New Stuff Coming

Posted: August 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Stay tuned with football season only 2 days away I am about to overload you with crazy info on the college year

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Since everyone else is starting to throw out there way to early predictions for next year, I figured I would send out mine. With the Big 12 dropping to 10 teams the road gets a little easier. The top of the conference is loaded with lots of talent and experience and the cellar dwellers have a lot of positions to fill.

10. Iowa State

Finished 2010 5-7 Overall 3-5 Conference; Projection 3-9, (1-8)

Relatively easy non-conference schedule may help build some hope up in Ames. Still not sure who will replace Austen Arnaud as the starting QB, but one would think that Jerome Tiller should have the upper hand. An experienced defense is led by outstanding LB Jake Knott, who finished last season ranked 3rd in total tackles. Keep an eye on RB Shontrell Johnson, he averaged just over 6 yards a carry as a true freshman. A shifty runner that can create when he gets into space. With spring wrapping up and still doubts at quarterback I don’t see a Big 12-2 Championship anywhere in Paul Rhoads future.

9. Kansas

Finished 2010 3-9 Overall 1-7 Conference; Projection 4-8, (1-8)

No clear cut QB has emerged from spring practice so far. Both Jordan Webb and Quinn Mecham will likely duel it out into the start of non-conference play next year. The one bright spot for the Kansas offense is returning Sophomore James Sims. Everyone knows him by his second half performance against Colorado (which was the straw the broke the camels back in Dan Hawkins coaching year). Kansas ranked last in scoring offense(17.1 ppg) and scoring defense (34.4 ppg). If Kansas can lean on James Sims they should be able to take advantage of a very weak non-conference schedule before they hit conference play.

8. Kansas State

Finished 2010 7-6 Overall 3-5 Conference, Projection 6-6, (3-6)

Typical Bill Snyder, relying on JUCO and D1 Transfers. Snyder brought in the Brown brothers to help fill big needs on offense and defense. Arthur should step right into the MLB and help resurrect a defense that gave up an average of 445 ypg. Biggest question is will he be in game shape after not playing since the 2009 season? His brother Bryce fills in for departed Daniel Thomas. I think Bryce not only will fill the void but may have Wildcat fans forget about Thomas. Coming out of high school he was one of the most sought after RB recruits. A potent combination of power and speed. Snyder still has yet to pick a quarterback. Collin Klien is still battling, but showed last year he is better suited to maybe convert to WR since he can’t throw. JUCO transfer Justin Tuggle will claim the starting spot and the Wildcats will rely on a running game to win them some games.

7. Missouri

Finished 2010 10-3 Overall 6-2 Conference; Projection 6-6, (3-6)

Missouri loses another outstanding QB to the NFL. This time they don’t replace him. A two horse race between James Franklin and Tyler Gabbert for the starting QB position. As of now Franklin is listed as the number one, but I see Gabbert taking the job as the season progresses.  Losing Aldon Smith hurts a defense that ranked number one in conference and sixth nationally. Lots of high hopes for Mizzou but I look for them to drop quite a few road games. Mizzou can’t hide behind a easy Big 12 north schedule anymore. Time to play the big boys.

6. Baylor

Finished 2010 7-6 Overall, 4-4 Conference; Projection 7-5, (4-5)

I am one of the few that has a little faith in Baylor and they could maybe surprise everyone this year. Their schedule is 100% in their favor with only 4 road games. But will they be able to take advantage of it and get behind potential all conference QB Robert Griffin? Biggest weakness is still a lackluster defense. They will be able to score this year but will struggle to stop the opponents.

5. Texas Tech

Finished 2010 8-5 Overall 3-5 Conference; Projection 7-5, (4-5)

The atmosphere in Lubbock is beginning to change. New coach Tommy Tubberville is trying to bring an SEC mentality and focus on defense and the running game. Eric Stephens returns for his Junior year and will more than likely have the starting job, but I see incoming freshman Kenny Williams to challenge him for carries. The defense which was a little porous last year, is now seasoned and ready to bring a defense that no one in Lubbock has ever seen. Tre Porter was a budding star last year leading all Big 12 Freshman in tackles.  Seems like QB Seth Doege has won the starting spot and has a plethora of wide receivers to throw to. Only thing not going for Tech is the schedule; trips to Norman, Austin, and Columbia will be very tough. Tech opens the season against newly formed Texas State, which I see this game being like Alabama vs Georgia State from last year.

