Friday, July 13, 2007


SEC'S FIVE TOUGHEST SCHEDULES

Tony Barnhart, one of my favorite college football writers from AJC.com, breaks down the five toughest SEC schedules.

Now this is going to start an argument. Here is a breakdown of my five toughest schedules in the SEC for 2007. We’ll look at the five easiest schedules on Saturday.

1. AUBURN

— Home SEC: Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Alabama

— Road SEC: Florida, Arkansas, LSU, Georgia

— Non-conference: Kansas State, South Florida, New Mexico State, Tennessee Tech

— Comment: Auburn has very slight edge over South Carolina because it has to go to The Swamp and Gamecocks don’t.

2. SOUTH CAROLINA

— Home SEC: Mississippi State, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida

— Road SEC: Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, Arkansas

— Non-conference: Louisiana-Lafayette, S.C. State, at North Carolina, Clemson

— Comment: Non-conference schedule weaker than Auburn’s. Both teams must play Arkansas, LSU, and Georgia on the road.

3. TENNESSEE

— Home SEC: Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Vanderbilt

— Road SEC: Florida, Mississippi State, Alabama, Kentucky

— Non-conference: at Cal, Southern Miss., Arkansas St., Louisiana-Lafayette

— Comment: Vols go on the road to play Cal and Florida in the first three weeks.

4. FLORIDA

— Home SEC: Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia (Jacksonville), Vanderbilt

— Road SEC: Ole Miss, LSU, Kentucky, South Carolina

— Non-conference: Western Kentucky, Troy, Florida Atlantic, Florida State

— Comment: Trips to LSU on Oct. 6 and South Carolina on Nov. 10 will not be easy for defending champs.

5. GEORGIA

— Home SEC: South Carolina, Ole Miss, Auburn, Kentucky

— Road SEC: Alabama, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida (Jacksonville)

— Non-conference: Oklahoma State, Western Carolina, Troy, at Georgia Tech

— Comment: Both Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech should be Top 25



For the most part I agree with Barnhart but I would have to rank Georgia up a little higher on this list because of their non-conference schedule. Okie State and Tech should both be bowl eligible and have a chance to contend for their respective conferences this year. Throw in road games against Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and Vandy (I'm telling you, Vandy is going to surprise people this year) and you can see that the Bulldogs have a tough road ahead of them.

EUROPEAN GIRLS ARE CRYING NOW THAT BECKHAM IS GONE

I felt the same despair when Notre Dame introduced Willingham.

SPORTSCRACK NATION: DO YOU LIKE?
Come on fuckers, I want to hear or see some feedback. Do you like this new format in which you can instantly tell me what an idiot I am?

Or do you want to see other things?

Why can't you just accept us for what we are...fat, lazy drunks?

SPORTSCRACK'S NEW SHIRTS THIS WEEK

Remember people, we don't do any advertisements on this fancy blog so the only money that goes in our pocket to feed us food and beer comes from you when you buy our shirts. We think they are rather cool, tell us what you think about the new ones we have to offer...




FIRST ALI G...NOW BECKHAM INVADES AMERICA





This was filmed a while back, before Sacha Baron-Cohen other character "Borat" was running away from gypsies and Jews.

One can only wonder what Beckham's effect will be on the States, if any.


WHAT CONSTITUTES A BENDER?
I was just wondering because I haven't been on one in a long, long time thanks to my significant other. Is it when you drink all day for seven full days? What is the bare minimum in blackouts? I say at least two if it's a true bender. Do you have to wake up in a strange place like the picture above at least once? I want to know what you think, the Sportscrack Nation, has to say about benders. Oh yeah, you have to piss on yourself at least once.


BRAZILIAN SOCCER REF POSES IN PLAYBOY

This type of shit never happens in America. Sure we will get a celebrity of some type do a Playboy spread but usually it's all artistic and fruity. Point in case: Amanda Beard.
But now you can hold onto your socks America. Here is a ref that can do anything in the States. Her name is Ana Paula Olievera. She isn't coy with her shots, she let's us know what she has and isn't afraid of your stupid judgements. Anyways, here is the spread (not safe for work).
Oh yeah, America sucks...Brazil rocks!

