Archive for the ‘College Sports’ Category

I come to you this warm January morning giddy with excitement because I get to ramble on a subject that truly interests me. It involves college sports, politics, economics, and free swag which is right up my alley. The issue of paying college athletes has been up for debate ever since LaLa Bonilla tried to convince her boyfriend, Jesus Shuttlesworth to go to the school of her crew’s choice instead of going to Big State University.

The issue has recently heated back up with National Champion and Heisman Trophy Winner, Cam Newton being involved in the alleged scandal of soliciting schools for the highest “pay for play” scenario possible. There are the traditionalists that believe that college is for students and that they should not be paid. Then there are the people who feel they should be paid just as much as professional athletes if it is equivalent to their value to the university.

I normally tend to side with the old school conservatives with my mentor, Tony Kornheiser but his predecessor, Bill Simmons has led me to new water. I don’t think student athletes should be negotiating contracts with schools and they should not deal breakers on why a student chooses a particular university. However, I do feel as though students should be compensated for the amount of time they put into their sport.

Many student athletes are recruited to go to college to play sports and for many of those students it is the only way they can financially attend college, by means of athletic scholarship. They are sometimes given free room and board which covers tuition, dorm, and a meal plan. In most instances students have to come out-of-pocket for other necessities and small luxuries that they cannot afford on their parents’ low income. Things as simple as books, a computer, school supplies, and even a new first day of school outfit become hard to come by for some families.

I certainly am not one for another form of socialized welfare for families to be able to afford their child’s tuition. Financial Aid is available to millions of people who do not take advantage of it and drawing from that pot doesn’t solve the issue. I believe that if student athletes should be paid a monthly stipend for their time and contributions to the university. Some students bring in millions of dollars in revenue to a particular school and are given nothing more than free swag.

While every young athlete loves free stuff, it is not liquid, you are not allowed to sell or trade any university given products. You cannot go to a tattoo artist and say “how about I pay you in jersey”? Oh wait…With a T Mobile Sidekick cell phone bill to pay, many of these athletes have no income of which to draw from to pay for simple amenities. If they were compensated around $2,000 a month they would have plenty of money to go to In-N-Out every once in a while instead of eating at the DC. They could afford to take that flu honey they’ve been trying to holler at in Dayton to a movie and maybe even spring for Yogurtland to seal the deal.

Now, where does all this money come from? Whether the school is privatized or a state-run institution, I feel the money should come from their schools general athletic fund. If a school has a sport that generates revenue and is profitable than it should pay its employees. If the women’s field hockey team lost money than it should be cut from being a Varsity sport and if students want to play, they can revitalize it as a club sport with paying dues.

College athletics are a business and any successful business knows it is only good as its employees. If employees have financial issues where they cannot fully focus on “work” then the odds are against them to perform at their highest ability. That then hurts not only the student but affects the school’s success as well. Obviously, higher education isn’t in the best economic state right now but if school’s want to profit from their students’ talents they should show them some good faith.

Here’s is where my idea can possibly turn into a successful slippery slope. If students from lower-income households are able to get a college education and come out of college with money saved, there is a better chance they will be successful in the workplace than if they were to come out of college with nothing but a University Studies degree, a bunch practice gear, and the pressing temptation to start “slangin’ rocks on the cona with the rest of dem boyz.”

We are all naive as to think that many top collegiate athletes are not recruited without adding in some extra incentives into the picture. It may not be cash for the student but it may be a rent-free house or car payment for Reggie Bush’s parents that would allow Reggie’s parents to buy him some Air Max 95s for his birthday (I also have a birthday coming up šŸ˜‰ if they so wanted to.

Or in some blatant cases it may be “straight cash homey.” Where the student or a family member negotiates on the student’s behalf for X amount of dollars. With these types of conversations occurring every day it only hurts the team as a whole. If Cam Newton is getting paid $250,000 to come to play football, how does his walk-on offensive lineman feel when he is barely on scholarship scraping by at a private school that he really cannot afford?

This is my biggest issue. I am all about fairness and leveling the playing field and I don’t believe it is right to pay some athletes and not others. That is like Pat Riley saying “we are going to pay LeBron, Bosh, and Wade all of our money and if anyone else wants to come play, we’ll hook you up with some sweatpants.” By the way, I don’t like them but “The Heatles” nickname is genius.

Even if a student wanted to get a job while in college it becomes nearly impossible with time restrictions limited to going to school full-time and playing a sport full-time. If they cut back on their studies and their grades drop they cannot play. If they skip practice, then they can’t play. If they decide not to sleep and work instead, then all three areas drop significantly. It is the age-old double edged sword where they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

Now that I think about it, this is one of my more professional blogs, if anyone wants to site me in any papers feel free to do so and I will buy you a beer.


