College Football 2017: Early Predictions


It has been almost three months since the epic ending to the College Football Playoff National Champion Game where the Clemson Tigers defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 35-31. Since then, schools have finished up their recruiting classes, the NFL Combine has come and gone (with the NFL draft taking place at the end of April), and Jim Harbaugh has upgraded his classic khaki pants to Lululemon pants.

Tide Keeps Rolling

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Despite the heartbreaking loss in the national spotlight and losing key players such as Johnathan Allen and Reuben Foster, the Alabama Crimson remain favorites to win the National Championship next season. Nick Saban will bounce back with the top recruiting class in 2017. Saban has built a powerhouse over the past decade at Alabama, and the odds are “ever in his favor” to reclaim the crown.

Michigan Will Meet Bama

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If the upgraded pants for Jim Harbaugh wasn’t enough to sway your opinion, Harbaugh’s recruiting should get your attention. According to Campus Insiders, the Michigan Wolverines have the 3rd best recruiting class entering next season. Harbaugh’s ability to use Satellite Camps in states like Georgia and Florida, along with is outspoken personality has helped turned this school back into the powerhouse of the early to mid 90’s. I believe the Wolverines will get over the hump and will face Alabama in the National Championship.

Back To Back

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As a sophomore, Lamar Jackson ran away with the Heisman Trophy last season (3,543 passing yards, 30 passing TD’s, 9 INT, 1,571 rushing yards, 21 rushing yards). Louisville was in the playoff hunt for most of the season because of the play of their star quarterback. I believe a win against either Clemson or Houston, the Cardinals would’ve replaced Washington in the top 4. With another year of experience in the spotlight, Jackson is the favorite to repeat to hoist the Heisman.

JGOOD

Respect Greatness


We are living in an era where we’re witnessing historical records are being broken, mesmorizing moments from deciding games are taking place, and once in a lifetime achievements are current. Clear examples of such greatness includes the Golden State Warriors winning 73 games in a regular season, the newly infamous Julian Edelman’s catch that helped propel the New England Patriots Super Bowl LI comeback, and the Chicago Cubs winning their first World Series since 1908.

We are also living in an era where we’re witnessing some of the best athletes to ever play. When I was a child, I saw Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Ken Griffey, and Jerry Rice. As I got older, I witnessed Kobe Bryant, Mario Lemieux, Derek Jeter, and Randy Moss. Now there’s LeBron James, Patrick Kane, Kris Bryant, and Julio Jones. Over the past 30 years, we’ve have seen athletes come and go, but we have all been witnesses to the greatness that certain professionals have displayed.

In the last 12 months alone, we have seen some of the best championship sporting outcomes in history. We saw March Madness end with a buzzer beater by Villanova to beat North Carolina. Two months later, the Cleveland Cavaliers ended the city’s championship drought by coming back against the Golden State Warriors down 3 games to 1 to capture their first NBA title in franchise history. Fast forward to October, we witnessed another drought end but on a more significant level. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in the 10th inning of game 7 after being down 3 games to 1 as well. Last month, we saw Clemson get their sweet revenge against Alabama in of the most fantastic finishes in recent memory. Serena Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam title. Less than 2 weeks ago, we’ve witnessed the best Super Bowl ending in NFL history. The UConn women’s basketball team are currently on a 100 game winning streak (that is ridiculous!).

It seems like we’re at a point where we expect great things to happen at every major sporting event. From The Master’s to Wimbledon; the Stanley Cup to the World Series; the NBA Finals to the Super Bowl, we are spoiled by greatness. Appreciate these moments while you can because all things (including exceptional moments) must come to an end.

JGOOD

College Football Playoffs: Expansion Needed


The college football playoffs championship game is upon us. The defending champs, Alabama Crimson Tide, will take on the Clemson Tigers in what will be a rematch from last year’s CFP championship game (Alabama won 45-40). There are plenty of headlines you can make about this game like Alabama firing offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin this week (which seems very untimely), even though he’s going to be the head coach of Florida Atlantic, and will Alabama’s true freshman QB Jalen Hurts have a better performance than he did against the Washington Huskies (completed 7-14 for 57 yards)? Also, will the Clemson Tigers get their revenge?

