Tag Archives: Tat 5

Your Scandal-Free College Football Preview

Way to continue the trend Jordan.

You know why I started to watch sports as a kid? Because every time I watched the regular news all I saw was murder, poverty and scandal. After a while you get sick of looking at poor kids starving in Africa, someone shot in Brooklyn or some greedy CEO going to jail for screwing over his company.

In my head sports was simple and true. Just guys scoring goals, touchdowns and making shots. There was no greed in athletics, no horrible occurrences and no death. Was I naïve? Of course I was but I hadn’t hit 10 yet.

The harsh reality of sports hit me in 1992 when Mike Tyson went to jail for rape. I couldn’t really fathom how it happened and even today still can’t. How can an athlete do something wrong I thought? All he does is box. What does rape have to do with sports and who would do something like that?

Once Tyson went to jail Michael Irvin got caught with cocaine, Rae Carruth killed his baby mother and hid in his trunk and the steroid scandal began. Naivety went out of the window, sports is no different than any other thing in life. Athletes and institutions screw up just as much as the guy that robbed the 7-11 last night and looked into the camera, that’s just a reality.

The worst culprit of all I’ve come to realize is college sports in particular college football. As much as I love the pageantry and craziness of football on Saturdays it might be the most corrupt association in all of sports.

I’ve given the notion that no school is clean and everyone cheats. With all that’s at stake in job security, getting the best players and getting to a BCS game AD’s, boosters, coaches and players do what they can to make sure that they win whether it’s pay for play, turning the other cheek when your players commit crimes, taking benefits or whatever. You have to win, winning keeps you employed, winning makes recruits want to come there, then when they get there they have to be happy hence the benefits of cars, tattoos and free bar tabs.

I’ve come to accept this in the last ten years or so, but honestly after this year it is getting out of control.

Even without the guy on the right Luck has Stanford ready to compete.

How many scandals can the NCAA have in one year? dating back to October of 2010 Auburn has had a pay for play scandal with Cam Newton, Georgia and Florida have had issues with arrests, USC was sanctioned for the Reggie Bush scandal, Tennessee has had ongoing investigations due to violations under Lane Kiffin, Ohio State… (I won’t get into this any further 5 blogs on them is enough), Oregon suspended its top corner Cliff Harris after an arrest, North Carolina is still awaiting its punishment for its players receiving improper benefits, Miami’s scandal looks like an episode of Miami Vice and now LSU is in hot water after Jordan Jefferson and company got into a huge bar far in Baton Rouge and he’ll miss time including opening night versus Oregon…

AND THIS IS IN ONE YEAR!!!

College football is at its opening weekend and there is barely any talk of the games being played but the scandal that surrounds it. Big time matchups will not have marquee names, the eye of the NCAA is fixed everywhere and honestly, I’m watching ESPN everyday to see who slips up next.

This year could be a wide open year as far as the race for a national champion goes and you wouldn’t even know it. Florida State is back in the top 10, Nebraska is in the Big Ten, Utah is in the Pac-12, Texas A&M is acting like a spoiled child, Syracuse might be back, Oklahoma could run the table and it’s all about scandal.

Well I’m sick of it. let’s talk about the football people because that’s all that matters. this is a scandal-free college football preview where football is the only discussion. let’s talk about who’s number one, who can contend and who can take down the SEC (hopefully someone because I’m sick of the SEC.)

ACC

The conference is the worst of the big 6 (yes worse than the Big East), however it looks to get better this season.

Florida State is back in the top 5 coming off of a 10-3 season and has high hopes for a run at the national title behind QB E.J. Manuel. Once mainstays in title hunt the Seminoles have had it rough in the last ten few seasons but clearly have the edge in the conference this year.

One team to look out for is Maryland. Returning QB Danny O’ Brian is a beast under center and new head coach Randy Edsall should whip this defense into shape.

It’s still a weak conference (hi Wake Forest and Duke) but Florida State’s returning star power should give the conference something to hang its hat on

Non-conference game of the year: FSU-OKLAHOMA

Conference game of the year: Conf Champ. Game VT-FSU

Conference winner: FSU

Player of the Year: Danny O’ Brian

BIG EAST

You all know I’m overly geeked that Syracuse is good again (and you especially know this after they came back to beat Wake Forest last night) but the conference is on its way up again with TCU entering next season.

Yeah, I'm excited for SYracuse football too.

West Virginia returns QB Geno Smith, who is a dark horse candidate for the Heisman trophy and Louisville may finally have a defense that can keep up with its offense.