Well, the 37 days leading up to the BCS National Championship are finally over. However, I come to you today reporting my sorrows of a tough loss for my Ducks. “I love my Ducks.” I consider myself to be the biggest Ducks fan that has never set foot in the state amongst the tall firs or at least in Clark County. I am not a recent bandwagon hopper, I’ve been quackin’ since the days of Joey Harrington, Luke Jackson/Ridnour. They still may have had their Nikes on back then but it was nothing like the hype they got this year with their 400 + uniform combinations and viral videos.

Today is the calm after the storm (if that even exists). I think it is fair to say that this may have been one of the better National Championship games in a long time or at least since 2005 with Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and Vince Young lighting up the national stage. It was a great game won by a field goal as time ran out and that I don’t think anyone expected it to turnout the way that it finally did.

Vegas had the over/under at 74 points of which they fell far short. This game was supposed to be the fastest and most dynamic offense ever vs. the most dynamic player at the quarterback position ever. I think everyone expected the offenses to just light up the scoreboard and it would come down to whoever made big plays on defense that would win the game and this is exactly what happened.

Auburn’s defense came ready out the gates hitting the Ducks with early sacks and interceptions disallowing them to get their fast-paced and no huddle offense to affect them. They set the tone from the start as we saw mere glimpses of what the Ducks could do when they got in their zone by running it on first and second down and letting their receivers fly on third and short with confidence that they could go for it on fourth and short if needed.

It was this air of confidence that led them up and the down the field all season long which resulted in their record of 12-0 as they averaged almost a point for every minute they played this season. It seemed as though the bigger SEC defense was able to get to the quicker yet smaller Oregon offense by limiting big run plays by LaMichael James and Darron Thomas. Not allowing them to break through to their secondary is what won the game for the Auburn Tigers/War Eagles.

I still don’t know why they think they are cool enough to have two mascots but that is another story for another day. Cam Newton wasn’t exactly the player that everyone thought he was going to be last night either. With comparison to Vince Young playing style and athletic ability most people suspected him to run all over Oregon’s linebackers of which Cam had 3 inches and 30 pounds on. That wasn’t necessarily the case though as Oregon’s Defensive Coordinator, Nick Aliotti, threw a lot of different looks and packages at him confusing the quarterback that was able to do whatever he wanted all season long.

Auburn needed someone to step and make a play on defense and it was Demetruce McNeal that I believe won the game for Auburn. It was McNeal that made the play of the night where “The Truce” (as I have now dubbed him) brought down Oregon WR, Lavasier Tunei after a 43 yard pass at the 3 yard line. The Auburn defense would go on to stop Oregon from getting in the end zone after four straight run plays. If Oregon scores here they go for two and it would likely have been 19-19 with 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Bad plays calls by Chip Kelly to try and punch a smaller QB and RB through a much larger and agressive defensive led to the Duck downfall.

The Ducks got the ball back and charged downfield and scored and got the extra point thanks to the sick hippy WR, Jeff Maehl. With their star player and Heisman trophy not playing up to par with a possible leg injury other Auburn players needed to step up. And it was Freshman RB, Michael Dyer. Dyer will forever be known for his play where everyone thought he was down and stopped playing only for him to roll over and keep going for more yards. Dyer would run it again for another controversial touchdown which was reluctantly overturned and marked at the half yard line.

Not scoring the touchdown and having to kick the field goal may have actually been a better situation forĀ  Auburn. If the Touchdown counted there would have been :10 left on the clock for Oregon to possibly run a kickoff back. Auburn would probably kicked it out of the end zone or out-of-bounds to eliminate that but you never know what college kickers are going to do. So, us Quackers could only hope to summon a replay of Boise State’s Kyle Brotzman to shank the 19 yard kick. To our demise, that was not case as Auburn Kicker, Wes Byrum split the uprights with :02 left on the clock ticked off as Auburn would go on to win the BCS National Championship.

I am still a little bitter so I am now going to go on my rant to say that Auburn cheated by paying off Cam Newton. We all know they did and we are naive to think that paying off families through boosters and different bank accounts doesn’t exist. Everyone does it, so Auburn is not alone. I for one think that college players should receive not salaries but stipends correlated to their football team’s value to the university but that also is an issue for another day. But Cam cheated and I wish they would have had better evidence to convict him so the Ducks (who get paid in tons of free Nike shwag) would have had better chances at being Champs.

I don’t really know where I want to go with this blog but being a “Chooseday Tuesday” I figured I would let my mind flow into my index fingers (because I still look at keyboard and type with two fingers) and whatever comes out, well comes out. It is that time of year where college students around the world (on a semester schedule) fill the lounges of Starbucks and invest in 5 Hour Energy Shots.

