Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Top 10 Albums of 2008???

I compiled this list while sitting in a review session a week ago and Rev. Woodrow Morris suggested I post it here. It ain't going to be pretty cause I'm fitting it in on a break from finals (which are a lot more stressful than undergrad finals.)

This list is based on my opinion only and oddly has a strange indie dance music vide to it this year....

1)Vampire Weekend- Vampire Weekend: A lot people heard this stuff long before it actually was released in January 2008, but yeah technically it counts.

It’s smart, almost pretentiously smart, but it’s very, very good. Smart, simple pop songs. This album is made to listen to on sunny 80-degree days with no clouds in the sky.

For some reason it almost reminds me of Paul Simon, I don’t know why.

2) M83- Saturday = Youth: It sounds like the 80s, you can’t deny it, but it’s good. Every song has a different vibe, but they are all very catchy. Kind of has a movie score feel to it.

3) Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever ago: Sort of the antithesis to Vampire Weekend in my mind. What I imagine Iron and Wine would sound like if he was still getting critical acclaim and showed signs of passion once in awhile.

a sorta cool a capella thing they did below

4) Tokyo Police Club- Elephant Shell: One of the more traditional bands to make my top 10, although that’s debatable. Much like Vampire Weekend most of these songs leaked long before they were actually released.

It hasn’t held up as well after multiple listens, but it’s a rock solid album with a DIY vibe that I’ve always enjoyed.

5) Fleet Foxes- Fleet Foxes: At first I didn’t get this stuff, I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t see where it was going. It took me having to listen to the album to get it. I don’t know how to describe it, theatrical folk? Whatever it is it, it good and progressive.

Think Arcade Fire with better harmonies and less noise.

6) Black Kids- Partie Traumatic: This generated a lot of noise prior to it’s release and probably didn’t live up to the hype, but it’s still very good.

Certainly has a dance feel to it, but enough elements of other stuff to not be too feminine. Just solid innovative pop songs.

7) Mates of State- Re-Arrange Us- I first discovered this band in 2004 when they opened a small smoke filled room for the strokes, at the time the wife of the husband/wife duo was about 8 months pregnant. Since then they’ve gained a bit of notoriety and cemented their indie cred.

Another great album, my only complaint would be they’re stuff tends to sound the same if you listen to a lot of it.

8) Santogold- Santogold: I’m pretty sure no one who knows me would expect me to like this album, but I do. It’s good.

A strange mixture of hip-hop, soul, indie and dance music. I think this girl is very talented and will probably make a impact in the future as well. The LES Artistes song might be the best single of the year and I’m being serious, try and find me a better song for the radio.

9) Mountain Goats- Heretic Pride: Solid album from indie rock veterans. Nothing outstanding and probably not their best work, but a very solid record none the less. Opening song is one of the 10 best of the year.

10) The Hold Steady- Stay Positive: Straight forward record from an American indie rock band. There is nothing earth shattering here, but it’s consistently good. I imagine this is what Randy Newman sounds like with a rock band behind him.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Worst Season Preview Ever

I initially intended on doing a full preview for both conferences for the upcoming NHL season. But, turns out I'm lazy. Plus the season already started. Here's the half assed version.

Western Conference

    Division Winners

        Detroit - This team is too stacked. On paper.

        San Jose - The Pacific will be tighter than your sister's vag all year long. The Sharks come out on top. Evgeni Nabokov isn't human.

        Calgary - The Northwest isn't very good this year. You could pick any one of those teams and have it seem logical.

    Surprise Team - Phoenix Coyotes

        This team will make the playoffs this year in a very good Western Conference. The easy "surprise" team to pick would be Chicago, but I'm not buying into them just yet. Phoenix has great young talent, veteran leadership in guys like Shane Doan, and they added Olli Jokinen in the offseason. I might also be the only person not related to him to think that Ilya Bryzgalov could potentially be a top 10 goaltender in the league. Edmonton could turn some heads as well.

    Western Conference Champion - San Jose Sharks

           Yeah. I said it. The playoffs are a totally different monster than the regular season. Lost in all the "OMG Detroit is, like, sooooo good. Lolz!!1!" bullshit is the fact that this San Jose team is fucking good.

    Eastern Conference

        Division Winners

            Montreal - Cary Price is disgusting. Alexei Kovalev is underrated in the Tim Duncan sense.

            Pittsburgh - Blah, blah, blah, no Hossa, blah, blah, injuries, blah, blah, Stanley Cup hangover, blah, blah. Suck dick.

            Washington - This team could win the East. Their defense is extremely underrated.

        Surprise Team - Buffalo Sabres

            Picking a surprise team in the East isn't really that much of a stretch. Outside of the top 4 or 5 teams, it's wide open. Mainly because the rest of the East kind of sucks. I'm picking Buffalo to surprise some people and beat out Boston for a playoff spot from the Northeast division. Most people are saying Tampa Bay will make the playoffs in a weak conference and an even weaker division but I'm not seeing that because Tampa sucks. Ryan Malone will score less than 50 points this season. Write that down. Even though I just did. Teams don't make the playoffs having 3 goal scorers, overpaid middle of the pack talent and one of those Shooter Tutors in net. Buffalo is where it's at. Carolina could do something too.

        Eastern Conference Champion - Pittsburgh Penguins Washington Capitals

              I'm drinking the Kool Aid. If Jose Theodore plays well, this team will rack up a ton of gimme points playing in the Nascar Division. Granted, that could be a huge "if". I'm not buying into the Don Cherry way of thinking that Alexander Ovechkin will fall off this year. Cherry is an idiot and should probably go choke down a shotgun barrell. I'll also catch way too much shit for picking the Penguins even though they are best team in the Eastern Conference. Like it or not, it's true. Deal with it.

Stanley Cup Champions - San Jose over Washington in 6.

President's Trophy - Detroit - They get to play Columbus, Nashville, Chicago and St. Louis more than anyone else in the league. Second round upset to Dallas.

Hart Trophy - Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh - Yeah. Fuck off.

Vezina Trophy - Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose - If the Sharks do as well as I think they will this year, then he'll need to be huge. Martin Brodeur is a cock gobbler.

Lady Bing Trophy - Some pussy. Probably from Detroit.

Calder Trophy - Kyle Turris, Phoenix - The easy pick would be Steve Stamkos, but fuck him. Melrose is a terrible coach and it's going to hurt him. I'll take Turris, Alex Goligoski (since he's getting a ton of responsibility with Gonchar and Whitney being out), and Stamkos as my top three.

Art Ross Trophy - Crosby. Point machine.

Norris Trophy - Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit- He'll win this award every year until he retires. You can talk about Dion Phaneuf all you want. Until Lidstrom hangs em up, no one else should, or will, win this thing.

Rocket Richard Trophy - Rick Nash, Columbus - There isn't anyone else on that team who can score and sooner or later Nash has to get really pissed off about this and just start shooting the puck 100 times a game.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

C'mon Braden, Our Line Starts

Sadly, our namesake, Paul Newman passed away today at the age of 83. To say that he was a great actor and a great human being would be a wild understatement. His acting resume is unreal. His Newman's Own brand has contributed over $250 million to charity. Not to mention he was from Cleveland so I've always felt some sort of connection to him. 

In honor of his passing, Fire Reggie Dunlop will be sporting the memorial black armband at the top of the page. I will also get drunk and watch Slap Shot and Cool Hand Luke at least 5 times each this weekend. I recommend that everyone else do the same. So long, Reg.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shitting On Someone Else's Lawn

I figure since we basically stole the title for this blog from some other blog of a similar name, I might as well steal the basis for their blog as well. Only I like hockey better than baseball. I also recently read an article by Damien Cox of the Toronto Star that made me confused. A little angry. Kind of hungry. Mostly confused. Anyways, you may have seen this done before only funnier than how I'm about to do it.

