Four for Friday

Four things as we head into the weekend:

1.Auburn Panic Meter at 1,000

Look, I thought Jeremy Johnson would flourish in Auburn’s offense. Fell in love with a first half performance against Arkansas last year and, well you know the rest (at least til this point):

5 TD’s, 6 INT’s. Demoted to backup this week in place of Sean White, who like Johnson, had a number of accolades coming out of high school, including high praise from Trent Dilfer.

He has yet to take a snap in a college game, so to assume we know what the heck the young man will do, is crazy. For Auburn’s sake, here’s hoping it’s a positive performance against a Mississippi State team who’s quarterback is confident of generating offense Saturday.

2. Alabama Panic Meter at 1,000

Or so it seems. It’s safe to say the following will lead to a loss 99.9 percent of the time:

  1. Playing a quality opponent (Ole Miss)
  2.  Turning the football over 5 times.
  3. Shaky quarterback play till late in the game.

Alabama didn’t quit, rallying late in the 4th, with a chance to win the game in Tuscaloosa. Jake Coker will get the start Saturday against the Warhawks of UL-Monroe, with a trip to Athens looming. If you’re a Crimson Tide fan, there’s many questions left to be answered. Those questions will have to wait till October 3rd.

3. Must win for the Vols?

Tennessee had a big game two weeks ago against Oklahoma, and couldn’t find a way to put away a Sooner team that showed some mettle in rallying from a 17-3 deficit to win on the road. Last season against Florida, the Vols led 9-0 heading into the 4th. Treon Harris is inserted, and the Gators find a way in Knoxville.

The Vols need this win, the Bleacher Report thinks so as well.  Florida will rely on Will Grier who gets the nod, by default with the suspensions handed down by Jim McElwain earlier this week..

4. Empire

I watch a lot of awful, putrid TV. I LOVE reality everything on the tube. Every Real Housewives show, basically every reality show on E! You name the show, I’ve probably watched it. I also watch Empire. Yep, if you want to hate on the over the top, hip-hop soap opera, go ahead, not mad at ya. I still watch. Every episode. My better half doesn’t miss it live for anything. She has a running text commentary with a handful of her closet friends on Wednesday nights. I have a feeling Cookie Lyon and company aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. And yes. I’m OK with that.

Enjoy the weekend.

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FINALLY

It’s here. Well, almost. The college football season . Game week. The kickoff for the 2015-16 (FBS) season begins Thursday. If you love the college game, a must have during the summer:

Phil Steele’s College Football Preview magazine.

It’s become the go to for all your college football info prior to the season.

I reached out to Phil earlier this month to talk. We chatted via phone, and as you would imagine working in Huntsville, a lot of the questions were SEC-centric. But we also dove into Ohio State, “surprise” teams in the SEC and a “sleeper” that could crash the four team playoff and become a National Champion.

It’s Monday. Work is overrated. Wet your football appetite just a little more.

Take a listen:

Odds and Ends:

—The College football season actually got underway between two powerhouses in FCS. Kinda like that Bob Stitt guy.

—Just seeing Jim Harbaugh, khaki’s and all, on a college sideline again, is good for the game. Should be a rocking atmosphere at Rice-Eccles Stadium Thursday.

— TCF Bank Stadium will be a great atmosphere, at least early. TCU, with their #2 ranking facing a Gopher team that has took on Jerry Kill’s hard work, grind em out type personality. Media experts think this is his best team… we’ll see.

—My alma mater, Western Kentucky University, has one of the best quarterbacks in the country, and will try to knock of Vanderbilt, who needs, REALLY NEEDS to win this game. SB Nation does the best it can to try and talk Vandy fans off the ledge heading into the season.

—TCU, Baylor, and Oklahoma St are getting the headlines in the Big 12 this off season, but, I personally like Oklahoma. Glad that that Bob Stoops is getting back to the air raid, that got the Sooners on the map early in his tenure. Some new offensive lineman will need to get adjusted, but Baker Mayfield threw it around the yard at Texas Tech as a Freshman, and should (I know, he hasn’t played in a year) thrive in the offense under new Offensive Coordinator Lincoln Riley. And if for nothing else, he can move a little bit, well, a lot.

—Excited to see UCLA’s first year starter.

Picks and more picks:

Alabama over Wisconsin:

Defense rules the day for the Tide. Badgers will have less the 200 yards of offense. It only gets interesting if Alabama’s (insert here) QB struggles.