It wasn’t until my super senior yearĀ  of college that I realized what good studying actually was. It involved going to class, paying attention in class, taking decent notes, reviewing them frequently, and going over them again in-depth prior to the final while upon receipt of the study guide. Another good trick is to only study in 45 minute increments because your brain can only focus at full strength for that amount of time.

So, in this educational week it is my fiduciary duty to pass on this knowledge to all students. Study for 45 minutes and then take a 15 minute break. Then repeat. However, I cannot take credit for this wise information and the credit is due to my good friend and world renown studier, Nick Wesling. Now the only remaining question is how will you utilize your 15 minute breaks to maximize the retention of the information applicable to your finals?

That’s where I come in. I have compiled a short play list of non H1N1 viral videos to keep you on your toes and your heart light in what can be a very stressful week. These videos are intended to give you a quick little smile break from studying. However, they do come with a Surgeon General’s warning that they are contagious, so do not watch in excess. Side effects may include: songs stuck in head, random laughter outbursts, and sneezing.

The “Harlem Shake,” the “Stanky Leg,” and the “Douggie” have nothing on this new dance craze. The “Bernie” is the hottest new form of interpretive dance that is sweeping the across the Bible Belt. It is recommended that this dance is done prior to a final to loosen up all of your muscles in preparation for what could be a tense hour or so. The quality is not up to par quite yet but I’m sure it is only a matter of time before Wiz Khalifa and B.o.B. hop in da boof for a remix.

This next video is almost as ridiculous as the “Bernie.” I recently came across three young gentleman from the prestigious University of Oregon, who go by the name of Supwhitchugirl. These three young men make me wish I would have gone to the U of O, met them playing intramural basketball, and thus transformed the trio into a quad because they remind me a lot of myself anf friends. This video has gone viral and become the official “fight video” for the Ducks’ championship run.

This next video is also off from the rap supergroup, Supwitchugirl. Behind the quick lyrics and jerker outfits there is an unheard amount of talent. From the writing of the songs, to the production of the videos, to the search for early 90s Nike windbreakers, these three kids are the reason I want my sons to grow up in the Pacific Northwest, despite never setting foot outside of an airport there.

This other hit from Supwitchugirl brings me right back to my childhood. Well my teenage years, where we would hop the fence of Selma Bartlett Elementary to play basketball on the eight foot hoops. I still believe inĀ  my heart, that when on eight foot hoops, I am the best dunker in the world, pulling creative dunks out of my ass that would have Luke Ridnour and Luke Jackson wishing they showed me around campus on recruiting trips. I also have a special place in my heart for this video because I too still save all of my Champion (brand) NBA jerseys in a kids size 40 from middle school.

This next video comes to you from the best History AP teacher in America, Mr. Jeff Johnson. Mr. Johnson and I hit it off ever since Junior year of high school, when I showed up on the first day of school wearing my Larry Johnson UNLV throwback. From that day forth we had a bond held together by a respect for local basketball excellence. We both held similar positions in UNLV’s student government and he still is UNLV’s #1 fan from the net-cutting days of the early 90s, to the grey days of the Early 2000’s with Mark Dickel, to our current ascending return to greatness.

This last video I will leave you with is something to get you in the holiday mood. It twas the night before Christmas of 2006 and our hearts were open wide and these two comedic and musical geniuses gave us something that was on their mind. They were wise enough to when a gift needs giving and they knew just the one. It’s their dick in a box!

What a crazy weekend for college football? It is weekends like this that hold collegiate athletics above professional athletics on my shelves of sports right below Buzz’s tarantula. Boise State was upset by UNR (not Nevada) UNR because of a limp-legged kicker who will be the highest scoring football player of all time. This just furthers my opinion that we should shoe the place-kickers out of football and let soccer players kick point afters.

My dude, Randy Shannon, is now filing his unemployment claims after being fired from The U. On paper he didn’t look that good going 7-5 this year but they had a tough schedule and had a lot of injuries. Not only did he better the image of the “Thug U,” he did his most important job by recruiting kids with dreads in South Florida. He then took those kids from the hood and produced the third highest graduation rate behind Army and Navy.

Auburn overtook Oregon’s top spot with their win over Bama. Oregon smashed Mike Stoops and a good U of A team but it all really comes down to this weekend. Both of them play good teams in South Carolina and Oregon State in an away Civil War game. I pray my Ducks beat the confederacy but I would not be surprised if in-state rival upset them. Cam Newton is too dirty to lose and God knows he probably has some sort of personal monetary incentive for making it to Glendale.

