Thursday, August 31, 2006

College Football Preview

It is here.

Kickoff is just a few hours away, and it couldn’t come fast enough. So, naturally, it’s time for me to interject my opinion about the goings-ons in the college football world.

You can find my in-depth (er, maybe just wordier) BCS conference previews below. But this is the National blowout, the Big Kahuna, the I’m-gonna-yap-about-everything preview.

So, here we go…

The National Championship Picture

This is one of the most wide open NC races in recent memory, just like Paris Hilton’s legs.

The Contenders

– The best triple-threat in the country, and by far the best offense in the Big 10. Their defense has to replace a lot, but a top program like the Buckeyes can do that.

– The offense is great, we know that. But that defense MUST improve from last year, when they got beat worse than that due who bit the curb in American History X.

– I swear to whomever, if Tommy Tuberville wins a National Championship…

– So much talent it’s sick… and Tiger fans will be sick after Les Miles lets it al go to waste.

– What’s going to get the Mountaineers first? A sophomore slump from Steve Slaton and Pat White, or the expectations placed upon them?

– Maybe a better offense than Notre Dame. Actually, they have the same problem as ND, except they really don’t play any offenses outside of WVU that will challenge their questionable D.

– Seriously, can a QB named Booty win a National Championship?

– How about a QB named Longshore? He can if nobody can stop his running back Marshawn Lynch.

The Dark Horses

– If Michael Hart stays healthy, the Wolverines will challenge the Buckeyes. Lloyd Carr, however, will continue to take it from Jim Tressell.

– Who would’ve thought it’d ever be possible for the Seminoles to sneak up on people?

The Pretenders

– Despite the fact their QB is named Colt -- and I really that name for a QB -- he's never thrown a college pass. As tough as it is to repeat, it's that much tougher with a freshman under center.

– Chris Leak is a good QB, just not in Urban Meyer’s offense.

– Seriously folks, Tommy Bowden coaches this team…OK, glad I could help save you some embarrassment and money.

– Just stop it already, Matt Stafford will be starting halfway through the season. Give the Dawgs another year or two.

Conference Predictions

ACC: Florida St. over Miami
Big East: Louisville
Big 10: Ohio St.
Big 12: Texas over Nebraska
MAC: Northern Illinois over Akron
Mountain West: TCU
SEC: Auburn over Florida
Sun Belt: UL-Lafayette
WAC: Boise St.

The Heisman Race

Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame – The fact that he’s a pretty good QB gets him plenty of votes already, but the fact that he’s a Fighting Irish QB means he’ll get fellated by the national media all year long. As long as his arms don’t fall off, he should win.
Troy Smith, QB, Ohio St. – Biggest threat to Quinn, has the added threat of his legs.
Michael Bush, RB, Louisville – Should get showcased this year.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma – Will be extremely hurt by Rhett Bomars absence.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Cal – Time for him to shine now that he’s out of Reggie Bush’s shadow.

Random Thoughts

• This season could very well be one of the most memorable ever. Sure, the Rose Bowl will be tough to top, but with no clear-cut favorite, anything can happen.
• I already HATE this new BCS game, just FYI.
• Do expect plenty of griping from me about the bullshit that is the BCS.
• This year’s huge upset? Navy over Notre Dame in Baltimore, on October 28th.
• Two non-BCS teams will have a great chance to crash the BCS – TCU and Boise St. – and only one will actually get in.
• Alabama will beat Auburn, dammit. Screw your thumb, Tommy, screw it!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

SEC Preview

Finally, time to talk about the cream of the college football crop.

The SEC is like David Lee Roth Van Halen compared to the rest of college football's Sammy Hagar Van Halen -- both rock, both are still awesome no matter what, but Van Halen with Diamond Dave (the SEC) is just plain more entertaining. And if you disagree with that analogy, screw you (well, you're allowed to think that another conference may be more entertaining, but if you think Hagar's Van Halen was better you're a fucking moron, OK?).

You know what? Let's keep this Van Halen thing going and compare the SEC teams to Van Halen songs.

-- Right Now -- It's now or never for Chris Leak. By that I mean Gator fans hate him now and will never like him. Poor guy.

-- Hot for Teacher -- Seriously, what do the Gamecocks have to offer other than Steve Spurrier and a relatively easy schedule? They're still a couple of years away from being a serious contender.

