Briscoe, who while the second best Dez in the Big 12 does have a professional quality about him as a 6’3″ dude with passable wheels. It’s not Jonathan Wilson, who’s also tall and rangy and a returning starter. Back-up quarterback Kerry Meier developed into Todd Reesing’s Wayne Chrebet. He’s tall, he has the eye of Reesing on third down, and he has the greatest picture of all-time.


YAY!

Kansas State: A part of the history of Bill Snyder is the adorably tiny weapon. You’ve seen Darren Sproles, you’ve forgotten about David Allen. But as Bill Snyder returns to try and restore some semblance of the roar, there’s a new mini cooper. He is Brandon Banks. 5’7″ 150 pounds of heart and speed. Gotta love it.
Kent State: Okay, I’ll make with the Eugene Jarvis love again. One, you can give him the nickname Robotron. I would love to be called Robotron. Two, he’s positively Sprolesian in terms of weaponized offense in a tiny package. And three? He plays his home games in Dix Stadium. See what I did there? Classy.
Kentucky: There isn’t likely to be quarterback wizardry this year from Big Blue, as if Randall Cobb is your quarterback, there is most definitely a problem. That being said, what returns on defense is really special. Micah Johnson is a solid thumper in the middle, and Trevard Lindley is going to be a 1st round pick next season. If they fill holes? Intrigue!
Louisiana Tech: Ruston’s going to get a major school record broken this season. With 1,123 yards? Daniel Porter becomes a record breaker. And with five returning starters and good health? Porter will get this done. They’ll go to a bowl game.
Louisiana-Lafayette: Orkeys Auriene is a name that is the most ragin’ of the Ragin’ Cajuns. Undrea Sails is the least Ragin’. Both need to bring it with a sickness if they are to maintain their .500 season. Fenroy and Desormeaux are gone. Consolidation is a good goal.
Louisiana-Monroe: Do you like wordplay? I don’t. But if I pretended I did, I would have to say this. ATTACK A CARDIA! It’s in praise of Cardia Jackson. He’s a returning all-conference linebacker who looks to explode in a New Mexico styled defense where the linebackers are set loose to attack. Preview for 2010? The Warhawks could have a Shaq Attack in the secondary!
Louisville: There’s a certain uncertainty toward Louisville this season. They have four quarterbacks and no one has emerged to take the job. They have 8 starters returning from a pretty bad defense. If it wasn’t for Victor Anderson at running back? They would be in a worse position then they are now.
LSU: You want to know who may electrify the NFL for a year? Trindon Holliday. Kid’s a burner and a half. He’s already with two kickoffs returned for touchdowns. And he will bring more quicksilver magic this season. I could talk Brandon LeFell, but Bayou Bengals receivers aren’t generally made of senior success.
Marshall: The Thundering Herd have found themselves with 200th generation bloodline powers. Starting tight end Jack Slate is a part of the Mr. Slate fortune. Really. I mean, what, you’re going to tell me that the Flintstones isn’t a documentary? Please. That’s just you being goofy, hypothetical reader.
Maryland: Paul Pinegar could never give up football. After he nearly took down the 2005 USC Trojans? He knew he wanted another chance at success. But he washed out of the pros as a quarterback. So he decided he wanted another chance at college success. He gained 45 pounds and now starts at left tackle for the Terps. What?
Memphis: I mentioned the height of the receivers last year. I mentioned the villainously named Arkelon Hall last year. But this year? It’s the run game that also earns love. One, the starter is named Curtis Steele. He came in and won newcomer of the year. But if the back-up can keep his head straight and fly right? Then Lance Smith may supplant him. He was a Badger, and he was better than what we had starting last year.
Miami: People named Ray Ray always bring that certain Je Nais Se Quoi. I mean, you can be a one-star prospect from Pocatello, Idaho and somebody would want to bring that home to the two-deep. But if he’s 6’4″ 220 and he’s downright rangy? You have to love that. Ray Ray Armstrong, America wants you to be the next great Miami safety. No pressure.
Miami (OH): It’s not as if any team can just roll up and be Buffalo. You have a bad year? Next year you’re not going to be great. But there does seem to be hope on the horizon. Peter Vaas has run successful offenses from Holy Cross to introducing America to Brady Quinn. Bull Reese is someone who brings the best 11 on defense to the field and had success at LSU and Texas. The Redhawks act patient? They’ll be back.
Michigan: When is a punter the best part of a team? When your punter is named Zoltan. I mean, come on.

