Saturday, July 31, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
The offense was really bad last year, finishing 112th in the nation in total yards, and while the talent is there to be better, the talent was better than that last year too. The offensive line looked absolutely abysmal in conference play last season and will have to be better if the Tigers want any chance at a conference title. QB Jordan Jefferson is the defintion of average and will not win games single handedly, so the line has to be better if this team wants to win games. The rushing attack finished near the bottom of the SEC as well. Quite simply, LSU needs to play to their own level of talent, and head coach Les Miles needs to get that much out of them.
The defense is good but it isn't great. The defense was poor last season against the run and good against the pass but unless the offense improves it will need to find a way to be good against both. The secondary is deep with NFL-caliber talent and should provide the Tigers some chances to stay in games they shouldn't be in. The run defense and pass rush must improve however, finishing 87th in sacks again just won't do it.
The schedule is pretty good in the SEC, but the addition of out of conference games against West Virginia and North Carolina makes it look pretty tough. The good news is that the Tigers get to skip Georgia and South Carolina in conference play this year, and they'll get Alabama at home after a week off. The breaks end there though as they must hit the road against Auburn, Florida, and the regular season finale at Arkansas.
Prediction: 4th, SEC West.
Can evil be funny? For over 13 years now, Comedy Central has answered that questionwith an emphatic yes every Wednesday night. Now working it's way through its fourteenth season, I do believe that only Simpsons has run longer of all the shows currently on television, and is behind that same show for the longest running cartoon series ever. This show makes everyone mad, and that is what I love so much about it, it never pulls punches. I am, at the core of my nature, and pretty cruel person. I love to see jokes run their course, I hate it when something is ended abruptely because someone didn't want to got to far. South Park never does and that is what makes it so much better than shows like Family Guy and American Dad. While those shows are funny, they let up at some point, additionally, South Park uses satire expertly. For my money, South Park is the smartest comedy on television, often poking fun while making political stands and actually attempting to use the absurd situations to teach life lessons. Family Guy just has Brian look at the screeen and tell you that Bush sucks and declares you a nazi if you vote for McCain. Very clever. South Park goes after everybody EQUALLY, not just politicians they dislike, and that makes it so great. 9/11, abortion, religion, racism, celebrities, media bias, global warming, and suicide. South Park goes after them all and for those of you who hate this morally depraved show, you might be surprised to discover that almost every episode ends by teaching a morally/politically conservative viewpoint and then mocking the world for looking at any other way. If you can handle the language, you'll probably like where it goes.
I tried to make this list a top 10, decided that I would have to leave too many great episodes out, then made it a top 20. I still wasn't staisfied, so I went to 25. When I was still unhappy I decided that I just needed to accpet that there were simply more great episodes than I could fit on my list.
Runner-ups: My Future Self N' Me, Red Sleigh Down, Heaven vs. Hell, Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow, ManBearPig, Hell on Earth. The Losing Edge, Taco Flavored Kisses, and Pirates of Somilia.
After less than a decade in D-1 football, UConn will enter the 2010 season as a legitimate threat to go to a BCS bowl as the Big East champion. With 17 starters coming back and a lot of momentum from the end of last season, teh Huskies look like a force to be dealt with this year. The Huskies will not be the conference favorite, that honor goes to Pittsburgh, but the Huskies are almost as good as with Dave Wandstedts record of managing talent second best may be in the best position to win the league. The Huskies 5 losses last season all came by four points or less and with some big game experience, this squad can undoubtedly shock the world and the run the table much like Cincinnati did a year ago.
The offense is not exciting but it is damned good. The Huskies run the ball, and they run it a lot. The offensive line is probably the best in the conference and last years starting running back was supposed to be a questionable fill for star Donald Brown, but ran for over 1100 yards. The QB play is very questionable, the Huskies rotated two starters last year, and neither completed more than 62 percent of their passes, and the TD/INT ratio for both was virtually even.
The defense is average, which is a common theme in the Big East this season. The defensive line and linebacking corps have been excellent over the last few years, and the Huskies stop the run very well, and that will be key against West Virginia and Pitt this season. The pass defense is less reliable, but the teams to beat in the conference will both be led by inexperienced QB's so that is a little less important than it may seem.