4. Texas

Finished 2010 5-7 Overall 2-6 Conference, Projection 8-4, (5-4)

Everyone has talked about last years abysmal season. No need to beat a dead horse. The biggest challenge for UT to move on is can the all new coaching staff gel with the players. I think Gilbert fits a lot better in new OC Harsin system. He has a great arm, just can he keep from throwing it to the other team. Incoming frosh Malcolm Brown will finally put a legit running back in Austin since Jamal Charles left for the NFL. Biggest question marks on offense is the Offensive line. If you cant block for the above two players they will not succeed. New DC Manny Diaz has a ton of young talent to work with. Linebacker Jordan Hicks is about to become the leader and star of this defense. Enjoy for the next two years because he is off rto the NFL as soon as he can. Texas will rely more on the defense to win them games this year, hopefully the offense will give them enough breaks to get some rest in game.

3. Oklahoma State

Finished 2010 11-2 Overall 6-2 Conference, Projection 10-2, (7-2)

After everyone was picking them to finish last in the Big 12 last year, the Cowboys made a huge splash led behind All Conference QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon. The offense returns almost everyone. They lose 3 year starter Kendall Hunter but Joseph Randle played more than enough snaps last year to help a potent offense lead the conference again. As usual the biggest question marks are on defense. No depth on the D Line is really going to put pressure on the linebackers to get after the QB. This could be a national championship caliber team, if they can get passed A&M early in the season. December 3rd could decide some teams trip to New Orleans.

2. Texas A&M

Finished 2010 9-4 Overall 6-2 Conference, Projection 10-2, (8-1)

This is the year for the Aggies to make a huge splash. Losing a star in Von Miller will really hurt the defense but the offense led by Tannehill and Fuller should be potent enough to keep A&M in a BCS hunt. A two headed monster of Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael could be one of the best in a loaded Big 12. Trips to OU and Arkansas should be their only slip ups. After the demolishing they took in the Cotton Bowl, A&M wants to prove they are legit.

1. Oklahoma

Finished 2010 12-2 Overall 6-2 Conference, Projection 12-0, (9-0)

Oklahoma returns everything you need to have a National Title team. A quarterback that threw for over 4500 yards, a Biletnikoff finalist, and a potential 1st round Linebacker leading the defense. Oklahoma gets A&M at home and with everyone losing in Norman, nothing should change this year. Of course the offensive line is still questionable but held up last year and should be able to give Landry enough time to get it to 3 stellar wide receivers. Oklahoma should be taking a trip to New Orleans this year.

As much as it pains me to write Oklahoma going 12-0 its hard not to see them doing it. My heart of course says they go 11-1 and my Cowboys can finally make that jump to a BCS game. Only time will tell. All I know is college football this season is going to be great. With all the great talent that turned down the NFL it should be a season to remember.

All Fun League

Posted: April 7, 2011 in Arena Football League, sports

So everyone is probably as sick and tired or hearing about the NFL lockout. Its a crying match between millionaires (supposed slaves???) and their billionaire owners. If you still have the urge to watch some football the NFL network is still the place to be. Every Friday night they feature Arena Football Friday. Yes the league that everyone thought was gone is back. After a slight takeover from some crazed owners the AFL took a one year hiatus, and staying alive from little brother, the af2. Well in late 2010 a few owners from the af2 and new ownerships from former AFL cities decided to redevelop the league. The 2010 year was not as great a year as years past, but may have been the best year in my short life. I was hired in May 2009 as an intern for the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz I loved the job, marketing the team, sales, game operations, you really got to learn every bit of the business side of sports. I also managed to learn a few key ways not to run a team.

After the 2009 season the OKC Yard Dawgz, owned by Phil Miller decided to make the jump to the AFL. The Yard Dawgz attendance had been dropping for a few years due to several aspects. New sports teams were coming to town, the city was turning into a “big league city” We were forced to move buildings, from the arena formerly known as the Ford Center to the 900 year old Cox Convention Center….(please hold back the chuckling). The jump to the AFL brought new hope to us in the front office. Who wouldn’t want to come out and see us. Well one problem we ran into was lack of funding. Has anyone ever made money without spending money? My grandfather taught me one key phrase in life, “money talks and bull shit walks.” With the lack of help from the pocket book the Yard Dawgz front office was left to work on a budget of, “what can I get for free???” Well the answer is not very much.  The front office did the best it could with the tools we were given. Unfortunately a lot of people could see things were not going well for this team. The team averaged just over 5000 a game and could not break the stigma of outside individuals thinking it was “backyard football.” Corporate dollars were hard to find, to help keep the team afloat. The big time OKC Thunder had taken over the local market. The lack of profit and lagging attendance, the future did not look good.

