Posted on: September 30, 2010 11:40 pm

Why I'd play football for Oklohoma State

Mike Gundy, Mike Gundy, Mike Gundy

You know, he became a laughingstock after the whole "I'm a man" thing.

Believe it or not, that's what sold me.

He may not have the best record, he may coach a program known more for who played there than who's playing there now. None of that matters.

That singular act, after pulling off a huge victory over Texas Tech, and choosing not to relish in the glory, but to take the time to stand up before the whole world for one of his players, that tells me all I need to know about the man to commit in a heartbeat. More coaches should take note and understand the depth of that commitment and loyalty.

There are very few constants to what recruits want from a college experience. Many want the opportunity to play in the NFL. Some want academics, playing time, or a feature role. My personal belief is that they all want to belong to a family that they will forever be a member of regardless of where they go in life after college. It's kind of a big deal. It's just a shame that more coaches don't see it that way.

I admit there's probably a lot behind closed doors that we as fans don't get to see, but the proof is in the pudding. You gotta love a coach who is willing to put his love for his players out on front street regardless of what the personal backlash may be.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 29, 2010 4:10 pm

Inaugural blog posting of 2010

Yeah, I know it's September and this is my first blog posting of the year, but hey, it's not like I get paid for this...

I guess the place to start is at the beginning of the year, which was roughly 3 weeks ago Saturday. You see, my year doens't follow a calendar year, it follows the college football season, and as such, I guess I should start with some new years resolutions..

1. I will not get overhyped this year on the promise of better things.
       This includes the fact that my beloved Michigan has started the year with 3 wins, and disregard that we let UMass hang in til the bitter end. Disregard that Notre Dame played the entire first half without their starting QB. Three wins is three wins. We started with 4 last year, and optimism ran high, only to degenerate into what can only be called a gigantic pile of poo. So I resolve, this year, that I will not run my mouth to all the Wisconsin fans in my life about how we're still unbeaten. I will not predict how many wins we have coming. I will most certainly not prognosticate a heisman trophy for a certain Michigan QB.

2. I will expect less from the NFL than I ever have before.

       The NFL is a major disappointment every year. Don't get me wrong, I mean that in the most positive way you can when saying that something is disappointing. Anything is better than the NBA or MLB. At the same time, I am seeing the same thing every week regardless of who I watch, the only difference is the names on the jerseys, the talent level, and execution. Fantasy football is still a complete crapshoot, and will only degenerate further as every team runs a committee of backs, the number of true #1 receivers dwindles, and defensive play is marginalized in favor offensive explosion and 10 defensive backs on the field.

3. I will spend less time obsessing over sports and more time with my family.

       Hey, we all have to have a resolution that we know we will not live up to no matter how hard we try. There is a reason my wife calls herself a sports widow. No matter how I try, I will be sucked into football and hockey like I am every year, since I was 8 years old or so. Some resolve to lose weight, I'm overweight, and that isn't gonna change no matter what. Some resolve to quit smoking, I'm a proud 2 pack a day smoker, and I'm not going to give it up regardless of how much they charge or where the tell me I can or can't smoke. Life is too short not to have the things that make it worth living, and for me, good or bad, that includes fandom, and all the time wasting armchair quarterbacking I can engage in.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 26, 2008 12:58 am

The Thrill of Victory, and the Agony of defeat

I have to confess I was more than a little disappointed with Michigan's second half play today. Regardless of the fact that I didn't expect us to pull out the win, this is the second week in a row where we've come out strong, only to fade in the second half. There's nothing worse than watching Sparty lift the Bunyan and knowing that they feel like they've accomplished something.  Obviously they haven't. The fact that we even had a chance today shows what a weak team they are, because we're likely to have the worst team we'll have in the next 20 years at Michigan.

I did get a kick out of Javon Ringer after the game talk about how this win is a building block for the future. Small steps Javon, very small steps. Unfortunately he'll be long gone, and probably retired from the NFL by the time Sparty comes even remotely close to winning a Big 10 championship.

