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Who’s The Best?

June 28, 2009

So after like a month of not posting anything (and for the zero readers we have, we apologize), Dan and I will be starting to post more often now that he’s done with his freshman year of college and I’m done with my junior year of high school.

So let’s start this back up with a bang, shall we?

Since it’s the end of June and football season will be coming up before you know it, here are my position-by-position breakdowns of the best units/starters in the Big Ten…

QB: Penn State – Darryl Clark is the reigning Big Ten All-American first team QB. In his first year of play, he’s shown the ability to not only run the ball, which he was most known for before the season began, but he’s proven to be a excellent passer. He passed for over 2500 yards last season and scored 10 rushing TD’s. It’ll be harder for Clark this season however since the trio of Williams, Butler, and Norwood are gone as well as the three offensive lineman graduating. But still, if any team in the Big Ten will be okay on offense because of their QB play, it’s PSU because of Darryl Clark’s ability to do so many things.
Honor Mention: Illinois (Juice Williams) and Ohio State (Terrelle Pryor).

RB: Penn State – This isn’t just because of Evan Royster. Sure right now he’s arguably the best RB in the Big Ten. However, PSU has guys like Stephfon Green, who’s fast as lightning when he has the ball and Brandon Beachum who showed he can be serviceable when needed (example: 2009 Rose Bowl). Back to Royster though, for as little as he touched the ball last season (only 191 attempts compared to Shonn Greene’s 307), he showed that he can beat you with power and speed. Though Brandon Minor and John Clay both have a word in this, I feel that Royster is just a hair better than them as of right now.
Honorable Mention: Wisconsin (John Clay) and Michigan (Brandon Minor).

Offensive Line: Iowa – As Dan always tells me, “Iowa returns the most starts on the offensive line.” With offensive lineman, talent goes out the window. All that matters is experience and cohesiveness and the Iowa Hawkeyes have that with their line. The reason why Iowa churns out solid running backs like Albert Young and Shonn Greene is because of the consistency that the Iowa line provides year in and year out. Sure some lines like Ohio State have proven to be always good but right now you’ve gotta go with the offensive line that returns the most and has proven the most thus far.
Honorable Mention: Ohio State

Wide Receiver: Illinois – Arrelious Benn is the best WR in the conference. They only lose one WR and that’s Will Judson but the remaining receivers such as Jeff Cumberland, Michel Hoomanawanui, and A.J. Jenkins will be coming back. Obviously that list includes Benn as well. With an experienced Juice Williams to throw them the ball, expect the Illini receivers to be productive this year.
Honorable Mention: Wisconsin and Minnesota

Defensive Line: Ohio State – Ohio State could have the best defensive line in the country. They’re 8-10 deep and have proven guys all over the roster. They’ll be rotating three or four guys throughout the whole line which means exhaustion shouldn’t be a concern. Sure other teams like Penn State and Michigan will produce very solid lines as they do every year but OSU’s line should truly be great this upcoming season.
Honorable Mention: Penn State

Linebacker: Penn State – This season Penn State will have the best LBing corp in the country. I will say that now and anyone willing to argue with me is allowed because I’m that confident. Sean Lee is coming back from his injury last season and Navorro Bowman is going to prove why he’s the best LBer in the country. Add that PSU also has guys like Josh Hull and Michael Mauti who got solid playing time last season as well as Michael Zordich and Michael Yancich who haven’t even seen the field yet and the LBers should be dominant this season.
Honorable Mention: Iowa and Ohio State

Secondary: Iowa – For me this was really hard to decide. Iowa returns both safeties and the best cornerback in the conference in Amari Spievey. However, OSU is known for their secondary. It’s almost a guarantee that their secondary is going to be tough and physical. In fact, many people call OSU “DB U”. Many OSU fans are pimping Chimdi Checkwa and how he could be considered one of the best CB’s in the conference by the end of the year. So you got on one hand the talent and experience that a team like Iowa has in their secondary while OSU has the tradition and consistency. I’ll go with the slightest of all edges to Iowa here. They know how the QB’s and WR’s perform in the conference and their tendencies better than the Buckeyes secondary.
Honorable Mention: Ohio State

Special Teams: Wisconsin – Kicker, punter, and Gilreath all return. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Agree? Disagree? You tell me (you probably won’t).

