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Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, This is Your Captain Speaking

Go play intramurals, brother. Pac 10 intramurals!

Well, wasn’t that nice and special? The whirlwind of conference expansion and shifting that most thought were going to tear apart the FBS like Charlie Weis at a ribroast turned out to be nothing short of disappointing and nowhere close to worth all the hype, chaos, and ridiculousness that spewed forth from the interwebs. Colorado and Utah to the Pac 10? Super. Nebraska to the Big 10? Awesome. The Big 12 sticking around? Dandy. It’s like we all were expecting a Peter North sized blast of shocking news and instead got an Abe Vigoda trickle. So it goes in college athletics, I suppose. I doubt seriously that this movement is done but I think it does at least get put on some sort of hiatus for a while. The Buffalos and Temples of the world are far too tempting to sit in the MAC forever.

So now, we sit back and idly twidle our thumbs until September, when finally, FINALLY, oh sweet merciful Jeebus, football finally returns. And once again our Thursdays, Saturdays, occasional Fridays, and some Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays actually have a meaning and a purpose once again. Sure, there’s stuff like jobs or families or hobbies now, but let’s be honest… wouldn’t you rather be watching Gameday at 10am on a Saturday, beer battering your brats for the afternoon cookout, and planning your viewing schedule than cutting the grass, weeding the flower beds, or painting the house? Thought so.

As for OTP, you have my sincerest apologies for the lack of substantive posting over the last couple weeks (hell the last month or so really). After going through a pretty significant life change (no, it wasn’t menopause), getting a promotion at work (the real work), and moving into a new home, blogging just sort of took a backseat. Granted, that’s all excuses, and I’m sure the overwhelming response will be somewhere between “Who cares?” to “”Whaaaaa… have a tampon” and both are entirely valid. But the fire has been rekindled and hopefully OTP will be back in the routine of being smarmy, sarcastic, and anti-Buffalo. It’s the least we can do.

Coming up this week are the 2010 opponent previews along with some Q+A from their representatives in the blogosphere if they have one. Surprisingly enough, Liberty doesn’t, at least that I could find. But I guess after hating the gays and prohibiting premarital sex on campus, there isn’t much time left for football blogs. C’est la vie. Buckle up boys and girls… Edge and I are beginning our initial descent into college football 2010 and this bitch is going to be a bumpy landing.

The Offseason Really Begins Now

NFL Draft? Over. Spring practices? Dunzo. Spring classes? Drawing to a close. Aside from the small trickling of news relating to an undrafted free agent signing (and yes, we’re still waiting on one for Brandon Crawford) or the occasional police blotter notice that some athlete went banana sandwich on someone or some thing, the college football landscape is a desolate place right now.

We’re roughly halfway through the offseason and the time we find ourselves in now is that long slow crawl to summer workouts, two-a-days, and eventually games. That crawl so far since the national championship game in January has been peppered with recruiting, conference expansion talk, NFL Draft buzz, and a whole host of other things that have been able to at least be bantered about in the blogosphere and sports radio, but that time for talk for college football is drawing to a close. Wear your sunscreen, drink your water, and we may just make it out of this desert alive.

BSU Grabs Another Wolverine

kurt wermersIt’s a rarity that a highly touted player from a BCS school transfers out to a lower-tier program. It’s a greater rarity that the highly touted player transfers to a MAC program. It’s almost unheard of when that highly touted player who has transferred to the MAC ends up with “Ball State” on his new uniform. That was the case Tuesday, however, as former Michigan offensive lineman Kurt Wermers decided to bring his 6’5″ 270-lb. frame to Ball State.

Wermers is a former product of Crown Point high school and will have three years of eligibility after sitting out the coming season. Out of high school, Wermers was a 4-star product, as well as having offers from Michigan, IU, Iowa, Northern Illinois, Purdue, Northwestern, and UCLA.

Wermers has angered more than a few Wolverine fans, as he has tossed his former coach, Rich Rodriguez essentially under the bus, blaming him for bringing in kids much different than Lloyd Carr did while he was coach at UM.

