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Saturday, July 31, 2010

21. Arkansas

Rivals says: Florida State

I say......

21. Arkansas Razorbacks

I don't have a whole lot of time for this. So it will be very rushed.
Arkansas has been down for a while, and plays in what is the toughest division in D-1 football but there is enough talent on offense to make some noise. Ryan Mallet is the best QB in the SEC entering the season, and with a good season could make some Heisman noise. The defense has some question marks, though playing very poorly at time last year. The schedule is pretty tough, with eight games against teams who went bowling a year ago, but no Florida and all the key games to win the division at home (Alabama, LSU). Auburn and Georgia on the road will test the Backs early on, but if they get past that and win one of the two big home games, there is BCS possibility.
Prediction, Second SEC West.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

22. LSU

Rivals says: Oregon State

I say.....

22. LSU Tigers
To Tigers fans, this will undoubtedly seem like an unjustifably low starting spot for their beloved team, but being a top tier SEC team does not automatically get you a great start in my polls. Since winning the national title two years ago, the Tigers have lost 5 and 4 games in each their most recent seasons, and have lost all the big ones. This team is godd, but treading water, and that won't cut in this years SEC. Alabama is now the undoubted top prgram in the West, and Arkansas and Auburn look to be a great deal better this year. LSU's position near the top of the division will be challenged in a season where every single team in it is good enough to go bowling. The Tigers are better but they are not getting better, which makes them a dangerous team to bet on.

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.

The Funny Side of Evil

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.

25. Free Willzyx
24. Scott Tenorman Must Die

23. Pandemic/The Startling

22. Red Mans Greed

21. South Park is Gay

20. Cartman's Incredible Gift
18. Spooky Fish
17. The Coon

16. The Return of Chef
15. Make Love, Not Warcraft
14. Child Abduction is not Funny

13. You Got F'd in the A

12. 200-201
11. Marjorine

10. The Return of the Felowship of the Ring to the Two Towers

9. Medicinal Fried Chicken
8. Night of the Living Homeless
7. Asspen
6. Imaginationland
5. Casa Bonita
4. Fishsticks
3. Ladder to Heaven
2. All About Mormons
1. Woodland Critter Christmas

23. Connecticut

Rivals says: Navy

I say....
25. UConn Huskies

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

Rivals says: Cincinnati

I say............

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.

25. Stanford

Rivals says: Georgia

I say......
#25. Stanford Cardinal

After more than three weeks of counting down teams for whom ranks only matter as a personal opinion, we have finally hit the big 2-5. These are the teams that actually recieve a # in front of their number because it actually counts for something. Today, the big boys start off with a school that has seen itself become completely irrelevant in sports over the last deacde, but head coach John Harbaugh seems to have reminded the program that just because you have Ivy League education doesn't mean you have to play football like it. The Cardinal have seen an incredible turn around in their short time under Harbaugh, culminating in a Sun Bowl appearance last season, ending an eight year bowl drought. This season, they can accomplish even more.
The offense starts and ends with QB Andrew Luck, a freshmen last season, who is already being talked up as a top 5 pick in a future NFL draft. Last season, the offense was very balanced with both Luck throwing, and Heisman finalist Toby Gerhart running the ball. Gerhart opted to leave early to back up Adrian Peterson, so now it is all on Luck to run the O. The running backs do not look bad by any stretch of the imagination but they will not be nearly as good as Gerhart was. The good news is that Luck should have no problem with the extra responsibility. The offensive line should make it easy on him, returning four starters to a line that allowed only secen sacks in the entire 2009 season.
The defense will be the largest concern for the Cardinal, the pass defense was among the nations worst a year ago, and there is no shortage of phenomenal QB's in the PAC-10. The good news is that the secondary should be much better than it looked last season. One of last seasons starting cornerbacks was a converted WR playing the other side for the first time, with a year of experience, he should be markedly better, and another starter missed almost all of the Cardinal's conference games. The defensive line looks to be more than adequate, and the linebackers should be great, the rushing offense and passsing defense are the question marks that will decide how the season goes.
The schedule starts rough but ends a little easier. After a tune up against Sacremento State, the Cardinal will start right in on PAC-10 play, the good news is it is against UCLA. After that, Wake Forest will come to Stanford stadium. The next three games will be the meat of the schedule. At Notre Dame, at Oregon, and then at home against a USC team that will be looking to avenge last years loss. They get a week off then Washington State, so the Cardinal should be well prepared for Washington and Arizona right after that. Arizona State should not challenge them, then the season ends at a rebuilding Cal team and at home against the Beavers. The PAC-10 is too deep to say anyone faces a light schedule, but the timing and getting the Beavers, Wildcats, and Trojans at home make it as good as you'll find in the conference.
There are flaws on both sides of the ball but the strengths look to be much more established. There is no heavy favorite in the PAC-10 this year, so with some breaks, Pasadena for the Rose Bowl is a realistic goal for the Cardinal. Although unlikely, the BCS is within reach
Prediction: Sun Bowl.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Pre-Season Wrap-Up