-- Dreams -- David Cutcliffe was the man at UT a decade ago, everybody in the SEC knows what his offenses bring to the table, and most importantly: HE DOESN'T HAVE A MANNING TO COVER HIS ASS. The Vols may improve, but you'd be crazy to think Cutcliffe is the answer to their problems.

-- You Really Got Me -- Athens is already in love with blue-chipper Matt Stafford. I'd place good money on him starting before the year is over, especially is Joe Tereshinkidontcarewhathisnameis falters early.

-- Eruption -- As much as I hate to say it, this Auburn team will be good, real good. They could just run through their schedule.

-- Dance the Night Away -- Good thing the Bayou Bengals have mobile QBs, because that line is going to hang them out to dry many a time.

-- And the Cradle Will Rock... -- The Tide is replacing a lot of players this year, and it's success will hinder on the younger guys' ability to adapt to the system quickly.

-- Why Can't This Be Love? -- Hog Nation is hoping that Mitch Mustain is their savior, and that having a high school coach for an offensive coordinator works out better than [insert short celebrity marriage here].

The Verdict

over -- As I said before, it pains me to admit it, but the Tigers just look too good on paper. However, no team is getting through this league unbeaten this year, so I doubt any SEC team will play for the National Championship.

PAC 10 Preview

For the first time in a few years, there are actually questions about who will win the PAC 10.

I think...maybe not...OK, USC will probably win easily again. But still, it's fun to speculate.

Anyway, the obvious big questions surrounding the Trojans are how are they going to replace Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and Lendale White.

Well, they're USC, that's what they do: replace players with others who will be just as good in a couple of seasons. So don't fret about that.

The main contenders for second place are Cal, Arizona St. and the team with the ugly uniforms.

Cal has arguably the league's best offense. But in the PAC 10, that's like arguing which one of the Pussycat Dolls you'd rather bang. Sure, there's always a preference, but you'd be happy waking up next to any of them.

Arizona St. finally got their QB situation figured out. Problem is, they have about as good of a chance of finding a defense as the investigators in the Ramsey case do of finding a guilty party.

Oregon also has defensive questions, and -- you know what? Why bother? It's the PAC 10, the defenses suck. Just expect a bunch of shootouts and be happy with it.

The Verdict

-- What? Would you pick against Pete Carroll? Didn't think so.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Big 10 (+ 1) Preview

Ah, Big Ten football.

Home of good tailgating food, crazy student sections and mildly attractive coeds. Oh, and they can't count, that too.

Anywho, Penn St. went and screwed everyone up last year by actually having a good team and winning the conference. Then they screwed themselves up by not cheating and letting Michael Robinson graduate. So that pretty much eliminates them from this year’s title chase.

It should come down to – of course – Ohio St. and Michigan.

I think I figured out Lloyd Carr’s plan: he purposely coached the team to a 7-5 record last year so that expectations would be lower this year, therefore clearing the way for him not to underachieve again.

Pretty clever, Coach Carr, pretty clever.

Problem is, people once again are predicting big things from the boys in Maize and Blue. Granted, big things could happen if the Mike Hart stays healthy, if a playmaking WR steps up, if the offensive line can return to for and many other things – like if Carr figures out how to stop being Jim Tressel’s bitch, that’d help.

Speaking of the Sultan of the Sweater Vest, people are talking highly about his team this year.

And why not? The best triple threat in college football comes back in Troy Smith, Antonio Pittman and Ted Ginn. Of course, they lost that pretty good linebacker trio (and thankfully their haircuts went with them) and pretty much the entire defense as well.

But I've come to understand something about perennial powerhouses like the Buckeyes: they’re perennial. You know: constant, recurring, they don’t go away. That’s one of the perks of having a winning program with boosters with fat wallets: you always have good players waiting in the wings.

As for any other threats? Iowa is always popular to talk about them, so in the past I have. Well, screw them, they always let me down. Isn’t Kirk Ferentz supposed to be the next big coach to leap to the NFL? Aren’t you typically supposed to win something before you do that? I don’t know, I just assumed that winning a big game or some type of championship was important, guess not.

The Verdict

-- The Buckeyes take the conference easily, like Ron Jeremy ramming a line of buck naked co-stars, with the money shot being another spanking of Meeeeeechigan.