Then there's the PSU-OSU game. As bittersweet as it is to have to root for PSU, I have to say I'm glad OSU got shown to be what they are. A good defensive team with no offense to speak of and a coaching staff with an offensive scheme just to the right of Rush Limbaugh. Call me a sadist, but I took immense pleasure in the close up shots of Pryor hanging his head after the game. He should feel bad, he was a big part of why they lost.I only wish I could have gotten audio of him sobbing.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 13, 2008 5:12 pm

USC Tradition

Following is a little something I came across at I'm including it pretty much verbatim because I think it provides a spectacular look at the character of Pete Carroll and his oh so wonderful football program.

Pete Carroll was hired as head football coach by USC in 2001.
On August 23, 2001, the NCAA placed USC's athletic department on probation for two years and cut scholarships because tutors wrote papers for three athletes in the late 1990s. The events leading to the probation were before Carroll's time, but I include this for completeness sake.

In 2002, the father of USC tailback Justin Fargas invited former USC Heisman Trophy winner, and alleged double-murderer, O. J. Simpson to a team practice (he was found not guilty in his criminal trial but was later found liable in a civil trial). After the practice, Carroll allowed Simpson to come onto the field and meet the players and pose for pictures. Carroll defends himself from criticism by claiming that Simpson wasn't invited. In May 2008, Simpson's ex manager alleged that Simpson admitted to killing Nicole Brown Simpson.

On July 19, 2003, USC Sophomore OT Winston Justice pleaded no contest to solicitation of a prostitute in Long Beach on June 24. Winston was put on 3 years probation and fined $300 for the offense.

On March 3, 2004, Winston Justice was arrested on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon. On June 15, 2004, Justice pleaded no contest to exhibition of a replica firearm. Justice was sentenced to 60 days of electronic monitoring and three years' probation. Justice was also suspended for two semesters by USC's student affairs committee after his arrest.

In August 2004, USC starting tailback Hershel Dennis was at the center of a police investigation of an alleged sexual assault. According to sources, the incident took place at a party on August 16, and involved a female friend of Dennis. On August 17, Dennis was removed from practice and suspended by Carroll for "disciplinary reasons," including breaking curfew. On December 13, 2004, the LAPD announced it would not press charges.

On January 14, 2005, Tim Floyd was hired as head basketball coach by USC.

In late March 2005, USC starting cornerback Eric Wright was arrested for investigation of sexual assault. Wright was booked on rape charges and bail was set at $100,000 according to the Sheriff's Department. Wright was held out of spring practice, and, in April 2005, the district attorney declined to press charged because of insufficient evidence. Nevertheless, on June 2, 2005, Wright left USC amid possible disciplinary action. On August 25, Wright was suspended by three semesters by USC's student affairs committee, based upon the district attorney's office having found 136 pills of the drug Ecstasy in Wright's room at an apartment he shared with another player.
In early

April 2005, USC tight end Dominique Bird fractured his jaw during an alleged altercation with receiver Steve Smith. Bird, Smith and Carroll reportedly refused to comment on the incident, and no disciplinary action was taken.

In August 2005, USC defensive end Frostee Rucker allegedly got into a fight with his girlfriend at a party he was hosting in Los Angeles. In June 2006, Rucker was charged with two misdemeanor counts of spousal battery and two counts of vandalism and was scheduled to be arraigned on August 11, 2006. Despite the incident, Rucker did not face any discipline from USC, and didn't miss a game. In May 2007, Rucker pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and vandalism charges stemming from the 2005 incident. As part of a plea agreement, the prosecutors dropped a charge of spousal battery and Rucker was sentenced to three years of probation. Prior to transferring to USC, in April of 2002, Rucker was charged in Colorado with sexual assault and indecent exposure. Rucker reportedly eventually accepted a one-year deferred sentence on a misdemeanor harassment charge.

On August 13, 2005, 10 veteran USC players were involved in a hazing incident where they shaved the head of freshman quarterback Mark Sanchez. Also, what started out as a water fight between USC players, escalated into an all-out brawl as it spiraled out of control. Reportedly, there was significant damage to the players dorms as players were thrown through walls.