The schedule just screams BCS. The opening day game at should be the only true test in the first seven games, after that contest, the Huskies will face Temple, Vanderbilt, Buffalo, Texas Southern, Louisville, and Rutgers before West Virginia comes to town on Oct. 29th. The three best teams in the league (Cincinnati, West Virginia, and Pitt) all are home games and none are in consecutive weeks. After West Virginia, UCoon gets a week of to prepare for Pitt, and then a game against Syracuse before hosting the Bearcats. Even if they do drop a conference game and lose the title to someone else, the Huskies could be a BCS at large contender.
Prediction: 10-2, second Big East.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
24. Houston Cougars
Okay, raise your hand if you can remember the last time a C-USA team started out ranked in the top 25. If you raised your hand, you remember a time before the current line-up, none of the teams here ever have as a member of the Conference USA. The Houston Cougars are a borderline top-25er in almost every poll I've seen but they are certainly good enough to break the trend.
The team will live and die by the offense. QB Case Keenum has had more throwing yards than anyone in the nation for his career, led the nation by roughly 1500 yards last year, and this year he can legitimately challenge every record there is at his position. Many are predicting a 6,000 yard season, which is quite frankly insane, no in the NFL has ever done that even with a 16 game season. Keenum threw for almost 5700 yards last season and played awful in the Cougars bowl game, with a better effort this year, 6,00 yards will be eclipsed for the first time in history. The recieving corps will return two 1000 yard men from a year ago and the run game, well, it doesn't really exist so it doesn't matter who is playing that position. The line is average, but the offense is so explosive that it shouldn't cause any issues, it is about the same caliber as the one from last year.
The defense, well, sucks. Really bad. The defense was 111th in the country a year ago, and 115th against the run, allowing over 150 yards on the ground in every single game. The good news is, they won 10 games anyway, so it doesn't really have to improve a whole lot to win. The defense is bad, no doubt about it, but it should at least be able to rank in the nations top 100 this year, and with the way the Cougars score that is all it needs to do.
With a few breaks (Boise State and TCU losing games) the schedule is BCS worthy. It includes three teams from AQ conferences, and the good news is they are all winnable games. Mississippi State, at Texas Tech, and at Texas Tech. These are the very definition of mediocre teams, but all have the ability to make it to a bowl this year, if the Cougars win out, a trip to Glendale for the Fiesta Bowl is possible.
This season will be very exciting, regardless of how the Cougs finish, because so many passing records will likely be broken. The defense is too shaky to win out but a Conference USA title is my prediction, with a 12-2 record after bowl season.
Monday, July 26, 2010
19. Notre Dame vs. Stanford 9/25
18. Oklahoma at Cincinnati 9/25
17. Washington at BYU 11/4
16. North Carolina vs. Cincinnati 9/16
15. Oregon at Tennessee 9/11
14. Pittsburgh at Utah 9/2
13. West Virginia at LSU 9/25
12. BYU at Florida State 11/18
11. Iowa at Arizona 9/18
10. Nebraska at Washington 9/18
9. Oregon State at Boise State 9/25
8. Miami at Pittsburgh 9/23
7. Texas A&M vs. Arkansas 10/9
6. North Carolina vs. LSU 9/4
5. TCU vs. Oregon State 9/4
4. Florida State at Oklahoma 9/11
3. Penn State at Alabama 9/11
2. Miami at Ohio State 9/11
1. Virginia Tech vs. Boise State: September 6
And conference games
9. Virginia Tech at Miami: 11/20
8. TCU at Utah 11/6
7. Iowa vs. Ohio State 11/20
6. Iowa vs. Wisconsin 10/23
5. Oklahoma vs. Texas 10/2
4. Oregon at Oregon State 12/4
3. Texas at Nebraska 10/16
2. Wisconsin vs. Ohio State 10/16
1. Florida at Alabama 10/2
Finally she convinced Billy to talk about his daddy’s work. Little Billy said “My daddy is an exotic dancer, he strips for other men and sometimes goes back into that backroom to have sex with men for money?! The teach says, “Billy, does your daddy really do that??