“I really didn’t get along with the new coaches,” Wermers said. “They were bringing in a lot of different kids that were not my kind of crowd. Coach Carr’s staff was a whole different ballgame. It was like a family. But when Rodriguez came in it was a whole different feeling. It was more of a business. I figured I’d get out while I could.”

Whether or not Wermers is transferring because of RichRod or transferring because he may not see the field as much as he thought he should isn’t entirely known, but I would have liked to have seen a little bit different sort of attitude and commentary as he made his way out of Ann Arbor and the Michigan program. I can certainly understand the frustration felt when coaches leave a program and new ones come in, but saying those sorts of things in the media doesn’t leave a fantastic taste in my mouth. Wermers isn’t doing anything out of step from any other Michigan transfer, but still, it would have been nice to see him just remain silent on the RichRod issue.

Wermers joins Artis Chambers as the second Michigan Wolverine to transfer into BSU, as Chambers blazed this seldom traveled path in March. Both will sit out the coming season.

Welcome, Folks… MiQuale Says Hello

otp logoGreetings and salutations, gang, as we unveil the new and hopefully improved OTP experience here on OverThePylon.net. It’s been a long time coming and for those of you who put up and tolerated us over on Blogger, you should be in for a real treat here at WP. As we move throughout the next couple of days, we’ll be making you aware of the new features and whatnot, but take a look around, enjoy yourself, and help yourself to whatever is in the fridge.

Today has a weird coincidence as well, as MiQuale Lewis was featured on the MAC’s website in their getting to know you segment. Ironic? Destiny? Who knows. But here’s MiQuale’s Q and A:

1. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far as an athlete? Being able to play along with my teammates every day in practice and games, because some people don’t get this chance in a lifetime.

2. What do you still hope to accomplish in the future? I hope to play professional football.

3. What are your goals for this season? Win the MAC Championship.

4. How did you get started playing (sport)? I use to watch my older cousin play football everyday and it just inspired me, I knew football was for me when I first started to watch it.

5. What is your favorite beverage/food/desert? My favorite beverage would be mountain dew, favorite food would be cheeseburgers, and favorite dessert is plain cookie dough.

6. What would you like to be doing in ten years? Playing football somewhere or being a Sports Agent.

7. What were you up to this summer? I was in Muncie all summer trying to get in the best shape of my life and trying to do my best to help this team win a MAC Championship, while also taking summer classes.

8. What is an annoying habit you possess? It would be snoring.

9. What is your greatest fear? Not being able to accomplish my goals.

10. What would your superhero name be? Qualeman

11. When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be a police officer or detective.

12. Which three people (dead or alive) would you invite to dinner? I would invite Barack Obama, Dante Love, and Kobe Bryant.

13. What would your ideal job be? (outside of playing sports professionally)? I would say being a detective on the TV show first 48.

14. What’s the best part of being a Division I athlete? Knowing that I made it this far and a lot of people don’t get this chance everyday and having a supporting city like Muncie behind you no matter the situation.

15. What are your pregame rituals? Listen to my music.

16. What are your hobbies and off-the-field interests? Playing video games online. I would play them all day if I could.

17. What is something people don’t know about you? I love to make people laugh.

18. What is your favorite campus hangout? The atrium, this is where all the players meet up between classes and just clown.

19. What’s your dream as a college athlete? To be successful

20. Besides (current sport), what sport would you have pursued for a college scholarship? I would have tried to pursue basketball if I was taller, but I think I could have played at a smaller school.

21. The artist that takes up most of my iPod? Without a question Lil Wayne

22. You are on a road trip and stop at a gas station, what snacks do you buy? Doritos Chips

23. What is one movie you could watch over and over again and not get sick of? It would have to be the movie Trippin’

24. What reality TV show would you most like to be on? Fear Factor

25. What is your favorite holiday? Fourth of July

This is cool for a number of reasons, most notably that it’s MiQuale, and I’ve watched several other not so notable MACers make their mark on the sports landscape through this sort of segment. But kudos to the MAC for finally showcasing someone that could very well be in the running for some national awards, and kudos to the BSU administration for not ruling Lewis and the football program with the usual iron fist.