The Pittsburgh Penguins didn't win the Stanley Cup last spring.

Thanks, dick.

But they sure paid for the visit to the final.

Nothing in life is free.

In massive new contracts for Evgeni Malkin (five years, $43.5 million), goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (seven years, $35 million) and defenceman Brooks Orpik (six years, $22.5 million), the Pens no longer boast a relatively affordable roster of young, improving players.

Oh, you were talking contracts, not hotel rooms. How long is this young, improving talent supposed to play for the league minimum by the way? Over the course of their entry level contract, you say? Well those expired and the Penguins made sure they didn't go anywhere. Like Toronto.

They still have the young players and they may well all still be improving.

That's sort of the idea. They will still have these young players for many years.

But affordable? Well, just. The formerly bankrupt Penguins, who host the Maple Leafs in exhibition play tomorrow night, are pushing right up against the NHL's $56 million salary cap.

Yes. The Penguins are pushing up against the salary cap. That's the purpose of a salary cap. Good teams spend up to but not over the cap. But why bring up the fact that the Penguins were bankrupt? They have money now. They are spending it on very good hockey players. They also won the Eastern Conference last year. You may know it as the conference where the Maple Leafs finished 12th.

There's no turning back now.

Darn tootin'.

GM Ray Shero has committed to a group of players that includes Malkin, Fleury, Orpik, captain Sidney Crosby and defenceman Ryan Whitney, all of whom are 27 or younger and are now locked up through the 2012-13 season. By next summer, they'll be joined by forward Jordan Staal, who is slated to become a restricted free agent in June.

Exactly. This is why the Penguins will probably be good for a while.

The cost of paying so much to so few, as Tampa Bay found out with its now disbanded Big Three, will be instability and yearly turnover with the other 60 per cent of the roster.

Correct, the Penguins will have "yearly turnover" for role players, grinders and general 3rd and 4th line talent. However, all their good young players, the core of the team, aren't going anywhere until at least 2013. You just said so yourself.

As for "paying so much for so few", each one of those aforementioned players has signed for less than market value. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will make on average $8.7 million each year. Two years from now, when presumably long term deals will begin to hurt a team financially, Vincent Lecavalier will make $10 million. He will continue to make that much each year until 2016. Ryan Whitney stands to make about $4.5 million a year until 2013. Ron Hainsey makes more than that. Brooks Orpik took a 6 year deal with Pittsburgh that will pay him $3.75 million a year. Nearly the exact same deal given to Mike Commodore and Brad Stuart.

This summer, the Pens lost unrestricted forwards Gary Roberts, Ryan Malone, Jarkko Ruutu, Marian Hossa, Georges Laraque and Adam Hall, as well as goalie Ty Conklin.

Let's break this down player by player with their 2007-08 regular season and postseason stats with the Penguins:

Marian Hossa - (3G, 7A, 10P - 12G, 14A, 26P) - Hossa was a rental. Pittsburgh hoped he wouldn't be, but it is clear now Marian Hossa was a rental player. He also only played in 12 regular season games for the Penguins. Was he instrumental in the Penguins going 12-2 through the Eastern Conference playoffs? Absolutely. But, the Penguins were 2nd in the East without him. Without Marian Hossa the Penguins still win the East, only they go 6 or 7 games with both the Rangers and Flyers. Remember, he only played in 12 fucking games with the Penguins before the playoff run. His offensive production doesn't need to really be replaced.

Gary Roberts - (3G 12A 15P - 2G 2A 4P) - He's old. He was a healthy scratch throughout the playoffs. Big deal.

Ryan Malone - (27G 24A 51P - 6G 10A 16P) - Malone was a great heart guy for the Pens this past year. He is also set to make $4.5 million a year until 2015. He has never scored more than 27 goals in one season. The Penguins let the overpaid guy leave so they could keep the young talent. If anything you should be writing about how the Tampa Bay Lightning, a club who you have pointed out already is terrible with contracts, has committed to paying a guy $4.5 million a year for the next 7 seasons yet the best year of his career got him 51 points.

Jarkko Ruutu - (6G 10A 16P - 2G 1A 3P) - Why is Ruutu leaving a bad thing? He was also replaced by a younger, cheaper, more talented player in Matt Cooke.

Georges Laraque - (4G 9A 13P - 1G 2A 3P) - Georges Laraque might be the best fighter in the league. There was absolutely no room for him on this team. Eric Godard is a more than suitable replacement.

Adam Hall - (2G 4A 6P - 3G 1A 4P) - If the departure of Adam Hall affects the Penguins season one iota, I will never watch hockey again.

Ty Conklin - It must be said, the Pittsburgh Penguins were where they were last season largely because of this man. Marc-Andre Fleury was injured and Conklin stepped up beyond anyone's wildest expectations. As did Dany Sabourin, the BACKUP goalie the Penguins chose to keep rather than pay Conklin and carry three goaltenders. Plus, the only reason Conklin left was so that he could play in all three outdoor NHL games. Oh yeah, he also did this.

In their place, the club brought in forwards Miro Satan, Ruslan Fedotenko and Eric Godard and will give some farmhands a chance.

In addition to Satan, Fedotenko and Godard, the Penguins also brought in Cooke and Janne Pesonen. A low risk, very high reward player for Shero. Gratned, he may spend most of his time in Wilkes-Barre Scranton. Not accounting for the Hossa rental, Ray Shero chose to let guys who had excelled and were going to be overpaid on the open market walk and bring in cheap talent to replace them. He did something similar with Sergei Gonchar and Petr Sykora. That's worked so far.

The Penguins can expect similar roster churn next summer, with nine more unrestricted free agents.

Those nine UFAs? Satan, Sykora, Fedotenko, Kris Beech, Jeff Taffe, Darryl Sydor, Hal Gill, Rob Scuderi and Sabourin. This "roster churn", or as I prefer to call it, "letting role players become overpaid role players in places like Tampa", will allow for the Penguins to keep their stars in town until 2013. We've been over this, Damien.

Still, many have anointed the Pens as the No.1 team in the Eastern Conference.

Have you seen the East?

But Crosby and Co. do have some speed bumps ahead.

Yes. You drive over speed bumps.

For starters, their training camp has been shortened to 10 days and just four exhibition matches, after which the club will jet to Europe to open the NHL regular season with games against Ottawa in Stockholm on Oct. 4-5.

Sergei Gonchar injured his shoulder in the Penguins first exhibition game. I am totally fine with less of those.

A similar jaunt didn't help Anaheim and Los Angeles last season.

Ok, Anaheim I can kind of understand. However, they still finished with 102 points in the West so going to Europe hardly derailed their season. But Los Angeles? Going to Europe didn't do anything to their season. Having that roster fucked that up.

Satan and Fedotenko are slated to replace the production of Hossa and Malone, but each scored only 16 goals with the Islanders last season.

First off, no one is expected to replace Hossa. Unless the Penguins trade for Marian Gaborik at the deadline. Secondly, 16 goals in the Islanders offense from last year is equal to at least 25 anywhere else in the NHL. Alexander Ovechkin would be held to 30 goals on Long Island. Third, four players from the Maple Leafs, the team that you cover, scored more than 16 goals last year.

The hope is that each will experience a rebirth in Pittsburgh simlar to that enjoyed by Petr Sykora (28 goals) a year ago.

