.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Westsider Rider

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Go Blue Wear Maize?

There have been attempts in the past to get the whole crowd to wear Maize to Michigan athletic events, mostly unsuccessful. Packer487 over at the Blog that Yost Built has posted his thoughts on the subject. I completely agree with what he has to say, it would work a lot better if the athletic department just got a sponsor and handed out shirts as they have in the past at hockey games. In the past I was also reluctant to participate in these events. For football I have a Jarrett Irons / Brick Graham home jersey I purchased sometime around my sophomore year in high school that I wore for every single game since I become a student in 99. In basketball, although I always wore the Maize Rage shirt I still put on my road Tractor Traylor jersey over it, well halfways and for hockey I had the home white jersey.

I'm a very superstitious person when it comes to my sports, my friends will tell you they've seen me do a lot of stupid stuff just because I don't want to jinx my squads. For instance my sophomore year I wore the new laceless And1's without socks at the first game of the year so I told myself I had to do that the whole year. It wasn't such a smart idea during the middle of November when I was in the upper corner of the horseshoe freezing since I had no socks, at least we won that game and it made it worth it. Or how I would have to wear my authentic Kobe jersey and park in the exact same parking lot for every game I went to Staples Center the first year the Lakers won the championship.

That said I've gotten a lot better as I've relaxed on certain rules that I had. I used to not eat anything until after the game but that's just stupid. I pretty much ended that one after the 54-51 Northwestern loss where I starved myself all day and night and we lost. I also never drank at any point from the night before the game until after the game but my dad made me quit that one.

So now I'm ready to start my new jersey system starting this Saturday since the athletic department has encouraged everyone to wear Maize to games. It's gonna be weird being at the stadium without the Jarrett Irons jersey on but it hasn't worked in getting us to an NC yet so I'm making the change. For home games I will attend this year, most likely just Vanderbilt, maybe Iowa I have my Maize alternate #1 jersey that Nike made a few years back. The same jersey that my old roommate James told me never to wear in the stadium, he has now agreed that it is necessary for me to wear on Saturday. For all road games I am going to the Charles Woodson road jersey. For home games I watch on TV I'll bring back the #37 blue jersey and finally for the bowl game it is the white Tom Brady Orange Bowl Jersey.

Yes, I agree, I have way too much time on my hands when I've come up with an jersey system for watching Michigan football but it's what I do. I am getting extremely excited about Saturday's game, I cannot wait to be sitting in the Big House and see the team run out of the tunnel and touch the Go Blue banner. There is nothing like it, I know I'm not the only one that gets chills when I see it because it's just a beautiful moment. Got to finish up the loose ends around work today before I take the red eye to Michigan tonight. This is our year for redemption, I know this team can do it. Go Blue!

Picks of the Week

With the return of college football season comes the return of Picks of the week. After being a largely unsuccessful sports bettor I decided halfway through last year I would stop with the parlays and stick to straight games and since then I fared much better. Take them for what its worth but here are my five picks of the week:

South Carolina -7 @ Mississippi State
The Gamecocks begin year two under Steve Spurrier by taking a visit to Starkville. Coach Croom is starting to turn things around for the Bulldogs but the graduation of Jerious Norwood is big and I think that the other USC will be too much for the other MSU.

UTEP +120 (+2.5) @ San Diego State
The Chuck Long era begins for San Diego State tonight but it won't be a good start as they take on the UTEP Miners led by Carson Palmer's younger brother Jordan. I think UTEP has too much for SDSU and will win pretty easily.

USC -8 @ Arkansas
If you're a regular reader of this site you know how much I hate USC, but even so I cannot pass up value when it's there. Remember USC beat Arkansas 70-17 last year and even though the Trojans have a lot to replace I still think they will win going away. I gave Arkansas a chance if they had Bryant McFadden but with him out I don't think USC will have any problems in Fayetteville.

Oregon -12 vs. Stanford
The Ducks coming off a loss in the Holiday Bowl to Oklahoma open the season in Eugene against the Stanford Cardinal. Oregon is a good team, Stanford sucks, is what it comes down to and I believe Oregon will win big.