This one is going to be big, in anticipation of being swamped by the start of classes next week, this is my big wrap-up, including conference breakdowns, my Heisman watch list, bowl predictions, and some week one picks. I will resume making my weekly top 25 lists once the games begin. We are two weeks from kickoff, until then, I may find time to actually write about something that isn't college football.

Before we get started, here is a recap of what I've already covered.

My top 50.
50. Tennessee
49. Temple
48. Tulsa
47. Texas Tech
46. Michigan State
45. Ole Miss
44. Purdue
43. South Florida
42. Northwestern
41. Notre Dame
40. Boston College
39. BYU
38. Arizona
37. Clemson
36. Air Force
35. Missouri
34. Georgia
33. West Virginia
32. Utah
31. Texas A&M
30. South Carolina
29. Washington
28. USC
27. Cincinnati
26. Auburn
25. Stanford
24. Houston
23. Connecticut
22. LSU
21. Arkansas
20. Navy
19. Georgia Tech
18. Penn State
17. North Carolina
16. Oregon State
15. Florida State
14. Iowa
13. Pittsburgh
12. Miami
11. Virginia Tech
10. Florida
9. Oklahoma
8. Oregon
7. Texas
6. Alabama
5. TCU
4. Nebraska
3. Wisconsin
2. Ohio State
1. Boise State

Now here are my pre-season ranking for the Heisman trophy. My rankings are different than most, I don't care whether your team is a national championship contender or not, that does not tell you how good an individual player is so I won't use it. I do consider if the team is any good or not, if QB leads a team to a 5-7 record, then I'm not going to put him on here but talent trumps record.

1. Dion Lewis - RB Pittsburgh
2. Case Keenum - QB Houston
3. John Clay - RB Wisconsin
4. Kellen Moore - QB Boise State
5. Mark Ingram - RB Alabama
6. Cameron Heyward - DE Ohio State
7. Andrew Luck - QB Stanford
8. Jared Crick - DT Nebraska
9. LaMichael James - RB Oregon
10. Jake Locker - QB Washington

Also considered: Noel Devine - RB West Virginia, JacQuizz Rodgers - RB Oregon State, Stephen Paea - DT Oregon State, Ricky Dobbs - QB Navy, Ryan Williams - RB Virginia Tech, Christian Ponder - QB Florida State.

I was hoping to do a post for each conference and do a full break down but time did not allow, I only got to the PAC-10 and the Big 10, here are those rankings again, and a mini-synopsis of the rest of them.

1. Oregon State
2. Oregon
3. Stanford
4. Washington
5. Arizona
6. USC
7. California
9 Arizona State
10. Watch-us-and-laughington State

Big 10
1. Wisconsin
2. Ohio State
3. Iowa
4. Penn State
5. Michigan State
6. Purdue
7. Northwestern
8. Michigan
9. Indiana
10. Minnesota
11. Illinois

Without further ado, here is everyone else.