Auburn over Louisville:

The Cards shouldn’t be measured on this game. Louisville will have a good year. No clue who gets the start for Bobby Petrino, but it won’t matter. Auburn comes out smoking, with the the way-to-early-send-him-to-New-York-now Heisman hype in mid season form for Jeremy Johnson by the half.

Notre Dame over Texas:

Under the lights in South Bend, this is Brian Kelly’s best team with the Irish. Malik Zaire will have his growing pains throughout the season, will it be enough to derail some playoff aspirations? No clue there, but he should play well enough Saturday, along with a elite offense, and a defense that will hound Longhorn quarterbacks Tyrone Swoops/Jerrod Herd all night. BUT… if Swoops/Herd come out hot, The Irish haters may have some added ammunition by midnight Saturday.

Ohio St over Virginia Tech:

Urban Meyer could suspend whomever. They win the game. The Hokies will make it entertaining in spots, but it reminds me of the last time a #1 ranked talented team came to Blacksburg.

Texas A&M over Arizona St:

A sleeper in the SEC, Stewart Mandel picked the Aggies to win the league. The game Saturday in the desert won’t have anything to do with that, but could show that the Aggies have the right guy at Quarterback (Kyle Allen) and an improved defense and/or scheme (John Chavis). The Sun Devils will bring pressure from everywhere… If Allen gets it out of his hands, he may have 450 plus through the air. If he doesn’t Kevin Sumlin’s prized recruit of 2015 may be the answer sooner rather than later.

My Final Four Picks:

(1) Ohio St     Vs (4) Notre Dame

(2) TCU          Vs (3) Auburn

National Championship:

(1) Ohio St Vs (2) TCU

Winner: Ohio St

Enjoy the games this week. Football is back. Football. Is. Back.

4 is the Loneliest Number

Source:usatoday.com

 

 

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.

 

Sincerely,

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!

Five Downs

Source:sbnation.com

 

1st Down

Can We Give Auburn Credit?

College Football fans should. Yes I know that we will hear the “Auburn was fortunate, they were lucky to win in Manhattan” moniker for the next two or three days. That may be good fodder to talk about, but it’s not Auburn’s fault that Kansas State was so inept in the kicking game, and couldn’t take advantage of their opportunities in the red zone.

We could also say this game would have been over had Duke Williams caught a for sure TD in the first half. He made it count in the second half with a big score, and a 3rd and 9 conversion to ice the game 20-14. And about Nick Marshall not being able to throw? Big time conversions late in this game including that deciding 3rd down throw to Duke. Auburn  is for real. K State had won 42 of their last 44 at home. Let’s give the Tigers credit for a few days. Then we can look at the gauntlet of SEC games starting October 4th.

 

2nd Down

Does Florida have a Chance?

No clue on that Saturday against 3rd ranked Alabama. The Gators Defense will be as elite as they’ve been under WIll Muschamp. We all know what the elephant in the room is. Jeff Driskel. This offense just seems lost at times, and inconsistent. I thought before the season that if the Gators could just score 21-24 points they win at least 9 games. They needed 36 points to beat a ryoung and talented Kentucky team in 3 OT’s last week.

 

3rd Down

 

As for Alabama….

Can I just say that I just want to see Amari Cooper and Vernon Hargreaves III go at it? Excited to see that. As for the Tide, we will see how much the offense has improved over a quality opponent. Blake Sims is the starter, with Jacob Coker on the sidelines. Florida will try to confuse Sims as we all know, will be interesting to see if Lane Kiffin stays with the bubble screen left, bubble screen right, handoff to running back A philosophy or will the offense continue to grow in game. Alot of question marks still for both teams as we head to kickoff.

 

4th Down

Is Mississippi State ready to make the jump?

Dan Mullen’s bunch head to Death Valley where as my guy Les Miles says dreams come to die. He also does things like this which makes EVERYONE love him even more. It’s the gift that keeps on giving:

 

As for the game Saturday, The LSU offense is still finding it’s way after a few games, while we really don’t know much about the Bulldogs (wins over  So Miss, UAB, South Alabama). Business picks up this week, I just think the Baton Rouge faithful and those 22 guys on the field in Purple and Yellow will be a little too much for State. The best thing for State, is if LSU’s offense starts slow in this one, if that happens, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Bayou Bengals find themselves in trouble.