Zoltan
Zoltan!

Michigan State: Dude, you’re getting a Dell! That’s what Rick Reilly would say if he took on what to love about Michigan State. Because while they are a team that’s not exactly expected to make magic on offense this year, they do have a guy who can remind some of Devin Thomas with his ability to make with the go route in Mark Dell.
Middle Tennessee: There’s a vaguely intriguing shot at redemption in terms of playcalling. Disgraced former Auburn Offensive Coordinator Tony Franklin comes back to the conference that allowed him such an opportunity to hit the epic fail. He has a quarterback who sounds like he would be awesome at the spread option (Dwight Dasher) and residence of the best city name in Division 1 (Murfeesboro). Tony Franklin’s redemption song’s going to be fun to watch.
Minnesota: Now seeing as my homeristic tendencies do not allow me to get too amped for the glories of a rival, I will keep this as dispassionate as possible. Adam Weber to Eric Decker is this years most underrated hook-up combination. I fear they may take the axe.
Mississippi State: Like Ed Orgeron, Dan Mullen’s coming off a national championship and bringing a strong recruiting class to Starkville. Year one is the building. Year two is the consolidation. Year three? ??? Year 4? Profit. I know, I know. 2012 as your year may be a sad story, but hey, you’re in the greatest confederation of talent since Ocean’s 11. No quick turnnarounds here.
Missouri: I know what you’re thinking right? Without Chase Daniel and the Marshall Faulk lookalike Jeremy Maclin, this team can’t be as good as they were last year. But you know what? Blaine Gabbert has better physical tools than Chase Daniel, and if Derrick Washington stays healthy, the offense will still make motion down the field. And that may be enough to get them back near the level thyey were accustomed to.
Navy: He thought that his home was his castle, with no one scrutinizing he. No pigs, no lyin’ bitch, no hassle. Y’all are brutalizing– Wait, Ricky Dobbs? Sorry. I’m supposed to talk about Ricky Dobbs being the most hyped option triggerman in the service academies since the days of Beau Morgan. No brutalizing him, okay?
NC State: As you’ve seen, I’ve gone a little esoteric with my ACC love. But you know what? The Wolfpack love will be obvious. Russell Wilson is a dynamic force at quarterback who may have a more successful season than Phillip Rivers in his future. Or he’ll play second base in Appleton, Wisconsin. One of the two.
Nebraska: Look. I know there are recruits coming in that are awesome. I know that there are awesomely named professionally talented defensive tackles who are forces of nature. I don’t care. Their starting running back is Roy Helu Jr. And that’s a name that strikes more fear when it’s uttered like a dandy fop. That’s what I love about Nebraska.
Nevada: I don’t normally like to repeat myself on these things. But Colin Kapernick is just that good. I know a part of the Nevada mythos is the Pistol offense. But Kapernick is Tim Tebow without any hype. Get him a photo with a comely lass and he blows Dan LeFevour out of the water.
New Mexico: Injury based redemption is the name of the game here. Donovan Porterie is the man who got them their last bowl game win with 3000 yeards passing and a name that goes great with andouille. But he tore his ACL last season. It turned them into a 4-8 team and turned Rocky Long into a defensive coordinator. Now he’s back. And he will get redemption.
New Mexico State: I was thinking of mentioning Timm Rosenbach. Really. Apparently the draft bust from the Arizona Cardinals has found second life as a quarterback whisperer. And he’s well-regarded. But you know what? No. Their strength is in their linebackers. New coach DeWayne Walker is a defensive superstar. Nick Paden was a tackling machine last season. Walker makes him all-conference.
North Carolina: You know what? If you’re going to be a quarterback on a top-20 caliber team, what the hell are you doing playing Ultimate Frisbee. You could go Robert Evans with a school that brings out some very attractive coeds. But you know what? That’s for my reasons to hate every team post. Never mind.
North Texas: You want a small school sleeper team? Go see the Fighting Von Erich’s. Five returning starters on the offensive line with surprising depth for a mid-major. Cam Montgomery is a hard-charging runner. And the coach has his kid running the offense. If the defense can go from zombified to merely bad? They’ll get to a bowl game.
Northern Illinois: Nobody can hate a dude named Chandler Harnish. One? His name is Chandler Harnish, it’s going to be the name of the guy who steals Zac Efron’s girlfriend in the remake of Better off Dead. Two? The game brings a touch Colt McCoy to DeKalb.
Northwestern: The Corey Wooton clan is not anything to fuck with. A big and fast pass-rusher who is going to cause trouble for anybody who would cross his path. And with a defensive that was pretty good last year and returning back seven experience? You may not have as much fun watching this team, but they might actually be better.
Notre Dame: Charlie Weis has a fun and easy new nickname. Fail Whale.

