Football in April

The XFL Lives!The blog has been quiet lately… too quiet.

It’s understandable. There are exams to be graded, weddings to be planned, and research papers to be written. I just realized I have seven different papers in various stages of completion (six of them are thankfully nearly done). I’ve been pretty stressed and the EPA is about the nicest, lowest stress research environment I can imagine. All the same, it’s time for distraction. Thus, I present the April football round-up:

First off, offensive lineman Justin Boren — whose right to do as he saw fit I defended not long ago — has indeed decided to transfer from Michigan to “the” Ohio State to play with his brother. I wish him well, but if he’s playing offensive line for this year’s match-up, I think we may see the OSU quarterback sacked a dozen times. A cocaine-fueled Jeff Smoker (who to his great credit has recovered) took that many sacks and still won the second-most-recent “Greatest Michigan-Michigan state game ever” so it’s certainly possible and the motivation would be there. I’m reminded of a player on my high school’s hockey team who was recruited into transferring to the nefarious local Catholic school for his senior year. It did not serve him well on the ice.

Next, I know Brian may hate me for mentioning this (though I’d be letting down the blog if I didn’t occasionally piss him off), the heart-warming story of Clemson running-back Ray Ray McElrathbey — who is was given permission by the NCAA to receive additional assistance so that he could raise his younger brother — hit a bump when Clemson decided to rescind his scholarship this spring. Surely there are extenuating circumstances, but it seems like coach Tommy Bowden is trying a little too hard to top his dad’s team’s antics and win the Worst Bowden award. Besides, I think we all know that it’s Jeff.

Back to Michigan-related news, “superstar” offensive tackle Jake Long was taken first overall in the 2008 NFL draft by the Miami dolphins — several days before the draft actually starts on Saturday. Congratulations to him and his $57 million contract.

Next up, Dr. Bunton’s Coastal Carolina will get to test its mettle against Penn State on the gridiron this fall, in what rivals.com has identified as the second-most lop-sided match-up of the college football season. When the Chanticleers take on the Nittany Lions, you’d better hope the announcer can enunciate. (The writer speculates that perhaps this is the beginning of a Big Ten-Big South challenge — a challenge that the Big Ten might occasionally win.)

Finally, high school quarterback Tate Forcier has started placing his scholarship offers on-line. I’ve always wondered what they would look like, and it’s really neat to get a chance to see them. You can also check out how Michigan, Clemson, and Duke all stack up against each other. Clemson’s is certainly the snazziest but the Michigan one is impressive.

So that’s it for football. I hope everyone’s work is going well and I’ll see most if not all of you next month…

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2 Responses to Football in April

  1. brianbunton says:

    First… hello, it’s baseball season! Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten out to a Pelicans game yet. But there’s plenty of time for that after exams…

    Okay, the Ray Ray thing. It’s a bad situation all the way around, but the bottom line is that Ray Ray is getting screwed. From a purely athletic standpoint, it’s the right call. They need the scholarship somewhere else, and he’s the weakest link. The tragedy, of course, is his brother, and the fact the thing that’s keeping him from being the next level as a player is that he’s concentrated on getting his degree, to a much greater extent than most other players. He’s always put school first, which is what you hope for from your student athletes. But that meant missing practices sometimes, and now he’s being punished for it. However, I think it’s a good example he’s setting for his brother Fahmarr. Since that story you linked was published, Ray Ray’s decided to transfer. He won’t talk to the media about it, so we don’t know where to. But I’m pretty sure he’ll have a ton of friends at Clemson for life, even if he resents the school. I’m also pretty sure that the trust fund will continue for him.

    Coastal is getting a pretty big payday–close to half a million–for its game at State College, and we’re also playing Kent State in the fall. It was also announced that we’re playing Clemson in 2009, bumped up a few years from when it was scheduled. Coach David Bennett was a graduate assistant for the Tigers under “legendary” coach Danny Ford. It seems that Coastal is making all the right moves to develop its program so that one day it can make the leap to Division I–I mean, Football Bowl Subdivision.

    I’d also like a clarification of the difference between “snazzy” and “impressive”.

  2. jwambaugh says:

    Clemson has all the photograph-quality images with bright, vivid colors. Michigan’s layout is much more understated, but boasts the following at the bottom: “Most wins in NCAA history, All-time leader in winning percentage, 11 national championships, 42 Big Ten championships, 32 consecutive bowl appearances.”

    Of course the big question is whether they are going to make it to 33.

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