If one of them were to lose I believe TCU should be able to play in BCS Championship regardless of their conference. Let’s just say they have a better defense than another professional team in the greater Dallas/Ft. Worth area. If they don’t lose they should be heading to So-Cal to play Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl who they will handle with ease.

“The BCS does not define TCU, TCU defines the BCS.” Says TCU Athletic Director, Mike Del Conte. Most people were shocked that TCU decided to join the Big Eat because of the geographic unnaturality of it. I think I pulled a ā€œGeorge W. Bushā€ and made that word up but Spell Check didn’t say shit, so whatever. The average distance from TCU’s student union to Big East schools is around 1,200 miles. That may seem like a lot but TCU isn’t exactly walking distance from Wyoming either, so that doesn’t really bother me.

The Sugar Bowl has dibs in which they decide to play in the Sugar Bowl. It will most likely be the battle of the 6th and 7th ranked teams with the 3rd and 4th best quarterbacks with Arkansas and Ryan Mallet vs. The Ohio State University and Terrell Pryor. I foresee the Buckeyes coming out on top because Ryan Mallet looks like a redneck and TP has a fresh high top fade.

I think the Orange Bowl will have a few trees in it with Stanford playing the ACC champion VA Tech. This would be an awesome game with the relentless power of Andrew Luck and his tough smart kids vs. the shifty and quick Hokies. If Stanford wears the black unis, then they win. If Va Tech wears their Nike Pro Combats, then they win. If for some weird reason they both were all black than the game will have a rain delay and upon the return, the game will result in a stalemate in which the score will be settled by a game of Connect Four that Stanfordā€™s long-snapper will lead to victory.

If potential Big East Champion Pitt/WestVirgina/UConn doesnā€™t get their Vitamin C in the Orange Bowl they will be partying in the Fiesta Bowl against the overrated Big 12. Iā€™m guessing weā€™ll see Pitt because I like Larry Fitz and Oklahoma because I like Adrian Peterson. If Larry Fitzā€™s Dad and Adrian Petersnā€™s Dad got in a fight, then I would take All-Dayā€™s Dad all day. Thus, Oklahoma wins the Fiesta Bowl.

Boise State will ending up playing in their hometown Humanitarian Bowl against UNR again and will probably beat the Pack by 31 points but it will have come too little too late. No one really cares about the other bowls like the Poinsettia, Fight the Hunger, or Las Vegas so I donā€™t want to go to in depth on those. Besides, someone will probably lose and throw off the list and 35 minutes I took to write this. Go Ducks, Jon Grudens, Horn Frogs, Buckeyes, Hokies, and Adrian Petersonā€™s Dad.

If you haven’t heard, I’m following in Aaron Simms’ footsteps out of Douglas County, who is the youngest person ever to run for county commissioner at 18 years old. I’ve got 5 years on the aspiring politician and 1 speaking point that will set me apart from my fellow candidates. I will successfully bring a professional stadium to the city of Las Vegas!

The pros of bringing a pro stadium to Las Vegas completely outweigh the cons. It would give a little jolt to our economy by creating jobs from design to construction to ushers to front office staff. The more we diversify our economy away from the hospitality industry, the faster our recession will concede and the more stable we will be for the future. Building a stadium isn’t the cure-all but it is a start and we all would love to see it happen.

Mayor Oscar Goodman has been lobbying for a professional team for years and the one thing that always holds us back is our lack of facilities. Cashman Field isn’t exactly in the best neighborhood, confining the 51s fans to people who live in North Las Vegas or people who will drive for dollar beers. The Thomas and Mack is still holding up well. There is a lot of history in the T&M and it would be dumb to wipe away all the tradition and renovations that are in place to improving their facilities. Sam Boyd Stadium is antiquated and far from any central point in Las Vegas and this is actually a live shot from the UNLV football game last night vs. Air Force.

The question now becomes what sport to bring here? Well, we had an audition for the NBA in 2007 but that didn’t exactly go well for the city. Las Vegas has never been so dirty and crime ridden for such a short amount of time and it looks like we better just stick to hosting NBA Summer League and Team USA. The NHL isn’t exactly in an expansion mode right now and the teams in the Southwest don’t do as well financially as the traditional Canadian and East Coast Teams.

We are now left with the NFL and MLB. The NFL would obviously be the most attractive option for Las Vegas but with a melting pot of fans throughout our city it would be hard to attract an NFL team with shifty fan loyalty. Not to mention, the NFL has bigger fish to fry with collective bargaining coming up and the possibility of bringing a team back to Los Angeles way ahead of Las Vegas.