The key to the success of the conference this year lies in its top 4 though. West Virginia, Pittsburgh, South Florida and Syracuse have big non-conference games that can showcase whether or not this conference is truly worth being a BCS conference.

However… THE CUSE IS BACK!!!

Give me reason to have hope after a 8-5 season, a huge win last night and the possibility that Ryan Nassib can have some magic in that arm of his. In a conference that has been mired in mediocrity it needs Syracuse to be good again. The Orange may be neck and neck with West Virginia for best football history in the conference and it needs to rekindle its rivalries with WVU and Penn State. You have to cheer for the Cuse to come back the conference needs it.

Non conference game of the year: Syracuse-USC, South Florida-Notre Dame, West Virginia-LSU, Pitt-Iowa

Conference game of the year: Pitt-WVU

Conference winner: WVU

Best Player: Geno Smith

BIG 12

The best team in the country resides in Norman, Oklahoma; the best offense resides in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The team that could make noise more than any school is in College Station, Texas. Sure the conference cut two teams, but it made the conference better.

Oklahoma at number one followed by Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, combined with an underrated Missouri, a comeback year for Texas and a growing threat in Texas Tech makes this the second best conference in the country.

They have the best arms in the nation in Landry Jones and Brandon Weeden, a great hybrid QB in Robert Griffin and don’t forget about Kansas State getting Bryce Brown, who transferred from Tennessee.

The question is can anybody in the conference finally play some defense?

Texas A&M lost standout linebacker Von Miller, Oklahoma won’t have its leading tackler Travis Lewis for Florida State and the Cowboys (and every other team in the conference for that matter) can’t stop anyone.

Catch us if you can.

If the Big 12 wants to climb past the SEC and be the big dog on Saturdays then one of these teams has to allow less than 35 points a game and get physical up front. Until that happens, as much as I like this Oklahoma team, I can’t pick them to win the national title… but I can pick them to get there.

Non-conference game of the year: FSU-Oklahoma, Texas A&M-Arkansas

Conference game of the year: Texas A&M-Oklahoma

Conference winner: Oklahoma

Best player: Landry Jones

BIG 10

The Big Ten has been Ohio State’s personal punching bag for the last ten years… not anymore.

With Nebraska and monster defensive tackle Jared Crick coming to the conference it’s a new day in the Midwest. Nebraska comes off a disappointing finish to last year where it looked like the Cornhuskers were going to ride Taylor Martinez to the Fiesta Bowl. However, as with most freshmen QB’s he faded.

This year however he and the Huskers are reloaded and ready to contend for a national title… if they can get by Wisconsin.

After watching last night’s beat down of UNLV it looks like new QB Russell Wilson will fit right in at Madison. Behind a monster offensive line and Monte Ball in the backfield the Badgers, if they don’t make it to New Orleans, could still find themselves in Pasadena.

Watch out for Northwestern too (yes, Northwestern) they are primed to make a run to the top with Dan Persa returning from an Achilles injury. Also, Michigan might be making a comeback with new coach Brady Hoke at the helm. The days of a punch less Michigan defense might be over.

(Ok so I have to say a few words about Ohio State. This year is such a disappointment already even though there hasn’t been a game played yet. when Joe Bauserman was named the starter yesterday it hit me that this is what’s left at Ohio State.

The scandal has left the team spinning and it hasn’t stopped. Three more players were suspended for the opener against Akron for accepting improper benefits adding to the four suspended starters from the tattoo scandal and Terrelle Pryor going AWOL to the NFL. All that’s left is Carlos Hyde, Bauserman and Block O.

It’s been such an embarrassing turn of events leading into what was supposed to be a legendary new beginning to the Big Ten. The Buckeyes were supposed to collide head on with the Huskers for supremacy of the conference early on. It was supposed to be a new rivalry brewing that would decide the Big Ten for the next however many years. Now Ohio State is a non-factor., an afterthought, and it’s hard to swallow.

College scandals were way easier to deal with when it wasn’t the school that you went to.)

Non-conference game of the year: Penn State-Alabama

Conference game of the year: Wisconsin-Nebraska

Conference winner: Nebraska

Best player: Jared Crick

PAC-12

LaHeisman?

 

Welcome to the conference Colorado and Utah… now watch Oregon blow by all of you.

