chamkar leu

[this first paragraph is brought to you by shamelessselfpromotion.com™]
this month holds two notable events for zis blog:
—this particular post is number 300, making it officially the longest blog i've kept
—i got 1000 pageviews in one month [way to go, october]
i'd say i feel like i've broken into the bigtime, but i know i haven't
i probly just got more visitors due to the INSANE amount of links i posted
so worry not blogasaurs,
my humility and modesty is intact

[after writing that,
i'm REALLY tempted to call you readers blogasaurs
but i shall resist, because i need not label you
however, if ever there is a reference to 'blogasaurs' in the future
you'll know what i'm refering to]

i realize that most of my recent posts have been ranty and opinionated
and while it's not an inaccurate description of me in my normal state,
i need to break it up some in order to keep it from getting old hat
so not ranty opinions today, folks
just a long and unabbreviated status update

i've hit crunch time with my thesis,
in that i have just about one calendar month to get it done
i'm not stressing about it [not yet, at least]
but i am kind of excited for it
i'm interested to see how i put all these ideas together on paper
and what kind of argument i'll actually be making
[i know the basics, for the record,
but i dunno how their gonna manifest into an overall milieu]
i got a hold of a few more interesting books and documents
so hopefully they'll prove useful instead of a time waster
but it's at the point where i need to spend more time writing
which is gonna be a fun roller coaster of productivity and procrastination
[like my normal writing process,
only with more at stake]
let's see how the month shakes out, shall we?

in other news,
carter roommate brought up a great point last night:
how am i gonna get my mass effect 3 fix come march?
seeing as how i am sans xbox 360, tv, and likely me3
dear god do i hope i have some sort of job come january
cuz damn, i dunno how i'm gonna make it without
especially since MAX PAYNE FUCKING 3 comes out in march too
it's gonna be tough going if i don't have access to it
[this is where i'd put in an obnoxious hashtag reference]

there was a disheartening lack of costumes on campus today
i dunno why, especially since past halloweens have had plenty of costumes
but this year there was a notable lack
maybe it was because halloween was on a monday this year
i felt like such a standout with my opie cut on
[approximation of what i look like here and here]
especially sitting in the law library all afternoon
but you know what?
it's fucking halloween, and i'll do as i damn well please


glen canyon

after a bit of a breakdown in lincoln,
[and by that i mean a three touchdown beatdown]
msu took a bit of a nosedive in the bcs
they dropped six spots down to #17
wisconsin, on the other hand, has plummted 14 spots in two weeks [to #20],
thanks to two back–to–back close losses to msu and ohio state
nebraska, michigan, and penn state are all up in the bcs rankings
moving up four, three, and three spots respectively
iowa mindblowingly lost again to MINNESOTA [!]
[btdubs, the last time minnesota got back–to–back wins on ANYONE was  2008/9
when they beat purdue twice in a row
the last quality opponent they beat twice in a row was penn state in 2003/4]
northwestern finally got a big ten win,
illinois's on a three–game backslide
indiana remains winless in the big ten,
and the legends division is very much up for grabs
such is the state of big ten football in week 10

i realize this is gonna seem like a weird time to do this,
but i really don't give a shit
i wanted to wait until october was done before doing any sort of prediction
mostly because october is the month where you learn who teams really are,
and when you see what they're actually capable of
also because october is when everyone gets proved wrong
and i'd rather have something to base my claims on
so, let's get to it

first off, my big ten championship prediction:
michigan state v. penn state

and how do we get there?
through my division predicitons, of course

of all the teams in the legends division,
msu has the best shot of going 4–0 in november
michigan has to go to iowa and ohio state, and host nebraska
nebraska has to go to penn state and michigan, and host iowa
iowa has to host msu and michigan, and then go to nebraska
while msu goes to iowa and northwestern, and hosts minnesota and indiana
with the exception of iowa, those are all teams msu's beaten recently
and msu is extremely capable of handling them this time around as well
[iowa will be a challenge for msu, since iowa : msu :: msu : wisconsin
that is to say, msu hasn't won there since 1989, aka SINCE I WAS BORN]
plus, if msu goes 4–0 in november, they'll be 7–1 in big ten play, 4–1 in conference
only nebraska and michigan would be able to match that,
and msu holds the tiebreaker over michigan
so, i'm gonna go out on a limb here and say msu does finish the season undefeated
and that michigan beats nebraska in three weeks
thus, we have msu winning the division

the leaders side is a little bit more intriguing
penn state has the toughest closing schedule in the big ten,
[hosting nebraska, at ohio state, and at wisconsin]
but all three of those teams are beatable,
especially against a defense as good as penn state's
wisconsin's is a bit easier, closing at illinois then penn state
and ohio state closes at penn state then michigan
i'm not sold on ohio state at all,
they barely beat wisconsin, they've only won on the road against illinois,
and their home schedule otherwise has been a cakewalk [msu excepted]
wisconsin has an easier closing slate than penn state,
and they do get to host penn state at the end of the season,
but they've had real problems playing teams as good as them
way in the lead they're fine, but in a close game they've choked twice in a row
maybe that'll translate to finishing the season strong,
but i think it's more likely that they stumble once more
so, with all that in mind,
i expect to see penn state win out in november,
especially since their offense finally seems to be stepping up,
and their defense has been playing like the penn state of lore
which puts them in indy in december opposite msu

now, with both of the divisions decided come the championship prediciton
msu over penn state [no score; that's the one thing i don't predict]
that game would ultimately come down to who has the better offense
and that title absolutely belongs to msu
msu's offense has been much more productive than penn state's,
and it's proven that it can step up if the defense can't [see the wisconsin game]
whereas penn state's defense has been bailing out its offense
especially against iowa and illinois
this isn't to say that msu's offense or penn state's defense will fall by the wayside,
it's to say that msu's offense stands a greater chance of success
especially in the spot where experience matters most: at quarterback
mcgloin's had some impressive moments in the past few weeks,
but i'd much rather rely on a consistent and solid player like cousins
and so, when all is said and done,
i predict msu will raise whatever trophy the big ten makes for its first championship game

[also, this is my official prediction,
so feel free to hold me to it]

in other news,
my costume this halloween has been a rip–roarin' success
i haven't gotten compliments like this since i was solid snake [see here and here]
if a good photo is taken of me as opie before the week is out,
i would be glad to share it with you fine folks
keep your fingers crossed

i came to an annoying revelation after i posted this
apparently i'm not the only one who has this same prediction
the espn bloggers think almost the exact same way i do,
along with a few other college sports media types
so, just to be clear, this one was all me
i'm not copying other people to seem cool or like i know what i'm talking about
[which, for the record, i do]
so consider it circumstantial and nothing more, hokay?


grand meadow

two quick things before i finally begin my halloweekend:

[i preface this by reminding you that i am one of you]
hey mid–atlantics/new englanders:
guess what? weather fucking happens
quit acting like this october snowstorm is the end of days
the fact is that you guys got snow in october
for christ's sake, michigan gets snow nearly every october
[except for this one apparently;
i will admittedly say that it's weird you got snow and we didn't]
so, put on your big boy/girl pants and quit yer bitchin'
chances are you've got plenty more a–comin' before the season's through
so just enjoy the nice wintery weather,
take a few extra minutes to make sure you're driving safely,
and get on with your lives
and please, leave the complaining about weather to californians
it is, after all, what they do best

... i have now forgotten the second thing
goddamn it, i knew that would happen
let's hope i remember it before i have to leave

ah, yes, i remember now:
baseball is officially done
apparenly st louis decided to win the world series in game seven,
denying us the chance to be rid of that boring sport a week ago
i know there are baseball fans out there
i'm sure there's at least one who trolls my ramblings
but seriously, and i mean this in the least judgmental way possible:
your sport is boring, it's playoff is boring
and your championship is boring
and it's on ALL THE TIME
seryusly, your season has 162 FUCKING GAMES over SIX MONTHS
what kind of self–respecting bullshit is that?
football fans have to wait EIGHT MONTHS for 16 GAMES
[or in college, 12–14 games]
college basketball has to wait SEVEN MONTHS for 30
you've been monopolizing the sports channels for waaaaaaaaay too long
so please, gtfo of my sports world
and let me watch my college basketball and football in peace
also, please have a lockout next spring so i can see less of you

