Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The endless winter.

Is it just me or does this seem like the longest winter you can remember?  I'm not trying to get into any pissing matches about this whole global warming controversy.  I realize that a 3 month period means nothing in the grand scheme of things.  But this has been a winter like I remember from when I was a kid.  When I got back from my vacation I found 10 inches of ice in my driveway.  Mercifully, since we got back on New Years eve, it kept me busy instead of watching my Tigers play their bowl game. 
Ok, I expect to see some winter in December or January living in Kansas City, but we're right at the end of February now and I've rarely seen the temperatures rise above freezing.  We almost always have a few days hit the 60's at this time of year but not a damn thing so far.  This is when I'm supposed to get excited about baseball starting in 6 weeks and the possibility that the Royals will finish the year with a winning record, but this year; nothing.
This kind of reminds me of the winters we had waaaay back when I was a kid.  It seemed like we had a lot more snow back then.  I suppose part of that is because I'm a little bit taller now than I was when I was 6 or 7 years old.  I feel bad for the kids today since with all the snow days it looks like they'll be attending classes until about June 10th or so.  I imagine a few family vacation plans will be re-thought now.
I really never have cared much for winter.  Even though I've sort of taken up skiing as a sort of past time, I'm damn sure ready to hop on my bike and get out and hit a few trails.  I'd like to go to the spring game in Columbia without having to wear a pair of coveralls.  Hell, I'd like to be able to watch the Royals on a nice warm May evening and have a beer while shooting the breeze with one or both of my sons.
I know that this is Missouri and things can change quickly.  I fully realize that by the middle of March, (March 21st according to my buddy Dave) we'll be outside doing what we love to do and I'll be scaring the neighborhood children by wearing my short pants again, but hey, this is America and I'm still part of the baby boom generation.  I want it now.   Have a great week folks and try to stay warm.  No idea what to talk about next time but I'm sitting here watching "Young Frankenstein" as I was working on this and I'm thinking about something along the lines of hot young actresses.  Teri Garr was simply smoking in that movie.   

Monday, February 22, 2010

A salute to Nebraska

As a Missouri guy I understand that is my duty and pleasure to hate all things kansas.  After all, we've hated each other for over 150 years now and in this internet society that includes sports message boards, I don't see much sign of it ending anytime soon.  It's as much a part of our culture and heritage as bald knobber days in the southern part of the state, The St. Patrick's day parade in KC or opening day in St. Louis.  We hate kansas and they hate us.  We wouldn't change it if we could.  Nor should we.  I loved hating Roy Williams, and still love hating Lew Perkins, Bill Self and Sherron Collins.  I'm even going to miss hating Todd Reesing.  I know there were a lot of similarities between he and Chase Daniel, well except for the fact that Chase followed up 2007 with 10 more wins in 2008 and Reesing followed it up with a 13-12 record his final 2 years.  Heheh
However, now we've got another collection of idiots that are attempting to make a charge to the top of our list, and they're so arrogant that they refuse to admit they're doing it.  That's right folks, I'm talking about that memorial to white levy's and blue hair, the fans of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  For years now they've spouted to the world that they were the greatest fans in college football if not all sports in general.  For years they'd always applaud as the losing team would leave the stadium following another 66-13 Nebraska win.  I mean seriously, how hard is it to be a good fan when you averaged 10 wins a year over 4 decades?  We've had generations of Husker fans that grew up believing that it was their birthright to dominate the Big 8 conference as they pretty much did along with the University of Oklahoma, which sport a pretty irritating fan base of their own now that I think about it.
However, things started unraveling for Corn Nation back in 1996 when the Big XII began operations and the rules began to change for programs such as they and Kansas State.  That's when Texas proclaimed they wouldn't allow schools to take unlimited non qualifiers and of course the conference rolled over like a dog and let them have their way.  Now to be clear, I think this was a pretty good idea.  Before that the Nubs and Wildcats were able to take players that the other members of the conference couldn't get into school due to academic deficiencies.  Kansas State made little effort to hide what they were doing, but Nebraska made quite the deal about their numerous academic all american's, but no mention of the number of common criminals they recruited such as Christian Peters, Lawrence Phillips and Thunder Collins. 