Welcome aboard, everyone…

Offseason Roundtable #13

In an effort to not only increase our chatter about the Cards, but to also increase some reader participation, Edge, RV, and Alan will be doing these roundtables every week. Love the answers? Want to post your own thoughts? Of course you do. And you can do so in the Comments section. Because remember, dear readers, a smarmy sarcastic blog about Ball State athletics is only as good as its small yet powerful reader base. Have at it, boys and girls…

1.) Ball State coach Jason Eck has fired up a Twitter account. Surprising? Expect more coaches to do this?
Alan: I think it’s great news but a little surprising that BSU or a coach there would be even close to the cutting edge or at least on the normal side of the scale in terms of college football. Considering the athletics department has always been sort of lagging or sorely lacking in terms of cool little tech stuff, website stuff, information for fans, etc. If this is the last step, it’s a yawn. If this is the first step, it’s great and sorely overdue. Now, we just need to get Coach Parrish on there.

RV: It’ll start spreading with each school that has a good or young SID. There’s no reason to not take advantage of every corner of the Internet, and while Twitter might not be around in a few years, it’s here for now. It’s a great way to touch recruits and your fanbase alike and as long as you follow the rules (you know who you are) there shouldn’t be any problems.

Edge: More coaches will join up, absolutely. And if they don’t do it soon, they’ll miss the opportunity. As I said yesterday, the NCAA has yet to act on Twitter like it has MySpace, Facebook, etc. Coaches might as well mine that gold vein while they can because it’ll be tapped before too long.

2.) The big news out of Alabama is that the Tide are appealing their 21 vacated wins punishment. Any chance the NCAA lets the Tide keep those victories?
Alan: God, I hope not. At some point or another, the NCAA needs to stop giving out these slap on the wrist punishments, or reducing something with actual teeth down to nothing on appeal. Here’s their chance to hold someone to the fire a little, thought a better punishment would be loss of scholarships, probation, etc.

RV: No. Alabama should take their dose of shut the hell up and be glad they didn’t have to forfeit their wins or lose a SINGLE god damn scholarship. Talk about getting off light…sorry, but just be glad the NCAA is just growing it’s baby teeth and hasn’t decided to fully operate as an association. *insert joke about Alabama claiming a national championship here*

Edge: I don’t see the NCAA changing a thing. It’s a formality for Alabama to proceed with an appeal. It’s not like they’ll get a worse punishment for appealing anyway, so what’s the harm?

3.) Former Hoosier Kellen Lewis has ended up at Valdosta State for his final year of eligibility. Does this kid have any kind of future whatsoever in football?
Alan: I wish there was a happy ending in store for Lewis, but I simply cannot say there is. This young man had a ton of talent, a ton of opportunity, and at least the ability to get a great education. It’s a shame anytime someone doesn’t take advantages of the things in their life that can advance them, and I think Lewis is one of those textbook examples of someone who just didn’t take advantage of everything he had in front of him. Best wishes as he goes to Valdosta State, but I feel like this is probably going to be a sad ending to a fairly sad book.

RV: Depends on your definition of football. If by football you mean not involved in any kind of football whatsoever, then yes. He has a future in football.

Edge: Valdosta State is his future… how’s that for a dose of reality? He’ll play, but he’s done after this. Finishing at IU, he may have had an outside chance at the NFL, but that’s left him for good. Kids, pay attention to this scenario. This is what drugs gets you. Valdosta State football.

4.) There’s talk of Northwestern heading to play a game at Wrigley Field. What are your thoughts about these games housed in a different sort of locale or place than what is normal for athletic teams?
Alan: I think it’s a good idea if done properly. ND in Yankee Stadium, USC at Dodger Stadium, something cool like that. But the games have to be two really excellent teams. And unfortunately, Northwestern wouldn’t be one of those 2 really excellent teams. However, I would love to see Wrigley play host to an ND game.

RV: Unless they’re playing Illinois/OSU/Michigan it probably wouldn’t sell out. The whole barnstorming idea is near and dear to my heart, but Northwestern doesn’t deserve to have a game like this. When you can only fill 60.6% of your own stadium, you can continue to try and sell out at home. I think it’s great for teams that are trying to expand their academic and athletic base, but traveling down the purple line to get off at Addison is just a joke.