Big 12 South
1. Oklahoma - National Championship Contenders
Oklahoma is much, much better than last seasons record indicates, I foresee an undefeated record in regular season conference play.
2. Texas - BCS contenders
Until Mack Brown has a losing season, the Horns will be BCS contenders will be BCS contenders by virtue of being the Horns, this seasons top five start is proof of that.
3. Texas A&M - Definitely going to a bowl
The Aggies high powered offense should pick apart the bottom half of a very weak Big 12 this year.
4. Texas Tech - Bowling
There is talent enough for big things but big coaching changes make a bowl uncertain enough to be downgraded from lock status.
5. Oklahoma State - Toss-up
The Cowboys underachieved in their best chance to break out last year, a high turnover of stars from a year ago makes a bowl very missable.
6. Baylor - Not going to a bowl
Robert Griffin, you could have played almost anywhere in the country and chose Baylor? Better luck in the NFL.
Big 12 North
1. Nebraska - National Championship Contenders
The best team by about thirty spots in my rankings, there should be no drama in this one.
2. Missouri - Definitely going bowling
The second best team in a very weak North by a long ways, no expect Nebraska should even challenge them.
3. Kansas State - Probably going to a bowl
A lot of people hate this team but it overachieved big last year and has a stud RB. That is good enough in this crap division.
4. Colorado - Toss-up
This team is not very good, but with Dan Hawkins fighting for his job, I expect them to be a bit better than they should. A bowl is possible but far from likely.
5. Iowa State - Not going to a bowl
They are Iowa State, no one should ever expect them to go to a bowl.
6. Kansas - No chance in hell
The Jayhawks could not win a single game after September last year and that was a top 25 team with a senior QB and a head coach who had not yet been fired for abusing players. This team should be as bad as any other big-6er in the nation.
Winner: Nebraska

ACC Atlantic Division
1. Florida State - BCS contenders
The Seminoles will be in the conference championship game, so even with 3-4 losses, they are only a win away from the Orange bowl. I think the offense lights up the scoreboard enough to cover for a shaky but improved defense.
2. Boston College - Definitely going to a bowl
The Eagles are very well rounded but don't excel at anything enough for me to believe they win the division.
3. Clemson - Definitely going to a bowl
See BC, only a little worse on defense.
4. North Carolina State - Toss-up
NC State is as boring and average a team as you will find anywhere in football. They could anywhere from 1-9 games and I wouldn't be surprised either way.
5. Maryland - Thumbs leaning down
This team will be much better than a year ago, but don't see quite enough to go to a bowl.
6. Wake Forest - Not going to a bowl
This team is bad, not awful, but no where near good enough for a bowl.

ACC Coastal
1. Virginia Tech - BCS contenders
The Hokies will run the ball as good as anyone in the country, if North Carolina's QB play improves, they could easily grab Va. Techs spot though.
2. Miami - Definitely going to a bowl
This team could be as good as any in football if Jacory Harris brings down his turnovers, but since Ohio State and Pittsburgh are so early on the schedule, I see them getting roughed up before any momentum can be built.
3. North Carolina - Definitely going to a bowl
The QB play won't improve.
4. Georgia Tech - Definitely going to a bowl
The triple option will stagnate against better opponents with so many playmakers gone from a year ago.
5. Duke - Probably not going to a bowl
That word probably means that this is a better Duke team than usual.
6. Virginia - No chance in hell
They wish they were as good as Kansas.

Winner: Virginia Tech

Big East
1. Connecticut - BCS Contender
I know this is not the smart pick but years of watching Wanstedt coach is Miami and watching last years game against Cincinnati just last night keep me from putting faith in Pitt no matter how much talent they have.
2. Pittsurgh - BCS contenders
I think I said it all in UConns spot.
3. West Virgina - Definitely going to a bowl
The Moutaineers are likely to be in the conference title race until the last two weeks of the season.
4. Cincinnati - Definitely going to a bowl
A high powered offense keeps the Bearcats in postseason play but with a bad defense and a new coach, fans should not hope for much more.
5. South Florida - Definitely going to a bowl
The Bulls are as consistent as any team, unfortunately, they are consistent in winning early, losing late, and playing a bad bowl game.
6. Rutgers - Probably going to a bowl
Good, but not great at everything. They will win but will scare nobody.
7. Syracuse - Probably not going to a bowl
The Orange aren't terrible, but the rest of the conference is better.
8. Louisville - No chance in hell
This team is to Syracuse as Syracuse is to West Virginia.

