100 Days Away and Counting….

26 05 2015

Enjoy the summer… College Football is right around the corner….

Hello Peeps….

30 04 2015

Source: www.ibtimes.com

Been a long time since yours truly has written anything on the Clipboard…. Alot has happened since that college football playoff. But at least we can all agree, the best team in College Football won the National Title. So there’s that. Spring Football has come and gone, we have National Champions in college hoops (best teams won there too I might add), and now we head into the Spring and Summer Months… with one heck of a weekend set, starting Thursday with the NFL Draft, the Kentucky Oaks and Derby (Friday and Saturday respectively), and of course… Mayweather. Pacquiao. So lets start with…

The Fight

I’ve said since this fight was being talked about five years ago, that Floyd Mayweather would win by unanimous decision, or late stoppage. Nothing has changed on my part. Look, I’m not the person that’s disrespecting what Manny Pacquiao  has accomplished in the sport. He’s a Hall of Famer one of the best to ever lace em up. He’s just fighting the best fighter of this era, who, to me, will be at the very best of his career. Floyd is the bigger man, with a  longer reach (that consistently uses his jab to keep his opponent away), and the more skilled fighter. The only shot I believe Manny has is

A) Apply immense pressure, and in turn, Floyd doesn’t have a strong punch output

B) He catches Floyd and knocks him out… BUT his power must be that Floyd acknowledges it. If Floyd gets touched (which I think he will early) and It has no effect, It could be a complete shutout.

Not saying any of these can’t happen, because anyone that watches the fight game will tell you all it takes is “one punch” and it changes everything.  I just think when it’s all said and done, It will be a dominant performance by Floyd, and don’t be surprised, if Floyd’s the aggressor and is in the center of the ring and walking Manny down.

1. The straight right hand from Floyd with Manny coming in, and the “check hook”

2. Some solid body work by Floyd which could end the night as well (Floyd has an underrated body game).

3. And the counter punching in his defensive shell, if he decides to work from the ropes (uppercuts being the main point of attack, mixed in with body work).

I may be wrong (which 99.9%  of the time I am), but Mayweather remains unblemished as he heads to one more fight before calling it quits.

Source: nfl.com

The Draft

There are gonna be bust, Pro Bowlers, 15 year vets, and maybe some Hall of Famers sprinkled in as well. It’s the inexact science known as the NFL Draft,

My two cents:

–Jameis Winston is the best QB in draft, BY FAR.

–Jameis Winston will give the Buccaneers at least 7 wins, this season

—Tampa Bay, don’t be dumb. Take Winston.

—I admire and enjoy Marcus Mariota from afar, but unless a franchise is willing to adapt to his skill set, he’s a bust. I hope he’s not, but…

—Leonard Williams may be unblockable at the next level, Vic Beasley, may be the same way as an edge rusher.

— This is the year of the pass rusher,and interior lineman. Lot of quality and depth from round 1 and beyond. (Trey Flowers one of those quality players).

—Amari Cooper, over Kevin White.

—Breshad Perriman, Devante Parker, Kevin White, and Nelson Agholor SHOULD have solid careers.

–Titans, work something out to get Phillip Rivers if possible, OR trade the 2nd pick away and grab more draft picks. You need not just something, YOU NEED EVERYTHING.

—Andreus Peat, and Cameron Erving could be Pro Bowlers in year one.

I could go on and on with so many guys from round one and beyond, but that’s what makes this thing fun. Guys landing with teams, and giving those fans and organizations hope heading into week one.


The Derby

I’m a Kentucky native. Everyone should go, just once. Fun times, you want crazy drunken people rolling around in the infield. Check. You want a who’s who of celebrities rubbing elbows with anyone and everyone around Churchill Downs? Check. Mint Juleps? Not my thing, but you should try one just to say you did. The first Saturday in May is a date that will always resonate with me whether I’m at home, or out of the state. Those that go….enjoy it!

Odds and Ends

—Game of Thrones. Legit. Just waiting for the early shocker/surprise this season.