[in completely unrelated news,
florence + the machine's new cd comes out monday
best get yourself prepared for it
god knows i am]



i have no idea why this is a goddamn story,
but bob kraft is pissed off at rob gronkowski
why? because he took a photo [yes, it's sfw] with a porn actress [relax, it's to espn]
those of us with any semblance of maturity will probly respond with "...so?"
but i must remind you folks, and i cannot stress this enough
bob kraft has no such sense
in all his years as owner of the patriots [full since '94, partial since '85],
he's been prone to childish and boorish behavior
partially because he's, ya know, bob kraft
so this whole 'blown out of proportion' thing shouldn't come as a surprise

the short version of this latest debacle is this:
gronkowski went to the university of arizona,
said porn start [bibi jones] went to the self–same university,
and apparently they have a mutual friend or two
since porn stars are regular people two, bibi's a fan of football
[or, at the very least, a fan of his]
so they posed for a couple photos while they were both in arizona,
and she posted them to her twitter account
because [unsurprisingly] she has more followers than he does
i dunno about you guys,
but i think his only lapse in judgment is the way he posed
he kinda looks like a broski douchebag
which seems to be a recurring theme

in other news, i find myself in a listy mood
i also find myself wanting to talk about football again
so, in the spirit of compromise, i'll do both
cuz who doesn't love a nice, clear cut, rage inducing list?
so let's get to it

today i shall be presenting the 10 best college logos, but with a twist:
no words, no letters, just actual logos [so no block m, no ou, no block s, &c]
why, you might ask?
because i appreciate and value creativity,
and what better way to show it by having an instantly recognizable symbol?
so, i took a good hard romp through division 1 [fbs and fcs]
to bring you the best non–word logos
[note: i will be including logos that include words if they are also used without
for example, missouri's logo is used both with and without the block m
thus, i could include the second one (even though it has writing at the bottom)
also, if a logo includes writing in it, but it is not the focal point of the logo,
it will also be considered a straight up logo (like maryland]

honorable mentions:
siu edwardsville, southeastern louisiana, niu, youngstown state, and eastern washington
chances are that you haven't seen most of these logos before,
but that doesn't diminish their value
sometimes the best things languish in obscurity,
and that certainly holds true for these logos
siu e's logo is really slick, surprisingly so for such a small school [it's a cougar, btdubs]
s/e louisiana's is by far the best lion logo i've seen in division I
i give niu props because their husky is not only stylized,
it actually looks like the animal it's supposed to be
[as opposed to, say, kansas state's wildcat or delaware's hen]
eastern washington took a cue from wazzu and made their logo their acronym,
but they managed to make theirs look better
and finally, how can you not love a school who's mascot is a penguin?
especially one wearing a scarf and hat?

#10 – san jose state
again, this is a logo you may not have seen before
but damn does it look cool
i think it's the mix of influence and originality that does it for me
there's obviously a little bit of influence from usc and msu in there
[especially since they made this iteration in 2000]
but they also took strides to make it their own,
like giving it sharper, more precise edges, and using both colors in the plume
the only real downside for sjsu is that their teams aren't particularly notable
which means they don't have much brand recognition
so for now, they'll have to take comfort in knowing their logo is bitchin'

#9 – arizona state
of all the redone logos of the past decades,
arizona state's is, in my opinion, the most successful
the previous sparky logo was really just kinda weird [and that mustache? creepy]
but the new trident is just sweet
what makes it work it is that they based it on a simple design,
and didn't go nuts with the embellishments
plus, they went back to a two–color scheme, which makes it much easier on the eyes
[cuz more colors can be a bit much, right florida and uab?
overall, it's a sleek design that'll go a long way
plus, it looks BADASS on their new football uniforms

#8 – usf
i've always been a sucker for cleverly used letters and words in logos,
and this one is by far one of the very best
it's not exactly subtle, but it looks great, and that's all you can really hope for
i think what makes it so good is the fact that they didn't anthropomorphize the bull
they could've made it more bull–like like buffalo,
[which, by the way, is a great logo in its own right]
but i think they made the right choice in encorporating the 'u'
in a league with such bland logos as syracuse and rutgers
usf's really stands out
plus, if usf football keeps it's meteoric rise going
we're gonna start seeing it everywhere

#7 – mizzou
regardless of what league or sport you follow
there is no lack of sports teams with tiger logos
which means that we are flooded with every stupid tiger logo ever made
but the one that always stood out to me was mizzou's
first off, it actually looks like a tiger
and secondly, it actually looks good
those two characteristics are notably lacking in most of the other tigers
plus, it looks like it's out for blood
[as opposed lsu's old one, which looks vaguely retarded
or memphis's, which looks like it's playing with something]
i have a little less to say about this one than the others,
but my liking mainly comes down to the fact that it just works

#6 – uconn
again, there are a number of huskies in the world of sports
but none so iconic as that beautiful blue husky of uconn
every college basketball fan in the country knows this logo,
especially during my lifetime,
in which men's/women's teams won 8 of the last 13 national championships
which is fucking absurd [in the good way]
the husky itself is a just a great work of art
they kept the stylizing muted, they bucked the trend of 'angry eyes'
[which has gotten RIDICULOUS in the past ten years
in what universe to dolphins, ducks, and chickens have angry eyes?]
and they threw in a nice splash of red to accent the blue and white
maybe it's because i was born and raised a huskies fan,
but uconn has one of the best animal logos out there

#5 – florida state
this logo is my main reason for involving that exception of included writing
cuz what greatest logos list would be complete without the seminoles?
college football fans will immediately recognize this one,
thanks in no small part to fsu's reign of dominance in the '90s
the screaming seminole is as cool as it is uniquethe facepaint, the hair feather with the school name
and the incorporation of the colors combine to make a really sweet look
plus, the more unique a logo is, the more it sticks in your mind
and instant recognition goes a long way towards distinguishing good from great
it was also one of the only native american logos to survive the ncaa axe
[unlike chief illinwek and the fighting sioux]
leaving florida state as one of the only remaining acceptable logos
and i, for one, and sure glad they did

#4 – southern california
reticent as i am to admit it,
usc's trojan makes it here by virtue of it's exceptional athletic history
every football fan has seen this logo at some point,
probly during a usc beatdown of their favorite team
its been that way since the early 1970s
and has had some of the best staying power of any college logo
it's design can be a bit dizzying at times [especially if you stare at it too long]
but there's no getting by the classic design
it really raised the bar in logo design
and it's influence can be seen in any number of helmet logos to this day
hard to beat a pedigree like that

#3 – michigan state
again, this may be a little bit biased
but again, it's one that college basketball fans will instantly recognize
along with an ever–growing college football fanbase
what makes the spartan helmet work so well is the clean-cut design:
one color, sharp edges, and a simple design with a few well–chosen stylish accents
[and, by the way, it looks just as good in white
the only other logo i can think of that looks good in two different colors is iowa]
it stands out in a way that few logos do,
AND it's one of the oldest helmet logos still in use
in fact, the original spartan helmet was created in 1965
a full six years before the usc trojan
[i have no idea if msu's influenced the creating of usc's at all,
but in my own mind, i like to think it did]
and this one's been in use since 1977
and there's just no escaping its brilliance

#2 – clemson
i have to put clemson high on this,
because seriously, this logo is fucking brilliant
while other colleges spent their time and energy making weird looking tigers,
clemson decided one up them all and use an actual tiger to make theirs
they took a mold of a paw print from tiger at a nearby zoo,
and used that as the basis for their logo
and i gotta say, it looks great
even with all the little lines around the edges of the print,
it's simple design makes it one of the best
everyone and their brother has used this logo at some point it seems
even mid michigan youth football programs have it on their helmets
if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,
then clemson should feel pretty goddamn flattered