SEC East
1. Florida - BCS contender
Even in a rebuilding year, there is a big gap between the Gators and the rest of the weaker half of the SEC.
2. South Carolina - Definitely going to a bowl
The Gamecocks take a big step forward this year, unfortunately, that only means second place.
3. Georgia - Definitely going to a bowl
Very good, but I just don't think they are "Georgia'good" yet.
4. Kentucky - Probably going to a bowl
The Wildcats are not an outstanding team but will capitalize on unsuspecting opponents as usual and should roll through an easy out of conference schedule.
5. Tennessee - Toss-up
With all the crap that has happened to this team since I put them at 49, they would be lucky to break an updated top 60, toss-up is generous.
6. Vanderbilt - No chance in hell
Last in SEC defense? Check. Last in SEC offense? Check. Winless in conference? Check. Head coach retiring six weeks before the season starts? Check. Ten bowl teams on the schedule? Check. A 0-12 season is a distinct possibility.

SEC West
1. Alabama - BCS Contenders
It will not be as easy as people expect, but Bama is still the best in the West.
2. Auburn - Definitely going to a bowl
The Tigers will make the Tide sweat it out but even with nine new starters, the Bama defense still probably beats the Tigers'.
3. Arkansas - Definitely going to a bowl
The Hogs will be improved and will surprise one or two teams that are better than them, but they will also lose a few they shouldn't.
4. LSU - Definitely going to a bowl
I can see Les Miles typing up his resume already. 8 wins is a given but 8 wins is also not good enough in Baton Rouge.
5. Mississippi State - Probably going to a bowl
The Bulldogs took big strides in their first year under a new coach and with a few nreaks on the schedule a much improved offense, they should see postseason play.
6. Ole Miss - Probably going to a bowl
There are no bad teams in this league, but Ole Miss is definitely in rebuilding mode even with Masoli. Still, I think six wins is very achievable.

Winner: Florida

1. Boise State - National Championship Contenders
I just wrote on them yesterday, you know why the're here.
2. TCU - National Championship Contenders
The Frogs actually have just as easy a path to an unbeaten season as the Broncos, if BSU stumbles against Va. Tech in week one, the Frogs will just in to the national spotlight immediately.
3. Houston - Definitely going to a bowl
The BCS seems unlikely even with an unbeaten season, with two non-AQ's ahead of them, the Cougars will really have to impress if they want a chance.
4. Navy - Definitely going to a bowl
See Houston
5. Utah - Definitely going to a bowl
The Utes a far cry worse than TCU, thats not to say they aren't good, they just won't win the MWC.
6. Air Force Definitely going to a bowl
See Utah
7-10. BYU, Nevada, Temple, and SMU - Definitely going to a bowl
I had to list more than six team but really, there is no one great after them.

Have little spare time to sit and watch football this year? Well no problem. I have gone to the trouble of making a list of the best games of the season for you to watch, that way you can cathc the best ones.

Out of conference games

20. South Florida at Florida 9/11
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

10. Alabama vs. Auburn 11/26
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

I am not going to make predictions for every bowl but here are the BCS bowls and a few select others.

Holiday Bowl: Oregon 42 - Texas A&M 37
Two high powered offenses should run up the score in what should be one the best bowl games of the year. In the end Oregon is better, but the Aggies offense will keep it close until the end.

Capital One Bowl: Alabama 14 - Iowa 7
As usual, th Capital One Bowl will feature two great teams who would rather be playing in the BCS games. A defensive showdown will be won with a late TD run by Ingram.

Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma 27 - Georgia 10
The Sooners will be fired up after getting screwed over by the combined efforts of the BCS and Texas, and will take out on an overmatched Bulldog squad.

Champs Sports Bowl: Miami 35 - Penn State 20
The Hurricane offense starts clicking perfectly at the end of the year, its too late for the BCS, but not too late to make a statement.

Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech 27 - UConn 14
The Hokies have excelled at beating teams that are new to success all decade long, and Frank Beamer will be ready to do it again.

Sugar Bowl: Ohio State 27 - Florida 23
Two teams that believe they should be in the NCG, will put on a classic game between two of the best programs in the nation.