Edge: I think it’s more a media play than anything. It’s exciting for the players in one aspect, but it really doesn’t mean anything other than to say, “I played at Wrigley”. Put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig. Play football at Wrigley, it’s still a football game.

5.) Unsurprisingly, the BCS has rejected the proposal of the Mountain West Conference to redo the BCS Championship formula. Is the BCS ever going to change or are we going to see this structure for the near future?
Alan: For the near future, we have the BCS. It’s not perfect, there’s probably some room for improvement, but it sure as hell is better than a playoff. Kudos to the Mountain West for at least trying to be part of the solution instead of just sitting back and bitching, but a playoff isn’t the answer.

RV: The BCS will change as soon as someone figures out how the powers-that-be can make more money. Changing to a +1 is probably more likely, with the BCS adding an additional game to their format and creating a new bowl for to the highest bidder. I don’t see any reason for them to change the current format until football is ready to rip its foundations out and start fresh. I vote no.

Edge: I expect to see an increase in these types of proposals from the mid-majors. The MWC didn’t really front a revolution here, but this type of talk and action has the potential to snowball. Certainly other conferences feel the same way but don’t want to rock the boat just yet. Every year we hear it anyway: playoff this, playoff that… that’s never going to stop. I do see something happening in the future, but it’s going to be a long time coming. There are way too many factors to adopt a playoff system at this point, but you can be assured the talk will continue and the mid-major efforts for change will increase.

Readers: what do you have to say? Comment away!

An Interview with Jason Pinkston

In terms of incoming recruits, one of the most celebrated, heralded, and most excited for prospect is Jason Pinkston. From Glenville, OH, where the Cards have built a pretty formidable pipeline to one of the best schools in football-rich Ohio, Pinkston was clearly a high visibility high reward target for BSU to land this past season.

Defensive backs are by nature difficult to find when it comes to recruiting. It is without question one of the most difficult positions to play, but also one where the adjustment from high school to college is a significant leap. Thankfully, Pinkston comes to Muncie with a great set of physical skills, at 6-0 and 185, Pinkston brings impressive size for division 1, and even more so for the MidAmerican Conference.

Pinkston’s most recent success came as he was invited to be part of the Big 33 football game, an All-Star contest featuring prep stars from Pennsylvania and Ohio. Talent overloads those rosters, and Pinkston was still able to distinguish himself as a player that would excel at the next level. We are exceptionally grateful to have the opportunity to touch base with him.

From OTP…

OverThePylon: Can you sort of recap your experience getting recruited to play Division 1 college football and which BSU coaches were your chief recruiters? What were some of the schools that showed major interest? What were the schools you considered heading to?
JasonPinkston: Coach Parrish was the first to recruit me. He came to my school and offered me a scholarship. Cinci showed major interest as well as Michigan also. Them two were the only other colleges I was considering.

OTP: As a tall as well as fast corner, you’re a highly coveted prospect, especially for the MAC. Would you consider yourself more of a coverage guy or a physical corner?
JP: I would consider myself a little bit of both. My coaches say I’m a great cover corner but I also like to jam receivers and mix it up in the run support also. I want to be a complete cornerback not just a cover corner.

OTP: The corner position at BSU looks like an area with immediate need and opportunity. How much of a contribution are you looking to make immediately? Planning on starting? Any position shifts?
JP: I plan to go down there and do my best. Yes I do expect to compete for a starting spot but if it doesn’t play out that way I’m going to make sure I play my role and do what the coaches ask me to do.

OTP: The offseason has been a transitional period for BSU, with a coaching change, a ton of talent leaving, etc. How did that sit with you as a future Cardinal? Any worries or thoughts about not coming?
JP: Coach Parrish told me he wasn’t going anywhere so I never worried. He told me that he will be here for me and he is. I respect him for keeping his word. I like to compete so when the corners graduated I thought I would have a chance at competing for one of the corner spots.

OTP: This incoming recruiting class has been widely heralded as the best class in years at BSU. Have you had any contact with other incoming recruits? Is the class going to gel?
JP: Yes I talk to Connor Ryan everyday almost so we keep in touch. I also talk to Armand Dehaney the other cornerback we brought in so we’re all just excited for the season and ready to get started. As long as we play as a team and not individuals we will gel.