#1 – penn state
yup, i did it
i forewent texas, florida, kansas state, and iowa for the nittany lions
and i don't give a shit
if you've watched college football in the past EVER, you know this logo
even if you're only a casual observer, you've seen it crop up
and damn is it a good one
like the best designs, it uses only two colors
and the design is simple with a few choice embellishments
it's far and away the best big cat logo out there,
[which does actually put it up against some stiff competition]
and represents one of the most visible and well–known athletic schools
couple all that with being unchanged for the past 30 years,
and you've got yourself a winning formula
for me, there is no other number one but penn state

[btdubs, this list took a metric shit–tonne of time to put together
i think i might've set a personal record with it
i started it four days ago]




i saw this article earlier today when i was scouting around the sports media
[for the record, i'm not really sure when i picked up that habit,
especially considering my disdain for said sports media]
and i found it a really interesting read
not because of what it reports [conflict between jim delany and mark hollis]
but rather who this guy talks to in getting this story
if the people he cites are actually in the positions he claims,
[something i'm always skeptical of]
what kind of duality is jim delany cultivating?
granted, i've been a pretty big fan of him since i started following the big ten,
especially when it comes to selling the conference and establishing btn,
but this does provide some interesting questions

also, and i say this as a spartan fan,
i'm completely aware of the writer's obvious msu bias
especially when downplaying gholston's penalties,
along with elevating the dirtiness of tayler lewan
that being said, he does raise some intersting points
give it a read here

what say you, sports fans?



christ in a cock bucket that was a ridiculous game
but now that i've at least come down from that euphoric high,
i might actually be able to relay coherent thoughts
and talk about the game like the giddy schoolgirl manly bearded man i am
yup, that's right

[as a preëmptive warning,
troll me and i will kick your ass
this isn't espnchat, this is serious shit]

msu 37, wisconsin 31
i think the most notable thing about this game was the scoring pendulum
both teams managed to blow 14–point leads at different points,
with wisconsin blowing a 14–0 lead, and msu blowing a 31–17 lead
it's not common to see that happen once,
but twice? c'mon now, that's some rare shit
i would say it's sadly typical for msu to do such a thing
but we no longer live in the days of bobby williams, john l, and the 'same old spartans'
which means msu was able to care of its business
albeit in an incredibly desperate and frenetic way

a lot of the comments about the game revovled around msu's lack of penalties
but i don't think that's really the stat to be talking about
[and i DON'T want to hear complaints about refs missing calls
i will unreservedly admit that the refs missed calls on both teams
but that happens in every. single. game in college football
so don't act like this was an egrigious one–time scandal]
i think wisconsin's six penalties is a much more telling statistic
three of those penalties were false starts
[which shows that they were uncharacteristically jumpy]
one of them was just a bad choice [the safety]
and one of them was completely unnecessary [the personal foul]
i think those fouls show that our team and atmosphere was getting to them
and were being more disruptive to their normal scheme than they were expecting
intimidation is just as much of a factor as talent
and i think this game showed what happens when wisconsin feels intimidated

another stat that was brought up was the amount of yards wisconsin gained
443, or roughly 370 more than our average coming into the game
lots were down on how much the badgers rolled over the spartans' d
BUT, i happen to remember a tidbit of a prediction i saw,
which noted that wisconsin's d was ranked basically on par with msu's
which means, in theory, that they should've held msu for less than 200 yards
when, in actuality, msu gained twice that at 399
so while msu's defense gave up a lot of yardage, wisconsin's did too
and i think it's pretty indicative of another issue of theirs:
they don't know how to handle being behind
this was the first game wisconsin more than one drive behind
[the only predecessor was when they hosted nebraska:
nebraska scored first, then they answered,
nebraska scored again, then they rattled off three scores just cuz they could]
it's something they're gonna have to address
granted, wisconsin's d stepped up in a big way in the second half
but they can't have that kind of drought if they want to stay competitive
just cuz they came back this time doesn't mean they'll always be able to

i think the key to this whole game was msu's ability to contain russell wilson
seriously, that kid is a fucking stud at qb
he'd only played six games with wisconsin, but already had:
95/128 completions for 1557 yds, a 210.9 passer rating, 74.2% completion average
so naturally, pat narduzzi decided to go after him
and msu kept him to season lows for completion %, passer rating,
and tripled his interception numbers
it also didn't hurt that kirk cousins stepped up and played like he usually does
i really don't see why everyone was so down on him this year
i'm sorry that he can't reach the absurdly lofty expectations some people desire,
but i'd rather have a dependable, solid qb than a showy one anyday
and today, that 'rather' paid off big time

finally, that last touchdown
that last glorious, improbable heave
the drive leading up to it was sloppy as shit, i'll admit
and i'll admit that i was afraid of a fourth quarter collapse,
but if there's anyone, ANYONE, to blame for that lose
it should be bret bielema, not the officials,
and there really shouldn't be any blame for bielema in the first place
his strategy wasn't unsound, in fact dantonio had done the same thing
don't let the other team run out the clock,
force them to make plays while on the field,
and then get a turnover on downs and do what you gotta do
it's a pretty standard strategy for those last two minute drills
so, in light of the game's ending,
you could argue that poor clock management gave them msu that hail mary opportunity
and thus won them the game
but that's kind of a specious argument
had that pass not been caught, bielema would've gotten praise for his decisions
he just had the unlucky fortune of being on the losing side of that pass

as for the last pass and td itself,
i defer to the officials
because a] they get paid to officiate, b] they actually are neutral
and c] i'm not gonna play that idiotic 'what if' game
that's by far one of the most irritating things fans do [and yes, msu fans included]
"yeah, well, if that one play had gone differently, then blah blah &c"
bullshit. bullshit nonsense.
a typical justification response from people unwilling to accept outcomes
so yes, wisconsin could've batted that pass down,
but they didn't
michigan could've kept driving in the 4th quarter instead of throwing the pick 6
and yet, they didn't
and so we are left not with what 'could've happened', or 'should've happened'
but what actually did fucking happen
i understand wanting to dissect and analyze the game,
but please, just let the game be the game
if you didn't like the refs call on the hail mary, so be it
but don't get your panties in a twist and go off the deep end about
shit happens, man, and teams lose in the last seconds sometimes
god knows i've watched my teams do that enough times
[yes msu, i AM looking at you]

in other words, the officials saw it, reviewed it, and called it like it was
we got lucky that nichols caught the deflection and pushed in
we got lucky that he got just enough of the ball to break the plane
and we got lucky that the refs felt it was indisputable evidence
yes, it is luck, and it was on our side
it's not a conspiracy, it's not a scandal, it's not karma or fate or what have you
it was luck, and this time it was on msu's side
have a good scream, take a breath, and then get over it
[that goes retroactively for you too, fairweather/walmart wolverines fans
god knows no one holds a pissy grudge like you guys do]

in short, damn was that a good game
i think the last game i enjoyed that much was the 2009 msu/iowa game
you know, the one msu lost in the LAST TWO SECONDS
man, that game was a great defensive showcase
that's what i enjoy most about big ten football,
a great, hard–hitting, defensive game by two smashmouth teams
and this one certainly fit that description

as a side note, both wisconsin and oklahoma lost tonight,
along with west virginia last night,
and south carolina had a bye week
which means that msu might just sneak into the #10 spot
it'd take some finangling and some leapfrogging of other teams,
but i'm gonna hold out hope regardless
last–second–yet–decisive wins against top ten opponets mean a lot
definitely more than blowout wins over terrible teams
[yeah, that means you oklahoma state, clemson, oregon, and kansas state]
so i think there's a distinctive possibility we crack the bcs top ten list
only 17 before we find out