Little Billy starts to cry and says “No, I was just to embarrassed to tell anyone what daddy really does?!
Teacher: “What does your daddy really do??
Billy: “He is a football coach at the University of Idaho.?
Sunday, July 25, 2010
1. Wisconsin Badgers - Rose Bowl - national title contender
This will undoubtedly be a very controversial selection. Ohio State is thought to be the monster in the conference and I am sure I will be in the strong minority picking any one else to win the league. I want to start by saying that I believe that the Buckeyes are the best and deepest team in D-1A football, but I do not trust Tyrelle Pryor to not blow a single game, and if I had to pick one game he would blow it is at Wisconsin. QB Scott Tolzien is a version of Pryor that does not make mistakes, RB John Clay is Heisman contender, and the Badgers boast perhaps the best offensive line in the nation. The defense is similarly tough, and as mentioned, the Buckeyes have to go to Madison. I see one loss somewhere in the season, and a tie with Ohio State atop the conference, but I think the Badgers get the tie-breaker.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes - Sugar Bowl, BCS-at-Large - National Title Contender
The Buckeyes may be the best team in the country, they do have the best linebacking corps in the country, and there is no real weak point on this team. My problem is the schedule, Miami comes to the horseshoe early on, then Penn. State, Iowa, and Michigan make up the final three games of the season. They also must go on the road to face Wsconsin and Iowa. Pryor will be better this season, but I don't think he will be good enough to win all those games, the Buckeyes will drop one somewhere, but if it is early in the season, don't be surprised if they weasel their way back into national title discussions by years end.
3. Iowa Hawkeyes - BCS Contender
The Hawkeyes are good enough to play in a BCS bowl again this year, but I think the "only two from a conference" rule will keep them out as I just can't see them topping Wisconsin or Iowa. In a trend of "best-in-the-nation" in this conference, Iowa is thought to have the best defenseive line in the country this season. The biggest wildcard here is the offensive line, which has to replace two all-americans, and three starters overall. QB Rick Stanzi is essentially a crappy version of Scott Tolzien, he is good, but inconsistent, but makes a lot more mistakes. Stanzi can be great at times but if that line has him on the run too often, he will lose games making stupid plays.
4. Penn. State - Definitely going to a bowl
The Nittany Lions are doing something I have regularly called them out for a lot over the last few years: actually play an out of conference game against someone better than a MAC team. They really went the opposite of their usual MO, they will head to Alabama early in September. If they win there, the sky is the limit on their season. In all likelihood though, they won't. There is nothing flashy or outstanding about this team, but with JoPa on the sidelines/in the booth, average is probably good for 9 wins even in a rebuilding season.
5. Purdue Boilermakers - Going to a bowl
I have already done a full preview of this team, you can read about their season there.
6. Northwestern Wildcats - Going to a bowl
7. Michigan State Spartans - going to a bowl
See above, again.
8. Michigan Wolverines - Toss-up
This team has enough talent to be a top 25 team, but they are not in my top 50 for one simple reason, they had enough talent to be top 25 last year too. The Wolverines are really difficult to predict, the QB situation is a mess, and the defense was dead last in the conference last year for a sqaud that narrowly missed finishing in last place in the Big 10 for the first time ever. They might make a bowl, they might not, the coaching will decide and I'm not smart enough to tell you if Rich Rodriguez himself is better this year than last.
9. Illinois Fighting Illini - Not going to a bowl
Ron Zook, kiss your job goodbye, another finish near the bottom means change is coming. And to think, just three years ago you led the most undeserving team ever to get a BCS at large bid. Good times, good times.
10. Minnesota Golden Gophers - definitely not going to a bowl
This team is bad, not that special kind of bad that is nationally reknowned like a Baylor or Duke, but the kind where they play closish and lose, which is worse because at least those teams get national attention for being terrible.
11. Indiana Hosiers - No Chance in Hell
Don't blame the coach, blame the program, or just don't say anything because you don't care. That's what most people will do.