Big 12 Preview

Years ago, the Big Eight was enjoying life. And then they went and merged with all those Texas teams from the SWC, and life has been hell ever since.

Seriously, the dominance of the Big 12 South over the North is even worse than the AL's constant raping of the NL in baseball. When Nebraska at Iowa St. is a premiere game in determining the division champ, all hope is lost.

So what do we have left? Texas with a freshman QB, Oklahoma with who the hell knows at QB, and everyone else chasing them.

If Rhett Bomar is still in crimson and cream, I would be talking about a Sooner title. But alas, he isn't and I ain't.

Texas' defense will be the best in the conference, and outside of the youth under center, they have the best returning team in the conference.

Texas Tech could sneak up on somebody, but probably won't. After that, meh. Colorado should pull an upset, just because nobody knows Dan Hawkins or what he's bringing to the table.

The verdict
over in the title game.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Big East Preview

I mentioned earlier that I hate ACC football. Well, I hate Big East football even more.

The Big East is like a bar that has a few hotties and then a bunch of dull uggos. And it plays out much the same way. I'll explain using last season.

See, you want to go home with the only 10 in the crowd -- Lousiville -- but she ends up going home with her uggo friend -- South Florida dismantling the Cards last year in Tampa -- and your stuck with not much of a selection.

Then you end up taking home someone who you thought was cute but not quite what you wanted -- West Virginia -- except that after a few beers they look really great, and now you think she has some potential.

So now you're infatuated with the new cutie, but you've forgotten about the hottie. Kinda like how everyone is hooked on the Mountaineers, while forgetting that Lousiville's offense can actually run AND pass.

Now, the new girl does some things better -- WVU actually plays defense -- but overall, the original hottie is where it's at.

So, basically, what I'm saying is that Louisville will win the Big East (on the count of the better offense and the home field advantage against WVU on November 2), WVU will the only other team worth a damn, and it'll take a miracle for one of them to actually win the conference.

ACC Preview

I'll tell you what, I just don't plain like ACC football. Why? Because I grew up with those god-awful Jefferson Pilot matchups every fall Saturday at noon.

But you know what? The new additions have helped a bit, so it's growing on me (hey, if I can go back to watching the NBA then anything is possible).

Plus, you know what to expect with ACC football. They're kind of like Nickelback -- some spots of good stuff, mostly bland stuff, but you always know what to expect, and that counts for something, right?

Who I like

- The Canes may have a world of trouble off the field, but on it they should be just fine. Kyle Wright is a fine QB, and there's always talent in Coral Gables.

- Just as long as they find their running game.

- They get a lot of people back, 15 starters to be exact.

Not so much

- Meh, it's like they always win 8 or 9 games.

- Their main problem: new guy under center.

- Their main problem: not a new guy under center.

The verdict

Miami and Florida St. -- who I like as a National Title darkhorse -- will be the headliners, Va. Tech will kill someone in a Thursday night game, and Clemson will win just enough to save Tommy Bowden's job once again.

I like the Seminoles to take the conference and challenge for the National Championship... until they lose a game they shouldn't.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Woo hoo! Football season is here

Ah, yes. It's finally football season. And you know what that means right? Exactly, time for me to start throwing my opinions around like they mean something.

So, pay attention this week for my conference previews and my big national preview.

It'll start tomorrow with the ACC and Big East.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Wicked cool new song and video

Audioslave - Original Fire

I'm really liking the sound of Audioslave's new single Original Fire.

It's got a solid old school groove to it, and I've always thought Chris Cornell had one of the best "rock & roll" voices out there.

The video is also pretty awesome. Really cool graphics and a great concept with the multiple icons shown throughout.

There's also a contest here from Revolver Magazine where you can guess the icons in the video and win a copy of the upcoming Audioslave cd Revelations and a guitar signed by the band.

The original fire has died and gone / But the riot inside moves on

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

So, um, I'm back

Here's the skinny:

The newspaper deal didn't quite work out, but I did learn a lot from my experience there.

I'm moving back to Baltimore next Tuesday, I'll get some job for money and look for freelance writing jobs.

This will become my all-everything blog. So basically it's what it was plus sports.

More later, see ya soon.

"It's been so long, since I've been home / I've been gone, I've been gone for way too long."