OTP: What things are you considering majoring in at Ball State? Looking forward to the academic side of the house?
JP: I plan on majoring in education. I know that everything starts with the academics first because I’m a student-athlete.

OTP: Most of our readers know quite a bit about your football prowess on the field. Any hobbies or talents off the field that would surprise some folks?
JP: I run track during the school year so I can keep my speed up for football.

From our readers…

Readers: What was the Big 33 experience like?
JP: The Big 33 was really fun. I like comparing myself to the other D1 players out there so I could see how I rank. I did really well in practice and also in the game. I liked the Big 33 game because it’s all man to man and that’s what I love to play.

Readers: What was it like playing for Glenville and such a well known and respected head coach?
JP: Playing for Glenville… it’s fun and high expectations. Each and every week all the eyes are on you so you have to bring your A game. We play good teams and we’re one of the top teams in the country. It was great because [Coach Ted Ginn, Sr.] teaches us about more than football. He teaches us how to be a better person and become successful in life.

Readers: When is Jason heading to campus to start working out?
JP: The coaches told me to call them after the Big 33 game and we will work something out but I’m trying to get down there ASAP.

Readers: How exciting is it to be able to play with so many of your former prep teammates?
JP: It’s great cause we all play defense and we can be on the field together again at the same time just like in high school… dominating.

Finally, one last one from OTP…

OTP: Anything to say to the Cardinals fans who will have the privilege of watching you over the next few years, Jason?
JP: It’s going to be an exciting year and we look forward to getting better each year.We had a great 09 recruiting class so now it’s time to go to work.

Big thanks to Jason for fielding these questions and giving a great set of answers. The corner position at BSU has the opportunity to really provide the right player a ton of playing time and a great opportunity to succeed from the get-go. Jason certainly has the talent and skills, and from this, it looks like he’s got a great head on his shoulders to go along with athletic skills like whoa. Good luck, Jason!

An Interview with Connor Ryan

OverThePylon is proud as can be to bring you the next installment of chatting with our future Cardinal rockstars. Off the heels of interviews with Ethan Buckles and Eric Williams, OTP was able to touch base with Connor Ryan, incoming freshman and soon to be household name as a wide receiver for the Cardinals.

Ryan hails from St. Ignatius outside of Cleveland, where he was a member of the most recent state championship team. Ryan has all the physical attributes, at 6’2″, 185lbs, while running a 4.59 40-yard dash. The fact that this young man is one of the top wide receivers in a football rich state while playing for a football powerhouse, bodes exceptionally well for future success…

OverThePylon: Can you sort of recap your experience getting recruited to play Division 1 college football and which BSU coaches were your
chief recruiters? What were some of the schools that showed major interest? What were the schools you considered heading to?
ConnorRyan:Getting recruited to play football at a Division 1 college was a dream come true. I love football and playing in college has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. My chief recruiters were coach Parrish and when coach Hoke left coach Lynch stepped in. Both recruited me very well. The schools that showed major interest were mostly all the MAC’s, Virginia, and Northwestern.

OTP: With the wide receiver position sort of a crowded place, do you anticipate being able to play and contribute right away? Is redshirting something that’s being considered?
CR: I was recruited for a reason and that was to contribute right away. I fully anticipate to work hard on the off season and become a major factor in the offense this year. I was always told that they needed me to step up and become a player along the lines of Briggs. As of now I have not been told anything along the lines of red shirting. But I am going to work hard enough to where I don’t have to.

OTP: Give us a well known wide receiver that you would compare yourself to. Additionally, what sort of wide receiver do you admire or idolize?
CR: I would compare myself to Wes Welker because he is a very polished receiver. He is a great route runner, he can also be a possession receiver, and the next play he could beat the DB deep with his speed. I idolize patriots wide receiver Anthony Gonzales. He went to my high school and coached me at a few practices and games. My goal is to work as hard as he did and become just as successful.

OTP: When Coach Hoke was transitioning out of that role in Ball State, what was it like as a recruit? Were you concerned about the direction of the program or the ability to maintain success?
CR: When coach Hoke left I was shocked and confused on what to do. I was worried he would take the whole coaching staff. So I waited a few days. When coach Parrish was announced as the next head coach I was thrilled. I was the first one he called right after his press conference and I knew right then that Ball State’s success would be maintained.