can you say weird news week? cuz i can
—Mu'ammar al–Qaddafi is either dead, captured, or both
—after months of angry stonewalling, carson palmer finally got traded
—legal teams from the uk and us are argued the declaration of independence's legality
—some random guy in ohio had a 50+ menagerie of wild animals on his farm
—israeli soldier gilad shalit was released after 5 years in a palestinian prison
—nicholas sarkozy is the first french president to have a child during his term
—eta has declared a ceasefire to its armed resistance campaign [!]
methinks some crazy shit is going down

i'm gonna go ahead and deviate wildly from my last blog topic
and talk about music for a tic
mostly because i don't care much about what's happening in football this week
[beyond the carson palmer trade, which just made me confused,
nothing of note has really happened]
so instead, i'm going to proffer a list and some opinions,
cuz really, why not?
if you've stuck with me and continued reading my rants,
you either enjoy my opinions or are continuously enraged by them
so i might as well keep exploiting whichever emotion keeps you coming back

as some of you may know
[and as you all will shortly be made aware if you don't]
one of my favorite musical genres is grunge
being a child of the 90s and susceptible to my parents' musical tastes
[which, by the way, are fucking AWESOME]
i grew up listening to it,
which is why it holds such a special, unwashed place in my alternative heart
though there have been a plethora of really talented grunge musicians,
the singers are what have always stood out to me
the vocal quality of grunge is unlike most,
and those who really captured it are some of my favorite singers EVAR
and so, i present you with my top five grunge singers, plus honorable mentions
[as a side note, i'm not including any post–grunge singers on this list,
no paul mccoy, ed kowalczyk, kevin matisyn, or shimon ward
because, as much as i love them, there's a reason they're called 'post–grunge'
and this list is about the originals, and not the follow–ups
so yeah, let's get to it]

honorable mention #1: ben mcmillan [gruntruck]
unfortunately for ben, gruntruck is not a band most know
and though i could easily pull out the hipster card of 'i knew of them before you did',
i shan't, because there's no place for trust–fund hipster kids in grunge
but, that doesn't diminish the quality of his singing
gruntruck, like most of my favorite grunge bands, found their influence in metal
which meant that ben had metal–style vocals
i've always been a sucker for that particular brand of grunge,
and though he's not stellar, he has a really solid quality that fit their sound
his style was also pretty influential among later singers
so it's always good to give a nod to pioneers

honorable mention #2: kurt cobain [nirvana]
i can only imagine the shit i'm gonna catch from those with nirvana boners
but i'm gonna stick by this, because fuck you
now, nirvana is considered one of the seminal grunge bands,
and arguably the first to become popular in the mainstream
[though you could make equally strong cases for soundgarden and alice in chains]
though his vocals didn't have much to do with that
yeah, he's got a great rasp to his voice
but he's not a particularly great singer when he needs to be
and he doesn't have the strength needed to carry a good tune
again, it fits his band's sound, but it's not standout
so while i acknowledge his influence [especially his fashion sense]
i can't put him in with the best

now that i've got your dander up, let's get to it

#5: carrie akre [hammerbox]
sad as i am to say it, there really aren't any good female grunge singers
courtney love [hole] was okay for about five minutes before she cracked out
donita sparks [l7]  never really had it
and i've never really been a fan of selene vigil [7 year bitch]
but, there is one gal who can stand toe–toe–toe with the guys: carrie akre
hammerbox was more on the alt–rock side of grunge,
and carrie captured that sound with her style of vocals
and unlike most of her contemporaries, she can actually sing
albeit it with a little too much edge at times
[it's a shame that hammerbox never really found popular success
cuz they're pretty good out of the studio too]
anyway, back to carrie
what i find most endearing about carrie is that, unlike most other grunge musicians,
she kept singing with different bands over the years
which means that she actually grew as a musician when lots of others just quit
you gotta respect someone who's that dedicated to their craft
she may not do much grunge these days, but i'm all right with that

#4: gavin rossdale [bush]
here's the second [or third] choice that's probly gonna get some flared tempers
i, unlike a surprising number of people i know, actually like bush
which means, unlike said number of people, i like gavin rossdale,
and i'll tell you why
like kurt, gavin has a raspy edge to his voice that fits his band perfectly
[although, not unlike eddie, went not–in–the–good–way crazy with their music]
but unlike kurt, he also has the ability to belt with emotion
and, when need be, do both in the same song
i know that bush flamed out kinda fast after they released 'sixteen stone',
but it's hard to deny the talent that gavin has
especially when you couple it with those flowing locks and broody eyes
i will acknowledge that gavin does have some rigidity in his style
notably his inability to not sing the exact same way in most of bush's songs
[not unlike brian johnson of ac/dc]
but damn it, when he's on, he's on

#3: scott weiland [stone temple pilots]
scott, along with my top 2 picks, has one of the quintessential voice of grunge
seriously, when you hear him sing, you always know exactly who it is
whether its one of their most well–known songs
that song that no one fucking remembers the name of
or the song that you always forget is actually them
there's no mistaking scott's voice
what makes scott unique among grunge singers is his versatility
their first album, core, is very much in a heavy metal/hard rock style
while their next album, purple, encorporates a more straightforward rock style
and shangri–la dee da has a more psych rock sound to it
it's rare to find that among singers in general
and scott weiland happens to one of the most successful
unfortunately for us, his absurd drug issues tend to get in the way of it
and his outing with velvet revolver was not nearly as good as stp
but what's a successful rock singer without a drug problem?
as long as he keeps truckin', i'll keep listening

#2: chris cornell [soundgarden]
you've gotta love a guy who comes up with a band name like that
it was a hard decision to put chris a spot above scott,
[and it ultimately came down to the fact that i like soundgarden more]
but i think he deserves
chris is by far the most technically gifted singer on this list
he's got a killer high range like a metal singer,
a great midrange that he doesn't use nearly enough,
a nice sultry low range that crawls under your skin,
he has a great harmonic tone that compliments whoever he sings with,
and he puts them together in a way that'll blow you away
plus, the kicker is that he's been singing that way for damn near 30 years
he's almost 50 now, and sings like a goddamn 28 year old
if i have even half that staying power at anything, i'll consider myself lucky
let me put it this way:
anyone who can sing the shit out of billie jean is pretty fucking awome

#1: layne staley [alice in chains]
anyone who has EVER heard me talk about grunge should have seen this coming
seriously, i never miss a chance to mention how much i love layne staley
even with all the great names on this list,
he stands alone at the top as the most emotionally–resonant singer of the bunch
he knows your insecurities
he speaks to your despair
he makes you feel metal as fuck
he knows why you're angry, reaches out to you, and can even be uplifting
and through it all, he has a tremenedous vocal presence
like ben, alice in chains is very rooted in the metal side of grunge,
and he takes that metal technique to the next level and makes it his own
his sound is as varied as his emotion,
going from a snarling wail to subdued anger all areas in between
even at his most cracked out and psychotic, he sounded great
couple that with the most embattled personality in the scene,
and you've got the consummate grunge singer
[as an addendum,
i have to give lots of props to jerry cantrell
besides being a fucking genius with a guitar,
he also happens have a great voice
and part of what makes layne so great is his ability to harmonize with jerry
there was no better singing tandem in rock than those two]

so that's mah list
commence the screamings



whatsoever i've feared has come to live
and whatsoever i've fought off became my life
just when everyday seemed to greet me with a smile
sunspots have faded and  now i'm doing time
now i'm doing time

whomsoever i've cured, i've sickened now
and whomsoever i've cradled, i've put you down
i'm a searchlight soul, they say but i can't see it in the night
i'm only faking when i get it right
when i get it right

and what you wanted to see good has made you blind
and what you wanted to be youds has made it mine
so don't you lock up something that you wanted to see fly
hands are for shaking, no not tying
no, not tying

cuz i fell on black days
how would i know that this could be my fate?