On offense, the Tigers are inexperienced at the most talked about positions: QB and RB, and will be plugging in new starters at both spots. This is no reason to be down on them, the offensive line returns 108 career starts, and should be the best in the SEC. The new starters at WB and RB are getting a lot of chatter and head coach Gene Chizik seems to think the offense will not miss a beat on account of either. The recievers will be fine, so if the new starters behind center are as good as Chizik says, there is no reason to believe the offense can't be as dangerous as it was a year ago.
The defense was the problem a year ago, especially against the run, but with nine skilled starters coming back they should be okay. The Tigers have brought in some outstanding talent over the last few years, it just hasn't clicked on this side of the ball yet. If it does this year (and it very well could) the Tigers will be in the BCS mix. The entire season's success will ocme down to how tough Aubrun can be against the run, which looks to be the preferred mode of attack for a good number of SEC powerhouses this season.
The schedule is as favorable as any SEC team could ask for. There are three easy games out of conference against Sun Belt, C-USA, and FCS teams. Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, and LSU will all travel to Jordan-Hare Stadium, and Florida and Tennessee are not on the schedule at all. The one bum road game is of course at Alabama, but the fact is that Auburn probably won't be good enough to beat the Tide anyways.
The schedule says BCS, but the talent says third SEC West, if the Tigers get lucky they just might be able to surprise some of the bullies in the SEC though.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
The Bearcats have spent the last three season overperforming, that will end this season. The Bearcats have never had the best talent in the league, that has always been Pittsburgh or West Virginia, but now they don't have the best coaching either and have lost their biggest playmaking on offense. This team has never been big on defense, so the loss of Tony Pike and Marty Gilliard will hurt a lot, no matter how good Zach Collaros ends up being. There is also the big problem of actual competition in the Big East this year. Pitt, UConn, and West Virginia all look prepared to make a run at the division crown, and with the defense still shaky, especially against the run (which is what all those other teams do absurdely well), it will take a miracle for Cincinnati to make a run like it did over the past two seasons.
The recievers are fantastic, so the loss of Mardy Gilliard should not hurt too bad, and no one is worried about the QB situation. Collaros looked great last year in filling in for an injured Tony Pike for two games. The line returns three starters, they are not an overwhelming force, but are good enough and experienced enough to be a threat to any soft defenses and the conference does not have ant real threatening defensive units. There is not a real threat running the ball, but the Cats don't do a lot of that, so no worry.
The defense, however, will not get the job done this year. The secondary is awful and returns just enough starters to stay that way. They were the worst against the run in the conference and only one DT is back. There is not a lot of need for detail here, the D is awful, and it will cost the Bearcats a chance at a decent bowl. The schedule is managable, but a good start is essential for Cincinnati. The Cats play three bowl teams on the non-conference slate, the first is against Fresno State, a potentially dangerous team but if Cincinnati is good they should not have any problems beating them. The second, against Oklahoma, is essentially a guaranteed loss. The Bearcats should be bowl eligible before November and they need to be, the season ends with West Virginia, Rutgers, UConn, and Pittsburgh, a very rough stretch they will be happy to go 2-2 during.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Oh yes I did, I just snuffed the mighty Southern Cal Trojans from my top 25. USC is a big, and I mean big, name in college football and has been a consensus top five team every season for about seven years. That was until last year, last was a good season by most peoples standards, but for USC an 8 win season is child's play. The Trojans were down, pure and simple, a year that saw a freshman starting at QB for the first time in school history and a rebuilding defense. Most people could expect a down year from such a team but USC had posted ten wins in numerous similar seasons this decade. All four losses came in PAC-10 play, USC apparently didn't foresee that the PAC-10 wouldn't suck forever, and that eventually other teams in their conference would be capable of beating them without it being a monumental upset. If you thought last season was the shit hitting the fan in LA, I have bad news for you, there's a whole outhouse flying at the fan this season.