fail whale
And watch me get sued by Twitter…

Ohio: How do you know an offensive revolution has turned hack? When a luddite like Frank Solich has turned to it. Yep. Ohio has gone to the spread based option attack. Not to say that Theo Scott and Boo Jackson’s going to simulate Pat White, and Chris Garrett is a potential Noel Devine simalcrum. They’ll be fine on offense. Just trying to warn you about the spread backlash.
Ohio State: You know something? Terrelle Pryor didn’t suck last year. But that’s not the thing that intrigues me. Brandon Saine is. In a spread option offense, you can find success with a smaller back like Steve Slaton or the aforementioned Michael Smith. But Brandon Saine is 217 pounds of fire and fury. He has a chance to turn pro off of his success this season.
Oklahoma: You know about the offensive weapons. But what you need to get hip to is Gerald McCoy. There is a history of talent that made Jim Ross exclaim one of his trademark catchphrases from the defensive side of the ball. The next Tommie Harris is here, and his name is Gerald McCoy. But he totally looks like a Jermaine.
Oklahoma State: You know what? This one’s going to be as obvious as a fanboy’s drool after seeing the Star Wars MMO trailer at E3. Zac Robinson? Back. His bodyguard, Russell Okung? Back. Kendall Hunter? Back! Dez Bryant? Back! The sickest balance in pro sports? Back! I’m a man, I’m 40? Back! They’ll be the most fun 10-2 team you’ll see all year.
Ole Miss: You’re a school that lost two first round draft picks in the trenches, you’re going to have a sophomore start at left tackle in the single greatest collection of elements that ever existed since the Founding Fathers. But yet? Expectations are high. It’s a testament to the Jevan Snead magic. But I like the next Mike Thomas in Dexter McCluster. 5’8″ 165, shifty. Look for his name to be uttered by the football cognoscenti this next offseason.
Oregon: It’s not often when you can administer praise and scorn in equal measure in one sentence or less. But LeGarette Blount is about to get the most backhanded complement ever. Why? Because if he keeps on the road that he’s on? He’s the next Onterrio Smith.
Oregon State: Corvallis has the greatest brothers since the Mario’s. Quizz and James Rodgers are two baby sized men with grown assed talent. They missed the last two games when the Beavers broke badly, but you know what? They are back and better than ever!
Penn State: Navorro Bowman is another of the too good to sit character issues that have seemed to permeate through Happy Valley in recent years, I mean he racks up the tackles. Sean Lee was great in 2007. He’s looking for some injury redemption. Josh Hull rounds out the linebacker corps with general solidity in the middle. It’s as if this team should have a nickname or something.
Pittsburgh: Greg Romeus and Jabaal Sheard are a very nice tag team of defensive ends. In fact, I will bestow upon them a nickname that is at once beautiful in its simplicity. I shall call them the Midnight Express. Also? Jonathan Baldwin is on the journey to becoming the next great Pittsburgh wide receiver. And that’s nice.
Purdue: While some looked at the spread offense as the Boilermaker’s stock in trade, they have had 8 rush end-types make play in the NFL in recent seasons. And considering the inexperienced state of affairs that Purdue has running through their offensive skill positions? Love needs to be brought to Ryan Kerrigan. He’s the man that would be nine.
Rice: With Clement, Casey, and Dillard off to the great beyond, there will be some dropoff. John Thomas Shepherd may not be the Clement, and nobody’s going to replace Casey. But Toren Dixon is going to give you 90% of Jarrett Dillard. And most of the team will be back for 2010. Patience. The Owls shall return.
Rutgers: The skill talent is untested. But you know what? With a line like the Scarlet Knights have, they will manage to cull a good offense. Anthony Davis has got the athleticism of a tight end and the road grading skills of a road grader. And Tim Brown is a tiny receiver with Heisman trophy same name, and you know that’s just plain good.
San Diego State: San Diego State has been in the weeds for entirely too long. I mean, 15 years of mediocre to bad just seems unacceptable right? But Brady Hoke is coming out from Ball State as the new savior. I mean, he worked magic in Muncie. And he does have a promising quarterback in Ryan Lindley. A fast turnaround won’t happen, but hiring Hoke was a coup.
San Jose State: It is time to celebrate the return of the White Shadow, Kevin Jurovich. Yay! Kyle Reed and the Spartans were merely average without him. But wait, there’s more. The defense may have lost three draft picks to the NFL, but there are brothers. Carl and Duke. They care not for your worries of losing Jarron Gilbert. For they are Ihenachos. And Ihenachos leave it all on the field.
SMU: They say people with three names are either beauty queens or serial killers. That means there’s danger to playing in Dallas, for Bo Levi Mitchell is someone who brings the pain. June Jones is breaking out a run and shoot with a pistol formation. There will be shootous. Glorious shootouts.

