It's the college football off-season. The recruiting cycle has run it's course and now we are just waiting for spring practice to start. Check out our friends over at The Saturday Edge to see when your team suits up this spring. If you are an SEC fan, make sure you check out our sneak peeks into 2013: Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, Missouri, Ole Miss and Tennessee. Let's take our weekly off-season look at the our favorite links and the biggest news from this past week in college football....
Dave Miller of the National Football Post takes a look at the teams with the easiest schedules in 2013. Ohio State is here and I think the Buckeyes under Urban Meyer will ride that schedule to similar results as they had last season. Look for Ohio State and Urban Meyer to take the B1G crown in 2013 and a possibly get a chance at the crystal trophy.
A lot of the talk this week was focused on South Carolina Gamecocks phenom Jadeveon Clowney and whether or not he should skip his junior season to prepare for the NFL draft and avoid injury. Are you kidding me? Suit up and play football! Now if you want to take out an insurance policy, I'm all for that.
The Alabama Crimson Tide made some news this week when they started their yearly roster management a little bit early due to four arrests. Three of those four players have now been banned from campus pending an investigation. Anytime you lose four players it's going to hurt but no team is built with quality depth like the Tide. The biggest thing hurt is Nick Saban's reputation but it's impossible to run a team of 85+ without having some knuckle heads.
Stanford is a team that I like in 2013. They lose a couple of stud tight ends and a really good running back but they are built for long-term success and along with Oregon are the cream of the crop in the Pac-12. Another reason to like them is the return of Tyler Gaffney. In 2011, he ran for 449 yards, a 6.07 ypc average and seven TDs. Look for him to be a big part of Stanford's run game in 2013.
So the Big Ten is going to stop scheduling FCS opponents? What does this mean? It means more money for the likes of EMU, UMASS, UNLV and UTEP. Oh yeah, and every B1G school is now contractually obligated to play Indiana twice per season.
As spring practices draws near, check out our friend Michael Felder's article on "winter conditioning". It's all about the mat drills.
The college football off-season gives me a little bit of a chance to catch up on some other things so let's take a dive in pop culture and talk a little about tv, movies, podcasts and music depending on what I've been watching or listening to during the week.....
Movie Pick of the Week
A surprisingly good pick by the wife. Ezra Miller (Royal Pains) and Emma Watson (Harry Potter) steal the show and it has a great Cameron Crowe like soundtrack with the likes of David Bowie, Cracker, Sonic Youth and more.
Most Underrated Show
I love movies, so it made sense to listen to this podcast and give it a chance. It's definitely fun listening to comedians and celebrities try to play the Leonard Maltin game and guess movies based on clues from a Maltin review.
The IPod Five
Each week I will hit shuffle on my ipod (I currently have 4,539 songs) and see what five songs pop up.
#1 You & Me- Dave Matthews Band (Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King)
I was a big DMB fan back in the early nineties when they were touring endlessly supporting their self-released CD "Remember Two Things". I saw them a few times around 93-94 at the Masquerade Music Park, Georgia Theatre and the Fox Theatre. I haven't really followed them in the last several years but I like this recent song.
#2 Rise Up- Ben Lee (The Rebirth of Venus)
I like Ben Lee but I'm not a big fan of this song. I started listening to Ben Lee when he was just a teenager in the band Noise Addict.
#3 Luna- Dear Diary (The Days of Our Nights)
Not their best CD but it does have an interesting cover of Guns N Roses Sweet Child O' Mine. I saw Luna at the 40 Watt club in Athens but can't remember exactly when. If you like this song, check out the "Bewitched" CD as it's their strongest release.
#4 Down on the Corner- Creedence Clearwater Revival (Chronicle, Vol 1)
#5 Passat Dream- Pavement (Brighten the Corners)
One of my favorite bands during my formative years. Quirky lyrics, great hooks and just a bit different from anything else out there at that time. Saw them at the Masquerade in Atlanta in 1993 (give or take a year). This song really stands the test of time IMO.
Until next week....