And then, on an October evening in 2003 in Columbia, Missouri the wheels finally fell off.  Nebraska rolled into town ranked 10th in the country and fell 41-24 to Brad Smith and the Tigers.  In a move that would forever endear him to the worlds classiest fans, Kellen Huston sucker punched a 120 lb Missouri fan that had the audacity to rush the field after the game had ended.  Since that night the Huskers have fired 2 coaches and appeared in 2 conference title games, coincidentally the same number as my Tigers.  Now they place their faith in the king of calm, Bo Pelini and boast of their legion of star fans which includes such luminaries as Chuck Lidell, Melissa Midwest and Larry the Cable Guy.  
So now we are in something of a quandry.  Who should we hate more?  The long time nemesis that we grew up hating or the new kid on the block?  Whether Nebraska cares to admit it or not, with the attention being given to football in the north, it's all set up for Missouri and Nebraska to be the 2 bullies in the downtrodden division.  The schools finished 1-2 for the second year in a row and were the 2 youngest teams in the Big XII conference.  Their recruiting classes were rated far ahead of the other 4 teams in the north, and they are out spending the rest of the division as far as facilities.  It's no guarantee that it's these 2 and everybody else, but it just pretty much is.  I'd be tempted to say that as a football first guy I'd have to hate Nebraska more now since they seem destined to be our main competition in the north.  However, there's just something about kansans that pisses me off.  Let's just say that I have enough hate for both.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The 5 worst movies of all time. Again, just my opinion.

The last time we got together we talked about, (well, I talked about) my 5 favorite sports movies off all time.  A television show I really used to enjoy watching was Mystery Science Theater 3000.  The premise of all this was this regular, ordinary guy being held hostage on a space ship as a subject of an experiment.  He was forced to watch terrible, I mean really terrible science fiction movies and was being observed to see how long it would take to drive him insane.  Fortunately, he was able to find enough spare parts to build himself 3 robot friends to keep him company while he watched insanely bad movie after insanely bad movie.  Now it would be really easy to just go through some of the flicks they showed since they definitely qualified as terrible, (although I was always a big fan of "The Giant Gila Monster") but I also think I'm qualified to do my own list since I've wasted hundreds of dollars buying movie tickets only to walk out half way through the picture.  So here is my list in no particular order.
Starship Troopers:
This turd came out in 1997 and actually had something of a decent cast, including Casper Van Dien, Neil Patrick Harris, Michael Ironside and the delectable duo of Denise Richards and Dina Meyer.  Once you got past the eye candy however, you were left with nothing but a horrible script and a bunch of actors that appeared to be embarrassed to be seen in the movie.  Sometime, in the not so distant future, Earth is at war with the planet of Arachnids or simply referred to as the "bugs".  The bugs have been launching some sort of plasma weapons at the earth that will destroy an entire city when it hits.  Our heroes have been among thousands of soldiers shipping out in an intersteller armada to the bugs home planet to defeat them.  Only when they were able to capture the head honcho bug was the world safe from future plasma attacks.  The real downside to all of this was Dina Meyer being killed after only one nude scene.  Well, that and the fact that you dropped 8 bucks on the ticket.       
Stop or my mom will Shoot:
Sylvester Stallone claimed this was the worst movie he ever made.  Now what exactly remains to be said after something like this?  This is a guy that made 2 too many "Rambo" movies and at least 3 too many "Rocky" movies plus the forgettable "Cobra" and "Rhinestone".  Made in 1992 it included such stars as Jo Beth Williams, Estelle Getty and Ving Rhames.  The story line, such as it was is Stallone playing a cop whose mother (Getty) comes to live with him and immediately begins to take too much interest in his work.  Finally, in an effort to protect him when thugs come calling, she attempts to help him and winds up shooting him in the shoulder.  I've always thought that Sly's movies were best when he didn't attempt too much dialogue and sticks with running up a body count.  Speaking of running up body counts....
The Devil's Rejects:
This came out in 2005 and was written and directed by Rob Zombie and was the follow up to his 2003 effort "House of 1000 Corpses".  It follows a family of psychopathic killers on the run from the law after their carnage from film number 1.  Rob Zombie is an incredibly twisted man but somehow it works in his music.  While I never saw House of 1000 corpses, this was plenty.  Not much of anyone of note appears in the film except for character actor William Forsythe as Sheriff John Quincy Wydell who is obsessed with bringing down the family after they murdered his brother in the first flick.  The only other people of note were the 2 hit men he hired to find the family played by another character actor Danny Trejo and "Diamond" Dallas Page, former WCW wrestler.  Oh, and the younger sister of the family was played by Zombie's wife, Sherrie Moon Zombie as Baby Firefly.  