—My wife had me watch about four episodes of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt a month ago. Funny.

—There’s this I saw on Twitter today. Will try in the coming weeks:

—You never know how good Frosted Flakes are until you haven’t had them in two to three months.

—Garlic Knots. Papa Johns. Yes please.

—Johnny Depp in the upcoming movie, Black Mass looks really good, If you like mobster style films.

—You know you’re rocking out to Taylor Swift in your car. Don’t deny it. She’s like, everywhere.

Enjoy the weekend!

And Then There Were Four

12 12 2014

(Source: cbssports.com)


Four’s the Loneliest Number

You. Yes, YOU.

You wanted this.


Oh… why let the computers decide who plays for the National Championship. Let’s have a playoff to determine who makes it?

We have a playoff now. Guess what. Folks still not satisfied. Why are any sane people surprised?

But get this:


How could Ohio State get in?

Why didn’t Baylor get into the Playoff?

Why is Florida State in the top four?


What argument does anyone have with the four teams that the College Football Bowl Committee put in? We all have opinions. How strong could the opinion be?

1. TCU loss to Baylor.

2. Baylor beat TCU

3. Baylor played NO ONE in their non conference slate.

4. And… Baylor finished ahead of TCU, just like everyone wanted since Baylor beat TCU head to head.


In the preseason, many football analyst said that Baylor’s non conference slate would ultimately be their demise. It was. Has anyone thought that even Baylor and TCU  NEVER thought they would be in position to make the Playoff? Schedules are made years in advance. I get it. I Guarantee that Baylor and TCU scheduled to:

A) Have a winning record

B) and Be Bowl eligible. That’s it.


Now Baylor and TCU fans want to get upset because their lack of a strength of schedule, coupled with a Big 12 Commissioner that wanted a “Co- Champion”, and a lack of a conference title game, that neither team made the playoff.

And guess what? Had Ohio State won 28-14, and not 59-0 over a top 15 team (Wisconsin) Baylor more than likely gets in.


Please Listen to the Committee

Things will change. We will eventually go to a 8 team format. But for the time being, University X, do a few things to put yourself in the conversation:

A) Go and schedule games that matter in late August/ Early September… See Oregon circa this season

B) Win Every game (whether it’s by 1, or 61… win em)

C) Quit scheduling to “just” be bowl eligible. If you are in a FBS conference, go out and play people year to year… don’t whine and moan because you decided to schedule Charlotte UMASS, and McNeese State, and wonder why you’re left out at 12-0.

D) Hope for the best


We all understand that it’s difficult to go undefeated. But a loss, or even two loses in some seasons can still get you in a playoff. Just wait when one season a team plays a brutal schedule (non conference/conference schedule) and loses two games by combined score of say 6 points. What will the discussion be then?


As we get to bowl season, I’ll throw out some bowl picks (and proceed to pick ZERO winners).


(Source: foxsports.com)


An Elite Trio

Marcus Mariota,  Amari Cooper, and Melvin Gordon are as good as they come during this 2014 college football season. Each player have a argument for being the nations best player.

With that said. Mariota will be and is the clear Heisman winner. 38 TD’s. 2 INT’s. 14 Rushing TD’s. He’s accounted for 53 TD’s. He’s second on his team in rushing. He has been lights out, and has one of the greatest seasons in the history of college football. Forget if you have something against the PAC-12 and/or teams not in the “Holy grail” (cough, SEC, cough), you cant knock what the junior from Hawaii has accomplished. He will win Saturday night. And deservedly so.


Quick Hitters

— Like the hire of Jim Mcelwain  at Florida. AD Jeremy Foley wanted to go with a more offensive-centric coach and got him in the Montana native. I remember Jim when he coached at Louisville (I’m a Kentucky native) as a Wide Receivers coach and was part of a group known as the AFROS (Americas Finest Receivers on Saturday).

—Dang Michigan. Unless it’s Les Miles, you better have a good explanation on who your next man in charge is.