Yes. And with Satan scoring over 600 career goals I wouldn't exactly say it's a pipe dream considering he'll be playing every day with Sidney Crosby as opposed to Bill Guerin. Mr. Cox also neglects to mention the fact that Ruslan Fedotenko is a 3rd line player.

Staal could be shifted to left wing alongside Malkin.

My dick just went hard.

The tricky challenge in the 20-year-old's contract year is to balance his aspirations for more opportunity – and more lucrative contract possibilities – with the team's ability to win.

"We've talked to Jordan," said Shero. "He's got to earn the time."

So let me get this straight, Damien. You first say that the Penguins have to balance Jordan Staal's on ice play with him hoping to get paid. You then follow that with a quote from the GM of the Penguins that basically says Jordan Staal won't play if he's not up to par, regardless of his contract situation. Ok...

While the upside for the Pens is attractive, nothing's for sure.

No fucking shit.

Both Malkin and Whitney struggled terribly against the Wings in the Stanley Cup final, the top two lines are being rebuilt and Fleury has played more than 60 games once.

Clearly Damien Cox's definition of rebuilt differs greatly from mine. When I think "rebuilt" I don't necessarily think of Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, et al, coming back with another year of experience. Experience that includes a run to the Stanley Cup Finals. The only experience Jiri Tlusty has is having nude pictures come back to bite him in his cute little ass. As for Malkin's and Whitney's struggles? They were both hurt. Ryan Whitney could miss half of this upcoming season because of that injury. Also, the majority of the NHL struggled terribly against the Red Wings last year.

Conklin, don't forget, carried the Pens through a portion of last season, winning 10 of 11 in one stretch.

I didn't forget. I will forever be indebted to Ty Conklin for that. I also didn't forget this.

Pittsburgh has played its hand, committing to a crew of young players who now have a Cup final appearance on their resum├ęs.

Again, I fail to see why this is a bad thing.

They'll have to propel this team over the top, for the salary cap world means there won't be enough money to get them help.

See: Ducks, Anaheim and Flyers, Philadelphia. Not Penguins, Pittsburgh.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Watching the Ryder Cup makes has gotten me to thinking...don't you think it would be an ingenious marketing ploy for a minor league sports team, or even a major league establishment to put butts in the seats by announcing that for a certain home game, they will be sponsoring an attempt for the Guinness World Record for the "Longest and Loudest USA Chant"? I think it would be. I would go. That's all.

Monday, August 25, 2008

FRD's Roast of Michael Phelps

A new segment here at FRD which is still in the "testing" phase or "beta" phase, whichever you prefer.  We're going to do roasts of figures in sports whether it be athletes, coaches, teams, or even fans. Ideally, you will see all of FRD contributors writing on these, but for the time being we're still working out the kinks...

Our first roast is of olympic hero, Michael Phelps.  It might be hard to make fun of the greatest olympic athlete of all-time, but we found away.  Keep in my we roast out of love, and have a lot of respect for Mr. Phelps despite what we say below.  

Roast starts here....

8 gold medals…Jesus Christ …you’ve got more gold around your neck than a new jersey jew. 

 Way to pick a fag sport like swimming, It’s no wonder you’re dad isn’t around. 

 I hear he’s a cop in Baltimore…what more likely to put him in an early grave some crackhead with a gun or you finally coming out of the closet. 

 But you really are quite the swimmer; you’ve spent more time in the water than Bill Shatner’s wife….The chlorine has left your eyes more permanently blood shot than Snoop dogs. 

So you’re the greatest Olympic athlete of all-time…that’s terrific… The weed smoking bobsled team, the AIDS infected diver, and roided up runners, you’ve outshined them all….what an outstanding accomplishment. 

We’re so blessed with swimmers in the US..I mean we’ve had Mark Spitz and now you, Michael Swallows….it’s a rich tradition.  

I hear you eat over 12,000 calories a day…damn that’s impressive…I had no idea Bob Costas’ dick was so fattening. 

Bob's laughing it up.

You’ve been a great ambassador for your sport…you’ve introduced swimming to more minorities than hurricane Katrina.

 But hey man, you and me…we’re not so different….

You spent time in ann arbor going to school….I spent some time in your sister going to school. 

You’ve beaten the French in competition…I’ve beaten a French guy in a bar fight. 

You have a great rivalry with an Australian celebrity…sometimes I pretend to be a Australian celebrity to pick up drunk chicks.....

 Guy walks in a bar …Bartender says what’ll you have? Guy says give me a Michael Phelps.  Bartender says what’s that?  Guy says “it’s a tall boring drink of water, that girls love for some unexplainable reason and occasionally guys get caught slurping on it.”

The thing I like most about you Mike is you’re not a swimmer, you’re so much more than that and I can see much more success in your future…I’m sure that skill of holding your breath underwater will come in handy in your future.  

I hear you’ve made over 100 million dollars in your career…more than of any your contemporaries…that’s way more than Corky kid made or that kid from Mask. 

 So let me get this straight (unlike your sexuality)….for a living you have to wear goggles, barely wear any clothes and shower right after to clean up….are you swimming or making bukkake videos for a living?

I got a question you elitest bitch; you ever make fun of another swimmers stroke?  Not in the pool but in the circle jerks you fags have after. ….That bleach smell in arena aint the chlorine folks…

You packed in 8 races in 7 days…beating your old record of packing 7 dudes in 7 days…where do you find the time.

So your mom thought you were hyper as a kid and threw you in a pool to burn off some energry…what is that from the susan smith school of parenting?

So Phelps in closing I salute and I congratulate you… you’ve left a lasting legacy and like you said, “left if all in the water.” Although that floater was not very appreciated by the Chinese.  

"Grrrrrr"-Chinese Guy

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

See You Next Tuesday: Olympic Edition

Sorry it's been a couple weeks with no See You Next Tuesday, but with no further ado, the Olympic Edition...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Brett Favre Brett Feavre Brett Favre Brettt Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre

Anyone else sick of that name? I took the day off of work today to take care of some other things and I spent the morning writing and watching ESPN because the only other thing on television was a test pattern for a public access station. I switched to the test pattern after about ten minutes. I already have a general dislike for the way ESPN presents sports coverage and today was no different as I was subjected to the Brett Favre Off-season Soap Opera.

Apparently he has been reinstated and reported to training camp. Now the issue is whether the Packers will automatically make him the starter, leave it to an open competition or trade him. At this point the only possible winner in any event is Favre, who will get another chance to suit up and sling the pigskin around. By "win", I mean save face in the media, which will surround this situation until months after Favre retires again, which could be when Jesus comes back for all I know.

Although it's been discussed ad-nauseum, here's what I think is at stake with the advent of Brett Favre's return to football:
1) Brett Favre is a future hall of fame quarterback who enjoyed one of his best seasons last year. Whichever team he plays for expects that he will be able to duplicate the same type of performance for them and lead them to a superbowl.
2) Aaron Rodgers, who has been in the league for four years, will have his starting job put in jeopardy because Brett is comin' back. His career will be delayed until they get this issue settled.
3) The Green Bay organization has one of two choices to make - Make Brett Favre their starter or make him some other team's starter.

Look at issue number one- Brett's performance last year and how that's affected the situation. Last year was one of the best in his career. What statistics may not show is that he was beat on twice in cold weather situations, once against a below average Bears team (biased cackle) and again in the playoffs versus the Giants where he himself threw the interception that cost them the game. Favre is known for his ability to thrive in harsh weather conditions and there he was last year, falling short of the legend that precedes him. A prevalent arguement for the Giants game is that although his did throw that crucial interception, he was the reason they were in the NFC championship game anyway. That's nice and all, but the fact remains that the Packers lost their chance at a superbowl directly because of a mistake he made. There are many quarterbacks in the NFL who have their passing statistics follow them around like a scarlet letter. Yet somehow the league leader in career interceptions is immune to this harsh criticism.
Nobody can predict that Favre will have the season he had last year and not have the season he had two or three years ago when the Packers were bottom feeders and he was initially mulling over retirement.