On October 31, 2005, USC tailback LenDale White played a macabre prank by pretending to quit the team and throwing a dummy off a building on Child's Way. Separately, Pete Carroll apologized to Washington State coach Bill Doba for USC players pushing and bumping Doba while trying to get to the locker room during halftime of their game.

On November 2, 2005, USC linebacker Rey Maualuga was arrested for investigation of misdemeanor battery after punching a man at an off-campus Halloween party (twice, without provocation). A witness at the scene reportedly quoted Maualuga as stating "I own the police." Carroll took no disciplinary action, and Maualuga played the following weekend against Stanford. One USC pundit observed at the time that "discipline is Coach Carroll's number one weakness." On November 22, 2005, the city attorney's office declined to file charges. Maualuga was defended at the court hearing by controversial and well-connected USC alumni attorney Carmen "Nooch" Trutanich, who has a long history with USC and previously represented both Wright and Dennis.

On December 21, 2005, USC starting quarterback Matt Leinart had his eligibility temporarily revoked after appearing in a promotional segment on ESPN earlier that month, a violation of an NCAA rule. Leinart was reinstated shortly thereafter. One observer claims the NCAA was just concerned about money.

On January 1, 2006, reporters from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and CBS Sportline reportedly told the USC football team about potential recruiting violations stemming from visits by USC recruits to Papadakis Taverna, a Greek restaurant owned by former USC linebacker John Papadakis. As of July 2007, the investigation by USC compliance officials continued.

On January 21, 2006, USC quarterback Matt Leinart was cited by the Pac-10 for working out with his own coach using school facilities. According to the NCAA, a student athlete cannot utilize the school's facilities to work out with a coach, unless the coach is affiliated with the university.

On April 21, 2006, the family of USC running back Reggie Bush was implicated by numerous separate media reports as having lived in a house purchased by a San Diego-area man with ties to a sports agent and a tribal casino. Both the Pac-10 and the NCAA have launched an investigation into potential NCAA violations in connnection with this matter, which is pending. More recent reports in this fast evolving story are here, here, and here. Yahoo Sports, which is responsible for much of the investigative reporting on this issue, has set up a page dedicated to its eight-month probe here.

On April 26, 2006, USC quarterback Mark Sanchez was arrested for investigation of sexually assaulting a female student earlier that same day. Sanchez was released upon posting $200,000 bail, and was ordered to appear in court on May 17, 2006. Sanchez was also placed on "interim suspension" by USC while the case was pending. On June 2, 2006, the LA District Attorney announced that it would not be bring charges against Sanchez due to insufficient evidence.

On April 30, 2006, it was reported that USC compliance officials were investigating whether an NCAA rule was violated because receiver Dwayne Jarrett failed to pay approximately $10,000 for his half of the rent for an upscale apartment he shared with former quarterback Matt Leinart. USC claims that no rules were violated, though it was initially reported that Jarret may have to sit out a portion of the 2006-07 season. Jarrett ultimately avoided punishment and was the 45th pick in the 2007 NFL draft. After a disappointing season, Jarrett was arrested on March 11, 2008 and charged with driving under the influence.

In August of 2006, USC defensive back Brandon Ting quit the football team after reportedly testing postive for steroid use. His twin brother, Ryan, also a defensive back on the USC football team, quit the team just days later, claiming that he wanted to concentrate on preparing for medical school, and was never tested. Interestingly, Arthur Ting, father of the twins, is a Bay Area orthopedic surgeon who has reportedly appeared as a witness before a grand jury considering possible perjury charges against baseball's Barry Bonds, one of Arthur's clients. This incident finally triggered some real interest by the LA Times.

On August 29, 2006, it was announced that former USC quarterback Matt Leinart would be having a child out of wedlock with USC basketball player Brynn Cameron. While not improper in any meaningful way outside of his personal life, this event begins a long list of embarrassing incidents involving the former USC star (not to mention other USC quarterbacks).