There was one constant in all of the Trojans PAC-10 champion seasons this decade: head coach Pete Caroll. He is gone now, off to coach the Seahawks for some reason, and the master of the uncetain, Lane Kiffin, is his replacement. Kiffin has been good and terrible at various points in his career but most recently was simply average at Tennessee and simply average will not get the job done in LA. The coaching swap is only half the reason I am down on this team, the big reason is Bush-gate. Stripped of wins, and completely banned from postseason play for the next two seasons, there is a not a whole lot to play for in LA and many players have already decided to tranfer. No one major has left, but the fact is, if the Trojans are not in position to win the conference near the end of the season, there will wuite literally be nothing to play for. With Oregon the clear favorite in the PAC-10, and as many as five other teams thought of as potential contenders, there will be a decent chance that the Trojans could give up before November.
That being said, this is USC, there is more than enough talent to win double digit games. Matt Barkely is the staron a rebuilding offense and should be markedly better with a season of experience behind him. The running game is suspect, Kiffin is strongly opposed to a running back by committee type of attack, and you could argue as many as five RB's were the top guy last season. Whoever is picked as "the guy" will be in the role for the first time. Top WR, Damian Williams is gone as well. The starters on the line all have experience as should be fine, but there is little depth behind them.
The defense should be among the best in the conference, especially up front, where the line is very strong and the linebackers are even better. The worry is the secondary, where USC returns no starters against a pass happy PAC-10. There is hope though, Monte Kiffin is one of the best defensive co-ordinators in the country, is now in the fold after coming over with his son Lane.
The schedule is a PAC-10 schedule, but the out of conference schedule is very light compared to recent season. The annual Notre Dame game is there but Hawaii is a rollover, annd Minnesota and Virginia figure to be two of the worst big six programs in the country. Washington and Oregon both must go into the collesium, but the rest of the good programs they will play on the road.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
In a world where emo/screamo rock is the big trend at the moment, a world where almost everyone my age has seperated into one of four different music sectors, I ignore it all. The four sectors: emotionless rap, hokey country, talentless repetitive metal, and boring indy music. There is one, and only one band I can listen to at any time and truly enjoy it. The O.C. Supertones. Yes in this crazy musical world, I still abide by a Christian ska, rapcore band that called it quits in 2005. To be honest I had not cranked any 'Tones in a while until yesterday when I decided to throw their Greatest Hits album in to my CD player on the way to school. What has ensued over the last two days, is what always happens when I listen to it, I forget about everything else happening and just listen to the music. You won't have more fun listening to any other album that I've ever heard.
The Supertones are in my opinion, the greatest Christian rock band to ever play, I base this considering three factors.
1. The actual music - outstanding
2. The band's success - moderate
3. How Christian they actually are - more than any other band I know of
There are plenty of "Christian" bands that have made the Supertones look like Fevin Federline in terms of album sales. However, I don't know that anyone has ever actually outsold them that had music as blatantly Christian as they do.
There are many categories of Christian bands.
1. Bands that say "you" or "he" or in most of there songs and tell you that they are referencing God when they do so (Skillet, Pillar, pretty much every emo band that is popular now)
2. Bands that are considered Christian but rarely if ever, actually have any spiritual content in their songs (Thousand Foot Krutch, Project 86, Blindside)
3. Bands that got big as Christian bands and still claim to be to keep the fans, but never actually have any real Christian music on their album (P.O.D., Switchfoot)
4. Bands who have very Christian content but generally just have fun, corny plays on words with scriptural refences laying as an undertheme (Newsboys, Relient K)
5. Bands who actually reference God, scripture, etc. in virtually all music, without apology (Supertones, Sonic Flood, and DC Talk fall somewhere between 4 and 5 depending on the album)
The Supertones, for those of you unfamiliar, have lyrics that can sound like a sermon on fast forward. They don't play around the issue, they embelish it, even often calling out soft Christians in the songs. Scripture references are placed in almost every song, if it is convenient to use the name of God or Jesus, they do so, and every song blatantly challenges Christians so fix a given fault in their walk with God. The fact that the Supertones got big at all with style is mind-boggling. You can disagree with if you want but it's my blog and therefore, my word is supreme.
So this is likely to be the only blog I ever write that is focused on the music industry, so in memorium of my favorite band ever I present to you......