I think the best case scenario for Las Vegas would be to bring a MLB team to the city that never sleeps. The Southwest has been great breeding grounds for baseball with many successful players coming out of Vegas. They also are the league that is most willing to continue with talks as Las Vegas as one of their top cities with Portland, San Antonio, Austin and Mexico City despite the complication we present with gaming.

The next item on the to-do-list becomes where. Where do we build the stadium? I have two potential options with the first being off of Tropicana Ave. and Paradise Rd. A stadium here would be both walking distance from the Strip, McCarran Airport, UNLV, with easy access to the highways just as long as it’s height stays out of fligh patterns. A stadium here would a allow for a minor tourist attraction as long as we don’t count on tourism to be a part of the fan base. It would be a breeding ground for new and young fans within close proximity to the university. And with the I-215 and I-15 both less than a mile away it allows the easy access for locals to go to go to games with ease.

While, I prefer the Tropicana location there are plenty of viable options throughout the city with the land available for a project of this size. Another potential location would be on Las Vegas Blvd. South just South of Warm Springs Rd. The acreage here is massive, it is near local hot-spots Town Square and the Las Vegas Outlet Center and again both freeways within walking distance.

The two teams on the chopping block are the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A’s (my personal preference). If we get the Oakland A’s we could keep the colors and change the name to the Las Vegas Aces. The nameĀ  “Aces” plays both of our gaming roots and baseball specifics with pitching Aces. We could bring on Las Vegan residents Greg Maddux and Pete Rose to run the front office and it would be like we never missed a step.

The next issue becomes financing as always. If an Mark Cuban’s investor group doesn’t pony up some cashola then we have some “majuh majuh” problems. The city isnn’t exactly in a position to make it rain a stadium in the desert and it would not be ideal to make the stadium for MLB and UNLV football. While it would add value to our university, MLB doesn’t like to share facilities especially with a collegiate program. However, if we did draw from the High-Ed budget we could be playing baseball in Las Vegas by April 1, 2014.

College basketball season is in full effect and the last 24 hours have been quite eventful with tons of good games showcasing who some of the standout teams will be this season. To be successful in baseball you need good starting pitching, to be good in football you need a consistent and good defense, in college basketball you need a good coach because he is the center of the universe.

Coaches are in charge of the major schematic logistics on the court and the most important arena of the court, recruiting. It is the coach’s and his staff’s number one priority to acquire the best recruits available! If the coach can find the right talented players that fit in their system, they are destined for success. And it is the even better coaches that can take players whose talents are square pegs to make them fit into their circle holes.

The following coaches have all had their time to shine and are better than others at something, so it is a little hard to distinguish exactly who is better than who. But my list will take into a number of categories including: wins, championships, academics, production of NBA players, and overall team philosophy.

10. Geno Auriemma: I bet you didn’t expect find a woman’s basketball coach on here. Neither did I but he deserves it. He has been coaching the Lady Huskies for 25 years and has turned the program into the best program in the country, he has won 7 NCAA Championships, produced multiple WNBA players, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006, he has a record of 735-122, and a current win streak of 79 games.

9. Rick Pitino: Rick Pitino has been somewhat of a rolling stone in the basketball world. He’s coached unsuccessfully in the NBA and successfully in college with 5 Final Four appearances and a National Championship in 1996 with Kentucky. He’s still in the same state with in-state rival Louisville where alleged off-court issues have tainted his reputation but needless to say he is still a great coaching and amazing recruiter, even though he buys kids houses and shit. I love this song!

8. Jimmy Valvano: Jimmy V won a National championship at NC State in 1983 where he is remembered for running up and down the floor with glee. He was a great coach and a great man and most notably known for his fight against cancer. In 1993, he gave one of the most inspirational speeches of all time at the ESPYs. He started the V Foundation for Cancer Research and every time I watch this speech I ball like a a little girl who can’t find her dolly as I try to fight back the chills with laughs. He passed away 6 weeks later.

7. John Thompson: Not only is he the sweatiest coach of all time but he is most known for the NBA players he produced. He coached Allen Iverson, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, and his son and namesake who is the current coach at Georgetown.Ā  He went to 3 Final Fours and won it all in 1984. He is a great analyst and still helps consult and coach at Georgetown due to his love for the game.

6. Jerry Tarkanian: “Tark the Shark” can still be vivdly remembered as he takes a big shark bite into that white Gatorade towel as he crouches on the sidelines at halfcourt. He was a great coach, amazing recruiter, might have paid a few players here and there but hey, they should be getting stipends anyway. He won 4 Final Fours and 1 big banner in 1990 with my alma mater. Tark may have put together the best team of all time in 1990 with Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony, Stacey Augmon, Anderson Hunt, and George Ackles.