i sure don't mind a change



well i need something to soothe this pain
to cool the love you pumped through my veins
cuz i'm burnin', i'm burnin' up for you

and i need somethin' to quench this fire
before it becomes a funeral pyre
yeah i'm burnin' with yearnin' so much for you

your love's a drug i have to drop
it hurts me so much, but i just can't stop,
i can't stop burnin' i'm yearning so much, for you

you struck the sparks
you fire the flames in me
and now my heart's a blazin' ruin
you say that you were only foolin'

don't walk away, don't do me wrong
don't leave me this way, singing this torched song
don't leave me burnin', i'm burnin' up for you


theismann for heisman

football fun fact:
there exists a player named joe theismann
maybe you've heard of him
he's considered to be the best quarterback the redskins ever had,
along with one of the best qbs from notre dame
he also happens to have a name that rhymes perfectly with 'heisman'
coincidence? not so much
his name was originally pronounced theez–man [rhymes with 'cheese man']
but, due to his stellar senior year
a pr guy for notre dame told him to change his name's pronunciation
thus creating the wonderful slogan 'theismann for heisman' [he didn't win, btdubs]
incidentally, 'theez-man' isn't the correct pronunciation at all
since his father was austrian,
the original german pronnunciation is almost the same as the current one
tice [as in 'vice]–mahn
his name'spronunciation has been just one long circular route back to square one
that's why i'm glad my name is monosyllabic

there are days, truly,
where i feel i'm the only person who doesn't give a flying fuck about the heisman
maybe it's just my disinclination towards mvp awards,
[i'm not a fan of the superbowl mvp either]
but i'm not overly impressed by people who win the heisman
don't get me wrong, i respect their accomplishments
especially since winning the heisman often coincides with breaking records,
but the speculation over it is, in a word, INSANITY
so let's take a gander at why it's gone off the deep end

with the heisman, as with every meritorious achievement these days
is subject to intense public scrutiny and speculation
people looooooooove to predict things,
and with the vast and wonderful interwubs at their disposal
[along with airwaves, tv shows, and random shouting on blogs (ME!)]
anyone can spout off to any degree about their inscrutable analysis
and so, we are left with a glut of people deciding something they have no say in,
which, as it always does, ruins it for the rest of us

the biggest thing that gets me is the week–by–week 'heisman watch'
while espn is the worst about it, they are FAR from the only one
every idiot following college football seems to do it,
and to me, it's absurd, unfair, and really unwarranted
i'm all for mentioning heisman–worthy statistics and playmaking abilities
but come on
weekly heisman predictions? preseason heisman predictions?
entire blogs of nothing but heisman predictions?
do you really have nothing better to do with your lives?
[i say while blogging about football during class]

beyond being exceptionally annoying,
where does all this heisman predicting go awry?
i'll tell you where: intrinsically
players, just like normal people, are not predictable
you can't expect someone to live up to lofty expectation out of the gate
and usually, the people who win aren't the expected ones
cam newton won last year after transferring from a junior college
[a terrible example, i know, but it works in this instance]
carson palmer was terrible his first three years at usc
barry sanders didn't even start his first two years at oklahoma state
and i could go on and on
point is, there's really no statistic or scientific way to predict who's gonna make it
case in point: denard robinson

[just for the record, this isn't gonna be bashing example
or a biased one, fully disclosing my michigan state fandom
merely one that proves my point]

so at the start of the 2010 season,
denard robinson had one year of play at michigan under his belt
and it was underwhelming to say the least
[10 games played, 14 completions/188 yds, 69 runs/409 yds, 5 tds
basically he was a decent backup running back]
so after winning the starting qb job,
he proceeds to blow the fuck up on michigan's first four opponents
he set a school record for 197 rushing yards by a qb at the opener against uconn
he put of 502 yards [258 rushing/244 passing] of offense at notre dame
[breaking his own record in the process]
and managed to rack up 930 rushing/1008 passing yards in 5 games

by all accounts,
he was putting up heisman numbers
sports media was falling all over themselves to praise him
and most had declared him to be the heisman heir apparent,
even better at rushing than the previous year's heisman winner, mark ingram jr.
but, all them media folk forgot one crucial common denominator for heisman winners:
not only are they good,  but their team is good too
and that is something michigan, in a word, wasn't

after torching the defenses of five woefully overmatched teams,
michigan actually had to compete on the conference level
[indiana, umass put up more of a fight than you,
so i'm not including you in that latter category]
and, unlike the predictions, denard and michigan fell flat
in those last 8 games [since, praise be, they actually made it to a bowl game]
he put up about 800 more rushing yards and 1400 more passing yards
while his performance took a dive, his team basically flatlined
and allowed so many points that their one–dimensional offense couldn't keep up
and ultimately, he finished middle of the pack:
he was ranked 7/10 at the passing game,
was 6/10 on passing efficiency,
and was 7/10 on scoring,
though he did top the conference in rushing and all–purpose yards
in short, though he had a good season,
it wasn't heisman worthy
so much for that, right?

the worst part about that wasn't even his performance decline
it was his utter abandonment at the hands of the sports media
they dropped him faster than [insert analogy here]
they went from doing heisman spotlights/interviews with him one week
and literally two weeks later there was nary a word about him
all heisman discussion about him had all but evaporated
and he was left out to dry
that's a pretty shitty thing to do to a 20 y/o kid
especially when everyone does it at once

does anyone ever stop to think about that?
these are generally 19–22 y/o kids they're talking about
they put amazing amounts of pressure on them due to the coverage,
and hold them to lofty, often impossible standards
add on the pressure of having to appease a rabid fanbase
[in michigan's case, a nationwide one that's EXTREMELY vocal
see: the hunt for richrod's replacement]
and this kid could've been eaten alive
in his case, the fact that he's continued to perform is to his credit
but can you imagine what would've happened if he didn't?
if he'd fallen completely flat after those first four games?
he'd have been run out of ann arbor by a goddamn mob
and would've endured week after week of story about his failures
[this is michigan fans and the sports media we're talking about
so it's a guarantee that it would've happened]
it'd be enough to make me stop playing

basically, my disdain for coverage of the heisman trophy is absolute
but it's time now to dissect the other half of that particular pie:
the heisman winners themselves
if one thing seems to be true for football players, it's this
you either among the elite in college or pro
not both

to date there have been 75 award winners
[archie griffin has the distinction of having won the heisman twice in consecutive years]
and you'd think that the heisman would be their stepping stone to greatness
well, you'd be wrong
it took 13 years before the heisman trophy produced a standout nfl player
that player would be doak walker, known for the [college] trophy that bears his name
from the 1935 to 1966, only 7 winners played on championship–winning teams
since then, only 6 have played on superbowl–winning teams
only 8 of those winners have been inducted into the pro football hall of fame
[one of whom happens to be a convicted felon]
and finally, only 11 winners have won other prestigious awards while in the nfl
of the 75 winners, 32 of them have gone on to have any sort of notable pro career
that leaves 43 that either didn't amount to anything,
did bother having a pro football career,
or were simply consigned to medicrity

while this might seem like a specious argument,
winning the heisman doesn't translate into pro success
think of some of the most successful pros of the past two decades
tom brady, peyton manning, randy moss, ben roethlisberger
ray lewis, clay matthews, kurt warner, jerry rice, brett favre, rod woodson,
even older names like terry bradshaw, kenny stabler, joe greene,
mike singletary, emmitt smith, walter payton, jim brown, bruce smith
classics such as jack lambert, jim brown, eric dickerson, dan marino, dan fouts,
night train lane, deion sanders, joe montana, warren moon, and lawrence taylor
and again, i could go on and on
most of them had great college careers too
but they weren't considered the 'best'

all in all, what i'm trying to say is this
let the process be what it is
speculate if you want, but for fuck's sake, don't get carried away with it
and goddamn it, wait until november before you start spouting off predictions
but more generally, just fucking enjoy football, would you please?
turning it into a predicition contest ruins it for the rest of us