Battlefield Earth:
This came out in 2000 and was based on the book by L. Ron Hubbard, who is also the founder of the Scientology movement.  As a long time Scientologist, I suppose that the star and head of the alien invasion, John Travolta felt obligated to appear as did his wife, Kelly Preston in a small cameo.  The movie takes place in the year 3000.  One thousand years after an alien invasion conquered the planet in a bit over 30 minutes, mankind has been relegated to either slavery by the Psychlos or living like animals in hiding.  Despite this, they are able to band together and wipe out the occupiers by magically learning how to operate 1000 year old weaponry that was seemingly ineffective earlier despite being manned by military personel that were actually trained in how to use it.
Barb Wire:
Ok, I'm going to admit that Pam Anderson has some things going for her.  I can think of at least 2.  This came out in 1996 and was the movie that was supposed to launch Pam from "Baywatch" to the big screen.  Unfortunately all it did was confirm that fact that Pam's acting abilities consisted of looking really, really good while running across the sand wearing a bathing suit.  The film is set in 2017 during America's 2nd civil war.  The main character, is Anderson playing nightclub owner (wait for it) Barb Wire.  She's being pressured by crooked policemen to turn over any information about former contacts of hers that may or may not be developing some sort of bio-weapon.   I'd tell you more but frankly, this was another one that I couldn't stand sitting through for over about 45 minutes and you can't be expected to sort out this sort of a complex storyline in that short amount of time.
I have no idea what to talk about next time, but I'm thinking about idiotic fan bases.  Think I may find a way to include folks that wear giant foam corncob hats in that one?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The 5 greatest sports movies of all time. Well, in my opinion anyway.

It's the worst time of year to be a football fan.  The bowl season is over as is national signing day.  Spring practice doesn't start for another month and the spring game is 2 months down the road.  If you happen to follow the NFL (I don't particularly) then you're also waiting 2 months just for the draft.  I'm not much of a basketball fan although I am very happy that the Missouri team has a quality guy like Mike Anderson leading them.  To an extent I follow baseball, mostly from a Kansas City Royals perspective, but the pennant race generally ends around mid May for us.  I can't even get outside enough to do some of the things I personally enjoy such as riding my bike or doing some lawnwork.
So at this miserable, cold, dead time of year one has to find his entertainment where he can get it.
Something I enjoy is sitting back on the couch, sipping on a cold beverage and re-watching some of my old, favorite movies.  I've probably seen "Silverado" 25 or 30 times but still enjoy every line and absurdity from the movie.  Same thing with any of the first trilogy of the "Star Wars" series.  Carrie Fischer never looked better than when she was being held hostage on Jabba the Hutt's cruiser.  So since I enjoy sports, why not talk about my favorite sports movies?  I didn't take any polls about this and have no idea how much money any of these made.  This is just one guys opinion on what he can watch for the 300th time and still smile at the characters.  So here is my top 5 in no particular order:
The Sandlot:
The movie came out in 1993 and has always brought back great memories for me from when I was growing up.  It follows a young boy that had just moved to a Los Angeles suburb in the early 1960's.  The main character was an un-athletic outsider named Scott Smalls that was not only getting used to a new stepfather, but a new neighborhood where he knew absolutely no other kids.  It was a tough time for him until, by sheer accident he met up with the hero of the movie, Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez.  Benny was by far the best player on a pick up team of kids who for some reason took a liking to Smalls and invited him to join their team despite objections from the rest of the kids.  During that first summer together, he made close friends with all of them however, and managed to become an acceptable addition to the team.  He also learned something about friends taking care of friends as the group attempted to help him retrieve his stepfathers prized possession, a baseball signed by Babe Ruth.   The movie starred a collection of unknown kids but did feature some known actors including Dennis Leary and Karen Allen as Scott Smalls parents and James Earl Jones as Mr. Mertle who lived next door to the sandlot.