Much to the contrary belief that this is a two team race I highly disagree. Stanford is highly overrated thanks in part to Andrew Luck (though it is a good reason because Luck is a beast). Stanford lost a lot on both sides of the ball and they may need Luck to throw up 40 points a game to have a chance at winning 10 games…

And 40 won’t be enough to beat Oregon.

They only lose Jeff Maehl on the outside  and Casey Matthews on defense, however LaMichael James, Chip Kelly’s silly cards and the most high octane offense in the NCAA is all back. Getting through the Pac-12 will be a little bit of a problem, but just a little problem.

Non-conference game of the year: Oregon-LSU

Conference game of the year: Oregon-Stanford

Conference winner: Oregon

Best player: Andrew Luck

THE MIGHTY MIGHTY SEC

Were the 2 mighty’s necessary? Um… they’ve won the last five national titles so yes. I’ve finally given in and given the SEC its props and rightfully so. It’s the best conference in the country by a mile, no one recruits as good as them, is as fast them or as tough on defense as them.

Their top 6 teams year in and out could win any conference by a game or two, they routinely run over competition and make the best in another conference look bad (hi, Big 10 and Big 12) and they are bigger and faster than anyone in the nation.

However there are some concerns all over the conference. Besides the LSU hiccups there are issues in Georgia as they come off of their first losing season since the 80’s, Florida adjusts to a new coach in Will Muschamp and people in Gainesville are still skeptical of John  Brantley, Auburn and Alabama have to replace national champion QB’s and Tennessee is still trying to climb its way back to respectability.

However the news is all rosy in Starkville, Mississippi and Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Bulldogs are looking to build on a 9-4 season as Dan Mullen enters his third year as coach, and the Razorbacks are a dark horse national title pick. Bobby Petrino has to reload at QB after losing Ryan Mallett but Tyler Wilson should ease some concern for fans of the Hogs if his year mirrors his 332 yard 4 TD performance versus Auburn last year.

The wildcard here is South Carolina. Steve Spurrier after 6 years finally has the Gamecocks in position to win the SEC and make a claim as one of the best teams in the conference as well as the nation. Troubled QB Stephen Garcia looks like he’s getting his last shot at redemption and with the help of the best defense in the SEC (which gets better with the freakish Jadeveon Clowney coming to Columbia, SC) and Marcus Lattimore who is gaining buzz for a run at the Heisman.

If South Carolina can survive road tests “Between the Hedges” and at Arkansas then they should be dancing to Atlanta for the SEC title game and to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.

Non-conference game of the year: Arkansas-Texas A&M, LSU-Oregon, Florida-Florida State

Conference game of the year: LSU-Arkansas

Conference winner: South Carolina

Best player: Marcus Lattimore

South Carolina may finally be the cream of the SEC crop.

 

As for the Non-AQ schools it’s all about Boise State. TCU is in its last year in the Mountain West before runs through the Big East and Boise looks like the only challenger to a BCS bowl game. However, a number 5 ranking after losing Titus Young, Austin Pettis and half of your defense is tough. As much as I like the Broncos (and Kellen Moore especially) I don’t see them getting to the BCS this year even if they beat Georgia this Saturday. TCU even without Andy Dalton is still no slouch and they have to travel to Fresno to take on a always frisky Bulldog team. it looks like this will be the first year without a BCS buster in sometime.

So with all that said who plays in the national title game? Oregon and Oklahoma.

Yeah I know the SEC is the best conference and that they’ve won the last five titles but it’s got to end at some point. Last year while watching Oregon-Auburn I saw Oregon not only keep up with the Tigers but they beat them in certain areas. If that game were played a week or two after the end of the season then the Ducks would’ve been national champs.

I like the Sooners but I don’t know if they can stop anybody outside of their conference on defense. Landry Jones will have a huge year and look like a first round draft pick under center, but do they have the speed to keep up with a team from the SEC or Oregon? I don’t think so.

So there it is the Oregon Ducks will win the national title and Puddles the Duck will be doing celebratory pushups in New Orleans. Hopefully that’s what we’ll remember this season for is the action that takes place on the field and not the calamity and chaos that happens off of it.

ACC- FLORIDA STATE (DARK HORSE- MARYLAND)

BIG EAST- WEST VIRGINIA (SYRACUSE)

BIG 12- OKLAHOMA (OKLAHOMA STATE)

BIG 10- NEBRASKA (NORTHWESTERN)

PAC 12- OREGON (UTAH)

SEC- SOUTH CAROLINA (FLORIDA)

HEISMAN- LAMICHAEL JAMES

BCS CHAMP GAME- OREGON VS. OKLAHOMA

ROSE BOWL- NEBRASKA VS. STANFORD

SUGAR BOWL-  SOUTH CAROLINA VS. WEST VIRGINIA

ORANGE BOWL- FLORIDA STATE VS. WISCONSIN

FIESTA BOWL- TEXAS A&M VS. FLORIDA

Advertisements

The Curse Of Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor leaves OSU as a villian instead of a hero.