 

 5th Down

Jameis

Yes he’s 20. yes he’s been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Would I scream what he screamed in my college student union… nah, but I’ve done my fair share of REALLY, REALLY, stupid things in college. Do I have any clue on if this is a concern for Winston moving forward. Honestly no. I could be wrong, and wouldn’t have an issue in saying so in the future. Whether it was a quarter or a half, Winston got football taken away from him this week. That’s never happened. I think it would do wonders for him, realizing that he has an opportunity to play a kids game, and enjoy the rewards that surround it.

I literally laughed when I heard some of the national talking heads suggest that Winston’s draft stock would fall. Yeah right. He will be the first or second QB taken and one of the first ten players taken in the draft if he decides to leave. For all those that want to cast stones to any collegiate athletes regardless of sport. Just remember. There are far worse things going on with athletes and college students that we just don’t hear or see about.

 

Quick Hitter

The NFL.

I don’t even know where to start with the league. It would take me hours to go through it all. We all know the environment that the league is in right now. The biggest thing I hope comes from all these issues, is that it brings awareness to domestic violence. So many women are in trouble each and everyday in the world and in this great country. I hope the common sports fan understands that this goes beyond the white lines on Sunday’s. There are people in trouble, and I hope the awareness is raised even more with all the recent issues with the NFL.

 

Enjoy the weekend!

 

Hello College Football, nice to see ya again…

Source:usatoday.com

Hello. Yeah this blog known as Carl’s Clipboard was basically extinct for..EVER. Do you blame me? The last blog post I wrote had to do with some game in Auburn, Alabama in November..

The reactions across the country…. not bad either…

Still hard to believe that an winless Tigers team a year ago in the SEC went on to win the league and then played a hell of a game against the very best team in College Football all year (yep I said all year) in Florida State. That game in Pasadena not bad either…

Since that night… alot of things have changed in the College Football World… We have a new format to determine a National Champion (CFB Playoff), and a nice trophy (As you see above). From The Power Five Conferences nearing autonomy, to Ed O’ Bannon (among others) fighting for collegiate athletes in court, there’s been plenty to talk about from January to this very Wednesday.

But now we are on the eve of another College Football year, fans (like myself) everywhere wont have to have another weekend without this great game until January, where it all comes to an end at Jerry’s Playground in Arlington January 12, 2015.

For those  6-7 people that read this blog last year, you know that I will talk CFB, along with all things pop culture and anything else that comes to mind (As you will see with some of the titles of topics relating to songs and movies I love)

So with this being  the first of many blogs for the season… Let’s talk a little “ball” shall we?

 

 

THE YEAR OF JOE KANE

There are just a few dudes that can run it and throw it. I like em all. Mariota, Marshall,  Hundley,  Golson, Winston, Petty.. and so on. Since 2000, Only two players have won the award that weren’t quarterbacks (name the two players on Twitter for me if you know who they were… @CarlPratherWAFF)

Which means the guy that throws the pill will once again be college football’s most outstanding player. The trophy has only had one repeat winner in history, could Jameis make it two?

 

I’M NOT A STAR

At SEC Media Days in Hoover, a lot of new faces representing teams. Only Georgia’s Todd Gurley was the most known guy there for the casual fan. Gone are all the QB’s that fans of the league came to love, It’s now time for some new faces to make some new history. Could that start Thursday night with A&M’s Kenny Hill leading the way for the Aggies against South Carolina?

 

WHO COULD IT BE NOW ?

Under the Radar guys that could have some big years:

Myles Jack (LB/RB, UCLA)– Beast.  The CFB world knows about him, but he can be even better this season. All this guy did was win the Pac-12 freshman Offensive and Defensive Player of The Year. The Bruins cookin up something potentially special in Westwood.

Chuckie Keeton (QB, Utah State)– He played six games last year before getting injured, but is expected to pick back up where he left off in Aggies land. Tennessee (ahem) don’t sleep this weekend.

Matt Johnson (QB, Bowling Green)- If you get a chance to catch one of those mid week MAC games… go watch the Falcons and Johnson. He leads an attack that can put up points in a hurry.

Jonathan Williams (RB, Arkansas)– There will be a ton of other backs in the country that are elite, Williams may not even be the best  back on his team (Alex Collins). But the combination of toughness, size, and speed could help the Hogs get back to respectability this season… maybe.