NOTRE DAME RECRUITING UPDATE
As we all know Notre Dame has had past struggles, or shall I say deficiencies in recruiting because of the strict academics and the incompetent coaching. But since Charlie Weis, aka God of the Fupa, stepped back on to the Notre Dame campus he has made a world of difference with the on-the-field performance as well as recruiting star athletes off of it. Let's review what the Irish have landed so far in the 2008 class and the possibilities of others to join the fold soon.

QUARTERBACK
Commitments: Dayne Crist
Others offered and status: None. Charlie Weis wrapped up his recruiting for quarterback early when he secured the commitment of Dayne Crist in the spring. The Irish again won a recruiting war for the second consecutive year for a California QB whom USC had also made their #1 target. Crist is an Elite 11 member who at 6'5 and 220 lbs should be ready to step in and compete physically as a freshman in 2008. With Demetrius Jones, Evan Sharpley, and Jimmy Clausen all on scholarship for at least the next two seasons there was only one spot open for a QB and Crist got it. The Irish have expressed interest in #1 recruit Terrelle Pryor but Weis has reportedly told him he would be recruited strictly as a wide receiver.

RUNNINGBACKS
Commitments: None
Others offered and status: Sam McGuffie, Darrell Scott, Carlton Thomas, and Ryan Williams have all been offered. Not a huge concern for most Irish fans since the Irish brought into two great ones in Armando Allen and Robert Hughes last year, I still think Notre Dame needs to get a difference maker at RB every year if they want to be an elite team. For instance you don't see USC and Texas turning down backs. McGuffie reportedly is interested in making a visit to Notre Dame but is seen as a longshot at best with home state Texas A&M the favorite and Michigan also in the running. Scott is consistently ranked the top runningback in the nation but has no significant interest in the Irish at this point. Thomas appears to be the best chance for an Irish commitment. The Florida back has narrowed his schools to five with ND still in it but stiff competition from both Auburn and West Virginia is not a positive sign. Williams is a darkhorse candidate who is being recruited by almost every SEC school but as a defensive back. I think he will stay in the South.

WIDE RECEIVERS
Commitments: John Goodman
Others offered and status: Jonathan Baldwin, Brice Butler, and Michael Floyd. The Irish need to get two of these three after losing out on Arrelious Benn and Greg Little last year. Baldwin would be a perfect fit in the Irish offense. At 6'6, he has the height that most Irish fans want to see similar to Maurice Stovall and Jeff Samardzija. Pitt is going really hard for Baldwin but I think the opportunity to play for the Irish is going to be too hard to turn down especially with the type of offense Charlie Weis runs. Butler is considered the most "college-ready" of the three but is a longshot with USC and FSU (dad played there under Bowden) the clear leaders at this point with an announcement expected to come soon. Floyd has been on the Irish coaching staff and fan's radar for a long time and with good reason. A product of a Notre Dame breeding ground called St. Paul's Cretin-Derham HS in Minnesota, Floyd should be announcing soon for the Irish as he has made numerous visits to campus in the past two years. With Goodman already on board, it would be a dream come true for most Irish faithful if they can secure both Baldwin and Floyd. Do I think they can do it? Yes.

TIGHT ENDS
Commitments: Kyle Rudolph and Joseph Fauria
Others offered and status: None. The Irish will never have a problem recruiting this position as long as Weis is there. Rudolph is ranked the best player overall to have committed to the Irish and is the #1 tight end in the country. Fauria is a top ten overall tight end out of California who will get better as he fills out. Keeping with Weis' philosophy of 2-1-2-1 recruiting of tight ends, don't expect Weis to recruit more than one guy next year for the position.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
Commitments: Braxston Cave, Lane Clelland, and Mike Golic
Others offered and status: Trevor Robinson is committed to Nebraska but is having second thoughts and today stated he is going to visit both Notre Dame and Michigan. A Nebraska native, Robinson has already visited Notre Dame's campus 5 times and was down to the Irish and Cornhuskers before making his decision a few months back. Another visit is a really good sign for the Irish whom are expected to take no more than five on the offensive line. Matt Patchan is the most highly recruited offensive lineman on the board and I think despite all the efforts to pull him out of state he will stay and go to FSU. Art Forst is out of New Jersey and I believe he will stay on the East Coast when all is said and done. Kenneth Page is a longshot out of South Carolina but if he makes a visit to campus all that could change. The offensive line is looking good right now with Cave, Clelland, and Golic already on board. If the Irish can convince Robinson to switch commitments it could be the final nail in the coffin of a stacked and talented Irish squad on the offensive side of the ball.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN
Commitments: Sean Cwynar, Omar Hunter, Ethan Johnson, Brandon Newman, and Hafis Williams.
Others offered and status: The Irish needed defensive lineman worst than Johnny Drama needed a break in Hollywood and both seem to have come to fruition. The Irish have always had a tough time recruiting stud d-lineman but all has changed since Rick Minter was fired and Corwin Brown was brought in as his replacement. All four of the guys the Irish have already gotten to commit will compete for immediate playing time as soon as they reach campus. The remaining jewel of the defensive line still available is DT Marcus Forston out of Miami. The Irish have told him they will hold a spot for him until National Signing Day and the rumor is the race is between Miami and Notre Dame. It should get interesting and if it involves Miami it could get dirty. If the Irish can manage to steal Forston out of South Florida it would put the finishing touches on their best defensive line class ever.