Fiesta Bowl: TCU 20 - Texas 19
After Oklahoma loses the Big 12 championship game, the BCS selects a Texas team that lost to them that now has the same record. Oklahoma will be furious, Texas will remind them that payback is a bitch, and TCU will attempt to make a statement which everyone will ignore while discussing the UT-OU rivalry through the whole game.

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin 30 - Oregon State 21
Both teams are great but the Beaver defense will not be able to contain the Badgers all game long. John Clay has a monster fourth quarter against a worn down defense and the Badgers pick up their first BCS victory in a decade.

National Championship Game: Boise State 24 - Nebraska 20
I will whole heartedly admit to bias in this pick. I don't think I was bias in picking BSU in the title game, but not that I've done it, I won't even think about picking against them.

Humanitarian Bowl: Idaho 67 - USC 0
After years of being a punchline, the Vandals shock everyone with a second straight bowl birth and then make a HUGE statement by crushing the juggernaut Trojans, setting themselves up for a top five start and a national championship chase in 2011. Wait, what? OK, apparently USC is ineligible to play in a bowl this year. In that case, Idaho goes 4-8 and returns to their normal spot at the bottom of the WAC, which is now ironically the entire conference.

How do you get a Vandal off your front porch?
Pay for the pizza.

The teacher of a first grade class asked her students what their daddy did for a living. She noticed that little Billy did not respond as each student told about their daddy’s work.

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.?

Thank you folks, I'll be here all season.

Finally, here are some week one picks.
Pittsburgh 27 - Utah 24
Kentucky 35 - Louisville 13
Purdue 21 - Notre Dame 24
Connecticut 27 - Michigan 17
Kansas State 17 - UCLA 14
Washington 28 - BYU 20
UPSET ALERT: Northen Illinois 28 - Iowa State 21
TCU 30 - Oregon State 20
North Carolina 20 - LSU 10
Alabama As Many as They Want - San Jose State - 3
Boise State 38 - Virgina Tech 24

See you soon folks, I would love to hear some predictions from everyone else.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

2010 Preview: Big 10

This year marks the end of an era in the Big 10, the eleven team league is about to have twelve, while the Big 12 will only have ten, which is one fewer than the Big 10 has had for a decade. Got that? The addition of one team will completely change the format of the league, giving it a conference championship game and a more balanced system for determining which teams will play each other in league play on an annual basis. The Big 10 looks to be loaded this year, with at least three teams expected to break the top 10 at some point in the season, and Ohio State is a consensus number two that most expect to play for a national championship. Wisconsin and Iowa are not to be forgotten though, both look very capable of making a Rose Bowl run of their own. Penn. State can also never be ruled out, although this appears to be a bit of a rebuilding season for them, and no one really knows how good/bad Michigan could be. There is an abundance of talent here, I personally have been a very harsh critic of the Big 10 over the last few years, but this season I will admit it is worth every bit of hype it gets. This may be the best league in college football. So without further ado, here is my league prediction.....

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
See above.

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.

26. Auburn

Rivals says: Utah

I say........

26. Auburn Tigers
Last year Auburn took some major strides forward in the SEC West, going 8-5, and getting a bowl win over Northwestern. The record is not much of an improvement over recent season, but they were considerably better against big teams than in 2008. A year after getting destroyed by archrival Alabama 30-0, the Tigers came just minutes away from beating the Tide. They also stayed close to LSU and Georgia. You probably haven't heard much about Auburn, with division rivals Alabama and LSU getting their usual pre-season hype, and Arkansas being talked up as a dark horse. If you want a ture dark horse look no further than Auburn.

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

27. Cincinnati

Rivals says: Georgia Tech

I say.....

27. Cincinnati Bearcats

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


Rivals says: Missouri

I say......

28. USC Trojans

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

Top 10 Supertones Songs

I have never been a big music guy. I know that in the modern wworld it is bizzare for me to care so little about music, while friends and family can spend hours just listening to music as a sole form of entertainment the way I watch football or read comics. I don't know a sinlg eperson who prioritizes music lower than I do. I go to one or two concerts a year, I haven't paid for a CD in about four years, and don't play any instruments. Music is nothing more to me than background entertainment while something else captures my attention. There are only about ten bands I will even go out of my way to hear a new song by anymore but there is one band that I immortalize.