smoke
South Carolina: The mercurial Stephen Garcia finally has the reins of the Gamecocks. And that’s good and all. But I’m here for a weapons check. If he stays healthy and sees the field? Jarvis Giles is going to be Colbert country’s answer to Jahvid Best.
South Florida: I know you know about George Selvie, and he will be drafted on day one. I know you know about Matt Groethe. He is still a good quarterback. That being said? Good bloodlines are always fun, and if you’re wondering if Jessie Hester is the junior of the former Colts receiver? Answer. Yes. Yes he is. And that’s just fun as well.
Southern Miss: The Hat has the offense that he’s always wanted. DeAndre Brown lived up to the hype and more as a Freshman. He will catch passes from record-breaking freshman Austin Davis (that means I think Favre lost some records). And add that to Daimon Fletcher’s solid run game? You know what you get. Magic. Hattiesburg magic.
Stanford: Toby Gerhart is a measty powerback. But you know what? He may not be there by draft day, let alone opening day. But with a line led by Chris Marinelli, if baseball calls Toby Gerhart, you will find that there won’t be much of a dropoff if Jeremy Stweart has to take the reins.
Syracuse: You know what? The team that generated three wins on little more than grit and spit is actually going to have a playmaker or two on offense. Delone Carter and Mike Williams missed last season. And with Cameron Dantley, the Cuse actually have a Big East talent level of triplets. It’s not enough yet, but it’s a start. Or not. Gary Marrone is an absolute madman!
TCU: Gary Patterson always comes up with a good defense. He has professional talent returning on three levels. Jerry Hughes is a pass-rusher extraordinaire. Rafael Priest is a shutdown cornerback. And Daryl Washington? He’s a man whose built on running and hitting. They’ll be able to reload on defnse.
Temple: I’m calling a shot here. Temple breaks through. They have 17 starters returning (6 of 7 on the defensive side of the ball), the variances of luck on their side (2 overtime losses, 3 losses by 4 or less in regulation), and a schedule that’s built to start well (5-1 is not out of the question–it took a Hail Mary for Buffalo to win last season). And no matter who wins the quarterback job, both have fun names. I’m going to make you find out for yourself. Google it. You’ll be glad you did.
Tennessee: Eric Berry is the top prospect. Lane Kiffin is the mad genius of recuiting. The weighing of mad and genius is debatable. But hey. Me, I want Montario Hardesty to win the starting job over Bruce Berry. One, for the name. It’s infinitely better. And two, because the recruiting process was not so flawed for Hardesty. And the name. Montario Hardesty. COME ON! Soak in that awesomeness.
Texas: You know reasons to love Texas. But I’m going to give you something different. I have an affinity for tank-sized running backs, see. And looking at your running back depth chart, I see that the Burnt Orange has one. Cody Johnson is 5’11” and 255 pounds. That’s downright burly.
Texas A&M: As a Packer fan, I do have to take a little joy in the failure of Mike Sherman: Season 1. But he does have hope coming in. The offense could throw last year despite that their run game was the suck. That may change and quickly. Beaumont had a running back with a fabulous game decide he wanted to stay close to home. His name is Christine Michael. He’s got an opening to win the job. Now if you could just Oregeron Sherman, we’d be perfect.