5. Dean Smith: He is the namesake for the illustrious “Dean Dome” at UNC Chapel Hill. The coolest part about Dean Smith is the amount of successful coaches he coached like Larry Brown, Matt Doherty, and Roy Williams not to mention the greatest player ever to wear “Tar Heel Blue” Converses, Michael Jordan.Ā  In his almost 40 years at UNC in the best conference of all time he won 11 Final Fours and 3 Championships!

4. Jim Boeheim: Coach Boeheim might be a little overrated and I might be a little biased having him at #4 but I think it is his contributions to the game that have him this high with only one championship in 2003 with Melo. He’s got a shitload of wins, played and coached at Syracuse since 1962, coaches the game how it should be coached. He’s only strayed away from the Orangemen in the Summers to help out with Team USA and is a true ambassador to the game.

3. Bobby Knight: Coach Knight may be most known for his tantrums and in your face style but beneath that sweater vest is one of the best coaches of all time who really cares about his players and teaches them what they need to be taught. He expected a lot from his players and got 5 Final Fours and 3 National Championships out of them at Indiana even though he played for rival, The Ohio State University. Countless star players and coaches keep his dream livin’with Steve Alford and…

2. Mike Krzyzewski: His 870 wins, 11 Final Fours, and 4 National Championships have earned him the only open-ended contract in history where he can coach at Duke as long as HE wants. If that isn’t enough how about coaching: Shane Battier, Jay Bilas, Carlos Boozer, Elton Brand, Johnny Dawkins, Luol Deng, Chris Duhon, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Danny Ferry, Grant Hill, Bobby Hurley, Christian Laettner, Trajan Langdon, Corey Maggette, J.J. Reddick, Kyle Singler, Jay(son) Williams, Shelden Williams, and Brian Zoubek just to name a few. And if that isn’t enough he won a Gold Medal in 2008 just but shits and giggles. He will be the best coach of all time when it is all said and done but for now he still has one more to pass.

1. John Wooden: Devout Christian. Lived just a few days short of 100 years. Married 53 of them. One small house in Brentwood. “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” 12 Final Fours. 10 National Championships. 2 schools. Seven Point Creed. “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Kareem. Bill Walton. One Pyramid of Success.

Honorable Mentions: Adolph Rupp, Jim Calhoun, Lute Olsen, Roy Williams, and Pat Summitt.

It is my second favorite time of year. The seasons are changing, the smell of turkeys and honey baked hams fill the air, and the sound of Dicky V’s voice vibrates off the hardwood. It is college basketball season! The most pure form of big-time collegiate athletics is here and I am loving every moment of it.

Last year ended on a dramatic note with Cinderellas beating #1 overall seeds, star players leaving for the NBA, and Duke winning it all. This year picks up right where it left off, with Duke. As Duke is coming down the ladder from cutting the nets down they realize that not much has changed. They still have preseason All American, Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, and the best recruiting class as usual. They are projected as the #1 seed as it they have a huge target on the back of their new Nike Elite uniforms. It will be up to their leadership down the stretch and legendary Coach K to bring the Blue Devils another championship.

Outside of the Dukies, there are a lot of teams on the same level. A lot of teams that have a lot of proving to do including Coach Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans. Sparty is known for their toughness and rebounding. Their players have great conditioning and can run the floor with anyone. They also have the experience with their current team of knowing what it takes to go late into the tournament, so look for them to be there in the end as well.

Rankings 3-11 are all up in the air. K-State has one of the best defenses in the country, Pitt and Nova have great guard play as always in the toughest basketball conference in the nation. Syracuse led by Jim Boeheim have a 7 footer named Fab Melo who can handle the ball, block shots, and score which adds a lot of versatility to a conference where you need everything you can give night in and night out.

The next toughest conference this year will be played in the Midwest with the Big Ten. The Big Ten has Ohio State, Purdue, and Illinois, and Wisconsin all with plenty of Top 25 votes upon which it looks like Michigan State will still emerge. Also, look for Memphis and Butler to come out of their weak conferences and go late into the tournament again. They both have tough out of conference schedules and lost stars to the draft so it will be interesting to see how their seasons play out.

Perennial powerhouse, Kentucky, is missing John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins on a team that was projected to go all the way last year. We’ll see how Calipari can get them to function without the possible NBA Rookie of the Year and the best big man in the SEC. Florida will be giving them some trouble in conference with slick backed Billy Donovan who has a great recruiting class as well and knows how to win in March.

Outside of Duke, the ACC doesn’t seem to be the ACC of old this year. North Carolina was one of the most overrated teams of all times last year, which I guess is a plus for them this year coming in with lower expectations. But are there really ever low expectations for UNC? After Kansas got dethrowned early in the tournament by Northern Iowa in the tournament, a lot of people will be watching them play in the weak Big 12 this year to see if last year was just a fluke.