DT Reggie Ellis Leaving Zooker

May 31, 2009

Illinois Fighting Illini football head caoch Ron Zook has done a great job at recruiting the past couple years. He’s stock-piled positions all throughout the Illinois roster. Sometimes though, that could leave discouragement among players because they don’t think they can cut the 2-deep roster.

This is what happened with Illinois DT Reggie Ellis.

Actually we don’t know if this is what happened with him. We at MCD just made  that “discouragement” crap just to take up space. So what you just read above probably was a waste of like 10 seconds.

But to be serious, Illinois DT Reggie Ellis has decided to transfer.

Defensive lineman Reggie Ellis is leaving the Illinois program.

Washington (D.C.) Dunbar coach Craig Jefferies confirmed Thursday that Ellis has asked for his transfer. Jefferies said he doesn’t know where Ellis is going next.

Ellis was a highly touted high school recruit, receiving four stars from Rivals.com. He enrolled at Illinois in January 2008 and redshirted his freshman season.

Such a shame too. This guy was a four star, highly touted recruit who was expected to do a lot for Illinois but never panned out. This happens to lot of schools. This is why coaches like Zook stock-pile on talent.

Apparently from reports in Illinois, Ellis never had the motivation or dedication to play. He redshrited in 2008 but hasn’t showed up for a practice this summer yet. He never gave the coaches or the system a chance. Many Illini fans also stated that his stature wasn’t very big for a DT. Of course they’d say that because he’s not on the team anymore but whatev.

No one is sure where he’s going but obviously expect it at a small school where he knows he can start. Hopefully for Ellis he make a name for himself at another school.

Who Ya Got?

May 28, 2009

In the past couple weeks, a topic has popped up on multiple boards such as Hineygate, Fight On State, and Stadium and Main and has caused quite the argument (and time-killer).

Since Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1993, who are the top 5 teams in the Big Ten in that time frame?

We’ll just get down to the nitty-gritty and I’ll make my list and blabber on from there…

1. 1994 Penn State – This isn’t even bias. That team assembled the greatest offense in college football. ESPN can talk about that 2005 USC team that had Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush but they don’t hold a candle to Kerry Collins, Ki-Jana Carter, Bobby Engram, Kyle Brady, etc. This team had a domination offensive line, which all 5 offensive lineman were drafted in that year’s draft class. But the one part of that team that was overlooked was the defense. Sure it wasn’t your typical tough PSU defense but it was still pretty decent. A true crying shame they didn’t at least have a shot to win it all.

Prime example of just how good that offense was:

Down 3, hostile environment, season on the line, at their own 5 yard line, and they just storm down the field like it’s nothing to win the game. Absolutely phenomenal.

2. 2002 Ohio State – The team with nine lives and one of destiny. Defense was absolutely lights out by allowing only 2 opponents to score more than 20 points. But it wasn’t always about that defense. They also had some solid offensive guys such as Craig Krenzel,  Maurice Clarett, Michael Jenkins, and others. In the National Championship game against the highly touted Miami Hurricanes, the Buckeyes shocked the world by defeating them in OT. This team probably wasn’t the greatest and many Buckeyes fans consider other teams such as the 06 OSU team to be better. But they won when it counted.

One of their “nine lives” as mentioned before:

3. 1997 Michigan – Had a Heisman winner in Charles Woodson who played both sides of the ball as well as a future NFL QB in Brian Griese. But it’s not like they did it the easy way either – they beat 7 ranked teams. They won at Penn State and Wisconsin which as we know are hard places to play at. Their defense was stout only allowing one team to score more than 20 points on them.

Example of Michigan’s dominance that year (I did not watch this video for obvious reasons):

4. 2006 Ohio State – Yes, they got whooped in the National Championship game by Florida. Yes, they were proven to be a fraud. However, that team had some extreme talent. Troy Smith as the Heisman winner, Ted Ginn, Antoino Pittman, Anthony Gonzalez and freshman sensation and future first round pick, Beanie Wells. But just like any other OSU team, they had a great defense. Quinn Pitcock and James Laurinaitis both were first team All-Americans. Pitcock won the “Bill Willis Award” for most outstanding defensive player and Laurinaitis won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy for best defensive player.

Aside from those personal achievements, this team could play in a shoot-out or could play hard-core Big Ten football and beat you with defense. I honestly think that they’d beat Florida more times than not.