Taylor Potts
Texas Tech: Is this a team destined to be the #2 team in the nation? No. Is this a team that could get gashed on defense? Yes. But Mike Leach simply reloads on offense. Taylor Potts will be statistically great. And put it this way, good offenses are simply fun to watch. And T-squared will get this done.
Toledo: Barry Church was voted most likely to be the next Larry English in Last years MAC notebook. He’s a big rangy safety who loves to administer the killshot. Lowered expectations in Toledo will give him ample opportunity to make people pay for catching that nine yard slant.
Troy: Their defense is what I like. More specifically the likebackers. I smell sitcom in Troy’s 4-2-5. Don’t believe me? The depth chart for Troy has Boris Lee and Bear Woods as the starters. Boris and the Bear. Yeah, I want to see what kind of wacky hijinx that these two get into every week.
Tulane: From the people who brought you Matt Forte, it’s Andre Anderson. Andre Anderson, who averaged 142 yards rushing per game before his severe injury last season, looks to return healthy this season. And if Matt Forte was an indication? Anderson could be a professional sleeper. Watch him if you get a chance.
Tulsa: Like many children of the 1980’s, I loved the WWF. And the Reverend Slick, the Doctor of Style was always a fun guy to root against. And considering the evil nature of Todd Graham, doesn’t it seem appropriate that they have their own Slick in Slick Shelley? They are kind of like the mid-card heels of Division 1-A after all.
UAB: Do you want to know another strong mid-major candidate to go all Buffalo? Look to the Blazers. Joe Webb is a scary dual-threat quarterback. Rashaud Slaughter is another tiny running back that can work some magic. Frantrell Forest is a pass-catcher with good skills. And if the defense becomes merely bad? This team has a chance at the division championship.
UCF: Everybody loves the Cosby Show. I know I do. But enough about the Defense Coordinator (and Theo’s third cousin) Dave Huxtable. UCF is showing skill in the spread offense. And why is that? Because Rob Calabrese looks like another legit C-USA quarterback. If the rest of the offense comes together, and the secondary doesn’t get gashed? It’s a return to bowling for the Knights.
UCLA: I love a good lockdown corner. You can cut the field in half, or only two thirds. Anyway, math aside. The Bruins have a great shutdown corner who will make magic with the press coverage. Alterraun Verner. He’s aggressive, and he can make with the shutting down.
UNLV: I don’t want to wish failure on a player. It’s not nice to do. But the deadly deep threat that is Ryan Wolfe is someone with a professional future. Good size, great speed, solid hands. He’s going to be the next Bernard Berrian. But Chris Berman is going to drop the “Hungry Like The Wolfe” nickname next season like he never got to do with Garrett. And that’s no good. You know that it’s no good.