Caddyshack came out in 1980 and featured more funny men that the original cast of Saturday Night Live.  Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray and Ted Knight were all well known from the 70's and they managed to turn a series of skits into something that passed for a workable script.  I've watched the movie dozens of times and still manage to catch a new exchange that I didn't remember or simply didn't hear.  As for what the movie was about, it's sort of hard to say with the loosely connected subplots such as Knight attempting to keep Dangerfield out of his precious country club, caddy Danny Noonan's attempt to suck up to Knight in an attempt to earn the clubs scholarship so he could attend college and Murray's portrayal of assistant greenskeeper Carl Spackler and his battles with a gopher that threatened the pristine golf course.
Major League:
This gem came out in 1989 and had just a fabulous cast including (Mizzou graduate) Tom Berenger, Wesley Snipes, Charlie Sheen and the drop deal gorgeous Margaret Whitton as Rachel Phelps, the owner of the hapless to champions Cleveland Indians.  Phelps inherited the team from her deceased husband and was determined to move the team to Miami where she'd be able to live a more opulent lifestyle.  Her plan was to fill the team with washed up rejects and youngsters that would never have been considered for another major league roster.  This would hopefully cause attendance to drop below a mark that would enable her to move the team when and wherever she wanted.  However the plan began to go awry when they began to win.  She subsequently began taking away such things as the hot water for the whirlpools and forcing the team to travel by bus.  At this point her scheme came to the players attention and they are determined to win the division despite her.  If you watched for no other reason, Bob Uecker playing radio commentator Harry Doyle is worth the time.  One of his finer examples was when an opposing player came to bat.  "Heywood leads the league in most offensive catagories, including nose hair.  When the guy sneezes he looks like a party favor."
A League of their Own:
This 1992 comedy-drama was directed by Penny Marshall and told the story of the failed attempt by major league baseball to form a women's league during World War II when the men's league was in danger of being shut down due to insufficient young men with athletic ability being available due to the war.  Tom Hanks was fabulous as former major league great Jimmy Dugan as the manager attempting to resurrect the career he'd pretty much finished due to his heavy drinking.  The players include Geena Davis as Dottie and Lori Petty as her jealous younger sister Kit.  Other players include Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell as 2 tough talking easterners and Megan Cavanaugh as the unforgettable Marla Hooch.  The story centers on Hanks and Davis as their characters began to become friends despite their initial disgust for each other.  Dottie's husband was fighting overseas and is shot near the end of the movie and sent home.  She willingly walks away from the game and their appearance in the womens world series to be with her husband.  A bit of a tear jerker at times but a quality film non the less.
Varsity Blues:
This came out in 1999 and is probably a more realistic than you'd like portrayal of Texas high school football.  Jon Voight was excellent, as usual as head coach and legendary general prick Bud Kilmer, whose teams had won multiple district championships, which is important when you live in a shithole like West Canaan, Texas.  James Van Der Beek plays back up quarterback until the teams star player played by Paul Walker goes down with a knee injury.  Despite the fact that football had only been of passing interest to him he begins to enjoy his new found popularity.  Ron Lester is hilarious as Billy Bob, the oversized offensive lineman that takes the team to school in his pickup along with his pet pig Bacon.
What we were to take from this film was coaches, townspeople and parents willingness to win at all costs, even their sons health if need be, high school kids love to drink and have sex, and anyone in their right mind wants to get out of the town they grew up in.   And, if you've followed any of what I've written the past few months have learned anything about me, it's that I'll always take any opportunity to get a photo of Ali Larter in her whipped cream bikini back on the web.  I don't if it's art or not, but I like it.
No idea what I'll talk about next time.  If you have any suggestions, I'll be glad to hear them.  Since my kansas fans quit leaving comments I've not had much feedback.  Take care and have a good week.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Too much money, too few brains.

I consider myself to be something of an expert on dealing with crazy women.  After all, I was married to my ex-wife for over 25 years.  However, that's not what this is about.  This is about the current crop of young women that have made fortunes in Hollywood, rock and roll and reality shows.  Now maybe we had just as many insane women back in my time, but we didn't have the instant access to their looniness now that we have this thing called the internet.
I also don't want you to think we don't have our fair share of crazy men.  As long as there are Robert Downey Jrs and Ashton Kutchers running around that won't be a problem.  The thing is, Robert and Ashton don't interest me, and as I've said, I don't write about things that don't interest me.   
No, I'm much more interested in the high comedy provided by the young women that have made it in the world on their looks and limited abilities, and we'll talk about just a few of them here today.