On October 16, 2006, it was announced that then 14-year-old high school freshman Dwayne Polee Jr., who had yet to even play a game at Westchester high, had verbally committed to USC’s basketball team. Though not improper, the early commitment was unconventional, and was repeated in June 2007 when USC announced the verbal commitment of 14-year-old middle school player Ryan Boatright, who, at the time, had not yet even decided upon where he was going to high school. Further eyebrows were raised in June 2007, when USC hired Dwayne Polee Sr., father of Dwayne Polee Jr., as Director of Basketball Operations, amid charges of nepotism.

On December 4, 2006, former USC stand-out, and former Rams rookie, tight end Dominique Byrd was arrested for allegedly hitting a bar patron in the face with a drinking glass. Byrd was charged with second- and third-degree assault and armed criminal action. He was released shortly after posting a $25,000 bond. In early May, 2008, Byrd was scheduled to go to trial in St. Louis Circuit Court on felony charges of assault and armed criminal action stemming from the nightclub scuffle in December 2006. In March 2007, he was charged with DUI in California. In October 2007, he pleaded no contest to the DUI charge and received three years' probation. In May 2008, Byrd was released by the Rams.

In January 2007, a federal investigation into extortion claims by former USC running back Reggie Bush and his family revealed the existence of taped converstations that could confirm Bush took cash and gifts while he was playing football for USC. It was also reported that nearly $280,000 in cash, rent and gifts were allegedly given to Bush and his family. The information came to light following the issuance of grand jury subpoenas to multiple witness by the U.S. District Attorney's office in San Diego. Both the NCAA and Pac-10 continue to investigate. Also, more recent articles suggest that Reggie Bush was involved earlier and more deeply than previously reported in efforts to create the sports marketing agency at the center of the continuing controversy. The investigation has, to date, yielded no definitive proof that USC officials had knowledge of Bush's misconduct, though Bush was nevertheless asked not to attend the Trojans' Rose Bowl matchup against Michigan on New Year's Day.

On February 2, 2007, it was reported that a "stampede of student athletes," including three USC linemen, ex-USC receiver Keary Colbert, and members of the USC women's basketball, volleyball and water polo teams, had improperly attempted to take an academic shortcut around the university's foreign language requirement by signing up for a course at Los Angeles Trade Tech College taught by USC graduate Senora Ross, who promised to give the athletes no lower than a "B." Upon discovering the situation, USC officials disallowed the transfer of credits from Trade Tech.

On February 8, 2007, it was reported that USC football players had created and joined a racist Facebook group as a "joke." The racist Facebook group was called "White Nation," showed a graphic of a swastika and black baby in handcuffs with the caption "arrest black babies before they become criminals." The group was created by USC linebacker Clay Matthews and was joined by teammates David Buehler, Brian Cushing, Dan Deckas and Dallas Sartz. Coach Pete Carroll responded to reports of the incident by saying he had no plans to discipline the players, and USC later announced that none of the players would be punished. According to Carroll, "[i]t's not a controversy, it's a mistake."

On February 9, 2007, USC compliance officials announced they were investigating whether an NCAA violation occurred during the Trojans' pursuit of Louisiana prep star running back Joe McKnight. The investigation followed reports that McKnight had told reporters that USC coach Pete Carroll had set up a conference call so he and high school coach J.T. Curtis could be assured by ex-Trojan running back Reggie Bush would not be punished for a separate NCAA investigation into improper benefits allegedly taken by Bush. Carroll later denied that any call took place, and Curtis said that McKnight misspoke. According to NCAA officials, if USC got Bush's help in recruiting McKnight, it would be considered a "secondary violation" of recruiting rules.

On March 9, 2007, USC basketball recruit O.J. Mayo was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession in Huntington, West Virginia. Mayo was one of four young males found in a suspicious vehicle by a Cabell County Sheriff's drug task force unit assigned to serve a search warrant at a house nearby. The charges against Mayo were later dismissed by a magistrate judge, after the driver of the vehicle pleaded guilty to the charge (though Mayo's father subsequently had his own difficulties). The incident followed a controversy in January following Mayo's two (some sources say three) game suspension after receiving two technical fouls in a high school game and coming into contact with an official, as well as prior reports of three suspensions by his high school, the last one following an altercation with a female student.