—Every job should be open at Notre Dame. LSU will tell Brian Kelly everything he knows about his group for the 2015 season and beyond.

—Urban Meyer SHOULD be coach of the year

— Lane Kiffin had a great year calling plays at Alabama, but Tom Hermann is a great choice for winning the Frank Broyles award.

—Dalvin Cook. My goodness.

—So… when did Wisconsin become a stepping stone job? And Paul Cryst? If you say so….

—Reality TV time… Vanderpump Rules, the Real Housewives,  and some other shows on VH1 that are so crazy I dont want to say… #guiltypleasure

— Looking forward to The U pt 2 Saturday after the Heisman ceremony… hope is as good or better than the first by Billy Corbin

—If you get a chance… go find the E:60 profile on Cowboys Tight End Jason Witten, incredible.


Will be back next week. Enjoy you weekend peeps!








Cry Me A River Playoff Ranking Haters…

14 11 2014

The song theme of this week’s blog


We’ve had three weeks of the College Football Playoff Poll. Three. Fans of teams outside of the top four currently upset. Why? For reasons unknown. Go and look at the 10 teams and their Ranking:

1. Mississippi State

2. Oregon

3. Florida State

4. TCU

5. Alabama

6. Arizona State

7. Baylor

8. Ohio State

9. Auburn

10. Ole Miss

If you are in the top 6, you basically control your own destiny. Alabama and Arizona State fans (mainly Alabama fans), Why? WHY? Why does the third installment of five weeks of rankings mater when your program controls it’s own fate? Because TCU is 4? They deserve to be. They are 3-1 against teams that are currently or were ranked when they played them.

Wins: Minnesota, West Virginia, Kansas State,

Loses: Baylor

Stop it. Please. Stop it. Once again

Both TCU and Alabama are desreving to be in the Top four right now. But the beauty of it all? They *gasp* get to play their way win. You beat Mississippi State Saturday, You may jump to number one. You lose. All the whining and cryin was for nothing. You will play in some other holiday bowl. End of story.

Thursday night WAFF’s own Mark Thornhill and I had a “spirited” debate… (More like hollering at the top of our lungs) about the playoff format. Mark believes that every division one conference champion (meaning regular season) should get an automatic bid to the college football playoff, with some at at large bids. Would 16 teams be the cut off? Would that be the right amount of teams?

My take to Mark, (and the rest of the newsroom that looked at us like we were in a presidential debate) was that I just don’t want a 8-4, or 7-5 team make the playoffs because they won 5 games in their conference. Should we get rid of conferences all together? The NFL has teams with losing records make the playoffs because they won their division. The Arizona Cardinals didn’t make the playoffs last year at 10-6!

I want the best teams with the best body of work (regular season games) to make the playoff. You want to move the playoff to 8? 12? 16? Go ahead. Is a system flawed because it’s different than other playoff formats out there? Mark, and college football fans are not wrong with their stance, we all have valid points, that are more right than wrong.

But isn’t that what makes the college game awesome? Debate, where games each week matter. Every week is a must win. If you have 16 get in, 3-4 loses is quite alright, cause your in anyway. Safe to say I’ll revisit this, along with a video debate with Mark (good stuff, Shoulda been in the newsroom that THURSDAY night) with some sort of video later in the year.



Odds and Ends

— I’ve wathced SEC Football most of my entire life. I’ve never seen Mississippi State be in this position, EVER. A ton of respect for what Dan Mullen has accompished in Starkville, but quite frankly, they will have to win Saturday, to make one more statement to me. Winning on the road is tough in any league, but doing so at a place where it’s very diifclut against a team that’s played lights out all season, will get more praise than ever before. It’s up to you Mississippi State.

–No matter how inconsistent this Alabama team has been on the road, They’ve won em all but one, and that team is ranked 10th in the latest CFB Rankings. This is a loose, fun bunch to watch in Tuscaloosa, and I dont think they even realize how good and how special the season could be if they get a potential win Saturday.

–If Auburn beats Georgia, badly, are they back in the mix as the first two loss team potentially in the Playoff?