Then came Steve Sarkisian. The former standout QB at USC has changed the culture quickly in western Washington, last year taking the Huskies to 5 wins against one of the nations hrdest schedules. Jake Locker, a lock for a top five selection in this years selection, opted to return for his senior year believing he can lead Washington to a PAC-10 title. While this is unlikely, he should be able to at least contend, and end the postseason drought.
The Huskies are stacked on offense. Locker is the real deal, and while his numbers are unlikely to be good enough to get him into the Heisman race, they really don't need to be. Washington runs a balanced attack on offense and Locker does not hurl the ball three downs every time around like many of the stars expected to contend. The Huskies have a great recieving corp and starting RB Chris Polk is better than the considerable hype he gets. With nine starters returning, the offense will not have too many adjustments to make to last years team.
The defense is average. The secondary should be decent, but it will have to improve to beat Stanford, USC, Oregon, and Arizona, all of whom throw the ball very well. The biggest problem is the pass rush, Washington's sack leader returing had 2.5 sacks last year. The secondary is good, but if there is not more pressure, the elite in the conference will carve them up.
The schedule might be the worst in the country and is the biggest reason why Washington won't be a BCS force. The out of conference schedule includes only one team not from a big 6 conference: BYU. Nebraska and Syracuse make up the rest of the list. The Huskies will always hit the road against Cal, USC, Oregon, and Arizona in conference play. The schedule also does not provide many gaps in he better opponents. BYU, Nebraksa, and USC make up three of the first four. After Syracuse in week two, the Huskies will play in consecutive weeks: Nebraska, USC, Arzona State, Oregon State, Arizona, Stanford, and Oregon. The season ends with three of the four worst teams in the PAC-10: UCLA, Cal, and Washington State, so if they can manage even .500 up to that point, and 7-9 win season could be within reach.
The Huskies will upset people this season, but will also probably lose one or two that they shouldn't. There is not enough here to win the conference, as great a story as that would be, but UW fans should be happy just to get back to a bowl. The Huskies should have no problem reaching seven wins.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
South Carolina is on the cusp of acheiving upper-level medicority on a consistant basis, which for a program with its history, might as well be back to back national championships. The USC Chickens have historically been fierce competitors with Vanderbilt at the dead bottom of the SEC. Lou Holtz peaked here with a 2 win season. Steve Spurrier has done the unthinkable..... again. Spurrier was the last coach to take Duke to a bowl back in 1992, and until he took over the reigns in Florida the year after that, the Gators had never won an SEC championship that hadn't been taken away later. If anyone could make this program worthwhile, it was Spurrier.
The SEC East has no clear "best" team this season. Of course everyone will bet on Florida, but the Gators will be doing a lot of rebuilding this year. Tebow is gone and so is just about every key player on the defense. Georgia is lower than it has been in a very long time as is Tennessee, and Kentucky and Vandrbilt look to still just be Kentucky and Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks are not the best team in this division, the Gators are, but the margin has never been closer and if the Hens ever want a title this is the year.
South Carolina returns one of the country's most irksome QB's in Stephen Garcia, who has been brilliant at times, but has a nack for making really, really, stupid, untimely mistakes. The recieving corp is being touted by many as one of the nations best, but the offense has a big problem on the line. The line is as unexperienced as any in the conference and with a quarterback who is frustratingly inconsistent that could be a huge problem. The defense is where the teams strength lays, and while there are some questions in the secondary, this team looks to be a beast against the run. Florida and Arkansas may be the only throw-first offenses in the SEC this year, aside from Vandy, who usually opts to fumble first.
The schedule is an SEC schedule, so somewhat nightmarish. After an easy opener against Southern Miss, it starts right in against SEC opponents hosting Georgia. This game will let us know right where the Gamcocks really are in the pecking order, if they win, a division title is a legitimate possibility. Lose and it will be another year in the middle of the pack. After another cakewalk against Furman, they will play Auburn and Alabama in back to back weeks. They will face the lighter part of their SEC schedule over the next three week against Kentucky, Vandy, and Tenn. The season ends with Arkansas, Florida, and Clemson. If the cocks can make through the first five games with only one loss, it will be a good season in South Carolina.