On April 14, 2007, it was announced that Percy Romeo Miller, also known as Romeo (and formerly Lil' Romeo) had been offered a basketball scholarship to USC. The scholarship offer, to a 5-foot-10 point guard with a bad knee who had never played a full season of high-school basketball, was roundly criticized by national commentators as a thinly veiled attempt by USC to obtain the commitment of Miller's friend, prep star and NBA prospect Demar DeRozan, while ignoring Miller's mediocre at best talent.

In the first week of August, 2007, there were new developments in the NCAA investigation of former USC running back Reggie Bush, when it was reported that audio recordings that allegedly establish an improper financial relationship between Bush and a would-be sports marketing agent were played for NCAA investigators. The tapes were revealed after Lloyd Lake, a partner in failed sports marketing agency New Era Sports enterprise, filed a lawsuit against Bush and his family, seeking to recoup nearly $300,000 in benefits Lake claims he helped provide. Lake's allegations were further detailed in January 2008, with the publication of Don Yaeger's book Tarnished Heisman, which chronicled various allegations swirling around Bush's USC tenure, including claims that Bush received $47,000 out of an overall $291,000that went to his family from sports marketer Lake. That same month, published reports contained Lake's (unsubstantiated) allegation that USC coaches knew Bush was taking money in violation of NCAA rules.

On August 28, 2007, a contributor to unearthed a report from April 1996 that USC running backs coach Todd McNair was arrested and charged with 81 offenses involving the mistreatment of 22 pit bulls being trained on his property for dogfights while a running back for the Houston Oilers. In light of recent press relating to NFL quarterback Michael Vick, the report unleashed a firestorm, with numerous acts of alleged animal cruelty being uncovered in McNair's past, including multiple misdemeanors convictions (via plea bargain) regarding animal cruelty and failure to license, and "all indications" that McNair was involved in dog flighting. McNair, who was previously implicated in Reggie Bush scandal, having allegedly known about Bush's involvement with the New Era venture before USC national championship game against Texas, faced no discipline from USC.

On September 27, 2007, it was reported that USC sophomore point guard Daniel Hackett would be sidelined at least six weeks after suffering multiple fractures of his jaw when he was struck by the "elbow" of teammate O.J. Mayo during a pickup game. Shortly thereafter, it was reported, based upon several sources, including a member of the basketball team, that Mayo punched Hackett during the game. The player was quoted as saying "Yeah, he punched him," "They changed the story for the media." Despite later denials by Floyd and others, this version of the events was confirmed on multiple occasions.

On November 3, 2007, convicted felon Suge Knight was given a sideline pass to a USC game. Knight joins O.J. Simpson and Snoop Dogg as USC's esteemed guests.

In early November 2007, USC forward Davon Jefferson was suspended for the team's embarrassing season-opening loss to Mercer. Jefferson, who required two years to meet the NCAA's minimum academic requirements and was kicked out of prep school before he joined USC, was also later benched for much of a narrow loss at Stanford and also suspended for a loss to Washington State. After clashing with Floyd, Jefferson did not even inform the school of his decision to turn pro.

On January 21, 2008, USC freshman guard O.J. Mayo was alleged to have violated NCAA rules by accepting complimentary tickets from Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony to a Lakers-Nuggets game at Staples Center. Coach Floyd subsequently took the blame, and Mayo was ultimately required to donate the value of the tickets to charity.

On March 2, 2008, USC defensive tackle Fili Moala was arrested for resisting and obstructing an officer after a melee at a Newport Beach bar was broken up by police. Moala was released after posting $500 bail, and on March 13, the Orange County district attorney's office declined to press charges.

On March 5, 2008, USC recruit Maurice Simmons was arrested for robbery in Compton, after he allegedly pointed a handgun at a man and demanded his belongings. Simmons, a linebacker from Dominguez High School, was initially held at the Los Angeles County jail on $50,000 bail, and then released after posting bail of $85,000. Simmons was arraigned on March 7, and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 15, 2008. To date, USC has not indicated whether or not it intends to honor its commitment to Simmons. Developing.