Tara Reid first hit the screen in 1984 as a regular on the kids show "Child's Play", but she became famous in the late 90's appearing in "The Big Lebowski" and playing the virginal Vickie in "American Pie".  She followed this up with a string of flops until 2002 when she reclaimed her former glory in "American Pie 2".   Somewhere around this time it all started to fall apart for Tara as she enjoyed her fame and lifestyle and seemed determined to party 'till she dropped.  It was in 2004 at a birthday party for rapper Puff Daddy that she walked down the red carpet, so stoned that she didn't realize that her dress had slipped off her shoulder, revealing a fairly tasty breast.  Apparently though, she didn't think they were quite tasty enough so she went on a plastic surgery binge to have them "evened up".  When that didn't seem to satisfy her craving for perfection she decided to have some procedure called liposculpting done so she could have a nice set of 6 pack abs for her hoped for next movie.  The surgery went terribly wrong and left her stomach resembling something from a science fiction film.  Tara, next time try buying a stairmaster.  At the moment, she's apparently posed for Playboy which explains their financial troubles.  No word on upcoming movies for Tara and I think she now earns her living appearing at club openings, fundraisers and the occasional tractor pull.
Britney Spears first hit in 1993 when, at the age of 12 she starred in "The all new Mickey Mouse Club".  In 1999 she released her first album "Baby, one more Time" which hit #1 and sold over 25 million copies.  Now I can't say that I ever enjoyed Britney's music, but she was a damn fine dancer and choreographer, not to mention looking sensational in the costumes she wore during her shows.  Brit's problems always began and finished with the men she chose to spend time with.  First she had a several year relationship with singer Justin Timberlake from one of those hideous boy bands that cluttered the music scene for the better part of a decade.  Then, just to make matters worse, she wound up marrying fellow mensa reject Kevin Federline who had been some sort of a dancer/hanger on.  These idiots managed to produce 2 children which I suppose someone else will be writing about after they've met some hideous fate, possibly involving lighter fluid and a fireworks stand in 2023.
For sheer self destruction, it's hard to top what Lindsay Lohan has done for herself.  She started out in 1998, at the age of 11 in the remake of "The Parent Trap".  She rose to fame from 2003 to 2005 appearing in such Oscar nominated films as "Mean Girls", "Freaky Friday" and "Herbie, Fully Loaded".  Lindsay apparently had been brought up in a demanding family that fully intended to milk her stardom and money for all it was worth.  So obviously she tried to find love in a series of failed relationships with such luminaries as singer Aaron Carter, British TV personality Calum Best and Wilmer Valderrama.  (Fez from "That 70's Show)  When those all failed to provide her with the love she needed she turned to DJ Samantha Ronson for that womans touch.  Lindsay has also had numerous run ins with the police due to her love of driving while drunk or on cocaine.  In 2008 she had the honor of being turned down by the Obama campaign.  Apparently they didn't feel that she was the sort of star they wanted representing them. 
Now what do all of these girls have in common?  Well at one time they were all best friends with the Queen of crazy, Paris Hilton.  I have to admit, I have a fair amount of grudging respect for Paris.  She's spent the last 10 years partying her bony ass off.  She's done nothing that I can think of other than being born rich.  She doesn't seem to be especially bright and well, she's a complete fucking tart.  However, despite all this, she just keeps rolling along like the energizer bunny.  Paris has never been that much to look at, but she hasn't seemed to have gone downhill.  She's the Keith Richards of her generation.  And it's not just these 3.  Some of her other gal pals include Nicole Richie who's managed to lose about 75% of her body mass trying to keep up with her and the Olson twins who've pretty much been on suicide watch for the last 5 years.   But not Paris.  Anytime things slow down she can just crank out another sex tape.  I hear the next one may include Pam Anderson.  Viva La Paris!
Have a great weekend folks!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

National signing day north division style

Last time we looked at the classes of the southern division of the Big XII conference.  Today we're going to take a look at the north, or as Texans call it, the "have nots".  While the south boasted 4 teams in the top 25 nationally, the north has only two, and we're not even going to talk about the Missouri class here.  I plan to save that to give each of the fine young men that committed his just due.