Alabama vs Washington; Peach Bowl
Clemson vs Ohio State; Fiesta Bowl

The storyline that was trending a month ago and that I’m bringing up now is that the college football playoffs should expand the playoff format, specifically from 4 teams to 8. When the topic first sparked a month ago, I was in favor of it. After watching the results of a couple of bowl games since then, I’m completely in agreement of this proposal. If you watched the Fiesta Bowl, which featured Clemson and Ohio State (Buckeyes), you watched a complete domination by the Tigers. Ohio State was considered a top-3 team during the regular season. Their only other loss was against Penn State (Nittany Lions). The problem with that was Ohio State didn’t advance the Big Ten Championship Game because of that loss. The CFP Committee has said that winning your conference championship game is a big factor to being selected to the playoffs. Penn State, being ranked number 5 in the country, after winning the Big Ten Championship over Wisconsin (Badgers) was snubbed from the college football playoffs (If you watched the Rose Bowl, you missed arguably the best bowl game thus far!)

USC vs Penn State; Rose Bowl

Another bowl game I want to mention is the Orange Bowl that featured Florida State (Seminoles) and Michigan (Wolverines). Florida State defeated Michigan 33-32 in a stellar performance, but I want to point out that both of these schools were worthy of being in the playoffs as well (in my eyes). Michigan was ranked in the top 5 for majority of the football season, and Florida State has been consistent throughout the year. If you included Michigan, Florida State, Penn State, and USC in the playoffs along with Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Washington, I believe we would truly find out the best team in the country. 

Florida State vs Michigan; Orange Bowl

We all know Alabama has been dominant for a few years now. We have also seen some pretty good teams over the years that we thought were dominant as well for a short period of time. Expanding the field to 8 teams would get rid of a lot of the “what if” questions. I’ve always wondered how Boise State would fare with the big schools a few years back, especially after beating Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. The many excuses of a team not being on a particular team’s schedule will diminish. At that point, we’ll just let the play on the field decide the best in the nation. 

What are your thoughts about expanding the playoffs? If you agree or disagree, please let me know your reasons.

Top 5 NFL Bust Since 2005


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There has been some superstar talent that has come into the NFL since 2005 such as Adrian Peterson, Richard Sherman, Andrew Luck, Julio Jones, and JJ Watt. However, on the other end of the spectrum is a few players who just flat-out didn’t live up to expectations. Whatever is may be health, off the field issues, or just bad play, they have ended up being a BUST. I’ve made my own top 5 over the past decade. Here’s my honorable mentioned list:

Blaine Gabbert (Mizzou 2011)

Glenn Dorsey (LSU 2008)

Gaines Adams (Clemson 2007)

Christian Ponder (Florida State 2011)

Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame 2010)

Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland 2009)

Robert Griffin III!?!? (Baylor 2012)

Now for my top 5:

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5. Vince Young (Texas 2006)
The former college football national championship star was the 3rd overall pick of the 2006 class to the Tennessee Titans. Young won rookie of the year and was named to the Pro Bowl. The next 2 seasons were pedestrian. After regaining his starting job (team started 0-6), Vince Young led the Titans them to 8 out of 10 wins. Bad play and immaturity led him to be of the most disappointing players in the past decade.

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4. Matt Leinart (USC 2006)
The former Heisman Trophy winner was supposed to be the face of the Arizona Cardinals franchise with the 10th pick of the draft. Instead, he became apart of the infamous list of USC quarterbacks who doesn’t live up to expectations (Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez, John David Booty, and soon to be Matt Barkley). Sprained shoulder injury and a broken clavicle in his first two seasons led the way for Kurt Warner. Leinart’s time in the NFL has been dim ever since.

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3. Troy Williamson (South Carolina 2005)
After trading Randy Moss to Oakland, the Minnesota Vikings drafted Troy Williamson with the 7th overall selection to be the next deep threat for Daunte Culpepper. However, he wasn’t anywhere close of being a threat. In 3 seasons with the Vikings, he caught 79 passes for 1,074 yards with 3 touchdowns. His inability to catch ball caused him to receive limited playing time. He blamed is depth perception for dropping passes.

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2. Trent Richardson (Alabama 2012)
Arguably the best running back entering the draft, he destroyed defenses with his powerful style of running, deceptive agility, and lateral quickness. The Cleveland Browns selected Trent Richardson with the 3rd overall pick. Unfortunately, Richardson wasn’t able to impact again because of lack of ball carrying vision. He saw limited playing time once he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts. He was recently cut by the Oakland Raiders. Former Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins safety Ryan Clark labeled Trent as the “worst running back of all time” (OUCH).

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1. JaMarcus Russell (LSU 2007)
And then there’s… (drum roll)… JaMarcus Russell!!! He had one of the strongest arms you would ever see, allegedly throwing 60 yards on his knees. But the number 1 overall pick by the Oakland Raiders was doomed from the start when he elected to hold out his rookie year for a lucrative deal. He didn’t sign his deal until September. The combination of different head coaches and offensive coordinators, inability to make the right reads, and off the field issues (codeine syrup) led to his ultimate downfall of being labeled arguably the biggest bust in NFL history.

 

JGood