taylor mays
USC: You cannot hate a good KTFO shot. And the men of Troy have had plenty in its history. From Ronnie Lott through Darnell Bing, you have found peril if you traveled over the middle. There hasn’t been a good giant safety since the unfortunate demise of Sean Taylor. At least until Taylor Mays made his bones.
Utah: Is running the table again a bridge too far? Probably, TCU’s in Fort Worth and a game at Oregon is always a tough test. But you know what? If the skill positions jell, this is a team that just might go 11-1. They have a very good defense to their name. I mean, your defensive leader has two last names. You have to trust that. You have to trust Stevenson Sylvester.
Utah State:Dave Baldwin was the OC for New Mexico last season, this year? He’s in Logan. It’s going to make Diondre Borel a lot more interesting to watch than last year. If he did the Tecmo celebration after throwing for a touchdown? He would be the greatest quarterback ever.
UTEP: Trevor Vittatoe has a comedically spelled last name. But he has a arm that is as big as Texas. He is not a maybe. He will be good. But in this trend of tiny weapon running backs El Paso has someone who could electrify. Vernon Frazier is 5’7″ and 165 pounds of speed and agility. Mike Price will have a running game that will make the offense complete.
Vanderbilt: You’re coming off a bowl victory and you return 19 starters. Considering the distance between football success are more chasm than blip, that’s a lot to hang your hat on. You also have all five offensive linemen returning. That means offense. If Casey Heyward can replicate enough of what D.J. Moore did last year? It’s another bowl game for the Commodores.
Virginia: Do you want to talk about Marc Verica? I’m going to say you don’t. Cedric Peerman was the one who performed the mearicle. But there’s going to be some Cavalier Wildcattery. Vic Hall nearly shocked the Hokies with his option wildstyle. The world comes this year.
Virginia Tech: I could talk about Tyrod Taylor or Darren Evans. I’ve mentioned an enjoyment of big safeties, so Kam Chancellor would be an appropriate choice. But there’s Joesph Clayton out of Hermitage High School. He’s not so much of a scrambler as other Virginia based quarterback, but his skills are real. And you know what? His nickname is golden. Ju-Ju Clayton. He’ll do it right.
Wake Forest: Brandon Pendergrass is not anywhere nearly as cool as Teddy, but you know what? Along with Josh Adams and four returning starters. Jim grobe is going to have a good run game. And that is just going to make Riley Skinner just look that much better.
Washington: Don’t worry Jake Locker. We understand that the Nintendo Fun Club hasn’t put enough in the slush fund to get you help. But Steve Sarkisian is made to develop a passing game. D’Andre Goodwin emerged in the mess that was last season. This season? They bring hope for next season.
Washington State: Put it this way, to love Washington State is like finding a scruffy dog on the street. They kind of smell bad, and they have weird bumps, but if they have someone whose willing to take them in? Good things can happen. James Montgomery, a Cal transfer and Johnny Forzani, fresh off the Calgary Stampeders? That’s step one.
West Virginia: Noel Devine is another part of the trend of the small running back that has seemed to emerge. And like your Jacquizz Rodgers, Devine had success last year. But you know what? In the same way I became a huge fan of Iowa hoopster Cyrus Tate, I find myself a fan of Selvish Capers. Why? He has the name of a Three Stooges Episode!
Western Michigan: There are always two or three quarterbacks that have some level of professional interest from the Mid-American Conference. The Broncos have Tim Hiller. 228 pounds of twist and steel and laser rocket arm appeal. He advanced as a junior, and if he maintains himself? Westen Michigan goes bowling, and some NFL team has an interesting third rounder.
Western Kentucky: The Red Drank are a team without much love coming to them for 2009. They have a team that did not beat any 1-A opponent last season. It had an anemic pass attack and no quarterback experience returning. But lo, the best non-Badger mascot in the world looked out amongst his charges and said? You have four offensive linemen returning and chances to win some games last season. You may be last on paper, but you will get some wins on the field.
Wisconsin: The adamantine nature of the Badgers is at once its strength and its weakness. John Clay is a name evocative of the three yards and a cloud of dust days, and he will run with the power that P.J. Hill always seemed to lack. But this is a team that can bring an aerial attack. You have four receivers who have playing experience last season (and David Gilreath had shown that ol’ all-purpose magic last year.) Add in Gerrit Graham’s solid all-around tight end play and you have a team that can make a quarterback better than what it really is.
Wyoming: Dave Christensen is the man who brought the world Missouri as the black and gold fighting Chromeos. Not to say that it means instant success? He is working with a veteran offense that’s made of struggle. Dax Crum needs to straighten up and fly right if this team is to have any success.