Opening up with the team that finished last in the north and #66 nationwide is the Colorado Buffalos.  You may have thought that things couldn't get much worse for Dan Hawkins after last season.  I know I didn't.  However, when you follow up a 3-9 season (2-6 in conference) with the worst recruiting class in the conference, it means you probably aren't headed in the right direction, and there may yet be another way to go than up.   The Buffs have the dubious distinction of having exactly zero 4 star commitments.  That in itself isn't all that damning since Rivals has been known to make mistakes occasionally.  (2 stars for Sean Weatherspoon?)  But when you begin to look at the other teams that were recruiting their commits, it appears Colorado got them by default.  As near as I can tell, their impact guy was 315 lb offensive lineman Eric Richter who they were able to pry away from Arkansas State, Kentucky and New Hampshire.  Let the Dan Hawkins death march continue.
Coming in at # 62 we have the Kansas State Wildcats and head fossil Bill Snyder.  In hindsight it may have been better for all concerned if the 'Cats had taken a shot with a younger, less proven guy for the head job.  Sequels rarely work and it doesn't look like this one will either.  Due to the last recruiting classes from former coach Ron "scary smart" Prince, what little talent that was in Manhattan last year has graduated, forcing another heavy dependence on the juco ranks.  However, they did manage a couple of very promising players, especially Wichita running back DeMarcus Robinson.  When push comes to shove, I think Snyder has forgotten more about football than most coaches in the league will ever know.  However, I also think that his time has passed and there will be no more miracles in Manhattan.
Moving up at # 57 with a bullet was the university of kansas.  The beaks closed out with a flurry, (well, more like a dusting) grabbing a couple of guys late including Dexter McDonald, a long time commit to Illinois who'd switched to Missouri following the purging of Ron Zook's staff.  The 2 prizes in the class are both from the state of Missouri, which make no mistake pisses me off royally.  They landed 4 star receiver Keeston Terry from my former home town of Blue Springs.  Now it may sound like sour grapes, but I've just heard it from too many insiders to believe otherwise.  Keeston had originally committed to Nebraska but was one of their original commits that reneged after watching the hick offense in action.  He made a 12th hour official visit to Columbia, and if reports are correct, would have committed to the Tigers but there were no more spots.   However, what was a surprise was the switch by Potosi running back Brandon Bourbon.  He'd been committed to Stanford for some time and took a late trip to ku where he was apparently impressed with the coaching staff and the crimson and blue recliners in the end zone.  He was being recruited by Missouri as a linebacker and claimed to have been a long time Tiger fan.  Enjoy your time in lawrence Brandon and watch out for the basketball players.  I hear they're pretty tough.
Coming in at # 54 are the Iowa State Cyclones.  1st year coach Paul Rhodes did a nice job on the field but was unable to parlay that into his recruiting class.  I think the guy seems like a good coach but he's going to have problems bringing kids in when many of them played in larger stadiums in high school.  He was forced to go the junior college route but once again, it just ain't easy getting big name players to come to Ames.  The prize of the class would probably be junior college wideout Chris Young who chose the 'Clones over such traditional powers as North Texas, Southern Mississippi and UAB.  I'm sorry ISU fans.  I've always liked you guys but you're just going to have to invest some money in facilities if you plan to stay competitive in the Big XII.
On the strength of a couple of 12th hour, 4 star switches, corn nation and their head coach Bo "Mr Sensitivity" Pelini roared into the top 25 at #22, only 2 spots behind my favorite team.  The hicks loaded up on defense in the hope of winning a shitload of 9-7 games next year although they did manage to corral 4 star quarterback Brion Carnes after he'd previously stated he'd be attending Western Kentucky.  The biggest get would appears to be running back Braylon Heard from Youngstown, Ohio, former hometown of Mizzou quarterback Brad Smith.
I'm going to take a bit of time before I get into Missouri's class which finished the year out at #20 and tops in the north.  Recruiting isn't an exact science and better classes don't always translate into on the field success.  Ask Florida State if you don't believe me.  However, it appears that Nebraska and Missouri have separated themselves from the rest of the division, and turn the north into what the south has been for the last several years; a 2 team race.