The Pac-10 also looks to be having low expectations with U-Dub being the only standout team. However, I do see UCLA and Arizona, and Cal getting into at least one of the Top 25s this year. They have great coaching and great athletes which has the makes for great competition. They haven’t done well in the tournament in recent years though,Ā  so we will see if they can live up to the standards that Pac-10 football has set this year for the conference.

The Mountain West also has a deep conference this year. BYU has preseason All American Jimmer (Yes, his name is Jimmer), SDSU has Las Vegan big man, Billy White, UNM has a bunch of hicks who can shoot the rock, and UNLV does what we do with speed and defense. Look for all of the MWC to do well in out of conference play and have 3/4 MWC teams in the Top 25s going into conference play.

It is too hard to predict who will win it all in college basketball because anything can happen in March as all of your brackets were busted with Kansas and Kentucky suckying but ya boi picked Duke to win it all and actually picked the correct score. So, keep my projections in mind this March when you fill out your brackets.

While the BCS is steadily under microscopic pressure, I would like to present my favorite teams from each conference. Obviously UNLV plays in the MWC which as of now is not a BCS Conference, so I find it allowable to have favorite schools in different conferences. Keep in mind that when I am asked who my favorite school is, immediately my reply is “UNLV.” That being said I would like to take this opportunity to address my favorite football schools in other schools. This list is for football schools only, as I have different basketball favorites for different reasons.

ACC: Ahh the Atlantic Coast Conference, it just sounds like a conference you would want to play in right? And it just so happens that my favorite school (outside of UNLV) resides in this conference. THE UUUUUUUUUUUUU! The University of Miami is my favorite for a multitude of reasons. First being, that is my hometown and my Dad played college baseball. The second being their alumni, there are so many NFL players that were Canes. Jeremy Shockey, Jonathan Vilma, Frank Gore, Ray Lewis, Clinton Portis, Edgerin James, Michael Irvin, Vinny Testaverde, current Head Coach Randy Shannon, and even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The last reason being their hood rating. They recruit mainly throughout the unbelievable breeding ground of South Florida and produce unbelievable athletes with uncanny speed and very shakable dreads.

Big East: The former home of The U isn’t having their best days of football. They have some good but inconsistent schools like WVU, Pitt, and Cincinnati. However, there are known most for their basketball programs and with the changes in college football, I think they should be the BCS conference removed to make room for the MWC. That being said, my favorite team is Syracuse. I like their colors, I like Greg Paullus, I like Donovan McNabb, I like their huge dome they play in. They haven’t been too much to root for but I see their football program as the little engine that could and sympathize with them.

Big Ten: In most cases I really don’t appreciate Big Ten Football. Up until this season, they have been big and slow with sub par athletic ability. I don’t like the Ohio St./Michigan rivalry and see them as more old school. Which is cool, I respect that but the school I respect the most is Penn St. How could you not like Penn St.? Jo-Pa is Penn St. He is just the cutest, frailest, and oldest coach in all of football. He’s the guy you want your Grandpa to hang out with. His system hasn’t changed in like 300 years and he wins. Not to mention produces more dirty linebackers than anyone else.

Big Twelve: With the Big 12 no longer having twelve schools, it just contributes to my disliking of them. They are dominated by schools like Oklahoma and Texas and I hate everything in Texas. It seems like the schools have this sense of arrogance about them that is undeserving and I perceive to be overrated. So, if I had to pick one school it would be Oklahoma St. Not for anything really outside of Barry Sanders and Dez Bryant. Even though Dez is a Cowboy in Dallas now I still have an affinity for his athletic ability.

Pac 10: Now we are starting to get into some exciting football. Kids with athletic ability not available in the Midwest. The Arizona schools are cool, Cal is hood, Stanford is smart, the Washington school aren’t very good but they practice in the rain a lot, UCLA basketball is my dude, I absolutely hate USC, but as much as I hate USC I looooooove Oregon. Why? Pshhh a lot of reasons. They play in the loudest stadium in the country, their fans are nuts, they are always ridiculously fast, they recruit nationally, but as I have stated many times before – their uniforms. Soooooooooo sick. The dark green and highlighter yellow stand out like no other school and I love that they showing it off all over national TV this year, especially this weekend against Stanford. Not to mention the Civil War rivalry with Oregon St.

SEC: The best conference is all of college football. They have the fastest and strongest kids in America and it really shows in, especially in HD. They are rich in tradition, have the best and most prominent coaches in the land (many of which coached in the league), they produce National Champion after National Champion, and my favorite of which are the Florida Gators. They have great rivalries with The U, Florida St., Georgia, Tennessee, and #1 Bama. They have great players, changing offenses, Tim Tebow, Urban Meyer, nice colors, are a huge party school, and Tim Tebow.