fuck if i know


realignment rigmarole

again, before we get into that which we can never get out of
[in a word, my ramblings]
college football has had its first firing of the 2011 season
mike stoops, head coach of the arizona wildcats got canned last night
best part? it's only six weeks into the season
and we've got another eight to go
i'll probly come back to this tomorrow,
but i figured it was worth mentioning
let the coaching carousel commence a–turnin'

today's post brings us back to the teeth–clenching subject of realignment
because, as much as we say we truly and honestly don't give a fuck
we all do, deep down
mostly cuz we wanna see who gets screwed next
[safe to say, it ain't gonna be the big ten]
at the moment, only two conferences are expanding because they have to:
the big twelve and the big east
both are hemorrhaging teams like an anemic with a flesh wound
and they are scrambling to find replacements
whereas conferences like the sec and acc are expanding because why the fuck not?
so let's a trip down realignment boulevard and see what's what

the big twelve, as i've so eloquently stated before, is a shit show
in two years time, they've lost two big name teams [nebraska and texas a&m]
one middle–of–the–pack team [colorado]
and is very likely going to lose another solid team in missouri
in an all–too–clever analogy,
if a company you'd invested in substantially, over two years time,
managed to lose 1/3 of its market share and its standing among elite businesses
you'd pull out of that faster than a girl with teeth in her vag
[...i honestly can't believe i just connected football to vagina dentata]
at any rate, that's exactly what has happened to the big twelve
and yet, they keep chuggin' along, trying to delay the inevitable
and what better way to do that than by plugging the holes with new teams
[...goddamn it, there's another vag joke
i'm amazingly perverse for this early in the morning]

now, the last major school to change conferences was tcu last november
[despite my liking them, hawai'i hardly counts as a football powerhouse]
and where did tcu go? the big east
purely because they wanted to be in a bcs automatic–qualifying conference
geography be damned, they wanted a shot at the fiesta bowl
but now, damn near a year later, a more attractive offer comes along:
the big twelve wants someone to fill the void that a&m left
so they court tcu as well
and wouldn't you know it, tcu said "goddamn it, took you long enough"
mind you, the big twelve considered tcu when it was formed in '96
and they pretty much laughed them out of the room
oh, how times have changed

so, that puts the big twelve back at ten schools for the moment
[since talks with other schools, like smu, are basically non–existent]
but that will most likely be temporary,
seeing as how mizzou has officially started to explore to conference options
some might see this as exploration to gauge their true worth to their conference
[kinda like what tom izzo did last summer]
but, considering that mizzou abstained from voting on adding tcu,
i think they're pretty well set on getting the fuck out of the big twelve
god knows i would be at this point
the big twelve is by far most unstable conference at the moment
and that's saying something, because they're not being actively raided

that's right, we're back to the big east
that perennially screwed conference in terms of membership
as i mentioned earlier, tcu was set to join the big east in july
easily their biggest addition since west virginia in '95
but, as of today, there is no more tcu in their future
so where does that leave them?
they're currently down to 6 football schools, out of 16 total
and they're so desperate in trying to stay competitive
they've decided to add six more football schools
[which, assuming those aren't current members,
would bring the total to an unwieldy 22 schools]

to their credit, the big east is currently trying to get non–football schools into football
villanova, for example, has apparently been asked to consider moving to the fbs
[they currently play colonial athletic association of the fcs]
likewise, notre dame has [yet again] been approached for their football team
and most rightly assume that notre dame will yet again snub that possibility
[at this point, i feel like they're just doing it because they can]
but both of these seem like insane longshots that won't help them in the short term
so what are they to do?
pull from other conferences, naturally

also to their credit, they haven't gone raiding [at least not yet]
all the schools have been talked to openly,
and they've got some interesting choices on the docket
they're most overtly pushing for the service academy
currently, army and navy are independents, while air force is in the mountain west
army and navy would be good choices, i feel,
not because they're powerhouses, but because they're good schools
that and they're already in the geographic purview of the east
i can't imagine that they'd get one without the other, though
and they're not getting air force, because it's in fucking colorado
so we'll see how that plays out, but i'm not writing it off

they've also reportedly tried courting temple
a team they unceremoniously kicked out back in 2004
which, honestly, i think is funny
there's nothing more embarassing than endearing yourself to someone you kicked to the curb
other teams include east carolina and central florida,
both of which are pretty good at football,
and probly hoping for the opportunity to play at a higher level
[especially east carolina,
who's been very vocal in their desire to join for years]
either or both of these teams would probly raise the conference's competitiveness
but wouldn't necessarily raise their profile nationally,
which is the whole point of this exercise

the sadder prospects include memphis, smu, and houston
memphis is about as pathetic at football as you can get
[though their basketball team is decent]
smu and houston are way out in texas
and beyond their geographic isolation,
they're more likely to go to the big twelve to keep it afloat
so really, there's no point to expound on any of these

no matter which way you slice it,
the big east's future in football is pretty screwed
it might just have to stick to it's basketball priority,
and let its bcs aspirations wither and die
it provides only one team to the bcs per year as an at–large,
[and it's last bcs win was in 2007 in the fiesta bowl
in fact, it's won only 6 bcs games, as opposed to the sec's 15 and big ten's 10
though it's better than the acc, which only has 2]
it invariably has the lowest number of ranked teams of the 6 aq conferences
none of its current members have even played for national championships
[not ever, just since '91 when big east football began]
and really, no current team is good enough to change their fortunes
i'm not sayin', i'm just sayin'

the conference that seems to be winning the expansion battle
if you care to term it that way
is the sec [yeah, that's right, fuck you acc]
they haven't pursued anyone in this particular debacle,
and yet have had two big name programs from the big twelve basically beg to join them
my disdain for them aside,
they've pretty much solidified their spot at the top of the bcs with these moves
god help us if they actually add mizzou

in other realignment news,
i understand the occasional need to change
but this shit is just ridiculous
for fuck's sake, please get this over with quickly
i'm tired of these headlines, tired of the bad blood, and tired of the speculation
let's let grudges get settled on the field, hmm?

theismann for heisman


big ten, y u do dis?!

part three of footballrage™ is brought to you by:
–drinking coffee way too early in the morning
–not giving a shit about valence shells and solar absorption
–a surplus of things to rage about
–pitiful desires to make you pay attention to me

a quick side note before we begin:
how is msu not in the ap top 25 this week?
they're sitting atop their big ten division at 4–1 alongside michigan
they've played two quality teams in the past three weeks
[and, admittedly, got completely owned by one of them]
and they don't even crack the 25 stop?
texas a&m is sitting at 24 at 2–2 after back to back blowouts after being ahead?
florida state is at the same win total after being uncompetitive in both their big games?
c'mon now
i understand that the ohio state score was 'only' 10–7
but we still beat ohio state AT columbus
the last team to do that was usc in 2009
and hasn't been done by a big ten team since penn state in 2008
[which, by the way, was by a score of 13–6]
all i'm saying is, give them some fucking credit, would ya please?
and now, to the main attraction