Florida State +3 @ Miami
Normally I don't like to take so many road teams but I think getting 3 points is great value so I'm picking the Seminoles. With all the turmoil going on at Miami with suspensions I think Florida State will take care of business. Even if they don't these games are always close so even if Florida State can't pull it off they should cover.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Preseason Top 25

I know I'm late to the party but here's my preseason top 25:

1. Auburn - I made this pick back a few months ago and they're starting to pick up some steam in the media as a possible NC winner. I really like what they have coming back with Brandon Cox and Kenny Irons as well as the way their schedule sets up with home games against LSU, Florida and Georgia. Only question is will it be the curse of 3 years ago when they were picked to be #1 preseason and then started off the year 0-2.

2. Texas - the defending national champions may have lost Vince Young but they have so much coming back especially on the defensive side of the ball. Colt McCoy will have an experienced offensive line to protect him and playmakers galore with him as well.

3. LSU - a ton of talent on both sides of the ball, I think they continue where they left off the whooping they gave Miami in the Peach Bowl last season.

4. California - The Golden Bears are my sleeper pick to win the NC this season. Their defense is underrated playing out in the Pac-10 and combine that with a great offense this team could make some noise this year. QB play should improve greatly with the return of Nathan Longshore, the starting QB until he suffered a season ending injury against Sacramento State. Combine Longshore, a former Elite 11 QB, along with DeSean Jackson and Robert Jordan at WR and throw in the best RB core in the country with Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett and Marcus O'Keith and you've got a potent offense as well. The November 18th matchup at USC should determine the Pac-10 title and the winner could possibly be in line to play in Glendale on Jan 8th.

5. USC - when Pete Carroll was hired by USC, many people questioned the move. I know plenty of USC fans and alumni who were upset by it and expected Paul Hackett part II, they're not saying that anymore. Carroll has done an unbelievable job rebuilding the USC program and it continues on its roll as it will reload following the departure of Bush, Leinart and White. John David Booty has been named the starter and he should be fine especially with that OL and any QB will look a lot better when throwing the ball to Dwyane Jarrett and Steve Smith. The question on offense is who will play RB? Chauncey Washington has gotten a lot of hype while there are a number of freshmen that could come in and get major PT, also can't forget Desmond Reed coming back from injury could play a part.

6. Florida State - I believe this is the year the Seminoles make another run at the National Championship, although Jeff Bowden could be the one who stops it. Florida State has plenty of firepower on offense with Lorenzo Booker, Antone Smith, Greg Carr and DeCody Fagg they can put the points up on the board. The defense led by Buster Smith will be very good and we will see if Myron Rolle lives up to the hype, at least we know he's getting a great education there.

7. Ohio State - the Buckeyes, who are ranked #1 by many others, start out at #7 here because I believe people are overlooking the fact that the defense has lost 9, count em 9 defensive starters. Offense is what everyone likes to look at and OSU has got that with Troy Smith leading the charge. But Tresselball is played with Defense and Special Teams and there are questions for both of those this season. In addition to the losses on D, the Buckeyes have always had great placekicking with Nugent and Huston, but now a new, unproven kicker will take their place and it could be the difference between playing in Orlando or playing in Glendale or Pasadena.

8. West Virginia - the Mountaineers, coming off their 11-1 season including an upset of Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, are ready to try to make their run for the national championship. Many have them higher due to their schedule which includes one tough game at Louisville but that was the excuse that many had for putting Purdue in the top ten last year. Pat White and Steve Slaton form a backfield that was tough to stop last season but I have a feeling that the Mountaineers could be this year's Purdue, a team ranked high due to schedule, but ends up falling apart.