5. 1998 Ohio State – This team would be in the top 3, possibly second on my list if they didn’t get upset by Michigan State. Aside from the loss to Sparty, OSU beat every team by 10 or more points. They were ranked #1 all year until that loss to MSU as well. If they would’ve rolled MSU like they rolled every other opponent, I’m sure they would’ve won it all.

Honorable mention: 2006 Michigan, 2005 Penn State, 1995 Ohio State, 2002 Iowa, 2008 Penn State.

Agree? Disagree? They’re other teams that were considered that are in my “Honorable mention” that I’m sure fans could argue to be in the top 5.

New Kinnick Stadium turf design leaked

May 11, 2009

A couple days ago, Iowa’s sports marketing department began to unveil — piece-by-piece — Kinnick Stadium’s new FieldTurf design. It came to my knowledge today, however, that the full design was revealed by a poster at HawkeyeNation.com. Take a look for yourself:

Kinnick Stadiums new turf design

Kinnick Stadium's new turf design

With the exception of the black end zones, the design appears to be nearly identical to the stadium’s old turf design.

Penn State Likes That Mary Jane

May 4, 2009
University Park-White's Stephfon Green, #21, runs through Blue's defense during Penn State's 2008 Blue-White game at Beaver Stadium in University Park. Photo credit: Michael Kubel, The Morning Call

University Park-White's Stephfon Green, #21, runs through Blue's defense during Penn State's 2008 Blue-White game at Beaver Stadium in University Park. Photo credit: Michael Kubel, The Morning Call

We all know that Navarro Bowman likes to roll up a few doobies. It’s been well documented this year and last year. Smoking pot is a common theme around college campuses across the country. Bowman’s case isn’t the only time where Penn State football players have been caught with weed though.

And unfortuantly not the last time either…

Penn State police searched an on-campus apartment of four football players for marijuana the night of last month’s Blue-White Game, according to court records.

An application for search warrant, signed early April 26, identifies the apartment residents as Stephfon Green, Devon Still, Eric Latimore and Johnnie Troutman. None of the players has been charged, and the results of the seizure are scheduled to be released today.

“We are aware of it, and we are waiting to find out what all the facts are,” Penn State spokesman Jeff Nelson said.

Apparently someone called around 11 p.m. complaining about loud noise. It’s college, who in the hell calls about loud noises on a Saturday night? What were they doing? Studying?

Regardless, I doubt anything happens for a while. Nothing is concrete as of yet and apparently the owner of that weed admitted it. Probably just a slap on the wrists for the players.

Though Green, Still, Latimore, and Troutman will probably have to face Joe for having idiot friends. Not many on PSU’s scout and rivals message boards are making a big deal out of this anyway.

Earlier it was reported that Darryl Clark was involved with this but apparently he was not apart of it, thankfully.

Joe Paterno Knows What’s Up

May 2, 2009

A big part of the reason that the Big Ten gets a bad rap is because they’re not like the Big 12, the SEC, or the ACC conferences and don’t have a conference championship game. For a while, Big Ten fans on many message boards across the internet have discussed the possibility of a 12th team coming into the conference. It’s only talk that seems fun and interesting that we like to discuss.

However, it’s starting to get to the people at the top with Joe Paterno chiming in…

NEW YORK — Penn State coach Joe Paterno said Thursday night that he has pushed within the Big Ten conference to expand it to 12 teams as a method of leveling the playing field in college football.

“We go into hiding for six weeks,” Paterno said, referring to the hiatus between the end of the Big Ten regular season and the BCS bowls. The other major FBS conferences play into the first weekend of December.

“Everybody else is playing playoffs on television,” Paterno said. “You never see a Big Ten team mentioned. So I think that’s a handicap.

“I’ve tried to talk to the Big Ten people about, ‘Let’s get a 12th team — Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt — we could have a little bit of a playoff.’”

Completely agree with Joe here. After the final week of the regular season ends (end of November), the Big Ten usually doesn’t play until bowl season. Maybe a team like Michigan State will play Hawaii but you get the point. The big schools like Ohio State, Penn State, or Michigan don’t play until their respective bowls. The Big Ten isn’t talked about until bowl season while other big conferences like the Big 12 or SEC are showcased every week after that with their teams duking it out.

Usually I get annoyed of conference championship games because the teams playing might’ve already played earlier in the year and a winner was already determined so it’s pointless for them to play again. Or the fact that a major screw up will occur like this year’s Big 12 championship game when Texas got screwed out of the championship game. However, those conference championship games give those conferences good reputation and I think the Big Ten would truly benefit from a championship game.