OTP: This incoming recruiting class has been widely heralded as the best class in years at BSU. Have you had any contact with other incoming recruits? Is the class going to gel?
CR: I have met many of the recruits and I think that this class with definitely mesh. This class has a chance to be something special, but at the same time for us to be successful we are going to have to work just as hard as the classes before us.

OTP: Most of our readers know quite a bit about your football prowess on the field. Any hobbies or talents off the field that would surprise some folks?
CR: I like to fish.

From the readers…

Readers: Are you training on campus right now? If not, when will you be training?
CR: I am on campus right now. I arrived Friday, June 12th. I am living with Kelly Page, Briggs Orsbon, Kyle Hoke, Steve Schott, and Scott Kovanda.

Readers: Has there been any discussion as to what receiver you’ll be playing?
CR: As of now X and Z have been mentioned to me.

Readers: What are you looking forward to the most about BSU?
CR: I’m looking forward to playing with the older guys on the team that have put so much work and effort towards this football team making it so successful.

Readers: What was his experience like playing for one of the best high school programs in the country at St. Iggy? What is his favorite memory from that experience?
CR: Playing for Saint Ignatius was a dream of mine as a kid. Every year at Ignatius we are expected to win a state championship. It was really nice to win one my senior year and end a seven year drought. My favorite memory was probably winning the state championship and holding the trophy up with my teammates and having my brother on the team made it that much better.

Readers: What lead him to choose Ball State over his other offers?
CR: I chose Ball State over my other offers because there is a chance for immediate impact as a freshman, which I wanted to take advantage of. Also, coach Parrish has been with me the whole time and he has been honest with me and I feel that he reminds me a lot of my high school coach, which made me feel a lot more comfortable with my decision.

Readers: Where does he see himself fitting in next season on a team with a lot of young WR’s?
CR: There are so many good receivers on the team that I look up to. I am trying to learn from these guys each day. I think I would fit in as a deep threat and a deeper possession guy, which has been hinted towards me already.

And finally, one last one from OTP…

OTP: Anything to say to the Cardinals fans who will have the privilege of watching you over the next few years, Connor?
CR: I want to tell the fans that Ball State football needs their support and with their support there is no reason that we can’t win a MAC championship within the next few years.

Big, big, big major league thanks to Connor for taking the time to chat a bit with us and let the readers see what a great young man he is. This recruiting class will be something extremely special if their on field successes and personalities are even half of what they are off. Good luck, Connor!

Offseason Roundtable #12

In an effort to not only increase our chatter about the Cards, but to also increase some reader participation, Edge, RV, and Alan will be doing these roundtables every week. Love the answers? Want to post your own thoughts? Of course you do. And you can do so in the Comments section. Because remember, dear readers, a smarmy sarcastic blog about Ball State athletics is only as good as its small yet powerful reader base. Have at it, boys and girls…

1) We never did discuss everyone’s thoughts on the Rose Bowl coming to ESPN in 2011, this placing all BCS games on ESPN for at least three years. How does that sit with you?
RV: I don’t have a problem with it, the BCS already has an unfair advantage in the CFB world. ESPN might as well botch all of the BCS games rather than let Fox have an opportunity to botch it up. What’s the worst that could happen?

Alan: The game itself moving to ESPN isn’t nearly as disturbing as the entire BCS moving over to the Worldwide Leader. Not that ESPN ever really championed the conversation about how to improve the BCS or an alternative sort of method to picking a national champion, but you can assume that ESPN will now be lauding the BCS as the greatest thing since the forward pass. It’s a real shame, and though I am not a playoff fan, there is probably a better way to facilitate who plays for the championship than the way we currently have. But ESPN won’t be engaging in such a discussion now, or ever, and that’s a disservice to those of us who watch Gameday, ESPN, or any other major network that has some ties to the current structure.

Edge: I’d be more concerned with viewership than anything. Sure, 95%+ have ESPN, but some still don’t. I also totally agree with what Alan said about ESPN not being in the fight for change in the system. Whether or not it needs it, at least one of the biggest voices in sports would have covered it (relatively) unbiased. Not going to happen that way now.