Multi-SportĀ Athletes

Posted: September 23, 2010 in College Sports, MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL

It makes complete sense that some of todayā€™s best athletes are also amazing at secondary sports. When you have that much God given talent and can physically do things others cannot, it is no surprise that they are still better than 99% of that sportsā€™ participants and it isnā€™t even the area they excel in the most. Now I originally wanted to make this blog a Top 10 list but I found that is not only much more complicated but less accurate as well. When someone, puts most their efforts in one area and throws the other to the curb, they should not be discounted for why they discarded that sport. They may choose a sport because they are better at that time, tey may have more of a future, for financial reasons, or simply because one is more fun.Ā So, instead of making a Top 10, I am going to list off some athletes off the top of my head and encourage other suggestions. I know some pretty main stream and obvious choices like Bo Jackson and Deon Sanders who probably would top the list. But they are not juicy enough to talk about so we will but will discuss the indie and the more obscure. For instance, take Tom Glavine, future Hall of Fame Pitcher for the Braves. He had a great career and was consistently good throughout but almost had no baseball career at all. He actually played hockey for the University of Maine and it was his preferable sport. Another random hockey player is the fiery Nationals center fielder, Niger Morgan. He too grew up playing hockey in the yay area, bringin his sense of street to the ice.Ā Greg Paulus came from a pedigree that most fatherā€™s (including myself) would pay for. His father, uncles, brothers, and sisters all played collegiate sports but he was by far the best. Out of high school he started as Dukeā€™s point guard but probably got wind that Duke Guards donā€™t do well in the league and went back to football. He was actually Mr. Football his senior year in high school and was offered full rides from several Big 10, Big East, and ACC schools to play quarterback. He eventually went back to play for Syracuse near his home and is doin aight. Which sport was the better? We will have to wait and seeā€¦Ā John Elway was old school athletic. He was actually drafted by my Yankees but chose to go with football. Lebron James was an All-State Wide receiver for St. Vincent St. Maryā€™s. Could you imagine being some 5ā€™10 165 lb sophomore corner lining up against the 6ā€™8 225 (at the time) Lebron James? But he also played both ways switching between D end and linebacker. Jackie Robinson balled out at UCLA, playing football, basketball, baseball, and running track. Carl Crawford could have done the same for UCLA, Nebraska, Oklahoma, whoever, but decided to forego college and entered the MLB draft. The Dream Olajuwon didnā€™t even play basketball till he was sixteen. Instead he was a 7ā€™1 goalkeeper in Nigeria.Ā Charlie Ward is my least favorite. Instead of winning the Heisman as a QB at Florida St. and going to the NFL, he decided to go to my Knicks and tried to make up for John Starks and was wack. Same thing with MJ, he wanted to play baseball to see how tight he could be at everything and hit for like .198 for the Birmingham Barons. My favorite instance is with Antonio Gates because I played just as many football games in college as he did. 0! He was a power forward for Kent State, and got picked up by San Diego because he was big, had great hands, and better footwork than most other tight ends. And now he is probably the best tight end in the league.Ā The last one that I am particularly fond of is Joe Mauer. He is so young and has already won 3 batting titles. He plays catcher which is by far the hardest position to play, both physically and mentally. In high school, he averaged more than 20 points a game as a point guard for Cretin-Derham Hall. He was also named to the All-State team during his final two years of high school, he was also named National High School Quarterback Of The Year in 2000. Holy shit! If this guy and Marion Jones (who played basketball at UNC in addition to running track and taking roids) had a kid, they would have birthed Hercules.

BoiseĀ St.

Posted: September 8, 2010 in College Sports

Now that Boise St. has beaten Virginia Tech last night, they pretty much added 56 hours of banter to all of ESPN’s shows alone, about whether or not they will play for the BCS Championship. They usually play one good team each season, run the table, and then cry because they’re not playing for the championship.

The arguments for both sides that their strength in schedule is weak, there is the side that all they do is win no matter who they play. I feel bad for the players and coaches because all they do is prepare themselevs everyday and smash fools. I think it is the university’s fault that they don’t play for ships for planning weak schedgies. Most likely they’ll get snubbed again this year because their next semi-formiddable opponent is #24 Oregon St.

Hopefully next year being in the Mountain West, planning a little better of a schedule they will be able to shut critics up. I personally don’t care, they have tight unis, run sick trick plays, but play JV teams, so I see both sides. Watch they’ll probably loseĀ in the WAC to Louisiana Tech, which why they are in the same conference as Hawaii is a blog in itself, and this will all have been a waste of time.