Any team that makes Brett Favre their starter, whether it be the Packers or the Vikings or whoever, has to make the Superbowl. Brett Favre has to return to a Superbowl to validate all of this chaos. If Brett starts and the team he plays for doesn't make the playoffs or loses a divisional game or the NFC Championship game again, then what was the point? (insert team) wants Brett Favre to be their starter because in their minds they will instantly become superbowl contenders. Otherwise you just acquired a better version of Jeff Garcia, with all of the ensuing "Should I retire today or five years from today" conversations.

P.S. - The Bears have come up as a possible landing place for Favre because of our current quarterback situation. Because the only problem we ever have is at quarterback. I don't want Favre on the team, but it would be nice to see him struggle in Chicago behind a shotty offensive line, a rookie running back and a questionable recieving staff. I think Favre coming to the Bears would be the best thing to happen to Grossman.

As for point number two, I really would like to see Aaron Rodgers start for a team in the NFL. In a way, he has more to prove than anyone I can recall. He was a possible number one overall pick in the 2003 draft, only to snubbed by the 49ers and drop late into the first round into the Pakcers' hands. Alex Smith is struggling in San Fran and if Rodgers was able to make a name for himself other than as Favre's backup, it would be an interesting story that they overlooked him. Add in all of the Favre drama, and Rodgers has alot to overcome.

Shifting to point bumber three, I'm not sure how Ted Thompson and Mike Mccarthy don't drink themselves to sleep thinking about this and reading it in the newspaper. If Brett Favre comes back, plays for the Pack and takes them to a Superbowl, then boo-yeah. But if Favre comes back and starts to struggle, or feels like retiring again and quits mid season, then they are left with their hands on their dicks (each person would have their hand on their own dick, not someone else's). Or they trade him to a division rival (which in any situation in any sport is a bad idea) and he finds success there and the Packer fan base is upset yet again.

I can't wait for whatever fate has in store for this situation to unfold because it's hard to even want to follow sports when Favre is permeating all forms of the media. And I pray for the day when he can't hack it anymore or alzheimers makes him forget that he was a football player and he doesn't show up to camp.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Goodbye Hugecock

One of my all-time favorite OSU players has decided to retire from football.  On behalf of all of us here at FRD, I wish him the best.  

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Go For It Jews!

Let me be the first to congratulate Fire Reggie Dunlop artist extraordinaire, Bernard Washington III aka Kyle Higaki, on his hilarious submission to Puck Daddy's Gary Bettman Photoshop Contest. Bravo, good sir. You have mastered the internet.

I can only hope that "Go For It Jews!" catches on elsewhere.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

See You Next Tuesday

There is a lot going on in sports right now, so here is another installment, called "Trail of Tears".

Monday, July 21, 2008

See You Next Tuesday

It has been requested that I illustrate what is going on in the world of sports through my intricate MS Paint works of art, so that being said, here is the first installment of FRD's illustrated segment, See You Next Tuesday. I call this piece, "Who the Hell Do You Think You Are?"

The Reverend's Response

I'm lazy and have been trying to think of something to write about so I'll steal Detroit's previous post and answer those questions myself. A sort of FRD Roundtable or some shit like that. I am not nearly the college football "expert" that he is, but I do really, really enjoy it. I was never a big college football guy until I started at Ohio State however, so most of the things I truely enjoy happened 2002 and later. Whatever. Here goes.

What aspect of college football should you care about, but really don't?

Army-Navy. These teams aren't any good. Yeah, sure, go USA and all that, but as far as actual football is concerned, so what?

Should a two-loss LSU team have won the national title?

Absolutely. Like my colleague said, the system that is in place was in place for everyone. As Joe Morgan would have said if asked "There were no great teams last year." Which is kind of true. There were no undefeated teams or teams that blew everyone away and had only one loss. Ohio State backed in in a sense, but they deserved to be there. LSU came out on top of the two-loss teams and deserved to be there.

How should college football be more like the NFL?

It shouldn't. I hate the NFL. The game is boring to watch. The players are all assholes. (Note: I have never met an NFL player but from what I can tell as a fan, these guys are fucking doucherockets.) I can't stand the NFL so if anything it should try to be more like college football which is unbelieveable.

Your college football guilty pleasure?

I wish I could say recruiting. I tried to get into it but that lasted about two weeks. I attempted to dive into message boards with people who "know their shit" but the vast majority of them are homer assholes who think everything their school does is perfect and if someone doesn't say something that is 100% in favor of their program they are horrible people. So for lack of anything else I'll say co-eds. I don't really feel too guilty about this now, but soon they will be younger than my sister and that will make me feel dirty.

How/why is the BCS better than a playoff?

I'm not so sure that it is, to be honest and I love bowl games and the bowl season. The only problem is that there hasn't been a playoff system brought up that won't have the same pit falls as the BCS. Sure, invite 8 teams to the playoff. What about team 9? What about team 10 who thinks they should be team 8? In many ways, this could be far worse than asking "Who's number 2?" Or you could say that the champs from the major conferences get into the playoff. Then you'll have southern dickhats saying that the number 3 team in the SEC is more deserving than the top team in the Big Ten. Or all these conferences that have championship games will bitch and moan about that. Here's an idea, ass, get rid of the championship game. No one told you to have it. Quit trying to be a fucking martyr.

I'm not buying into.....?

The SEC. I hate the south. I hate southerners. They are backwards, racist and overwhelmingly retarded. It's your fucking bible-thumping faults that our country is going down the shitter. Your conference ain't all that good, either. Sure you've won back to back national titles but so fucking what. SEC speed is non-existant as well. I also get the feeling that most of the fans of SEC schools did not attend said university. Which is also the case here in Columbus and I hate those people with a passion. "Oh you love OSU? You bleed scarlet and gray? Where did you go? Toledo? Shut the fuck up, stupid, and give me my burger." I earned the right to live and die with Ohio State athletics. Just because you grew up in Grove City, Ohio doesn't give you the right. You didn't go to OSU for a reason. (Note: Wow, I went off topic.)

Just how bad is the Big Ten?

Blow me. Sure the bottom half is awful. But I will take the programs of OSU, Michigan, Penn State and even Wisconsin over those southern programs in a second. The Big Ten had an off year and still managed to get a team into the National Title game. And don't pull that "They didn't deserve to be there" whiney bullshit either. Yes they did. And they lost. Talk to me about your wonderful SEC in 5 years. MIDWEST WHAT!

Give the 2010 rankings for: Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame, Michigan and Nebraska.

Florida State - Bowden will still be there as corrupt as ever. I'll say they are a decent team in the ACC again but not a national title contender. Outside shot at Top 25.

Miami - The U will always get talent there. I'm fairly certain it isn't even really a school and the only people that go there are athletes. It's like Oak Hill Academy and Tom Zemansky's School of Baseball rolled into one. A force in the ACC, moreso than FSU. Back in the national title picture until they lose a stupid game or two midway through the season. Top 15-25.

Notre Dame - As much as I hate them, it's Notre Dame. Their recruitment rankings will always look a little better than they really are just because of where the "experts" went to school. They're going to get big time talent there though. His coaching abilities aside, Charlie Weis has his own gravitational pull and the talent will come to him. They are a traditional power and they are clearly headed in the right direction even though it is blatantly racist and no one will say shit. Top 10-20.