 

WHO CAN BE THE ESU TIMBERWOVLES? (Sorry had to make another reference… Loved that movie)

Florida- It was a dumpster fire in Gainesville in 2013. It was bad. Georgia Southern at home bad. Will Muschamp had 25 guys… 25! that missed a combined total of 126 games, 13 guys lost for the season.. They had a guy lost for the year after falling off a scooter. It. Cant. Get. Much. Worse. Got a feeling it will be happy times again in the Swamp, with just maybe a trip to Atlanta in early December.

Georgia- Speaking of snake bit, Georgia had to deal with a rash of injuries as well. Only 3 starters returned in ’13, so youth wont be served as much heading into this season. I have NO clue about Hutson Mason at QB,but that Gurley dude along with some freshman (Nick Chubb, Sony Michel) can help matters. If Mason is steady, look out.

USC- You better get this team now. The sanctions are over, and the elite talent will be back, depth wise in a hurry. Steve Sarkisian knows the program, and understands what it takes to win at the level Trojans fans are accustomed to. Their first teamers are as good as anyone in the country, with a sure fire top 5-10 pick in the ’15 NFL Draft (Leonard Williams). Not saying they go to the CFB Playoff, but a big year in ’14 could pave the way for a ton of expectations in ’15.

 

PREDICTIONS…. WHY NOT?

I have no clue about who will make the 4 team playoff. But I love to ALWAYS make a prediction, no matter how far off (which is 100% of the time) I am.  And it goes a little something like this:

Florida State– If you think they are losing to anyone, you’re crazy. Well, I’ll give you a pass if you say they lose once.  This team was a year ahead of schedule by winning it all a year ago. Even if they didn’t win it last season, They more than likely would have been the preseason favorite anyway. They are loaded. Everywhere. Pick a spot where they have a weakness. There isn’t one. The only weakness potentially is complacency. That’s it. They even have the best kicker in college football returning. They may win all their games by at least 21. For real.

Auburn– Yea. I know their schedule is brutal. But IMO, they have the least amount of questions of any team in the entire SEC. Some of my media pals (along with fans) wonder about their defense. I actually think it will be worlds better with a second year in Ellis Johnson’s 4-2-5 scheme.  And the offense. I think will set records this season. Think the West Virginia days of Pat White, Steve Slaton, and company. Back to the schedule. Kansas St, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia, Auburn, yes, I know tough. I think the Tigers will be up to the challenge.  A loss along the way? Maybe. But it will still be good enough to head to the CFB Playoff.

Oregon– I HAVE to eventually get this team right!  Stanford has been the land mine for the last couple of seasons… I think they beat the Cardinal this year (I’ve said this for the past few years). The problem? Hosting Michigan State, and possible playing UCLA twice this season, with the latter (Pac 12 title game) for a ticket to the CFB Playoff. I think Marcus Mariota stays healthy all season, and the front seven will FINALLY hold up to get them to the Final Four.

Oklahoma– No team this preseason has gotten the “overrated” moniker more than the fighting Jim Rosses (Look him up). The Sugar Bowl win a year ago was great, which of course jump started the preseason hype two months after… But is Trevor Knight the answer? He was average throughout last season with Blake Bell, but caught fire against Alabama. The schedule sets up great, outside of the matchup with Texas (where they were smacked around a year ago). Baylor and Kansas State could be landmines, but I expect Boomer Sooner to survive.

AND THE WINNER IS…..

Florida State. Too much talent across the board, along with the best QB in college football, along with this guy…

Source:reddit.com

Will be  too much… the Noles go back to back.

If you like the picks, let me know on Twitter:@CarlPratherWAFF

OR

hit my Facebook fan page :CarlPratherWAFF

**Email me for my Clipboard mailbag that I will start next week. Ask anything. Food. Music. Sports. Pop Culture. Life. Whatever. I’ll pick a few and answer…cprather@waff.com**

 

Hope you were bored enough to read while pretending to work. Enjoy the season.

I Came, I Saw, I Iron Bowled. Thoughts from The best game in History

Source: Auburntigers.com

What The Hell Did I Watch?

I thought that this game would be a classic, I thought that Alabama would win the game. That didn’t happen. This did instead:

To be able to watch that first hand, and seeing Chris Davis run toward yours truly to win the game. Epic. It’s not only the best iron Bowl in history, It’s the greatest ending in the history of college football. Incredible. Just incredible.

So without further ado,  my take on the game that I was honored to be at:

Auburn ran the football when they wanted to early and often.