There is an air circulating over the city of Columbus, Ohio. It’s an eerie calm that rest over the city especially near the downtown region where The Ohio State University rests.

 

It’s finals week where some kids are studying hard to get through one last exam so they can hit the pools and the beaches and enjoy a summer in the sun, and others are preparing to finish out their scholastic careers and receive their diplomas at Ohio Stadium this Sunday.

 

One student is in between both scenarios. He will leave Ohio State with a myriad of memories that range from nostalgic to dreadful. He’s leaving school without a diploma and uncertainty as to where exactly he will land even though he boasts a pretty good resume.

 

One thing that stands out about him is not his talent in his field of study but all of the damage that he has done to himself and to the University that he called home for the last few years.

 

That man is the soon to be 22 year-old Terrelle Pryor. Former Quarterback of The Ohio State University.

 

Tuesday evening after his last final of the quarter, Pryor packed his bags and decided to leave Columbus after a 3 year career that featured more lows than high despite his statistics on the field.

 

Pryor was a winner on the field. He went 31-4 and won 2 BCS games including MVP honors at the 2010 Rose Bowl and the 2011 Sugar Bowl. However, let’s be honest, Pryor will be remembered for the comatose state that he will left OSU in upon his departure.

 

Let’s be clear about a few things; one, it’s not all his fault. Gene Smith deserves blame, E. Gordon Gee deserves blame, Jim Tressel, Mike Adams, Devier Posey and Dan Herron, the tattoo parlor, Aaron Kniffer, Ray Reitz and everyone involved in turning a blind eye to Pryor’s transgressions, and giving him everything he wanted and game him every excuse to be who he was.

Both of these deserve equal blame in the downfall of OSU.

 

Ever since high school Pryor was given everything and told how great he was and it continued all of the way to the end of his college days. Tomasina Pryor should’ve known that your kid doesn’t need cars in 3 years, Smith should’ve suspended him and his teammates for the Sugar Bowl, Tressel should’ve reported these violations when they happened. Why didn’t they? Because they all felt that they needed Pryor for whatever reasons there were. Pryor was their bread winner; their prized possession and they treated him like that. How would you act as a teenager when everyone allows you to do whatever you wanted and rewarded you?

 

Two, as much as I am not a fan of Pryor or his actions these rules are stupid. Bob Knight said it, Jay Bilas has said it over Twitter, the rules broken by these players are absolutely foolish. The fact that big time universities can cash in on their star “amateur” players yet the players cant is foolish.

 

The players themselves are merely pawns in a game to get their schools more TV money and revenue while most of the players never see the light of the NFL and even worse they never graduate. If Pryor or any of those players wanted to sell their memorabilia or signatures for money then they should have the right to do so.

 

With that said, rules are rules and Pryor broke them, continuously and without any care for them.

 

Pryor sold his name for thousands of dollars thanks to signatures for memorabilia. He sold his Big Ten Championship rings and Gold Pants given to the winner of the OSU-Michigan game for tattoos. He got deals on more than eight vehicles in three years… sure no one stopped him or got in his ear but he knew better.

 

The thing is that Pryor really didn’t care. He always talked like cared about OSU or how he was maturing and learned from his mistakes, but it all turned out to be just here say.

 

The fact is that Pryor didn’t learn much at Ohio State University, he didn’t learn to obey the rules, didn’t learn to respect the game, didn’t learn that when you do something harmful that it affects more than you or the team but also the institution, but most of all, and this is what will hurt him most, he didn’t really learn to perfect his craft.

 

Pryor leaves OSU without a clear vision of just where he will play or what position he’ll play. He’s neither accurate nor skilled enough to be an NFL QB right now and it doesn’t look like he’ll be a high pick in its supplemental draft, if there is one. He has an opportunity to play in the CFL or UFL but will it be as a QB or a wide receiver.

 

Right now Pryor is a man with no real direction as to where to go or what to do with himself.

 

Terrelle Pryor's last appearance in a OSU unifrom was at its annual spring game.