But the question is…what school should the Big Ten take? Let’s run through the options and start with the three schools that Joe mentioned.

Syracuse – Their football team is in shambles right now, we know this. However, they’re usually solid in basketball and are very good in the academics area. I wouldn’t mind bringing in Syracuse as I’m sure their football recruiting and what not would improve. As mentioned before, their basketball and academics are up to Big Ten standards. Not sure if others would want to bring them in though as some might say that ‘Cuse is “too far” for the Big Ten.

Rutgers – Ehh, decent in football. Sure they’re usually a bowl team but it’s the Big East. Not that good in basketball but do have pretty good academics. I don’t think many Big Ten fans would want Rutgers and neither do I.

Pittsburgh – Rising in football, elite in basketball, and a good school. They’d give PSU a true rival as well. Despite me being a PSU fan, I would not mind it at all if the Big Ten brought in Pitt. Though I’d wait a couple years to bring them in to see if they can keep churning out those 9 win seasons in football like they did last year.

Missouri – Good in football, basketball, and academics. They’re right in Big Ten territory as well. If I were the Big Ten, this is the team I’d go after. However, it’d probably be a bit tough to bring in a team like Missouri with their Big 12 roots.

Notre Dame – Can not have this talk without mentioning the Irish. They have football, basketball, and academics. They would be the “perfect fit” for the Big Ten. They play 3 Big Ten teams a year as well as playing PSU a couple years ago. They’re right in the heartland of the Big Ten in Indiana. However, they don’t want to be in this conference because of their TV rights to NBC would be broken. However, I’m sure the Big Ten would welcome them with open arms if they truly wanted to.

West Virginia  – I only bring them up because some mention it all the time. Good football school, decent basketball school, but bad SCHOOL. The Big Ten prides itself on academics as all 11 schools are solid in that area. WVU is not solid in that area at all.

Louisville – Doubt they’d do this as they just changed conference a few years ago but they’d be a very good addition. Decent in football, elite in basketball, and a good school. Once again, I doubt Louisville would do this but it can’t hurt to try if I were the Big Ten.

Nebraska – Good in football, not too great in basketball, solid in academics. Like some other teams, I doubt they’d leave the Big 12 with the ties they have but they would be a very solid addition.

Out of those teams listed, I’d want to bring in either Pitt, Missouri, or Notre Dame, in no particular order. Those three teams have the criteria to be a Big Ten team.

I’ve probably missed a couple schools that some would like but whatev. Obviously if the Big Ten were to do this, they’d have to put Ohio State and Michigan in the same division. UM will get better in football sometime and you don’t want an OSU/UM conference championship game if they already played a couple weeks before.

It’s all fun and nice to talk about but do you really think Jim Delaney would do something logical like this? Doubt it.

Bye-Bye Mr. Lewis

April 29, 2009

Kellen Lewis looks for a receiver in a home game last season. Photo credit: http://www.daylife.com

Remember when Kellen Lewis was moved to WR earlier? 

Well now Kellen Lewis doesn’t even play football anymore.

KELLEN LEWIS DISMISSED FROM INDIANA FOOTBALL TEAM

Bloomington, Indiana—Indiana University football coach Bill Lynch announced today that Kellen Lewis has been dismissed from the team for violating team rules.

“We are disappointed to have to make this decision,” said Lynch. “When you have expectations of those on your team that are not met, you need to do what is ultimately in the overall best interest of your program.”

IU Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass supported Lynch’s stance on the situation.

“Today’s action underscores that no individual student-athlete, regardless of talent or popularity, is above the expectations of Indiana University,” added Glass.

Talk about a total 180 from two years ago. After the 2006 season, Lewis was on cloud nine. The starting QB for the Indiana Hoosiers who just made a bowl game for the first time in 13 years. Many were saying that he could be like former IU QB Antwaan Randle-El and could be a Heisman sleeper.

Then the 2008 season happened. He was hampered with injuries and was hand-capped by a very bad supporting cast. Problems arose from the past and many started to question his character once again.

Kid just ruined himself a chance for the NFL.

Now IU is screwed more than they think. They lose their only good offensive player and a guy who can be a leader. Now they’re completely stuck with Ben Chapell no matter what.

The bad days continue for Indiana football.

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