296 yards on the ground. Tre Mason, 164 yards. Nick Marshall 99 yards. Many believed Alabama would stop what many said prior to the game that was a basic read option. Prior to the game, Auburn players said that they believed they would have success on The Tide front seven. Did they ever. The Tigers literally ran it when they wanted to, and dominated the lines of scrimmage.

Nick Saban believed his offense could get 1 yard on 4th and 1.

You have the right to believe that Alabama should have attempted a field goal up 7 on 4th and 1 late in fourth quarter. They didn’t. Why? because he felt that his team., his Alabama team, with his offensive line, his running backs could get one yard and ice the game. Auburn stuffed it. Could Alabama kicked the field goal and ultimately ended the game? Sure. But Nick Saban believed that his team could get one yard. Auburn had other plans.

Ellis Johnson should get a TON of credit.

Is The Tigers 4-2-5 scheme ready from a personnel standpoint for first year coordinator Ellis Johnson moving forward?. No. But he has 9-10 guys on the defensive line that are as good as anyone in the SEC. Give credit to the likes of Gabe Wright, Nosa Eugae, Dee Ford, Eljah Daniel, Carl Lawson, etc for not sacking AJ McCarron, but getting him off his “spot” making his night very uncomfortable. Alabama could go deep, (was looking more from the Tide going vertical) but for one reason or another that didn’t happen.

Alabama didn’t control the lines of scrimmage.

Many thought that the Tide offensive and defensive lines had improved over the course of the season. They have. They just played a better Offensive and Defensive line on Saturday. The Tide were good enough to win no question (T.J. Yeldon  141 yards, 1 TD), but for four quarters, Auburn controlled the lines of scrimmage.

Amari Cooper is unstoppable

When Healthy, I’m taking #9 over any wide out in the country. He’s a beast. Elite speed, and an elite route runner. He couldn’t be covered all night, that 99 yarder tells you everything. 6 rec, 178 yards, 1 TD. Pretty darn good.

I have even more respect for AJ McCarron

36-3 as a starter. 3 National Championships. 90 plus percent winning percentage. McCarron has been special at Alabama, and over the years he has continued to gain more respect from me. Well done #10 on a great career.

Missed opportunities for Alabama

If Cade Foster makes a field goal or two, the game is over. End of story. But give credit to Auburn, and the Jordan-Hare Stadium electric crowd as well. They influenced a kicker that has been spot on all season.

The Final Play

Adam Griffith kicked that 57 yarder as good as anyone could have kicked it. With wind behind him. It looked good. What did Auburn do? put Chris Davis who three weeks earlier returned a punt against Tennessee in the back of the end zone just in case. Not only did he get a running start when the kick was short, but he got GREAT blocking by his teammates initially on the return,  with Gus Malzahn and his staff understanding that  Alabama had there field goal blockers or as they say “big guys” on the field. They took advantage, and the rest is history.

Quick Hitters:

—If Florida State and Ohio State win their conference title games, They play for the BCS National Title. End of Story. Never in the history of the BCS has  two remaining teams in power conferences NOT played for the National Championship, with everyone else having one loss. Yes Auburn’s resume is better than Florida State and Ohio State, but they do have one loss. If both the Noles and Buckeyes win, the SEC streak of title appearances will be over.

—Who in the world will win the Heisman?

—A special job well done to former Alabama A&M Head Coach Anthony Jones. The University fired Jones Sunday after just his  third losing season in 12 years. Jones won at A&M with sub par resources and graduated his players. It’s safe to say he won’t be out of a head coaching job anytime soon, wouldn’t be surprised if he lands another coaching gig right in the SWAC if he wants it. A good man, that deserves to be recognized for what he did on “The Hill” considering some terrible circumstances during his tenure.

A conference championship preview later this week…

And I leave you with something pretty cool and fun on the Iron Bowl….

Have a great week everyone!

Final Four Weekend, A Song I Can’t Get Out of My Head, And other Randomness

(Source: gamedayr.com)

SO Hows Your Bracket?

So if anyone read my post a few weeks ago on the NCAA Tournament and teams I thought can win it… I’m 2 for four in the Final Four!!! Problem is….my picks for my bracket only has ONE team in the Final Four. Does it surprise me that Michigan and Louisville is there? Nope. I picked VCU over Michigan, but thought the winner of that second round game would head to the Final Four, I just picked the Rams. As for Louisville, They have been one of the two best teams in the regular season, and the best team in the Tournament, and they were my pick to win it all anyway.