Michigan - Oh boy. This year they are going to suck. But again, it's fucking Michigan. SEC Dick: What about Alabama? Shutup moron. High school kids are always going to want to play for Michigan, it's a no brainer. By 2010 they are where they once were. A Big Ten contender year in and year out as well as a national title contender. Top 10.

Nebraska - No. Plain and simple. No. This program fucked itself. It's going to be longer than 2010 for them to right the ship, Osborne or not. No chance at Top 25.

How much do you care about non-BCS teams?

Not a whole lot, but I do like to see them play. I don't want Hawaii, TCU and Boise State saying they should be playing for a national title, but to get to see them in big time bowls against traditional powers is pretty entertaining.

When should players be eligible for the draft?

As Mr. Browne said, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

The next really big super power will be?

That depends on how you are going to describe "super power". If we are talking about a team that is a national title contender every single year no matter what and is a school that players from all over the country want to go to then I'll say USC. Plus, they are ahead of any other school in becoming a super power already so chances are they'll get there first. Hell, they might already be there.

Best and worst interview you've ever done.

I was interviewed for my school paper once about our hockey team. Sad thing is, my quote never made it into the article. I was destined for greatness as a sophmore in high school.

5 favorite players, 5 best players you've seen in person and 5 favorite games?

Again, I am a recent college footbal convert so bear with me.

Favorite Players:

  1. Troy Smith - I fell in love with that black man the 2006 season.
  2. Brian Brohm - Yes I picked him to win the Heisman not only last year but the year before. I am still convinced with a mediocre defense he could have done this.
  3. Zoltan Mesko - Top 10 sports name of all time.
  4. Tony Dorsett - My dad went to Pitt. I can't help it.
  5. Drew Carter - For the record, no he did not bang my sister.

Best Players: The first major college football game I attended was in 2002.

  1. Vince Young - Got to see him in Columbus in 2005. Wow.
  2. Troy Smith - His 2006 season was unreal.
  3. That dude with one leg from San Jose State - Stay strong, brother.
  4. AJ Hawk - Just a great player to get to watch week-to-week.
  5. Dave Lisko - Can you count him as playing? Probably not. But he was great. They even gave him a helmet one year.

Favorite Games: I'm keeping this to games that I had some sort of tie to.

  1. 2006 Ohio State vs. Michigan - Game of the century. Lived up to its billing.
  2. 2002 Ohio State vs. Michigan - My first OSU/Michigan experience. Too much fun.
  3. 2003 Fiesta Bowl OSU vs. Miami - Best BCS Championship game ever. That overtime took years off my life.
  4. 2006 Rose Bowl Texas vs. USC - Vince Young. Period. Plus I remember betting a lot of money on both Texas and the over. I thought I was screwed and next thing I knew I had won. Hook 'em horns.
  5. 2006 Ohio State vs. Texas - Great game? No, not really. But I love Austin and the road trip to that game might be the highlight of my life. Yes, the 2005 game was better but 2006 was way more fun.

The one guy you want coaching your team?

Tough one. Bear Bryant had cool hats. Woody Hayes punched a dude. But they're both dead. I'll go Pete Carroll. Probably not the best X's and O's guy, but with the whole package a college football coach needs to bring to the table, I'll take him.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

16 Questions and Answers about College Football.

A minor housekeeping note here before the post.  I've been doing some work on the format of the blog the last fews days (mostly minor stuff like the links on the side) but it's mostly a trial and error process or at least something to pay attention to over the next week.  

Recently College Football news ran a segment expert round table discussion, featuring some of the so-called top experts in the college football landscape.  You can read their answers to the 16 questions posed here.  To totally and complete rip them off I will provide my own answers to the questions here at FRD because as we all know I'm probably like the foremost college football expert in the country (or at least a highly thought of young mind.) The questions are in bold my answers are not incase you couldn't figure it out.  

What aspect of college football should you care about, but really don't?
If I actually took the time to think about this one for awhile I might be able to think of a couple of things, but the answer off the top of my head is steroids.  Same is the case in all sports, I just don't really care about them.  I hope there is testing in place to pick these guys out, and I certainly think there is some moral aspect to the issue, but in reality it's just something I don't want to spend a lot of time thinking about.  

Should a two-loss LSU team have won the national title?
In the system we have in place they won it fair and square.  Everyone plays by the same rules and knew that going in.  Also, I had them at #1 to start the year last year and thought they really were the best team.  

How should college football be more like the NFL?
It's shouldn't in anyway.  The uniqueness is what makes it so special.  There is a reason I don't watch the NFL.  

Your college football guilty pleasure?
Recruiting- I'm way too into it. It might be the number one guilty pleasure in my life period.  I do see the creepiness of it, especially now that I'm much older than the recruits.  

How did you get into college football?
I grew up in it.  Saturdays in the fall are meant for college football.  My family has had the same season tickets since before I was born and growing up in the midwest I couldn't possibly ignore it.  I literally think I can remember every game I've been to in some way or another.  

How/why is the BCS better than a playoff?
Now I'm a traditionalist and respect the bowl games, but even I in the current format would favor a playoff.  The problem is I have yet to see a playoff system that would address the problems of the BCS any better than the bowl system does.  Making the regular season important and keeping the season shorter are also ways it's better than a playoff.

I'm not buying into.....?
The plus-one game argument.  People claim it's the logical compromise between a playoff and the BCS, but it's a bag of worms I want nothing to do with.  If a team completes the regular season and bowl game as the lone undefeated and then loses to a 1 or 2 loss team in the plus one- I'm not buying into that.  Also include mid-majors in this- I'm not buying into them either.  Yes the 85 scholarship limit has created more parity but the six major conferences are still much better.  

Just how bad is the Big Ten?
Easy answer is not that bad.  Sure I'm slightly biased in this one but the balance in power in college football moves in cycles.  The speed argument is absolute shit and ignorant at that.  The only thing which might hurt the big ten is their increased academic standards over other conferences, although that's been falling recently.  For those of you who don't know the Big Ten created their own standards for academics for kids to qualify on top of those of the NCAA- which makes it more difficult to qualify a kid in the Big Ten than say the SEC.  In the end though the Big Ten will be back, it had a bad year last year, but should be improved this year and eventually will be back on top.  

Do you have any problem with Tim Tebow winning two Heismans?
If he earns them, then no.  But I will be a little sad that Archie won't be the only one anymore.

Give the 2010 rankings for: Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame, Michigan and Nebraska?
Tough question but I would probably go in order Notre Dame 10-15 in the country, Michigan 15-25, Miami 20-25 if they get their attitude together, Florida State and Nebraska just outside the top 25.

How much do you care about non-BCS teams?
Truthfully, not that much.  I'm of the belief that they simply aren't as good no matter what people say.  Sure 1-3 of them might be able to play with the big boys every year and the product is much improved over 10 years ago, but there is a reason why the same teams have been winning titles for the last 50+ years.  I'd still rather watch a match-up of MAC bottom dwellers than an NFL game any day.  

When should players be eligible for the draft?
I'm not sure I care, I think they rule they have now is pretty good.  Yes I can see the argument about being able to go whenever they think they are ready and someone is willing to pay them, but if it's not broke, don't fix it.  

The next really big super power will be ?
China....still reading this?  Seriously though I'd say Alabama because I'd argue they haven't been a super power in 10 years.  If you don't accept that and are thinking more long term I'd say Florida.  