–To be the man (Florida State), you’ve got to beat the man (Miami). Until I see Miami with a higher point total than The Noles, I’m not picking against Jimbo, Jameis and company.

–Say what you want, but outside of maybe four teams, who wouldnt want the record of Ohio State over the last three seasons? Urban Meyer, is still Urban Meyer, and as long as he wants to stay in Columbus, the Buckeyes will be a threat possibnly this season, and for sure in ’15.

— Dear College Football. Better get them now, becasue next year may be scary. Signed, LSU

–Remember when Charlie Strong wasn’t the right fit at Texas. Yeah. Good times yall.


— Shout out to Jerry Kill and Minnesota.

–Notre Dame has loss two games. To the Number 3 and 6 teams respcively in the CFB Poll. And they are now a bad team. Sure.

–They lose to Northwestern Saturday, then, Irish haters, you “may” have a small point.

— Ameer Abdullah, Melvin Gordon, keep doing what you do.

— Welcome back Todd Gurley.

— Please go away Todd Gurley (Auburn fans)


RHOA quick hitters (Told ya I love reality TV, and yes… don’t hate. It’s my wife’s fault. I’m hooked).

–Pretty intense back and forth between Apollo and Phaedra. Kinda uncomfortable, and real all at the same time.

–Other than that, not a whole lot to discuss really… But from the season preview at the end of the first episode, this may be an all time great season.

–CANNOT wait till the Beverly Hills girls start!


Have a great weekend!



Friday Thoughts…

7 11 2014

Happy Friday folks! First things first

It never gets old. NEVER. Cut a rug Gus.


Now a few quick hitters this week:

— For those that are upset that Oregon is number four in this weeks CFB Playoff rankings. Chill. A TON of football to be played with a slew of big games this week.

—For those that are upset in week two of this five week process, CHILL. It will play itself out. You can argue the first Sunday in December when the final four teams are official.

— Alabama has played extremely well over the last two weeks. Just interested to see how they fare on the road at LSU. The Bayou Bengals arguably playing as well as anyone in the SEC not named Mississippi State or Auburn.

—Will this be the week Michigan State makes a statement and/or impresses the CFB committee? J.T. Barrett may be the player making the statement for his team Saturday.

—Florida. You cant blowout Georgia one week and turnaround and lay an egg at Vanderbilt. Vandy coach Derek Mason gets a mulligan this season as he completely overhauls personnel to fit his power run game. If you think the Gator nation wants Muschamp to be gone now, lose Saturday and see how bonkers this gets.


Malzahn break



—You want everyone to forget about that 62 spot laid on you this season Arizona State? Show up and play well Saturday.

—If Notre Dame wins handily, We shouldn’t have to hear the “Notre Dame hasn’t played anyone” crap. Before the season started, this was a “brutal” schedule. Now because some teams have fallen off the map, It’s now a bad slate. Go figure.

—What. The. Hell. Happened. To. Iowa.This.Season.With.Such.A.Favorable.Schedule.


—Best WR’s I’ve seen in my humble opinion (In order): Amari Cooper, Jalen Strong, D’haquille Williams, Kevin White

—The Shmoney dance is taking over. Football. Sports. Everything.


Malzahn Break



—Why Marcus Peters. Why?

—Joey Bosa. Man child.


Enough of the nonsense. A huge college football weekend, Sunday even bigger for yours truly. Why?



A complete summary from the new episode next Week. Two words. Don’t judge. Beverly Hills starts in two weeks I believe also. Once again. Don’t Judge.

That’s it this week… Any question to ask send them my way… cprather@waff,com




4 is the Loneliest Number

30 10 2014




Dear College Football Fan,

I’m writing to tell you that you can’t have it all. You can’t have your giant football cake and eat it too. Back in the early 90’s YOU wanted a playoff. Football higher ups gave you the BCS. That was a bunch of crap to you, yet outside of possibly two years in the 15 year period of that format did we have any remote controversy. 2 OUT OF 15. The system got it right 13 other times.