On April 1, 2008, USC head coach Pete Carroll, in an attempt to make light of the Trojan's extensive past history of criminality, invited members of the LAPD to play a prank on defensive end Everson Griffen, who was said to have "physically abused a freshman" and was threatened with arrest during a team meeting.

On April 6, 2008, USC sophomore tailback Joe McKnight was held out of the team's scrimmage and it was announced that he would miss the final week of spring workouts because he was academically ineligible to participate. McKnight had dropped a class, leaving him without the 12 units required for eligibility.

On April 27, 2008, the NFL draft ended with USC guard Drew Radovich remaining unselected. Expected by some to be a mid-to-late round pick, Radovich's stock allegedly dropped based upon character concerns.
In late April or early May, 2008, a video was posted on Pete Carroll's website starring his son, Brennan. The video, replete with profanity and questionable behavior, was widely ridiculed, and was allegedly used against USC in recruiting. In mid-May, the video was removed from, with Carroll explaining that it was just a "spoof."

On May 2, 2008, the judge in the civil litigation between former USC running back Reggie Bush and Lloyd Lake ordered the parties to appear in June 2008 for their depositions, and denied Bush's attempts to impose a "gag order" to prevent the deposition transcripts from being shared with the NCAA. The judge also set a trial date of March 13, 2009.

On May 4, 2008, former USC tight end Fred Davis failed to attend the final practice of the The Washington Redskins minicamp because he overslept after a late night out. Besides giving a poor first impression, Davis confirmed concerns about his commitment to football dating back to his time at USC. Davis was suspended for two games his freshman year at USC for coming back late from his home in Ohio, and missed the 2005 Orange Bowl.

On May 6, 2008, it was announced that USC's men's basketball team was the only major athletic program in the Southland penalized with scholarship losses as the result of a poor performance in the NCAA's academic progress rate. The Trojans were penalized in part because Lodrick Stewart, Nick Young and Gabe Pruitt stopped attending class after the 2007 season, and because three players transferred within the same season. USC's APR score of 804 was 121 points below the minimum-acceptable mark, and stemmed from various academic problems, including Gabe Pruitt's academic ineligibility for the fall 2006 semester, and his ineligibility again following the spring 2007 semester. USC served the penalty during the 2007-08 season.

On May 13, 2008, ESPN aired an episode of Outside the Lines that contained extensive, well-documented allegations that USC guard O.J. Mayo received improper benefits from a sports agent (BDA Sports) and that agent's runner (Rodney Guillory) both before and during his one season at USC. It was alleged that Guillory received benefits in excess of $200,000, while Mayo received $30,000 in benefits, including cash, clothes, cell phone service, and a flat screen television for his dorm room. USC immediately faced a storm of criticism, with several prominent commentator calling for sanctions, including the so-called "death penalty." The criticism of USC intensified as it was reported that Guillory was given largely unfettered access to Mayo and the athletic department, after a highly unusual recruitment process, despite USC knowing of his involvement with agents, including a prior scandal with USC's Jeff Trepagnier, for many years. The Pac-10 and the NCAA have launched investigations. Developing.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: USC Sucks
Posted on: October 13, 2008 10:18 am
Edited on: October 13, 2008 10:23 am

top 10 reasons CFB is better than the NFL

I was thinking about this during the sorry state of affairs that is Football Sunday yesterday.

1. No Overhype-Underdeliver.
The NFL with all it's pregame shows and nationwide coverage is becoming like a mole on the side of a hot chick's face. Sure she's hot, but there's just something about that mole that drives you nuts. It disgusts you, but you just can't look away. No more greatest show on turf, now all you get is an unexciting dink and dunk 10 yard pass play followed by a swing route, followed by a run up the gut.  Rinse and repeat.

2. Money. Paid players don't really care. They're playing for themselves and that's pretty much it. There's no pride in which team you play for, it's all just a job, you get drafted and you play for whoever gets the rights to you. I'd rather see some kid on the field that loves the game who's playing not because it's his job interview to get into the NFL, because most college kids don't go on to the next level. They're playing because they love the game and are competitors.