9. Notre Dame - if you believe that hype coming out of South Bend, then you will know that the Fighting Irish are returning to glory again, not like with Willingham but this time for real since Charlie Weis is god. I am not so sure of that yet. It's difficult to anoint Coach Weis yet considering he went 9-3 on a schedule that did not turn to be as nearly as difficult as initially expected. The offense will be as good as expected with Brady Quinn, Darius Walker and OMG Shirtless WR Jeff Samardzja or however you spell it. The questions come on the defensive side of the ball as it wasn't great last year and I don't see it getting much better.

10. Michigan - lying in the background are the Michigan Wolverines, coming off a disappointing 7-5 season there's a lot of change in store, as there are new coordinators on both sides of the ball with the promise of a more aggressive defensive scheme. All the leaders on offense are back with Henne, Hart and Breaston. Last year I did not realize how important Mike Hart was to this team as I thought Grady and Max Martin could pick up any of the slack if Hart went down, man was I wrong. As long as Hart is healthy Michigan will be fine, although I believe that Grady with another year under his belt will be capable to fill in to give Hart a rest. I'm also very excited to see Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown as they will bring a change of pace to Hart. The D has playmakers led by Lamarr Woodley and Leon Hall, now we will see if Coach English will unleash them as the talk has been about being more aggressive on the defensive side of the ball. This year will be determined by September 16th at Notre Dame, a win there could propel us back into the National Championship talk, a loss will mean all the talk during the summer was just that talk, much like the previous few seasons.

11. Florida - the Gators begin year two in the Urban Meyer era and it is also the last year for super heralded recruit Chris Leak who came to Florida under [name redacted] and encouraged other recruits to join him in Gainesville to win national championships, as he said when he committed at the U.S. Army All-American game a few years back. I heard on ESPN that year 2 is always the year for Urban Meyer coached teams so we shall see.

12. Georgia - the Bulldogs lose their QB but not much else on the offense as their three headed rushing attack along with Mohammed Massaquoi will help ease the pressure off of Joe Tereshinski III as the new QB.

13. Louisville - Brian Brohm and the other Bush, Michael can make a lot of noise this year starting with their September 16th date against Miami.

14. Oklahoma - Bomar's gone but Adrian Peterson is not, that's good enough for me.

15. Iowa - Kirk Ferentz, best coach in college football IMO, along with Drew Tate will contend for the Big Ten this year, they get Ohio State at home but they will play at Michigan.

16. Miami - plenty of talent, but too many off the field problems.

17. Penn State - not sure what Morelli can do, also the OL will have to be rebuilt.

18. TCU - Horned Frogs are the favorite to take advantage of the new 5th BCS Bowl and get in as the highest rated non-BCS school.

19. Oregon - Ducks have a lot coming back with QB's Dixon and Leaf along with Johnathan Stewart and Cameron Colvin.

20. Clemson - A lot of people have the Tigers ranked higher but I want to see them in action before I do. I don't see how losing Charlie Whitehurst will make them better, although they have a top NFL prospect in Gaines Adams and freshman RB C.J. Spiller has impressed but I need to see something on the field.

21. Texas Tech - Graham Harrell steps into the starting QB position at Lubbock, you can mark him down for 4000+ yards and 30+ TD's, but they will miss Taurean Henderson.

22. South Carolina - Steve Spurrier and Sidney Rice, enough said.

23. UCLA - the Bruins coming off a 10-2 season will have to prove it wasn't a fluke. The Ben Olson era begins in Westwood, we will see if all the hype was true, it would also help if their defense actually came to play.

24. Tennessee - trying to bounce back after a disappointing 5-6 campaign doesn't seem so easy when they open with Cal.

25. Nebraska - Coach Callahan is starting to get players that fit his system and the Cornhuskers should be on their way back. Expect big things from Marlon Lucky.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It's almost here

In less than 100 hours I will be somewhere in that crowd directly behind the banner. After the disappointing 2005 campaign our chance at redemption is finally here. Got plenty to catch up on as the site has taken a back seat while I prepared for the GMAT. I'll have a lot of stuff to post before I take off on the Thursday night red-eye back to Ann Arbor, which will include my preseason top 20 as well as predictions for the upcoming year. Also I will unveil my new jersey system for watching games which will be the first time since I started as a freshman back in 99 that I change which jerseys I wear for watching games.