2) Brett Favre. Had enough or can’t wait to see how this unfolds?
RV: I still think Kiffin is going to find a way to get him at Tennessee, regardless of how illegal it is. Beyond that, I hope he gets mauled by a hay baler.

Alan: Way done. I always liked Brett Favre. Thought he was fun to watch, a model of someone who wasn’t blessed with prototypical talent or physique, yet managed to achieve success like few others in the NFL. He could have retired a Packer, been a God to those fans and that city, and sort of rode off into the sunset of retirement without a sour thought about him anywhere. Over the last year or so, Favre has managed to completely tank all that good will and actually build up some sizeable hatred. Last summer was sort of like a car accident that you didn’t want to watch but couldn’t look away. This summer is just painful and aggravating, and at some point an athlete needs to know when it’s time to walk away.

Edge: Know what would suck? Planning a vacation with Brett Favre. You’d never settle on a destination, and in the end you’d just end up in some mediocre place. He needs to let it go because in the end, it’s a no-win for everyone. I felt bad for Jets fans last year, and I feel bad for Vikings fans now. They’re put in a bad spot, along with everyone else on the team. Brett, take Mike Tyson’s advice and just fade away to Bolivian.

3) Settle a long-standing dispute. The best subs for tailgating: Subway, Blimpie’s, or Jimmy John’s?
Blimpie’s. Good lord, they put Subway to shame. Plus the guy who runs the Blimpie’s by work is hysterical.

Alan: Quality or price? Quality? Jimmy John’s. Price? Subway. However, their formerly rotund spokesman Jared was a Bloomington guy and IU student. Therefore, I have to go with Jimmy John’s. The only good thing about Bloomington is that they are keeping Bill Lynch away from any other school. That’s an incredibly generous thing for the Hoosiers to do, and I, for one, am thankful for that sort of kindness.

Edge: Oh come on guys, what’s better than showing up and saying, “Hey, I got the five! Five dollar! Five dollar footlongs!” I’ll go with Subway since I can’t get a Blimpie’s anywhere close to the stadium (no, I will not go all the way to Memorial Drive to get Blimpie’s), and I’m not Mikey Moneybags like Alan to get JJ’s.

4) The release of NCAA Football 2010 is approaching rapidly. What feature has you most excited with this year’s installment?
I’m interested to see where they took the online dynasty. I hope they gave it enough attention even though Madden is being updated like gangbusters. Hopefully they’ve improved the robo-QB and the cyber-LB and made it a bit more realistic.

Alan: Oh sweet jeebus, I simply cannot wait for this game to come out, and will apologize in advance to my girlfriend, employer, friends, and the like, because I can virtually promise you I will be a ghost for a couple of days. The fact that you can run the Wishbone, the fact that you can gain points through achievements for your favorite school, the fact that you can simply play football all week long. What isn’t to love? What am I most excited about? Everything.

Edge: I may be requesting a vacation day in July. I am most excited for better adaptive opponents. Just last week I was playing on Heisman difficulty in ’09 as Ball State. In two consecutive games, MiQuale had a total of over 1,200 yards. Yes, you read that right. When I can run 3 running plays all game and not get sniffed out after the third one, there’s a problem. So, I’m looking forward to the challenge.

5) This summer marks the 15th anniversary of the beginning of the O.J. Simpson murder case. Looking back and reflecting on this, what athlete would not surprise you by “pulling an O.J.”?
RV: I’ll go outside the box and say Houston Nutt. After the fiasco in Arkansas, it seems that his insanity knows no boundaries and Ole Miss got just enough of a taste of success to turn up the craziness.

Alan: Let’s see… to recreate the OJ fiasco, you’d need an athlete who’s been in movies, who’s past their career, and married to a white chick. Not being specific enough, you’d also need to have someone who clearly isn’t well put together, who can’t make good decisions, and demands to be noticed, known, and part of the national conversation long after anyone cares about them or thinks they’re relevant. So, Brett, when this Vikings thing doesn’t work out so well for you, there’s always double murder if you’re just looking to grab some headlines. Not sure if you have an Al Cowlings to drive you around, but I’m sure someone in southern Mississippi has an SUV you could chill in.