Although money was a major contributing factor to the the Yard Dawgz collapse, one other individual was a very key contributor to the demise. Head Coach Charles McEwen, also know as Sparkles….oh I mean Sparky. He began his career in the AFL as a backup quarterback for the Grand Rapids Rampage, after failing to produce (anything) he transitioned into the coaching side. He was an assistant coach on the Rampage in 2001 when they won the Arena Bowl. Luckily he had one of the legends of the sport in Clint Dolezel as his starting quarterback! McEwen took over in 2004 as the Head Coach and coached the team to a 13-34 record in 3 seasons. He came to the Yard Dawgz half way through the 2008 season and helped coach the team in a miracle comeback win against archrival, Tulsa Talons. There was hope for the upcoming season, but then again Sparky failed to live up to his name and finished the season 7-9 and was bounced from the playoffs in the first round. He got a second chance in the AFL when the Yard Dawgz jumped up in leagues. He slowly built a very talented team with veterans from the old AFL: Dustin Barno, Mike Brown, AJ Haglund and Howard Duncan. Young up and comers; Tommy Grady, David Hyland, and Kevin McCullough. The team was maybe the most athletic team in the AFL, it was just lacking one thing, LEADERSHIP. I noticed this early in the season when the Yard Dawgz traveled to Iowa, live on the NFL Network. The game came down to us trying to recover an onside kick, in the pre-snap huddle I heard Sparky yell hey maybe 20 times. He could not get the attention of the team….. What is going on, this game is huge, why is no one listening? People pay respect to others when others give respect to them. Throughout the season drama circulated the locker room. Cutting a stud DB and letting him sign with the soon to be champions, uncertainty around the legendary wide receiver. I could not believe what was going on. Talking to guys through the season made me realize that we were pretty much screwed. Being a stat guy I looked up some of Sparky’s coaching history to find one glaring hole…. in 4 years of coaching in the AFL, Sparky had totaled 3 wins on the road. Not even one win a year. Apparently not winning is a way to keep your job. News to me :). The team failed to beat the Orlando Predators late in the season to secure playoff spot. How is a front office  supposed to sell a losing team?

As the 2010 season came to an end, drama continued to swirl except this time in the office. Rumors talking about the Dawgz moving to Seattle, or folding. No one knew what was going on. Should I quit, stay what should I do. Our owner was not being honest with anyone and would not say anything to anyone. I quit 2 weeks before the 2011 seasons schedule came out. What do you know, the Yard Dawgz were not listed any where on it. Shortly after a “press release” came out stating, “We will not be playing in the Arena Football League in 2011,” or at all. The team closed doors shortly after that and a new Indoor Football Team moved in, which is another story. All in all, I  made some great friends and learned a lot. Arena Football is one of the best sports to watch in person. If you have a team near you I recommend getting out and watching it. Its cheap, fun and great for the whole family. If you are not near one still check it out on the NFL Network on Fridays at 7 pm, or niftytv.com

First one…here goes

Posted: April 4, 2011 in baseball, sports, steroids
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After being pushed by a friend to start a blog, I decided to finally give in and start this. Only bad thing about starting a sports blog at this time of year, I am running out of sports to talk about. I know, everyone is saying baseball season just started…..how exciting (sarcasm). Baseball has just lost its luster and prominence in sports that it used to. The same teams always are in the playoffs, it has turned into who can purchase the trophy. Not having a salary cap has killed my interest, if the baseball owners would finally throw a hard cap on these teams and limit them to they’re spending I would be more prone to watching. Everyone loves seeing fresh faces and “Cinderella” teams make playoff runs ( Butler Bulldogs, Tampa Bay Rays, 2001 New England Patriots). Let the little guys and smaller cities have a chance in competing, when will we see the KC Royals representing the AL in the series. As long as the Yankees, Red Sox and other large markets keep throwing out stupid insane contracts, the little guys will continue to be kicked to the curb.

Of course you can not talk about baseball without bringing up the three dreaded words, performance enhancing drugs. It is sad to see the so called “superstars” linked to these. The number 61 was elusive for almost 40 years. Then all of a sudden Juice McGuire and Corky Sosa jack 70 and 66 respectively. Please, if Griffey couldn’t get it done with one of the most pure swings these guys should never have came close. Now Bonds comes out at the ripe young age of 37 and blasts 73. No one can tell me that steroids doesn’t help you hit a ball, well it certainly helps. Its a shame a classy guy like Roger Maris is 4th on the season long list. When you say the names Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth they’re topped by Barry Bonds. Hopefully the new up and comers and change my outlook of baseball’s “professional” athletes.

Well I’m sure I have lit a fire in the baseball fan’s temper but that is what blogs are for right? No one would want to read something that doesn’t entice emotion. Stay tuned for more to come, because obviously everyone knows the NCAA championship game is tomorrow and I’m going to have some things to rant about for sure.

Hello world!

Posted: April 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

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