Things kept rolling along for the Wolverine recruiting class over the weekend as CA RB Avery Horn added his name to the list of commitments. I haven't had a chance to watch his video yet but it seems like a good pickup and I like it even better when we get kids from California. I'll post more later when work slows down.

Friday, August 25, 2006

And the good news continues

As if the the news of Junior Hemingway's commitment wasn't enough for the Michigan faithful yesterday, word finally came that Marques Slocum finally received a SAT score high enough to be accepted to Michigan. The one catch however is that he is not eligible by the NCAA yet. Regardless, he will be in Ann Arbor and can earn his eligibility. Slocum was a 2005 recruit who went to prep school instead of attending another school as a partial qualifier because he wanted to go to Michigan. He kept trying at it and finally has made it. No matter what happens, Slocum will always be one of my favorite players because he wanted to go to Michigan and would accept nothing less. He has endeared himself to many fans because of this work ethic and I know I'm not the only one that can't wait to see him run down the tunnel and touch the Go Blue Banner one day.
More on Slocum from MGoBlog and Michigan Sports Center.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

For Michigan The Bell Tolls

Coming into this recruiting year WR was a definite need as only Greg Mathews was signed last year. With a number of highly rated recruits who were high on Michigan it seemed as if it would be all good and there would be no need to worry about wideouts in 07. That all changed once Taurian Washington chose to go to Ohio State coupled with the news that Toney Clemons was no longer the heavy lean that he was reported to be. Through it all Junior Hemingway was the one guy that Michigan could be expected to land.

Then came news that South Carolina was making up a lot of ground and Michigan fans started to panic. Football recruiting has not been going well as of late and the thought that Hemingway was slipping away worried many. Thankfully we don't have to go through that anymore as this afternoon Hemingway announced that he will be coming to Michigan.

Hemingway is the 12th commitment on board for the 07 class and teams up with James Rogers as targets for the soon to arrive Ryan Mallett. Clemons is still on the board and we still have a very good shot so the WR haul may not be over yet. Can't forget Marquis Maze as well and Mallett will have a lot of weapons at his disposal. As always MGoBlog is first to the punch and has all the information you need on Hemingway.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Now we just need some Blue

Marquise Maze of Tarrant HS in Birmingham, AL has become the 11th player to commit to the Michigan Wolverines. Maze's commitment comes out of the blue as I had not even heard anything about him being recruited by the Wolverines. You can read more on him over at MGoBlog and RBUAS and IBFC.

At first it was believed he was a WR recruit which brought confusion to many as we are still waiting on Junior Hemingway, Toney Clemons, and a couple of WR's out here in Cali, but he is listed as an athlete and is being brought in as such. Watching his film I was shocked to see that he was ranked so low. He looks like he has a lot of speed and plenty of moves as well. There is a lot of question as to why the coaches are bringing these low ranked recruits already but I think it has to do with the coaching staff wanting to increase the overall team speed. Adding Maze to James Rogers and Troy Woolfolk gives this class even more speed. There is a demand now for these multi-purpose athletes that can play in the backfield, as a WR, in the slot, wherever to take advantage of their speed and Maze definitely fits that bill. After watching his clips I cannot wait to see Maze suit up in Blue, yeah that was weak but all I could come up with now.

In other big news, thanks to one of my friends, I have secured a ticket to the Notre Dame Game. I was there 4 years ago for the Carlyle Holiday phantom TD and I can't wait to get back there to get that bad taste out of my mouth.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Remember Mike Tyson's Punchout?