[yes, i realize that i'm being a dick spelling it that way,
get over it, cuz i don't give a damn]
the big ten is the ONLY fbs conference to not be involved in realignment shenanigans
every other conference has gotten involved in one way or other
but the big ten has remained ignorantly above the fray
because everyone else is rabble, and the big ten is STUPID

i have no idea if i ever put my rage on teh blogzorz for everyone to see
[turns out i did, but in a muted way]
but i've never cared for the big ten's decision to invite nebraska in
and by that, i mean i was consumed by confusion and annoyance
it was a move that was universally applauded by the sports media
and even the other schools
but i never fucking got it
yeah, nebraska has a rich football history
yeah, it's by far the most popular thing in the state of nebraska
[next to their fervent zeal for any and all things corn]
and yeah, it's a new tv market for the big ten
but seriously? nebraska

much of my disdain may be over the fact that they,
have red/white uniforms
[yes, i know it's officially 'scarlet' and cream',
however, they use neither, so they can go jump off a cliff]
but ultimately, i just don't think it was the best get for us

the big ten is as much a cultural and academic a conference as it is athletic
something no other conference can say
all 11 members are members of the american association of universities
[see what i did there?]
easily the most prestigious research colloquium in the united states
nebraska happened to be a member of the aau, but guess what?
they weren't in good standing with the rest of the institutions
and actually became the first school to get kicked the fuck out
not only did the chancellor say that it was ten years coming,
he also said that nebraska's aau membership was the factor that got them accepted
so, if it's true the big ten only gave nebraska the time of day because they were in the aau,
since they're no longer a part of it,
does that mean we can redact and rescind their big ten membership?
consider also:
the big ten is firmly rooted in the midwest
and its universities very closely reflect midwestern culture
nebraska can hardly be considered midwestern
it's a fucking plains state [again, see what i did there?]
i know that geographic cohesion has barely bothered other conferences,
but i feel like if any conference valued that, it would be the big ten

at any rate, we are now stuck with the huskers
[NOT big red; cornell is big red, you guys are huskers
they got their first, so back the fuck off]
and, since every other conference hopping on the realignment bandwagon
everyone seems to be wondering when the big ten will
despite jim delany [big ten conference commish] repeatedly saying:
we are not expanding
which, by the way, is the right response to all this bullshit nonsense
apparently, unlike every other conference in the goddamn fbs,
the big ten actually values its members, and values them equally
which means they won't just jump into the realignment rumors on a whim

by the way, i dunno if anyone's noticed
not only has the big ten not been involved in any realignment
none of the big ten teams have been targeted by other conferences
[and no, the penn state to the acc rumor doesn't count
because a–it's a fucking rumor, and b–why would they step down to the acc?]
that really says a lot about conference cohesion, dontcha think?]

for the sake of arguing [which i so love to do]
let's take a look at some of the 'proposed' expansion teams
mostly so i can point out the stupidity of others
because honestly, when isn't that fun?

and just so i can get this off my chest and move on with my life:
why in FUCK's name would the big ten get rutgers?
since when is rutgers is a valuable commodity?
the only thing going for it is their aau membership
[and i do mean only]
their football is terrible, their basketball is the posterchild for mediocrity
and for fuck's sake, it's in new jersey
if ever there was a place you don't want to expand to
it's fucking new jersey
[...my new england disdain for the mid atlantic might be showing a bit]

all right, let's take a gander at some of the more seriously rumored schools:
louisville, kansas, kansas state, syracuse, pitt,
kentucky, uconn, rutgers [hah just kidding], texas, oklahoma
notre dame, iowa state, cincinnati, virginia tech
let's start with the more obviously bad choices

first up: the big east schools
–pitt and syracuse are no longer an option
[truth be told, i'm not sure how pitt would fit in, or even if they would]
–louisville is only good at basketball, and the big ten needs more than that
–kentucky would be a great basketball addition, but that's it
–uconn, beyond being too far away, is great at basketball but that's it
[it hurts to type that, but it's true: uconn football is sporadic at best; see last season]
–cincy doesn't really have competitive sports teams or good market share
–only uconn and would be academically on par with the big ten as a 'public ivy'
–of these, pitt has the best all–around athletics department

[my feelings on pitt in the big ten are surprisingly conflicted
like i said before, they are a great school with great athletics
but also like i said before, you have to really make a splash
while pitt is a good catch, it's in a state the big ten already has access too
and most pixburghers who watch college football already watch penn state
the only way i can see pitt working seamlessly in the big ten is with west virginia
but, i'll address that later]

our next batch: the big twelve/ten/nine/eight[?] schools
–texas? really? we've been through this, big ten, and it ain't gonna happen
[despite how well texas compares to big ten schools]
–oklahoma's football would be the only plus
[academically, they'd be like high school junior taking 300 level college courses]
–iowa state is consistently mediocre at most sports
–kansas would be a great basketball addition, but that's it
[certainly seems to be a pattern, doesn't it?]
–kansas state's success is passing, and everyone knows it [them included]
–kansas, iowa state, texas, and mizzou are the only aau members
–only texas and mizzou field competitive teams in multiple sports on a yearly basis

finally, the hodgepodge: notre dame, virginia tech, rutgers others?
–hah, rutgers
–notre dame is by far the most sought after among potential candidates,
[but at this point it's like chasing a snooty prom queen who thinks you're grody]
–what possible reason could virginia tech having for jumping ship? c'mon now

now that i got tha out of my system,
let's switch gears and engage in a hypothetical:
imagine, if you will, the big ten does decide to expand again
it's extremely likely they will push for two teams,
not only to retain even numbers,
but also to increase overall competitiveness
what, then, are they to do?
the big twelve is literally falling apart faster than anyone can patch it
the big east is being raided harder than coastal france was to the vikings
and the sec and acc are actively pushing for bigger conferences
though the big ten is more than secure in its current membership,
it decides to be proactive about the future,
and not watch the football landscape change without them
thus, they are stuck figuring out just who in fuck's name to invite
if i was writing this a year[ish] ago, there'd be no doubt:
you get mizzou, hands down, and go to 12 members
if i was writing this a month ago, there'd still be no doubt:
you get pitt and west virginia to round up to 14
but, since those particular pipe dreams were rudely interrupted
the only two logical choices you have are west virginia and mizzou
let's explore

i'll give mizzou the first nod, since they were my original choice
off the bat, i'll say that i have no problem ganking yet another team from the big twelve
especially since they don't seem to care about their own at all
god knows that would change
also, mizzou fits much better into the big ten on all levels than nebraska does
it's actually a midwestern state [though admittedly at the western extreme]
AND it's already got a 114 year old rivalry [the 'arch rivalry', get it?] with illinois
along with its 118 year old rivalry with nebraska
that's a pretty good transition, if you ask me

in a nutshell, their athletics are pretty solid compared with the big ten teams
they're almost akin to a big 8/big twelve version of wisconsin
football has a .545 overall record, won 12 bowl games and a national championship
men's basketball has about 1450 wins all time, and regularly plays in the ncaa tourney
they field 18 varsity teams, just a little below big ten average
it plays near two major tv markets [all big ten teams are near at least one]
fielded teams in other non–revenue sports are all relatively competitive,
but that's just one side of the coin
mizzou is also a member of the aau [in good standing, too, i might add]
they've got nationally ranked schools of journalism, law, and medicine
they're would be the third oldest school in the big ten, founded in 1839
and was the first land–grant school west of the mississippi
it has an endowment of almost $1 billion [which is almost dead last for the big ten]
basically, it's dead on par with the big ten schools in almost every way

it may just be me, but that's a pretty impressive rundown
god knows most schools don't have all that in one [looking at you, nebraska]
it just feels like mizzou would fit right in with the rest of the big ten schools
plus, given its athletic history with illinois [and, to a lesser degree, iowa],
it's transition to big ten play would be a lot smoother than nebraska's
they've sure as shit got my vote

my other preferred member [god, i sound like a sam's club] is west virginia
the mountaineers are also a very solid all–around athletics university with 17 teams
football has a perfect .600 overall record with 13 bowl wins
[and is actually the winningest fbs program that's never won a national championship]
and, more importantly, has been consistently good for a long time
men's basketball is also very solid, just coming off a big east conference championship
it's also in a surprisingly large tv market,
with large shares of southwestern pa, west virginia, kentucky, ohio, and virginia
obversely, though
they aren't quite up to the same academic level as the rest of the big ten
they aren't a member of the aau,
though they are rated as having  'highl research activity' by the carnegie foundation,
it also has a $400 million endowment, almost half the sizest of the smallest big ten one
admittedly, west virginia is a much better athletic fit than academic fit
but in this case i believe the pros outweight the cons
besides, bringing them to the big ten would reignite their rivalry with penn state
can't go wrong with more rivalry games with the nittany lions

so, yeah
that's what i think
at least i have reasons beyond 'herpderpherp MOARBIG10FUHBAL'
i think those two actually have a genuine chance,
were that hypothetical scenario to come true
unfortunately for mizzou, it doesn't seem too likely
i suppose we'll just have to wait and see

realignment rigmarole


acc-essing my inner rage

it may have taken a week,
but damn it, i finally got around to it
and now, without further ado,
angry football rant, part two

i'm actually gonna hold off on the acc for a minute,
and talk about what's really bothering me about college football right now:
the mufuckin' super conference

those of us have bothered following conference realignment have heard of this
it's the idea that any of the big 6 conferences
[big east, big ten, big twelve, acc, sec, pac–12]
could create a 14 or 16 team conference of football schools
which would then TOTALLY DOMINATE everything ever
and they would make LOTS OF MONEY
and make the powerhouses EVEN MORE POWERFUL HARGLBRLARGH
people were especially paying attention to the sec and pac–12,
[because the big twelve is completely up for grabs, it seems]
and expecting them to make the first moves

and, it just happens to be a REALLY. BAD. IDEA.