Edge: There’s simply too many nutjob athletes out there, and at this point no one would surprise me. I’ll have to say that I can see someone like T.O. going O.J. in the future. Especially with Keyshawn at the wheel of the white Ford Bronco (or Escalade, whatever). “This is Keyshawn, you know who this is, damnit!” But who would I like to see this happen to? Jimmy Fallon. He just needs to go to jail. Forever.

Readers… comments… go!

2008, By The Numbers, Part 5

You know, sometimes it’s fun to just play with the numbers from last year and try to make comparisons, whether it be between teams or between conferences. You can learn a lot that way… or you can confuse the hell out of yourself and your readers. There’s always a risk to everything, isn’t there?

Today, let’s talk a little more on scoring, but let’s look at it from a conference standpoint. All of us watch games for different reasons. I’m talking about those non-personal games, like for instance, Oklahoma State and Missouri. Now, neither one of those teams mean anything to me, but I’m an offense guy. I like seeing how each side fares against the defense. Inevitably, the enjoyable offensive game for me is a high scoring game on both sides.

That’s not to say those 3-0 games aren’t enjoyable, but like I said, I’m an offense guy. I like to see some points in the air and on the ground (and inevitably some defensive scoring). Those who like the defensive side of the game watch for other reasons. And then there’s those that just take a game where they can get it. Perfectly fine with us.

Now, I’ll try to put aside the opinion aspect of this and get to the facts. What I did was look at each conference’s total points scored and points allowed in conference games only. From there, it was pretty simple to see what conference games net the most points per game. As it has been recently, there’s very few surprises here. Let’s look at the top three scoring conferences:

1) Big 12: Average of 67.59 points in a conference game
2) Conference USA: Average of 60.35 points in a conference game
3) Sun Belt: Average of 58.32 points in a conference game

This isn’t too surprising, and it doesn’t really tell us much. Was it good offense, or was it just shitty defense that allowed this to happen? My impression is it’s a lot of both. I can say that Oklahoma seemed to bolster that Big 12 number.

So, who was at the other end? Well, I have to actually throw out the independents here. They only played a total of four “conference games”, and their average was 41 points. So, discarding them, here’s the three lowest:

1) ACC: Average of 42.92 points in a conference game
2) SEC: Average of 45.53 points in a conference game
3) Big East: Average of 46.54 points in a conference game

Again, not too surprising or revealing. Unless you look at geography. What’s the deal with that? If you’re east of the Mississippi, your conference game doesn’t net a lot of points? Maybe there’s something to this. We will have to investigate further, once we secure more research funding (yes, you may contribute; we accept donations).

But you know what’s cool? If you’re sitting at the bar and someone starts talking about college football, you can drop this bit of knowledge on them, right? Then, the discussion can go in all directions, could become heated, possibly getting you into a fist fight… you know what… best to keep this info to yourself.

Brady Hoke – Ladies Man?

Yesterday I mentioned a story about how the Ball State football camp is underway and is drawing some pretty good numbers. Well, our old friend Brady Hoke is in the football camp mode in San Diego. His participants? More than 80… ladies! Look out Leon Phelps, you’ve got competition now!

I really can’t joke too much about this at the risk of sounding extremely sexist. And, all the proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation for breast cancer research. So, it’s all fun and noble at the same time. But I have to think that Hoke may have his eye out for some talent given the horrid season the Aztecs had last year. Or maybe the west coast has tamed and gotten the HokeManBeast in touch with its feminine side.

Again, in all seriousness, kudos to Hoke and the San Diego State staff. In other news…

Media outlets are suing Florida State and the NCAA concerning public records laws. Ugh… why won’t this end? Poor Bobby Bowden. He’s probably seriously considering a life of bass fishing about now. What I find odd is that two hours after this story broke, Florida State University president T. K. Wetherell announced his intention to retire. So clearly someone’s had enough of this debacle.

There’s not much else going on this morning, but rest assured we will be back if something does break today. And gear up for another stat post coming tomorrow. I’ll leave you with this:

Joba Chamberlain is retarded.