Thought I'd pass this along, which I got from a friend's xanga, it's Mike Tyson's Punchout done live with a band playing the music, hilarious. Time to get back to studying, the preseason Blogpoll is out now, I'll post my top 25 after I take the GMAT next Saturday.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday Roundup

Nothing gets you going on a Friday like seeing Chad Johnson and his grill

A lot of stuff I want to cover today, football and not. Let's start with everyone's favorite and mine football of the college variety. RBUAS is back after disappearing for a while and shows us why my brother kept asking me everyday if Johnny had come back and posted anything new. Michigan Sports Center has posted the two clips of Mike Hart and Chad Henne talking to Cold Pizza as part of their series on Heisman Hopefuls. Also, MGoBlog has its Defensive Recruiting Board Update.

The M Zone has a post up regarding our scheduling of Notre Dame, which I completely agree about. Poster Yost discusses the recent statements by Coach Schembechler who said "We don't need Notre Dame...I would rather have an intersectional game than a midwest game. Play Southern Cal. I don't care. Play Texas... somebody like that. But not Notre Dame."

I had this discussion with one of my friends earlier this week regarding this exact topic and I definitely agree that there needs to be changes to scheduling. But I am not on the same page with Coach Schembechler about dropping Notre Dame completely. I want to find a good balance between Notre Dame and other schools. It's not often that I think we should follow what Ohio State is doing but their future schedules each contain a big time game against a major BCS conference opponenent. After the Buckeyes finish with Texas, they will play home and homes against USC, Miami, Cal, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech.

If I was able to play schedule maker for the future I would like to see these intersectional matchups mixed in with the Notre Dame series. I do not want to see the ND series completely wiped out since it is a historical rivalry but I do want to see some variety in the schedule. Since the Notre Dame game is contracted through 2011 I'll start with 2012 and my schedule would look something like this:

2012 - Texas
2013 - @ Notre Dame
2014 - Georgia
2015 - @ Texas
2016 - Notre Dame
2017 - @ Georgia
2018 - Alabama
2019 - @ Notre Dame
2020 - Nebraska
2021 - @ Alabama
2022 - Notre Dame
2023 - @ Nebraska

Not sure if something like that could actually work but definitely count me among those that want to see some variety. Granted with the addition of the 12th game Michigan could play another big game every season but it just isn't realistic considering winning and money is the name of the game so the 12th game will probably always feature a weak opponent at home.

The Dodgers got back to their winning ways as they got right back on it and won last night 4-3 in the bottom of the 9th by an RBI from Kenny Lofton. That makes 12 out of 13 and the Dodgers now lead the NL West by half a game as the hate San Francisco Giants come to town for a weekend series. The Doyers, as they are known to some locals, are so hot they are even on the front page of ESPN.com right now. Let's keep it up Doyers!

The Main Event of the World Series of Poker ended last night with Jamie Gold, Johnny Chan's former agent taking home the $12 million first prize. Of course ESPN, like the geniuses they are titled the article Gold Rush: Bluff nets Gold $12 million win. Anybody that knows the rules of poker know that you cannot win a hand on a bluff if the other player has called. Once the chips are in the pot there's no way that a bluff can win the hand. Gold did not even bluff on the last hand as he held Q9 and flopped top pair of Queens to his opponent's pocket 10's.

Posting will probably be sporadic from here until the last week of August as I'm preparing to take the GMAT on August 26th. Sure I say that now but something will pop up that I'll have to comment on.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Wow, and I don't mean that in a good way

With so much to do at work today I wasn't planning on putting up a post even after attending the great 4-2 Dodger victory which made it 11 in a row, but the news that just broke was too big not to comment on and no I'm not talking about the latest trouble that Maurice Clarrett has gotten into. Two major targets for Michigan football have committed elsewhere. Normally this does not cause this much panic and commotion among Michigan fans but when they are two players at a position of need, that are from the state and play for a program that has been a pipeline to Michigan over the years, there will be some concern or even panic among fans. This is the current situation as Dionte Allen and Taurian Washington of Orchard Lake St. Mary's have both committed elsewhere, Allen to Florida State and Washington to Ohio State.