Best and worst interview you've done?
This doesn't really apply so we're skipping ahead.....

5 favorite players, 5 best players you've seen in person and 5 favorite games?
Great question I'll start with favorite players even though some of these guys were around before I was around.
  1. Chris Speilman
  2. Anthony Gonzalez 
  3. AJ Hawk
  4. Derrick Alexander
  5. Jay Reimersma

5 best players I've seen...thinking about this I realized I have seen 9 Heisman winners in my 23 years on this planet.  
  1. Charles Woodson- you knew he was getting the ball and teams couldn't stop him
  2. Vince Young- It seemed so easy for him, that he was barely trying but was still so good.
  3. Troy Smith- Only his 2006 season prior to that I was skeptical, but he had the most growth of any player I've seen
  4. Donovan McNabb- Overwhelming talent.
  5. Derrick Alexander- loved watching this guy play WR, seems to always be making highlight real catches, but then again I was like 6 or 7 years old.
     Krenzel barely missed making my 5 favorite players.  I sometimes forget how good OSU was in 2003
5 favorite games... I'm going to break this down into two lists (5 favorite I've seen in person and 5 best games I've seen overall.)  The first one will be the one's I've seen in person
  1. Michigan-OSU 2006- My senior year of college.  The absolute perfect setup for my senior year of college.  Ended great for me, but the bowl just didn't turn out so well
  2. Michigan- Colorado 1993- The hail mary game.  When everyone stood up on the final play my view got blocked and didn't actually see Westbrook catch it.  
  3. Michigan- Alabama 2000 Orange Bowl- First overtime game I saw and great game overall, with ending that didn't do it service.  My first run in with Alabama fans and their unrealistic expectations.  
  4. OSU-Texas 2005- Although the ending was not very kind to me and I had a much better time the year after in Austin, I'll give the nod that the one in columbus was a better game.
  5. Michigan-OSU 2003- 100th game in the series with two really good teams that year.  OSU was a lot closer to pulling this one out than most people remember. 
Five best games
  1. OSU-Miami 2003 Fiesta Bowl- Still in my mind the greatest national title game.  Something like 85 players from the combined rosters played in the NFL later.  
  2.  Michigan-OSU 2006- Making both of my lists. 
  3. USC-ND 2005- Too bad I have both teams.  
  4. Florida State-Virginia 1995- FSU's first ACC lost on a thursday night game.  Warrick Dunn comes up just short on a direct snap at the end.  
  5. USC-Texas Rose Bowl 2006. - I'm not really a huge fan of this game because I don't think this USC team was as good as everyone thinks.  They were also playing their worst football at the end of the regular season and should have lost to Fresno State.  Vince Young's performance though was totally dominating and it had a great 4th quarter.  

The one guy you want coaching your team?
Tough question.  If I had to pick a guy to build a program I go with Tressel.  If I needed a guy to win one game I think I go with Urban Meyer, but his bowl game last year makes me wonder.  

Thursday, July 17, 2008

FRD's Entirely Too Early College Football Preview:National Outlook

"Gimme 'dat Heisman Nigga"- Beanie Wells

We've broken down every conference over the last few days so all that is left is the national scene.  Let me start by saying I reserve the right to change this before the start of the season, but I most likely will stick with it.  

The top 5 teams are, in my opinion, the major national title contenders.  After that I could see the next 7 teams as being sleeper title contenders.  After that it's pretty much up for grabs and I expect a lot of fluctuation like we saw in last years top 25 poll.  This poll should be update weekly throughout the season.  
  1. Oklahoma
  2. Florida
  3. Ohio State
  4. USC
  5. Georgia
  6. LSU
  7. Auburn
  8. Penn State
  9. Missouri
  10. Wisconsin
  11. Clemson
  12. Texas
  13. South Florida
  14. Arizona State
  15. Tennessee
  16. Texas Tech
  17. Virginia Tech
  18. Notre Dame
  19. West Virginia
  20. TCU
  21. Pitt
  22. Cincinnati
  23. BYU
  24. Alabama
  25. Michigan State
FRD's Pre-season All-American Team
QB- Tim Tebow, Florida DE- George Selvie, USF
RB- Beanie Wells, OSU DT- Fili Moala, USC
RB- DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma DT- Ricky Jean-Francois, LSU
WR- Vidal Hazelton, USC DE- Maurice Evans, PSU
WR- Jeremy Maclin, Mizzou LB- James Laurinaitis, OSU
TE- Travis Beckum, Wisky LB- Rey Maualuga, USC
OL- Alex Mack, Cal LB- Brandon Spikes, Florida, 
OL- Duke Robinson, Oklahoma CB- Malcom Jenkins, OSU
OL- Steve Rehring, OSU CB- Macho Harris, VT
OL- Andre Smith, Bama S- Nic Harris, Oklahoma
OL- Eugene Monroe UVA S- Taylor Mays, USC
K- Sam Swank, Wake P- AJ Trapasso, OSU

Heisman Watch List:  Let me say I'm downright terrible at predicting the Heisman winner.  In past years I've predicted Chris Sims, Roy Williams, Dwayne Jarrett, Chris Leak and Steve Slaton.  Hopefully I'm not a jinx as I have too much invested emotionally in this years pick
  1. Chris Wells, RB-OSU
  2. DeMarco Murray, RB- Oklahoma
  3. Tim Tebow, QB- Florida
  4. Graham Harrell, QB- Texas Tech
  5. Sam Bradford, QB- Oklahoma

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I haven't posted in a long time...

but hopefully this picture that i made will make up for it. I'm not going to explain because that would be worthless.

FRD's Entirely Too Early College Football Preview: Non-BCS Conferences

Jimmy Clausen needs to stop being a d-bag and help his team win games this year.

So I've loaded up the blog with previews here tonight, but I'm battling a bad case of insomnia mixed with subtle panic attack dealing with law school so it's been kind of an escape.  Disregard the typo's- I know there is a lot and if I can stay alert enough tomorrow I will fix them- I promise.  
On to the topic of the post.  These will not be as detailed as the BCS conference previews because I'm not sure anyone cares to look at them.  If you really want my total breakdown of any of these teams or conferences shoot me an email and I'll get it to you.  Also, I figure I should make it known (for the future of this blog) that I hate underdogs, mid-majors, whatever else you call them.  I view them as a novelty in the landscape of college athletics.  I have significantly more interest in Division III football or High School football than I do in who wins the Sun Belt conference.  Although I do pay attention to the Sun Belt and if there was no other games on I would happily watch it.  

Conference and Team Projections:

Mountain West:
BYU- 9-3- Might be getting a little too much credit in some pre-season publications but a solid team overall who should hang around the top 25.
Utah-9-3- A team I definitely think is overrated in the national scene.  If they can beat Michigan the opening weekend, and they do have a chance, I might be wrong. 
TCU- 9-3- The team I think most likely to challenge BYU for the conference title.  
Air Force-7-5- So hard to gauge these teams because the turnover, but they play a solid brand of football and should be competitive again.  
New Mexico- 5-7-I have next to nothing to offer on this team.  Should be just around bowl level. 
San Diego State- 5-7- Might be time for Chuck Long to produced.  Team is getting better but could/should be there already in my opinion.  
Colorado State-4-8- They are no longer the mid-major power they once were.  Program on the decline for sure.  
Wyoming-4-8- Difficult team to judge, not good enough to go bowling but good enough to win some games.  
UNLV- 3-9- One of the bottom 5 programs in America.  I would be shocked at 3 wins or more. 