3. Tradition. Now there are some old teams in the NFL, but not college football old. Everything in the NFL has become cookie cutter. packers wear cheese heads so every other team has to have some lame plastic hat for their fans to wear. Sports Marketing at it's finest folks...

4. The student section. There's no equivalent in the NFL. What's better than having a whole section of your stadium devoted to nothing but hard core fans with a vested interest in seeing your team win? Every student section has their chants and traditions all their own. What do you get in the NFL? The Packer Pope and some retarded Raiders fan that dresses up like Mad Max in Thunderdome.

5. Bands. Marching bands and bands in the stands. What's better than live music while you're watching the game? Nothing can get a crowd moving like a rousing rendition of your school's fight song, which leads into my next point.

6. Fight Songs. To me this is one of the finest of college football traditions. It embodies everything that is good about college football and everything that stinks about the NFL. A song that's yours. It holds the tradition of your team, your pride, your identity. When I hear The Victors, I immediately think of Michigan Football, and everything that goes along with it. What do you get at an NFL game? Pump up the Jam and some lame techno song nobody knows the real name of blasted through crappy stadium speakers, because it's not like I could hear that at any NFL game I went to...

7. Innovation. This isn't to say the NFL never does anything new, but it's like a neverending game of one upsmanship. Everybody jumps on the latest bandwagon and tweaks it to fit their talents and style. The result: Pretty much the same team in different colors, doing the same thing, week after week, and looking for the next big trend that could take them to the super bowl. If you watch 4 different college games on Saturday you'll see 4 very different games. Spread offense, Spread option, Triple option, pro set, etc. Some might argue that these won't work in the NFL, but how does anyone know, nobody's ever tried. Why haven't they tried? They haven't tried because the NFL is big business, and nobody wants to be on the wrong end of their GM's beadown stick. 8-8 mediocrity is much preferred to doing something radically new and building a system over 4 losing seasons.

8. Blowouts. I mean real live ugly 60 point victories. Now when you're on the losing end of one of these it sucks, everyone knows that. What is the average margin of victory in any given week in the NFL? I gotta think somewhere around 6-10 points.  I refuse to apologize for wanting to see my team hang 70 on some division 2 chump.

9. Bowl Games. Say what you will about the BCS and all the bad that comes along with it, but how many NFL postseason games are there? How many bowl games are there? Every year you see the same contenders in the playoffs. Bowls change every year, and if you've got the right TV package you can just about cram in two weeks of football every day. Not to mention the parades and tradition that goes along with some of the older ones. Rose Bowl: Spend the morning with family watching the parade and finish the day with a game and dinner on the couch. Super Bowl: Wake up the next morning not caring who won and puking into the garbage can you placed next to your bed the night before. That one's a no brainer.

10. Last but not least CHEERLEADERS. Yeah sure, the NFL has cheerleaders. 20-25 year old professional dancers with boob jobs and dyed blonde hair who are an afterthought. What do we get with CFB? Real live college girls rooting on their team. Colorful outfits with a routine a minute for the whole game. These girls are athletes in their own right, not just eye candy for the drunk guys who get bored at the game and need something to take their mind off why their beloved patriots can't seem to score from the 2 yard line,
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 12, 2008 3:37 pm

Thoughts on the NFL

You know, as I'm sitting here watching the week unfold, I'm struck by the fact that the NFL has radically changed over the past few years. It seems to me that there is almost no dominance remaining in the game. Every week prognosticators struggle with picking winning teams where just a few years ago it seemed much more cut and dried. Now the marketing machine that is the NFL might say that parity is great for the league, but I'm not so sure.

It used to be great when you knew what to expect from the NFL, now I flip back and forth on Sunday Ticket looking for a game worthy of watching. Don't get me wrong, I love a great defensive battle, probably comes from the college football fan in me, but it seems that it's not really great defenses, but poor fundamentals. The NFL has done it's best over the past few years to give offenses a boost through rules to protect offensive players and make it harder for defenses to play against the pass.