The Dionte Allen commitment is definitely the more shocking of the two as he plays a definite position of need where the depth chart is wide open for him to step into and he has decided to play elsewhere. Whenever reports surfaced about Allen there would always be mention about how he was already actively recruiting other prospects for Michigan and when all the other current committed players were asked which player they thought would be next to commit, the consensus answer was Allen. His commitment to Florida State definitely hurts but at least it has happened early enough that we can focus our attention to the other highly rated prospects out there that the coaches may not have been focusing on as much since it was assumed that we were in great shape for Allen as well as Ronald Johnson, another in-state CB who now becomes as close to a must have in a recruiting class you will see. There are a number of other CB's out there, especially out here in California, that the coaches have had on their radar and I would bet their efforts will be increased out here in the next few months. Donovan Warren, from Long Beach Poly, and Michael Williams from St. Bonaventure will probably be the first two the coaches are on.

With Washington, on the other hand, we had heard rumors a few weeks back that he had committed to Ohio State, which he immediately denied. I guess grandma just released it earlier than she was supposed to. WR is not as pressing of a need as CB and we are very high on the list for a couple of others that are just as highly rated as Washington. This list includes Junior Hemingway from South Carolina and Toney Clemons, Steve Breaston's cousin, from Pennsylvania. If we can land both of them, along with current commitment James Rogers, Michigan should be ok to go for this class.

I can't really fault Dionte for wanting to go to Florida State since he had stated all along that the Seminoles were his childhood favorite. Granted, in recruiting that doesn't matter as much as one thinks it would since I can remember a number of players stating that they grew up rooting for Michigan and ended up going elsewhere. But maybe that's different for Florida State, if you remember a few years back Lorenzo Booker was highly recruited out of California and was close to going to USC or Notre Dame, but at his press conference he said at the last minute he had to go where he had wanted to since he was a kid and that was Florida State. I understand the childhood favorite draw as it happened for me as well. I had grown up wanting to go to Michigan ever since I was a little kid and when the opportunity presented itself to me I had to take it. I wish them all the best, except when they play Michigan.

Monday, August 07, 2006

And you think football refs are bad

Watched the Ike Quartey-Vernon Forrest fight on Saturday and I gotta say just when I thought football and basketball refs were bad, but I was reminded why boxing judges are by far the worst as Forrest was given the unanimous decision. I was not alone in thinking Quartey won the fight as the announcers, along with my dad, were just as shocked to see the scorecards as they were announced. Considering Forrest got a point deducted for a low blow, he still won all 3 cards while HBO had it 7-3 for Quartey. I thought it was a close fight back and forth for a while until the 9th when Forrest got a point deducted for a low blow. IMO, that sealed the match for Quartey as he continued to fight and win rounds. Boxing really needs some changes if it wants to get back to where it was back in the day. There is too much corruption with too many sanctioning bodies and "championship" belts to go along with them it's ridiculous. Nobody knows any of the fighters anymore as each sanctioning body has their own rankings which make no sense.

The Dodgers continued their hot streak with a 7-3 win over Florida, their 9th consecutive win and 2nd consecutive road series sweep, 3rd overall. The Blue Crew will go for their 10th straight win tonight as they open a 4 game series with Colorado at home. This is the beginning of a 10 game homestand for the Dodgers. Let's see how long this streak can last, hopefully throughout the weekend as they play the Giants. I'll be heading to Chavez Ravine tomorrow to see Greg Maddux's Dodger Stadium debut, I can't wait.

Media Day just took place for Michigan, signaling the start of practices coming tomorrow. From reports it looks like many players have come back leaner which is good. It will be interesting to read reports during camp about which players are stepping up to earn starting positions especially on the right side of the OL and the second starting CB. Antonio Bass was seen doing some light jogging which is great to hear but it is still unknown if he will ever play again as the test won't be taken for a while. It is also reported that James McKinney will be out for the season which I hadn't heard before. The other bad news regarding the NCAA clearinghouse issue concerns Quinton Woods most likely as he was not at media day. The same thing happened with John Thompson a couple years back, IIRC so hopefully it will get sorted out so he can get out there and practice. Also nothing new to report on the Marques Slocum front, we'll have to wait and see about his appeal. MGoBlog has more details from Media Day, as well as a great offensive recruiting board update. We're only 26 days away from the season opener I can't wait to get to Ann Arbor on the 2nd.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Friday Roundup

Once again a lot to cover as I make up for the past few days. We'll start off with commitment #10 for the Michigan Wolverines as Lemont, IL C David Molk is the latest to join the Wolverines. He is ranked #8 player in the state of Illinois by Rivals. OL is definitely a need for this year, well it is every year, so it's always good to add quality linemen. As always MGoBlog has more.