Then there is the mess he leaves behind him at OSU. 3 years ago he was hailed as the next big thing to come to OSU a legend in the making that will bring OSU another national championship and restore the pride that was taken away by the SEC in the previous two title games.

 

Now he is vilified, hated and most people wish that he had never come to Columbus. To the students and residents of Columbus he will be the man that brought down the institution that they grew to love. He cursed the school with so much tradition and pride and made it a mockery all over tattoos and cars. He brought shame to Ohio State University and left a stain that will remain on the campus long after he’s gone.

 

You think general managers and owners wont take a look at that whenever Pryor comes to tryout for a job?

 

Whatever the case maybe Pryor’s life in Columbus is over and he now joins the professional ranks of the United States of America. He will no longer be coddled, or worshipped. There will be no handouts or benefits for his services unless he performs to his talent level, which he hasn’t.

 

He will be picked at, overanalyzed and criticized for every little mistake that he makes from now until his playing days are over. All things considered he still has a bright future ahead and can still make something of himself.

 

However, what he left behind at Ohio State will never be forgotten. Terrelle Pryor came to Columbus to make an impact on the university and to have his name remembered for ever and ever.

 

He certainly did, but not in the way that he could’ve ever imagined.

 

Instead of blessing Buckeye Nation with his talent he cursed it with his immaturity and greed. He was supposed to be Ohio State’s quarterback Jesus; instead he became its Judas.


USC Gets One Final Blow

After yesterday's ruling, this technically never happened in 2004 for USC.

Yesterday afternoon the final blow of the Reggie Bush investigation was landed to the USC Trojans as the BCS took away their 2004 National Championship.

 

Their 55-19 beat down of Oklahoma officially never happened and one of college football’s greatest and most recent dynasties now becomes mentioned with an asterisk.

 

It was an incredibly sad moment in my sports life. I remember falling in love with that team and its young adult star power that captivated college sports and made it even more fun to watch.

 

That USC team should’ve been ranked with the likes of those 40’s Army squads, Barry Switzer’s Oklahoma teams, Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler’s Ohio State and Michigan national champions and Jimmy Johnson’s Miami Hurricanes.

 

We should be telling stories about how Matt Leinart looked like a sure pro prospect as he led USC’s stellar offense up and the field with ease against what looked like feeble opponents. We should look at how Frostee Rucker, Shaun Cody and Lofa Tatupu made life a living hell for offenses and how they shut down future NFL running back Adrian Peterson in the Orange Bowl.

 

Instead this team will not be remembered for any of that. It’ll be just another example of how the outside factors of college football from greedy agents to overly generous boosters to anyone else giving handouts can turn a program from glamour to shame.

 

It happened to SMU in the 80’s with the “Pony Express” and all of the benefits that they received, to the “Fab 5” at Michigan and now it’s happened to USC.

 

To be a football program with such a rich history and watch it go from the elite of all college programs to another school with a bad reputation is hard to swallow. For Reggie Bush has to be even worse.

 

The biggest loser in this whole mess is the same person for whom it all took place.

Look at everything that has happened to Bush ever since this investigation has started and where he stands now; he cost his university a championship, had his Heisman trophy vacated, is now known as a first-round bust because he cant stay healthy and isn’t a regular contributor to the New Orleans Saints and once the NFL lockout ends he’ll likely be out of a job. Not to mention he lost Kim Kardashian.

 

Bush has taken this on the chin harder than the university has. He went from being the next big thing, a revolutionary figure in the NFL and one of college football’s most electrifying players ever to being the man than brought shame to his school and couldn’t cut it in the NFL.

 

Bush’s fall from grace weighs heavier than that of Terrelle Pryor and anyone of the “Tat 5” at Ohio State and their scandal. Pryor had all of the hype coming in and never matched it. Bush built up his hype and just looked like he couldn’t miss. Both brought shame to their schools but Bush cost USC a piece of its legacy. They cant show off one of their 11 national titles, his Heisman wont sit with Matt Leinart’s, Charles White’s or Marcus Allen’s on display at the school. Speaking of Leinart his incredible Orange Bowl performance of 2004 will never talked about because now it technically never happened.

 

Bush cost his school and his teammates a piece of history that they deserved to be apart of and now cant take with them.

 

For USC the investigation and its aftermath finally and mercifully came to and end yesterday but not without one final blow.

 

A legendary team and a legendary performance have been wiped away from the record books and will never be discussed among the greats of their sport. The 2004 USC Trojans never happened and that’s a hard pill for everyone associated with that team to swallow.

 

Especially Reggie Bush.