Yes. This blog is old enough that there are now gimmicks. Well, they’d be gimmicks if I was more successful. But this isn’t and I’m not.

But you know what? That’s okay. It just means all you all are going to discover this magic for the first time. Sense of discovery.

Enjoy it.

April 26, 2009

So How Did the Packers do?

Filed under: Analysis,Draft Nerd,I'm Not Ready For The Football! — by Andrew @ 5:23 pm

You know me, I’m not a milquetoast when it comes to this. I mean the internet affords anonymity, and hell, few people read it anyway when I dislike how it went down? Imagine what happens when I like a draft.

Because…I liked this.

1) B.J. Raji: A (Best player available in a position of need who has the potential to kick ass and take names as a pro. He will be a monster.)
1a) Clay Matthews: B- (Like the player, but was he really that much better than Connor Barwin? I mean, the way Ted was drafting this year he could have stood pat and kept both thirds.)
4) T.J. Lang: B (Nothing more than dead solid value with good solid starter potential.)
5a) Quinn Johnson: C+ (The slotting value was questionable. The need was real. The player? Marginal.)
5b) Jamon Meredith: A- (A beautiful speculative play. He could be your left tackle by 2010, or out of the league.)
6a) Jarius Wynn: D (You’re asking him to fit in a system that’s bad for his skills. I am dubious as to the chances of his success as a Packer.)
6b) Brandon Underwood: B+ (Great value, great skill set. It’s a B+ because I don’t expect a starter by 2010. I don’t know where, but it’s long view here.)
7) Brad Jones: C+ (Good potentiality, but my gut says he may never escape the level of special teams gunner.)

All in all? Bring me an A- draft every year? And I’ll have good weekends.

Best Player Available at Pick 199?

Filed under: Draft Nerd,I'm Not Ready For The Football! — by Andrew @ 3:01 pm

Why not?

  1. Rashard Jennings RB Liberty
  2. Gerald Cadogan OT Penn State
  3. Darry Beckwith ILB LSU
  4. Frantz Joesph ILB Florida Atlantic
  5. Jason Watkins T Florida
  6. Lee Robinson OLB Alcorn State
  7. Cameron Morrah TE Cal
  8. Mike Mickens CB Cincinnati
  9. Derek Pegues S Mississippi State
  10. C.J. Spillman S Marshall
  11. Kory Sheets RB Purdue
  12. Ricky Jean Francois DT LSU
  13. Brian Hoyer QB Michigan State
  14. Dudley Guice WR Stephen F. Austin
  15. Trevor Canfield G Cincinnati

The Green Bay Packers select: Jarius Wynn (DE-Georgia)

Filed under: Analysis,Double T,Draft Nerd,I'm Not Ready For The Football! — by Andrew @ 2:19 pm

I…I’m stumped. Not to say that’s a bad thing. Just that when you draft a rotational college player from a team with a solid defense, you think you could have had him later. But can he play?

He’s a plugger. He showed flashes of an NFL ready game last year and generally has a good technique to his game. You can see success in his future if you catch the right film. But he is maladjusted in a 3-4 system. He’s undersized as a defensive end and he does not have the instincts, let alone the quickness to be an Outside Linebacker.

He has a chance to be somebody down the road to be sure. But will it be somewhere else because he’s looking like a practice squadder here? See. Stumped.

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