The Coaches Poll was released with not many surprises, as I expected, although I disagree, Ohio State is the #1 team with 28 first place votes. Following them in second is the defending national champion Texas Longhorns with only 11 first place votes. There is a tie for third between USC and Notre Dame but it is interesting to see USC with only 1 first place vote compared to the 9 for Notre Dame. The number five team will probably change real soon as it is the Oklahoma Sooners but this was before the Rhett Bomar dismissal earlier in the week. The interesting thing about the Sooners at 5 is they had the 2nd most first place votes with 13.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 is Auburn, my preseason #1, West Virginia, Florida, LSU and Florida State. Michigan starts this season at #15, a little low IMO, but I like when we are able to play as the underdog. Only other disagreements I have are Virginia Tech (too high) and California (too low) aside from that I don't see any major problems. Of course this is only the preseason poll so it shouldn't be looked at that seriously but it's a good starting point and signals the beginning of football season just around the corner.

I didn't even realize the NFL preseason started so early but it begins this Sunday at 5 pm PST as the Oakland Raiders take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the Hall of Fame Game. I can't wait to see Aaron Brooks leading this Raider offense but I probably won't be able to see him much considering the first exhibition the starting unit plays 2 maybe 3 series before sitting.

The Dodgers are on a roll as they won their 6th straight game and are making a run. Many had left them for dead, myself included, but the team has responded and it will be a tight race down the stretch. Newly acquired Greg Maddux pitched 6 no hit innings before being pulled due to the rain delay between the 6th and 7th innings. The also newly acquired Julio Lugo had a triple and an RBI as the Dodgers swept the Cincinnati Reds on the road. The Dodgers are now 3 back of the Padres in the division and 2 back of the Reds/Diamondbacks for the wild card.

In Lakers related news, Devean George has signed a two year deal with the Dallas Mavericks. After being drafted by the Lakers out of Division III Augsburg College he became a solid contributor for the Lakers, good luck to Devean and I wish him all the best in Dallas.

Finally, Kobe Bryant has set up the Vivo foundation and the first program set up is the Vivo Del Mondo which will give 8 minority students the opportunity to visit Italy. Big props go out to Kobe for giving these opportunities to kids and I know this will be just the beginning.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Rhett Bomar dismissed

ESPN.com is reporting that Rhett Bomar has been dismissed from the Oklahoma Sooners. This is huge news as Bomar had gone through his growing pains and was expected to lead an Oklahoma team with some high expectations. I had the Sooners in my early top 5 and this will definitely impact their situation this year. After a rough year many were looking at Oklahoma as a player in this years national championship race but it looks as though that will not be the case anymore. It does open the door for Texas to walk through the Big XII and possibly repeat as NC.

I have to give credit to Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops and their administration in Norman for trying to run a clean program. Supposedly it has to do with extra benefits as Bomar received money for work he did not do and it takes a lot to dismiss your starting QB over something like this. As I read from a comment from Nestor who runs Bruins Nation over on Burnt Orange Nation:
"At USC They would have simply made him repay the money and Carroll would keep insisting 'he will not miss a game.'"
This pretty much ends the season for Oklahoma since they have no depth or experience at QB and as great as Adrian Peterson is, he'll need to have at least a threat of a passing attack to prevent the defenses from crowding the box against him. We'll see how the story develops, if there's anything to add I'll have it up later along with my take on the East Coast Bias debate that's going on in the blogsphere.