To be honest I'm not sure where I'm really going with this, but something has me uneasy about where the league is headed. There's only a handful of teams that operate with one running back any more. There's only a few dominant receivers in the league, and they're fading fast. Most defenses play a variation of the Tampa 2 with varying blitz frequency and packages. All the teams look the same to me. There's no real diversity in the league anymore. It's almost like everyone has jumped on the bandwagon of running the scheme that's hot. The only thing that defines whether your team wins or loses is whether their personnel can run the scheme of the day well or not...
Category: NFL
Posted on: October 11, 2008 10:37 pm

Why fantasy sports are the devil...

Well, I went and did it. I decided, against my better judgment mind you, to join a fantasy hockey league. At the risk of losing one of my  few unspoiled loves, I've let the evil that is fantasy sports into my beloved hockey. Now it's only a short trip down the road to the asylum, where I'll live out the remainder of my sorry, stat soaked days.

See here's the thing about fantasy sports, they ruin my enjoyment of every sport that I play. I've learned that no matter how much I know about a sport, or it's players, I just can't win. I pick a championship team every year, only to shake my head when I go 0-3 and wonder what the hell happened again. I swear I am the bane of any player in any sport that I draft. I spend my days swearing at how unfair it is that I play people on the weeks their players have career days, crap officiating, freak injuries, the latest phenom rookie turning my veteran into chopped liver, etc.

I'm posting this entry as a warning to any person contemplating this demon of fantasy sports into their life, don't do it. It will tear the very soul from your sports loving body and leave you a sorry shell of a person who can only shake a fist at the sky when your favorite team is playing your biggest fantasy star and you have no choice but to root against your team so you can win at an inconsequential game. Bragging rights aside, there is nothing in fantasy sports but self-loathing.

Why then, you may ask, do I continue to play? I have to say, I don't know. I swear at the end of every losing fantasy season that it's nothing but dumb luck and I'll never play again, but true to my sick twisted form, I'm salivating over stats and mock drafts a month before every season. Sadly it's not a weak will, but an obsession. There is no hope for me, and now I fear I've ruined another sport by letting my obsession with fantasy sports touch it.

Just as an aside, I did happen to nab Datsyuk, Osgood, and Lidstrom, so here's hoping for another successful cup run and a ton of points, GO WINGS.
Posted on: October 11, 2008 8:04 pm

Michigan Football, the way I see it

 These are just some thoughts thrown out there for general consumption.

1.) This team has no heart, and that's a matter of coaching, not talent level.
Of all the knocks I've heard on RichRod, I haven't heard this one yet. I have a hard time believing he can't motivate a squad of young guys who are playing MICHIGAN football. I mean c'mon, this is U of M after all. The Wisconsin game notwithstanding, I haven't seen heart out of this team yet, which come to think of it, is something WVU always lacked too. Wisconsin being the abberation I have to believe the players reacted to being booed off the field moreso than Rodriguez did anything.

2.) Our Defense is attrocious
With only a few exceptions our D is among the worst I've ever seen it. The talent is there, plain and simple. Our schemes suck, our playmakers aren't stepping up, we're far to predictable, and we look slow out there. Let's actually watch some film between games guys, that's what REAL football players do, and by the way what real coaching staffs do as well, we look utterly unprepared out there.

3.) There are too many excuses
As a fan I want to hear reasons, not excuses. No talent to run one of the most basic offensive systems in all of football is an excuse. Our guys are too young is an excuse. It's a process of transition ( and likewise "rebuilding year") is an excuse. The reasons are things like we aren't prepared, we're not able to change our system to fit the talent we do have, our players lack toughness.

4.) This could be the top of a slippery slope

We're not recruiting well. We've lost guys in recruiting to teams we shouldn't have lost them to. I think Terelle Pryor is going to be a bust, or at least not as advertised, so I'm not talking about him. Think Florida State. I'm scared to see Michigan turn into that kind of program. It's important to realize that it CAN happen to you. recruiting is the foundation of building a program, and the things that great recruiting is based on are being eroded by this losing environment. Things like; Winning attitude, tradition, talented coaches, graduates going on to play in the NFL, and so on. As time passes, and Michigan loses, we're going to start losing our capability to bring in 4 and 5 star talent at the skill positions, and then my friend, we will have started down the road to mediocrity.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or