Fresno State- 9-3- A program that is always tough and has to be respected for willing to play anyone.  Probably their best team in a couple of years and maybe good enough to sneak into the top 25. 
Boise State-10-2- This year's Hawaii.  An easy schedule will have them in the national discussion, but this is not the team of 2 years ago.  If they get anywhere near a BCS game they will get murdered.  
Nevada-7-5- Chris Ault does a really nice job with this program.  Probably able to hack out a bowl game.
New Mexico State-6-6- Blah. Terrible with the football last year. 
Hawaii- 5-7- June Jones is gone and that might be the signal of bad things for the rainbow warriors.  Tough place to win, but they have won and might be able to keep that attitude. 
San Jose St.- 4-8- Trying to get better, but just can't make it over that edge.  +13 in turnovers and still couldn't turn it into a winning record.
Louisiana Tech- 4-8- Offense can score, defense can't stop anyone= not good.
Idaho-2-10- Bottom 5 program year in year out. Not sure anyone can win here.
Utah State-1-11- I can only think of one team worse in college football this year.

The MAC:  Because I live in the region I'm partial to the MAC.  After a good run about 5-8 years ago the league has really fallen off.  Should be a better brand of football this year than we've seen in awhile, but still a largely wide open league.  I'd cheer for Ball State to beat anyone in college football but Ohio State (There's a long story behind this).

Central Michigan-7-5- The head of the MAC the past few seasons.  They might just be able to hang on for another season
Ball State- 8-4- I love their coach Brady Hoke- there might not be a better guy in college football.  A good team last year that couldn't play a lick of defense but could score some points.  Nearly everyone is back, but I'm not sure how much better they could get. 
Miami-7-5- Probably the best squad since the days of Big Ben.
Kent State-5-7- Good little running back in Eugene Jarvis but not a lot else to get excited about.
Bowling Green- 6-6- Challenging schedule, but has some strength returning from a good team last year.  Record might not show improvement even if it's there.
Toledo-5-7- Had a good season last year considering some major off the field distractions.  Struggling to regain momentum of a few seasons ago
Western Michigan-7-5- Should be in position to challenge for MAC crown with a few breaks.
Akron-4-8- Roughly the same as last year.
Ohio- 4-8- Better than their record will show.  Games against Wyoming and Northwestern offer chances to build something heading into the conference slate.
Northern Illinois-3-9- Program in transition.  Turnover machine last year. 
Temple-4-8- They return 22 starters and I only have them at 4 wins for a reason. 
Buffalo-4-8- People give Turner Gill credit for almost having them .500 last year.  Good amount of that team is back so there is opportunity but I'm not sure there is the talent.  
Eastern Michigan-2-10- Doormat program.  Needs something to get them going, I have no idea what that is.  

Conference USA:
Tulsa-9-3- Still a step ahead of the conference in terms of talent and program. 
Memphis-8-4- Good enough to challenge for the conference, but not sure Tommy West will have them ready.
Houston-7-5- Art Briles did such a good job here, I hope they can keep it going.  Important season for the program. 
Southern Miss-7-5- New coach but I dont expect improvement anywhere on the field.
UCF-6-6- George O'leary's done a nice job here but loses a ton of offense. 
East Carolina- 5-7- Skip Holtz proved he can coach, need to pull off a couple of upsets to be bowl eligible.  
Marshall-5-7- Former OSU guy Marc Snyder had a rough start, but they are slowly improving.  
UTEP-4-8- Not sure there is much improvement here for Mike Price
Tulane-3-9- I like Bob Toledo but he doesn't have much to work with here.  Huge offensive losses. 
SMU-3-9- I could be totally off on this one cause I have that much respect for June Jones, but I'll give him a year to get his system in place.
Rice-2-10- Phil Steele says this team will be much better, but they were downright awful last year.  I'm not sure I see reasons they wont be again this year.
UAB-2-10- They have tons of JC players coming in and they need to be ready to contribute right away.  

Sun Belt: easily the worst conference in college football this year.
FAU-8-4- Great job building this program in less than 10 years.  Pretty amazing they can compete as well as they do. 
Troy-7-5- Not as good as the teams from the last couple of years ago, bringing in a ton of JC players,
Louisiana-Monroe-5-7-Middle of the pack team with decent amount of returning players.
Middle Tennessee State-5-7- they find ways to be around .500 it seems like every year.
Louisiana-Lafayette-3-9- They've never been to a bowl. It's not going to happen this year.
Arkansas State-3-9- They've had a good three year run, even making a bowl once, but it's going to be a long season for the Red Wolves.  
North Texas-2-10- Good QB prospect in Riley Dodge maybe he can steal some games for them, but unlikely.
FIU-1-11- Program that can't seem to get it going, but with their location and ability to take questionable characters, they could turn it around fast.  It just won't be this year.  
Western Kentucky- 2-10- Transitioning to division 1 and probably one of the worst teams in it this year.  Pulled off a winning record last year, so I could be totally off on this, it's very hard to judge.  

Notre Dame-8-4- Easy schedule allows for them to be in much better shape than last year. Talent is starting to contribute, but much is overrated.  If the O-line doesn't improve it might not matter.  Should be in the top 25.  
Navy-4-8- Could be tough without Paul Johnson, but I hope they surprise me.  
Army-3-9-  Hope they do better, but nearly impossible to have a winning season here.  

FRD's Entirely Too Early College Football Preview: Big East

Tony Soprano sucked Greg Schiano back in just when he thought he was out.

FRD's own Rev. Woodrow Morris has predicted Brian Brohm will win the heisman for the last 3 years, so perhaps this will finally be the year.  

In reality the Big East might be better top to bottom than it has been in the past couple of years, but it lacks an elite team. Realistically WVU, USF, Pitt, Cincinnati, and Rutgers could all compete for the title.  

Team Projections-
USF- 9-3-  Should be an exciting defense coming back, but the offense is overrated.  My pick for best team in the league.  Probably the best chance of any conference team to run the table.  
West Virginia-8-4 - Lots of speed is back and they can probably beat anyone, but I think they could struggle. I hear horror stories about how bad of Coach Bill Stewert is so that should be interesting.  
Cincinnati-9-3- Brian Kelly has done a nice job here mixing in his system with what Coach Dantonio left him.  Demetrius Jones might be the perfect guy to run the offense.  One of the major up and coming programs. 
Pitt- 8-4-  Put up or shut up time for this program.  There is enough talent there, although some of it is young, to make a run at things.
Rutgers-7-5- How big of loss is Ray Rice?  If they can find a replacement for him they might be able to challenge for the title.  
UConn-5-7- I had this team listed at 6-6 but that seems too generous.  I don't know how this team had success last year, the one time I saw them they were god awful.  Back to reality for the Huskies.  
Louisville- 5-7-  They were the most lost team in the country on defense last year.  However, a year ago I was being told Hunter Cantwell was the 2nd best QB prospect in the country and now he gets his chance to start.  
Syracuse-3-9- I think 3 wins might actually shock me.  Time to fire Greg Robinson.  