there are two major issues with this particular line of crazy:
raiding and win/loss records
there are only four fbs teams that are currently independent in football
army, navy, byu, and notre dame
every other school is in a conference already
so, in order to create a super conference,
you have to straight up jack a school from it's current conference
which is basically akin to stealing orphans from an orphanage
in order to make your own SUPER orphanage of prize and prime children
which, while it raises your profile, also makes you look like a cock
[yeah, i'm looking at you, pac–12 and acc]

if you have a ton of powerhouse programs in your conference,
that means they'll be playing each other constantly
which means that one of them will lose
and conceivably lose more than they normally would
which completely diminishes their threat
normally conferences have two or three real powerhouse teams
[alabama/florida/lsu, virginia tech/florida state/clemson,
texas/oklahoma/nebraska, michigan/ohio state/penn state, &c]
that way, the powerhouse teams don't have TOO much competition
they'll get tests every season [usually from each other]
but this system allows those teams to win consistently
[which gives them the opportunity to make it to bowl games]
AND it makes it easier for middle–of the pack teams
[which have a better chance of breaking into the upper echelon]

if you have a 16 member conference,
and six of those teams are powerhouses,
half of your conference schedule is going to be really challenging
and not in the good way that builds up the team
could you imagine playing alabama, texas, florida, oklahoma, and lsu?
or any absurd combination of top tier teams
all in back to back weeks?
there's almost no chance you make it through that unscathed
and it reduces the amount of teams that can go unbeaten to one
[what with conference championships]
and since there are only 2 bcs berths per conference,
only two of those 'elite' teams are gonna make it that high
what the fuck good is that?
it actively reduces the chance of really good teams making it to the bcs
[which, by the way, is a bullshit system]
and completely negates getting those teams in the first place
cuz if they can't win, they can't be elite,
and they'll become mediocre like eeeeeeeeeveryone else

oh, and by the way,
the same principle applies to basketball
too many good teams increases the likelihood of more losses
something that should be especially disconcerting to...

[for unknown reasons, i like writing it like that]
now, the acc is the latest conference to bear the brunt of my wrath
mostly beecause they're fucking stupid
i'll try to ennumerate why, but it might require some sedatives

as though we didn't get enough realignment problems LAST summer,
THIS summer has been just as exciting
[granted, there's conference realignment every year
but it's usually limited to small schools from small conferences moving up
like, when schools move from division II to fcs conferences,
or when fcs teams move into non–aq fbs conferences]
now, the last interesting realignment news was last december,
when hawai'i announced they'd be moving from wac to the mountain west
you may not have noticed, but i did
[hawai'i's actually a decent little team
they give boise state hell on occasion, which is always fun to watch]
then, a couple months and a couple fcs moves later,
texas a&m finally announces that enough is fucking enough
and tried to rip off the duct–tape bandaid that is the big twelve
[insert allusion to bodily injury here]
while it was kinda surprising that it was a&m,
it wasn't surprising that someone wanted out of the big twelve
but then, just three weeks later,
out trots the acc with a suprise announcement

wait... fucking what?
apparently, the acc was looking to expand
it let pac–12 and the sec do all the up front talking and speculating,
and apparently worked on some back room deals
so now, instead of trying to wrestle teams away from the sec
[cuz really, who'd want to step down from the sec?]
or looking at conference usa or sunbelt or somebody,
they went organ fishing from their favorite live donor, the big east

in short, big east and acc are not on good terms
beyond the fact that the acc is the better football conference,
the acc has a habit of going viking on big east
you know, pillaging and taking what they desire
the original members of the acc are as follows [from 1953]:
clemson, duke, maryland, north carolina, nc state, duke, and wake forest
in '79, they plucked georgia tech out of the metro 6,
and finally got florida state to settle down with them in '91
[only a year before the other big independent, penn state, would join the big ten]
now, that seems to be a relatively respectable conference
clemson and georgia tech usually field decent teams
and florida state's been good for my entire life,
but you can see where they were a little bit lacking

THEN, in 2004, the acc/big east shit storm hit
that year, the acc decided enough was enough
and ganked both miami AND virginia tech from the big east
both of them had been with the big east since 1991
and were, at that point, two of the biggest teams the conference had
[especially with miami's 2001 national championship,
and virginia tech's 1999 appearance in one]
needless to say, it didn't exactly go over well
and THEN, but a year later,
they added insult to injury by ganking boston college
granted, boston college is hardly a perennial contender,
but it WAS a founding member of the big east
[roughly akin to a conference ganking illinois or wisconsin]

so, having been thoroughly gutted at the top by the acc,
[the big east did pull in 5 teams later in 2005, only 3 play football]
the big east was subjected to straight up thievery two weeks ago
not content being a better overall basketball and football conference,
the acc decided that they needed to be bigger,
and decided the way to expand was to acquire pittsburgh and syracuse
i will repeat that,
because it bears repeating
i have wildly different views on these two schools, so bear with me

first up, pitt
i happen to like pitt [surprise surprise]
and not just because, at heart, i'm a pixburgher
pitt is a really good school
they're a member of the aau [one of only 34 public universities in the country]
it'll have the third highest endowment in the acc at $2.5 billion
it's got a great basketball team [longest current ncaa tourney streak at ten straight]
and a pretty good football team
they were a great team for boosting the big east's image
they'll be great for the acc too
the big east got screwed on that one

also, syracuse? really?
are you fucking kidding me?
of ALL the schools in the big east, you go with syracuse?
fucking why?
their football team is terrible [though they were good 50 years ago]
the basketball is good, but underachieves
and there are more academically impressive schools
[realistically, though
academics seems to only be a real, choice–determining criterion in the big ten]
when you look at syracuse athletically,
all your left with is a 'meh' feeling
if you're going to raid the big east yet again, you might as well deal the death blow
take a big name like notre dame
take a chance on an impressive newcomer like south florida
pull in their most successful basketball program like uconn
don't settle for fucking syracuse

if you want to expand to a 'super' conference,
you absolutely MUST get a big–name program
you have to a texas a&m, or a nebraska, or a west virginia
not expand for the sake of expanding
you can't make a case for a it with a mediocre athletics university
in football as in science, quantitive is usually not better than qualitative
just sayin'

if ever there was a team that the acc should've yanked along with pitt,
it would be west virginia
of course west virginia
not only would you get a built–in rivalry with your two newest members,
you get great geographic rivalries too
plus, west virginia is athletically more consistent than syracuse
and would probly make a much better fit in the conference
i would bet lots of money i don't have that,
given the choice,
random viewers would much rather watch west virginia and florida state/virginia tech
than, say, syracuse and wake forest
or syracuse and clemson
god knows i would

at any rate
at least the acc didn't take rutgers
there's always a worse choice out there
[trust me, i'll be coming back to that]

big ten, y u do dis?!