That wasn’t good enough. You wanted a playoff system. We have it now. And guess what? THIS system will get it right more times than not, and fans (which is short for fanatic by the way, meaning some fans have no objectivity) will want.. you guessed it.. an 8 team playoff… then a 16 team playoff… Hell might as well do a field of 64, er, 68 then.

I do not want mediocre teams playing for a National Title. The College Football season should mean something. Elite teams should play elite OUT OF CONFERENCE teams (which will happen more frequently with the new playoff format making it a priority). You should be rewarded for winning, and beating good teams, not playing the University of cupcake state and asking why you’re left out as a 1 loss team when another program has the same record. STOP it college football fan, normal football fans are on to you.

This is the first week of the polls. Everyone will play each other and sort this deal out in a matter of weeks. But, you, college football fan, will find a way to find a fault in a legitimate top four teams that will be well deserving of playing in the FBS’s first Final Four.

REMEMBER. You hated the computers, and wanted a human element in the process. You have it now. Shut up, and don’t complain, and let this play out.



Carl Prather



The Top Four (Week 1)


1. Mississippi State- No brainer. They are undefated and have beaten the number three team in the CFB playoff poll, and have some good wins over LSU, and a former AP top ten Texas A&M. Yes they have some lower level FBS teams that they have played, but at least they are at the FBS level. The Bulldogs should take a bit of a hit by playing UT Martin in a couple of weeks, though.  Did they look specatucalr against Kentucky? No, but Kentucky had a ton to do with that, they are a young and really good program in progress. A interesting Arkansas team  awaits, followed by meetings with Alabama and Ole Miss.

Saturday:  Vs Arkansas

Next three games: UT Martin, AT (6) Alabama, Vanderbilt.



2. Florida St- They are the champs and as long as they keep winning, they will be in the Final Four at season’s end. Have they been as imporessive as last season. We all know the answer. But there’s something to be said to take every teams best shot because you’re atop the mountain and finding ways to win. And of course the off field distractions don’t help, and for the coaching staff and players involved to continue to show up and produce on the field is impressive to me, for better or worse, whether you agree or disagree  with the off field actions. Interesting to see of they will be able to handle a intriguing game tonight against Louisville. The last time the Noles came to the Derby City, it was a rain fest that yours truly was able to witness at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.


Many want the Noles to finally lose. Unfortunately, those watching at home cant help these opposing teams. Said team will have to go in and take a much deserved win against FSU, because it doesn’t appear they are willing to give it up without a fight through the final whistle

Thursday: At (25) Louisville

Next three games: Virginia, At Miami, Boston College



3. Auburn- The right choice  here. They have a quality road win over Kansas State that checks in at 9 in the first playoff poll. It arguably is the best non conference road win of any team this season. The only loss? To the number one team in the poll. The Tigers basically control their own destiny starting Saturday with a trip to Oxford to face 4th ranked Ole Miss. If the Tigers run the table, they deserve to be in the final four and if they win it all, they can truly say they earned every piece of it.

Saturday: At (4) Ole Miss

Next three games: Texas A&M, At (11) Georgia, Samford



4. Ole Miss- They arguably have the best home win of the season (Oregon may beg to differ, along with Mississippi State) against Alabama. And the LSU loss doesn’t look as bad as it would have two weeks ago. The Rebels will have issues if they can’t find a way to run the football better. Still much like all 4 teams in the first rankings, Ole Miss controls their destiny.

Saturday: (3) Auburn

Remaining games: Presbyterian,  At Arkansas, At (1) Mississippi State


Enjoy the Weekend!

Just Another Week in The West

10 10 2014


Game of the Week

(2) Auburn Vs (3) Mississippi State

The State of Mississippi for the second straight week the epicenter of college football. This time Starkville the location as State tries to keep this unreal momentum going against the defending SEC Champion Auburn Tigers.