All-Big East Team:

QB- Pat White, WVU DE- George Selvie, USF
RB- LeSean Mccoy, Pitt DT- Terrill Byrd, UC
RB- Noel Devine, WVU DT- Aaron Harris, USF
WR- Derek Kinder, Pitt DE- Jamaal Westerman, Rutgers
WR- Kenny Britt, Rutgers LB- Scott Mckillop, Pitt
TE- Nate Byhan, Pitt LB- Reed Williams, WVU
OL- Mike Dent, WVU LB- Manny Abreu, Rutgers
OL- Jake Finger, WVU CB- Mike Mickens, UC
OL- Ryan Schimdt, USF CB- Aaron Berry, Pitt
OL-Anthony Davis, Rutgers S- Nate Allen, USF
OL- Ryan Stanchek, WVU S- Courtney Greene, Rutgers

Top Newcomers:
  1. Jon Baldwin-WR- Pitt
  2. Isiah Pead-RB-UC
  3. Shane Hale- LB- Pitt
  4. DJ Woods- WR- UC
  5. Cam Saddler- WR-Pitt

FRD's Entirely Too Early College Football Preview: ACC

Miami missed this level of fight when they were losing 48-0 in the final game of the Orange Bowl

The ACC is known as a basketball conference for a reason, and that shouldn't change this year.  The struggles of Miami and FSU have really hurt the quality of this conference, and I think it's safe to say no one saw that coming when this conference expanded some years ago.  

This year's clear favorite in the conference is Clemson and I agree with that.  They should be on the cusp of competing for a national title, but as usual I think their mental makeup will prevent them from getting there.  This might be the hardest conference to predict of any.  The teams that are returning talent have a history of collapses and the teams that are usually consistent are faced with down years talent wise.  I look for Clemson, Wake, FSU, UNC and Virginia Tech to makeup the top of the conference crown and go bowling.  

Team Predictions-
Clemson-9-3- Lots of talent and exciting talent at that, but can you ever really trust this team.  I expect them to blow games they shouldn't once again.  
Virginia Tech-9-3-  They find ways to win.  Better quarterback play could make them the favorites.
Florida State- 8-4- What is going on with this program?  the talent has certainly dropped off at the skill positions and they seem to have bad chemistry.  Won't compete again until they can find a QB and RB. 
Wake Forest- 7-5- I should watch this pick as I always undervalue them, but seriously can they keep it up.  Good defense back and you have to trust Jim Grobe will have them ready.
UNC-7-5- Really looking forward to seeing this team.  I liked what I saw last year despite them having a terrible record.  I trust Butch Davis is building something here but the talent is still young and raw.  They might still be a year away.  
Maryland-6-6- Fridge can coach but I don't see anything special here.  
Boston College- 5-7- If they can find some offense they could be somewhere around 8 wins. Defense should keep them in some games but they are rebuilding after a solid year last season. 
Miami- 5-7-  They have top 15 talent in the country, but honestly what I think is the worst coach.  There is an infusion of talent and attitude, but if they struggle early, as I expect, they will most likely quit.  
Georgia Tech- 5-7- Can Paul Johnson run his system here?  I'm not sure but will have to battle for a bowl this year. 
Virginia-4-8- I think they could surprise me but not sure there is enough there to compete.  Al Groh's job is probably on the line.  
NC State-4-8- Incredibly hard team to judge in Tom O'brien 2nd year.  If they can build some early momentum, they might be able to make a bowl but it's going to be really tough.  
Duke-2-10-  David Cutcliffe is a good hire and they will get better, but it's still Duke.  Not sure the school is committed to a serious football program.  

All-ACC Team:

QB- Cullen Harper, Clemson DE- Everette Brown, FSU
RB- James Davis, Clemson DT- Vance Walker, GT
RB- CJ Spiller, Clemson DT- Marvin Austin, UNC
WR- Greg Carr, FSU DE- Eric Moncur, Miami
WR- Hakeem Nicks, UNC LB- Derek Nicholson, FSU
TE-Sam Wheeler, VT LB- Brian Toal, BC
OL- Thomas Austin, Clemson LB- Stanley Arnoux, Wake
OL- Eugene Monroe, UVA CB- Macho Harris, VT
OL-Reggie Youngblood, Miami CB- Alphonso Smith, Wake
OL- Sergio Render S- Myron Rolle, FSU
OL- Calvin Darity, UNC S- Antwine Perez, Maryland

Top Newcomers:
  1. Dequan Bowers- DL- Clemson
  2. Nigel Bradham- LB- FSU
  3. Brandon Harris-DB- Miami
  4. Kenny Tate- WR- Maryland
  5. Tommy Streeter- WR- Miami

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

FRD's Entirely Too Early College Football Preview: Big XII

Maybe Again, Bob?
This year's edition of the Big XII should actually be an improvement on recent years.  I'd say the conference firmly places second to only the SEC in terms of quality.  Unlike past years, we shouldn't see a big drop off after just two teams.  

Despite getting absolutely run over in their bowl game I think big things are in store for Oklahoma this year.  Right behind them and a possible national title contender is Texas and Missouri, but I wouldn't bank on either of these teams.  Following that group at the top are a fair amount of teams that could play a spoiler role in the conference (A&M, Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma St).  

Team Projections

Oklahoma- 12-0- I really love the balance they have on offense.  Stoops can prove he is still a great coach with this group.  
Texas-10-2- I get the feeling Mack Brown kind of softened up a bit after winning the national title.  He needs to stop that and crank it back up.  There is too much talent here not to compete for the national title every year.  This team should be better than last year, but not quite elite.  
Missouri- 10-2- I tend to think this group is a little overrated and headed for a crash, but the schedule is easy enough that they will be on the cusp of a BCS bowl again.  
Texas Tech- 9-3- Perhaps the best chance to crash the BCS party.  Offensive numbers might be even bigger than usual, but the defense is still no where near championship level.  
Texas A&M- 7-5- Interested to see what Mike Sherman can do here as the cupboard wasn't left totally bare.  Tradition rich program needs a shot in the arm.  
Oklahoma State-7-5-  Mike Gundy has done a good job of keeping up with what Les Miles started.  I'm guessing he turns 41 this year.  
Kansas-7-5- They played perhaps the easiest schedule in the country last year, but did win their bowl.  My guess is they lost too much on defense and take a major step back.  Should still have enough to make a bowl and maybe win the north division.  
Nebraska- 6-6- Pelini should be able to get things back on track here, but it's going to take some time.  Easily enough talent to make a bowl game so that should be the goal.  
Colorado- 5-7- The schedule is really tough so it's going to be hard for them to make a bowl, but I really like what Dan Hawkins is doing here.  In two years they should be able to contend for the conference title.  
Kansas State- 5-7-  Interesting squad and I like Ron Prince as a coach as well as QB Josh Freeman.  Will have to fight to make a bowl game but always a fun team to watch.  
Iowa State- 4-8- Not really sure where this program is headed.  Would keep expectations low this year.
Baylor- 2-10- I'm a huge Art Briles fan and he'll improve this program, but if he can get this team in a bowl this year or next that's an amazing coaching job.  

All-Big XII Team

QB- Graham Harrell, Tech DE- Ian Campbell, K-State
RB- DeMarco Murray, OU DT- DeMarcus Granger, OU
RB- Marlon Lucky, Neb DT- George Hypolite, Col
WR- Jeremy Maclin, Missou DE- Zach Potter, Neb
WR-Juanquin Iglesias, OU LB- Ryan Reynolds, OU
TE-Chase Coffman, Missou LB- Sergio Kindle,UT
OL- Jon Cooper, OU LB- Sean Weatherspoon,Missou
OL- Duke Robinson, OU CB-Lendy Holmes, OU
OL- Cedric Dockery, UT CB- Jordan Pugh, A&M
OL- Ryan Miller, Col S- Nic Harris, OU
OL- Phil Loadholt, OU S- Jordan Lake- Baylor

Top Newcomers:
  1. Darrell Scott-RB-Col
  2. Cyrun Gray- RB-A&M
  3. Robert Griffin-QB-Baylor
  4. Aaron Williams-DB- UT
  5. Joshua Jarboe-WR-OU