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......

The Top 10 O.C. Supertones Songs

10. Pandora's Box

Loud & Clear is the heaviest album the Tones ever recorded and Pandora's Box is undoubtedly the hardest song on any album of theirs. This song sounds like it came off a Papa Roach album, only good, the brass section of the band is only slightly audible in the background of the course. The song calls out the church for participating in vile activities simply because it is part of their culture, and draws on the classic example of Pandora's Box.

9. Escape From Reason

The message here is very similar to that Pandora's Box but also calls out lazy Christians for accepting the faults around them in the world as exceptable, and those who believe they can pick and choose what the want to believe form the Bible. The song, also off Loud & Clear is one of Supertones heavier songs. This classic example of the Supertones unwillingness to compromise lyrics for mainstream acceptance. The Supertones mention in the song that God will be wrathful to those who reject him and that he has the power to strike us down at any moment.

8. Grounded

This plays on one conept the entire song, that Christians must be prepared for spiritual warfare. Preaching understanding of the scriptures as the most dangerous weapons we can wield, while warning believers that battles could surprise them at any time. Additionally, the live version of this song is probably more fun to see than any other. The song is found on Chase the Sun, but I recommend tracking the live album and hearing it there.

7. Who Can Be Against Me

Found on their debut album, this song is just pure ska fun. It is fast, fun, easy to dance to, and loud. The song plays on how a Christian is untouchable with God on his side, but also admits and confronts the uncertainty a follower faces in trying to know if they are following in God's footsteps. This song delves into the difficulty of being a Christian from a very human perspective.

6. One Voice

This song doesn't tread a whole lot new ground lyrically, it combines a lot of common Tones themes, such as preparing to face the obstacles of the world and unity in the church. I truly just love this song for the music. It as a very upbeat song that is quite simply what good ska music should be. This is the opening track on Chase the Sun

5. Return of the Revolution

Another addition to the list from Loud & Clear. This song again ridicules lazy Christians for putting video games ahead of their faith. Shows how weak the church has become and teaches that the churhc must rediscover a revolution in order to keep from dying in the modern world. This song is very heavy on the rapcore side of their music, and never really slows down.

4. Adoni

This song is just as fun as ska gets, there is not any real message to this one, but it is hard not to feel better the instant it plays.

3. Prince of Peace

Revenge of the O.C. Supertones is probably the worst album of the bands time together and that is probably because, the band was barely together when came out. Only two of the original members remained by late 2004, and the actual music suffered a lot as a result. However, lyrically, this is probably the best song they ever put out, afterall lead vocalist Matt Morginsky was one of the two remaining. The song is very slow and is beautiful to the ears. The lyrics talk of how depressing the world is, drawing on how tragedies seem to be around every corner, and finds hope in the fact that Jesus will return one day and prays that it is someday soon.

2. Unite

This is another song about uniting the church to fight the evil in the world, a very common theme for the band. It is probably their most popular song ever recorded and is always the one they play last in concert. It is fast, loud, and quite simply a blast to listen to.

1. Wilderness

This, in my opinion is the most beautiful song musically in the bands run, and is made better by being the most relatable song lyrically that I can think of for any Christian. The song wonders how God can understand the trials and temptations of being a human. Trying to make sense of all the horrible things in the world and how God can allow this to happen. This is a question that essentially everyone asks eventually, and in my opinion is a large reason why many people become atheists. The Tones do not shy away form the issue, adressing head on in their best song ever.

29. Washington

Rivals says: Houston

I say.....

29. Washington Huskies
It seems sad that a program as dominant as the Huskies once were cannot crack the top 25 in a season that is the peak of what they have building to over the last few years but compared to recent seasons, Washington should be happy to find itself in the top 50. Washington is no longer an elite program in the PAC-10, not even close, but this year there is hope to recapture some of the glory it's heritage knew. The Huskies have not been bowling in seven years. Thats a longer drought than Iowa Sate, Vanderbilt, Ball State, and even the lowly cross-state Cougars. The fall from grace was capped two years ago with an embarassing 0-12 season.

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

30. South Carolina

Rivals says: Notre Dame

I say......
30. South Carolina Gamecocks

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.