The Skinny

The Bulldogs have racked up at least 500 yards of offense in each of their games this season. Their Heisman trophy front runner (right now) Dak Prescott has thrown for 200 yards and rushed for another 100 in two of his last three games. Alabama native De’Runnya Wilson has become one of the young studs in the SEC. They have a veteran offensive line, and a sledgehammer of a running back in Josh Robinson along with a little lighting in running back/athlete Josh Holloway.

As for Auburn, the SEC Champs have played like it whether people want to give them credit or not. They’ve went on the road to play a tough Kansas State team, along with wins over what now seems like a dangerous Arkansas team. The blowout win over LSU also looks great considering how well the defense played. And oh yeah, Nick Marshall is rounding into the Nick Marshall of 2013.


The Bad for Mississippi State

As great as the offense looked last week against Texas A&M, the defense has a few issues. Of course you give credit to turning the Aggies over three times, but was that more of Kenny Hill making some bad throws, or was it really the State unit causing the issues? The Bulldogs have what may be the best defensive line and/or front seven in the league, but from watching the game last week, that front seven for the most part was neutralized. The costly turnovers by Texas A&M (or Kenny Hill) brought momentum in State’s favor. Are they a good team? No question. Are they a great team? We all will know by the end of this month, not by just this game.


The Bad for Auburn

They blew out LSU. Held the Bayou Bengals to just 7 points. True freshman Brandon Harris had just 58 yards passing (did ANYONE expect anything else from a true freshman on the road who was playing High School football a year ago?) LSU did have moments (very few) last week that showed a dual threat QB, that can

A) run, but make plays out of the pocket by

B) throwing, and throwing receivers open (circa State vs LSU this season)

can give the Tigers some issues.



What will Happen

The Cowbells will be ringing, ESPN’s college Gameday will have the State faithful in a good lather leading up to kickoff. A great atmosphere for sure, none of that will determine the game. Auburn is the better team. State obviously can change that after four quarters Saturday, but the Tigers are a spread team that’s balanced. Auburn will commit to the run, all while State will have to deal with Nick Marshall that can break off a touchdown from anywhere on the field with his legs. And guess what? *gasp* He can throw! (Wow! who knew?)

As good as the Bulldogs front seven is, the Tigers have too many play makers in the backfield, and on the perimeter. Sammie Coates, D’haquille Williams, CJ Uzomah among others will continue to make plays in this devastating run first spread attack that has a running back that’s not getting enough credit nationally (Cameron Artis-Payne). The Defense will show that it just wasn’t LSU the reason for their dominance. they’re just a dang good unit, that’s only getting better in the second year of Ellis Johnson’s 4-2-5 scheme. The talk has been around the state of Mississippi all week, Auburn will head to Starkville to make a statement, that they may very well be the best team in college football.

Auburn 35, Mississippi State 17


Quick Hitters

—Ole Miss was outstanding last week against Alabama, they are about to run into a buzz saw Saturday in College Station. I like the Aggies to win, with Kenny Hill getting back to his “Kenny Trill” moniker Saturday night. I cant wait to watch that Rebels secondary Vs the Aggies WR’s… Hugh Freeze has some play makers in that secondary (even with Trae Eslon out for a half).

—It’s supposed to be in the 50’s with rain in Fayetteville… just like Hogs like it right? More than many other season under Nick Saban, I’m more intrigued than ever with how this Alabama team responds after a loss, against what looks like as VERY dangerous Arkansas group. My head says pick Alabama, while my gut says this will come down to the wire at Razorbacks Stadium.

—Florida State is number 1 everyone. That shouldn’t change if they continue to win.

— TCU has always had my respect under Gary Patterson. Win Saturday against Baylor, you officially get in the CFB Playoff discussion.

— Love Rich Rod and Arizona. NO ONE should be surprised if they lose to SC Saturday.

—Shout out to Paul Johnson. Option anyone? No? OK, the Wramblin Wreck will take their 5-0 record just fine thank you.

— Want to get crazy tonight? Tune in to Washington State and UCLA. Connor Halliday make throw a little bit for Mike Leach.


Have a great weekend!



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