Enjoy your week folks and we'll take a look at Missouri's class around Monday or so.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

National signing day. Looking at the Big XII South

Like most college football junkies, I find this to be a horribly slow time of year.  It's 2 1/2 months until the spring game and 7 months before the first real football.  We've heard rumors that the Big 10 has made it's decision and will be announcing Pitt as the 12th member of the Big 10 this week.  While that may be, I find it hard to believe after they mentioned an 18 month process what, a month ago?   Seems this would ending their moment in the sun awfully early and I'm not convinced they want to bring in a member that doesn't have their own football stadium. No, what we have to tide us over for the next few weeks is comparing the lifeblood of college football which culminates this week with national signing day.  We'll take a look at the Big XII south today, the north next week followed by a bit more in depth look at Missouri's class after that.
To start out with, there appears to be no question about why the south appears to be so much stronger than the north, and it looks like it won't be changing anytime soon.  Not only does the south have 3 teams in the top 10 with Texas at #2, OU @ #5 and A&M at #10.  Throw in Okie State @ #24, Tech at #37 and Baylor bringing up the rear at #40.   Only Mizzou and Nebraska top Baylor and Tech in the north.  How hard is it to coach against all that talent? 
But there will be plenty of time to whine about that later.  Let's take a look at these classes and what it means to the races 3 years from now.  Bringing up the rear for the south is Art Brile's Baylor Bears, currently sitting at number 40 according to Rivals.  The Bears have already signed 2-4 star jucos in DB Prince Kent and 355 lb offensive tackle Robert Griffin who had offers from Missouri, Arizona State, Ol Miss and kansas among others.  If you're a defensive end, you better be able to speed rush this guy.  I doubt you overpower him. One big dude Among high schoolers scheduled to sign are 2-4 star defensive backs, Ahmad Dixon and Tyler Stephenson who had offers from just about everyone.  You'd think the future looked really bright for them were it not for the fact that they're still looking up at everyone in their division.
So far, despite losing the pirate, the Red Raiders were able to hold on to spot number 5 in the south with new coach Tommy Tubberville.  Tech seemed to concentrate on defensive backs like the Bears, but also to strengthen the lines on both sides of the ball.  4 star defensive end looks to be quite a load at 6'7" and 275 lbs.  He chose Tech over UCLA, Arkansas and South Florida.  Waiting until Wednesday could be the gem of the class in wide receiver Kadron Boone who chose team Tubberville over such notables as Florida, Oklahoma, Cincinnati and Notre Dame.  Think what Leach could have done with this guy.
Coming in at # 24 are the Oklahoma State Cowboys.  They also appear to be paying more attention to the defensive side of the ball, loading up on guys like Malcolm Murray, a 4 star juco D back, 4 star defensive tackle Calvin Barnett, and 4 star linebacker Shaun Lewis.  But keep your eye on Johnny Deaton, a 4 star quarterback from Sand Springs, Oklahoma.  He wasn't heavily recruited for some reason but he's already enrolled and getting ready for spring ball.
Moving in to #3 in the south and #10 overall we go to Texas A&M.  Coach Mike Sherman capitalized on some late season success to bring in 11-4 star players.  I've wondered about the Shermanators coaching abilities but obviously he can spread the bullshit with the best of them.  The most notable to me are the 3-4 star offensive linemen he brought in.  Keep these names in mind, they may be causing defensive linemen fits in the future.  Luke Joeckel, Jake Matthews and Cedric Oqbuehi.  All are high schoolers that need to add 20 lbs or so but the talent is obviously there.
Moving to #2 in the south and # 5 overall we take a look at the Oklahoma Sooners.  Once again, Bob Stoops and company bring it home in a big way.  Not only did they take a top 10 recruit out of Columbia, Missouri in tight end Trey Millard, but captured the top 3 players in kansas in QB Blake Bell, DE Geneo Grissom and WR Justin McCay.  It's hard to understand how you can get so much talent to Norman, but I guess they've found something that appeals to the recruits.
And then, coming in at #1 in the south (as usual) and #2 overall are the Texas Longhorns.  I really don't consider what the horns do to be recruiting.  Basically, they're selecting their favorite 25 players from the state of Texas every year.  God forbid anyone that grew up in the Lone Star state wouldn't have grown up dreaming of wearing the burnt orange and having his choice of the UT coeds.  Their recruiting is actually a bit down this year since they only have 2-5 star players at the time this is being penned.  Jordan Hicks a 220 pound linebacker they stole from Ohio States back yard and Jackson Jeffcoat, a 230 lb defensive end from Plano, Texas.  
So, while I work on getting this sour taste out of my mouth, I'll take a look at the north next time, or the "have nots division".  Have a good week.