CINDERELLA WHERE ARE YOU?

(Source: thedailybeast.com)

So who had Florida Gulf Coast in the Sweet Sixteen? You’re lying if you did. Who thought they would beat Georgetown  You’re REALLY lying to me now.  But if you look more into their roster and see who they beat this season (Miami on the road), you can see they were capable of surprising someone. Add to the fact that they have an up tempo style, versus the Hoyas Princeton offense, you could see that happening… With all that said I didn’t see that coming, nor did you. And Please be honest with yourself.

CINDERELLA WAS PAST CURFEW

Prior to the great story of Florida Gulf Coast, hoops fans and media types alike were talking how crazy this tournament was going to be… It wasn’t. There are no George Masons, or no VCU’s that had to play a first four game and reach the Final Four. 99.9% of the time, the chalk always cuts the nets down. Think about it, who outside of NC State  (1982-83) surprised the field and won it all? Butler did MAKE the NCAA  Title Game two straight years…. But didn’t win it. At the end of the day, a program has to win 6 or 7 games to win it all. There will be a team that is a “True” Cinderella that will indeed win it someday (Just law of averages, like a 16 seed beating a 1), But 9 out of 10 times, the Kansas, Louisville’s, and Kentucky’s of the world will win it the majority of the time.

STYLES MAKE FIGHTS

College basketball and boxing are similar in their approach. Styles make fights, meaning an up tempo style, against a methodical approach poses great games and problems for either said team. Syracuse and their 2-3 zone poses problems for the likes of Indiana. Louisville’s pressure is hard to deal with when you play teams that have NEVER seen any sort of style like that. The list could go on and on. The College game is the style game more than any other sport in the country. That’s why we see the quintessential upsets in tourney games and during a regular season.. and yes other factors go into it (like shooting the basketball, poor shooting nights, injuries), but when you see contrasting styles on paper, it should give you reason to pause… at least for a second.

RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM THE LAST TWO WEEKS

(Source:bleacherreport.com)

—Two stories have dominated over the last two days in college athletics… the Auburn Tigers article written by Selena Roberts was the huge headline late Wednesday night and all day Thursday. A ton of scathing news from former player Mike McNeil and allegedly others in the report about some of the things that were going on at Auburn. For those that haven’t read it, copy and paste the link below:

http://www.roopstigo.com/reader/auburns_vainted_title_victims_violations_and_vendettas_for_glory/

I don’t know how much is truth, how much is false, But I have to think we are somewhere in the middle… the next week or so should be interesting.. I’ll have more on the state of college athletics in the coming weeks in my blog post.

(Source:nj.com)

–The guy above had to go. Mike Rice fired after a 30-minute video and reports surfaced of him physically and verbally abusing players. I love intensity, and a in your face coach that demands the very best from student athletes. But there’s a line that should NEVER be crossed. Throwing basketballs at players knees and heads, and using verbal slurs is that line of oblivion. Mike Rice knew that before hand, and knew it all the way up until that tape was made public by the Worldwide Leader. Tim Pernetti, the AD also knew, and unfortunately most times you are guilty by association. Pernetti hired Rice as his first big hire as AD, he suspended him three games last season and fined him 50K… so that tells me he knew this craziness was going on… He’s gotta be let go as well. End of Story.

–I’m excited about the NFL Draft… so much intrigue with every pick from the first round down to seventh. Should be fun at the end of the month… More on that as the Draft moves closer.

CRAZY Randomness….

I love this song… and when it comes out on iTunes or wherever.. i have to have it. Plus it’s an introduction to one of the greatest inventions EVER made in the food world.

Some of my Favorite reality shows have really brought it as well…

(Source:mstarz.com)

These ladies are wild. And I’ve only watched the first two episodes, and they are AWESOME.

Also can’t forget about the Ladies from Beverly Hills… the two-part reunion, very good, the first episode of

(Source:bravoratings.com)

Also very good. I miss my girls in Coto.

Also the first few episodes of

(Source:geekmundo.net)

Has also been very strong…

–I can’t forget Game of Thrones, Nashville, Smash, the list could go on and on… But I must say, the hottest show on Cable has to be…

(Source:realscreen.com)

I laugh hysterically at all times when I watch. and as you would imagine, SI is my guy… JACK!

Have a great weekend everyone.