LINEBACKERS
Commitments: Darius Fleming, David Posluszny, and Anthony McDonald
Others offered and status: Steven Filer and Etienne Sabino are the two best possibilities with Brendan Beal, Shayne Hale, and Arthur Brown all extreme longshots. Sabino has bumped up his visit to Notre Dame in late July because he wants to enroll early and the fact that Notre Dame is running out of room in terms of scholarships. If he commits as many expect the Irish will be getting another stud linebacker but this time out of Florida. Filer is a Chicago boy who has long been rumored to be a heavy Irish lean. He plans on making another visit to Notre Dame soon and is expected to make his announcement before the season starts so he can concentrate on his senior year of high school football. I have had a weird feeling about Filer for a long time and I could see him going somewhere else especially if Sabino commits on the spot. The Irish have told him they will hold a scholarship offer for him...we will see. If the Irish land just one of the two it's a great linebacker class. If they land both it's an unbelievable linebacker class.

DEFENSIVE BACKS
Commitments: Robert Blanton and Jamoris Slaughter
Others offered and status: Dan McCarthy is on the verge as I write this to committing to either Notre Dame or Ohio State. The Ohio prep safety has a brother(Kyle) who plays football at ND and has seen the campus mumerous times while getting acquainted with the coaches. Cornerback TJ Bryant out of Tallahassee is an extreme longshot but is scheduled to visit the campus at the end of the month. Honestly I don't think too many people are concerned with the defensive back talent at Notre Dame anymore. Blanton and Slaughter were two huge gets out of the South already and they have Gary Gray and Harrison Smith both enrolled this summer. By the way I think Smith is going to be an extremely fun player to watch for ND fans. The kid is just a flat out athlete. If the Irish can land McCarthy it will set them up with great safeties for years to come but it's not a must get like a lineman or linebacker is in my opinion for this class.

ATHLETES
Commitments: None
Others offered and status: Jeremy Brown out of Orlando can play either WR or CB and is expected to pick the Irish at the end of the month. His dad apparently is really pulling for the Irish in this one. Will Hill is the #1 athlete in the country and he remains a longshot. Being from Jersey you would think the Irish have a chance to pull him with Weis connections. I wouldn't bet on it.

So in summary the Irish have 17 commitments and are still in the running for a select few who are the elite of the elite thanks to the recruiting prowess of Charlie Weis and his staff(Corwin Brown especially). I think they are going to finish strong going into the fall and secure guys like LB Etienne Sabino, Athlete Jeremy Brown, safety Danny McCarthy, WR's Michael Floyd and Jonathan Baldwin for sure. Throw in LB Steven Filer, OL Trevor Robinson, and DT Marcus Forston and Notre Dame is looking at quite possibly it's best class ever. Either way it should be an interesting 52 days leading up to the season.

MLB RUMBLINGS


-First off I don't give a shit what Scott Boras thinks A-Rod should get on the open market. Last time I checked the douchebag got a ridiculous contract for his client and then his client bitched and moan and said now "he isn't playing just for the money" when he forced a trade to New York a few seasons back. We all know he is going to opt out of his contract because he is either too scared of New York thus being a pussy or he really wants to make more money. I will be the first one to admit that I am scared shitless of New York because of the people who live there. But if I agreed to go there and take a job for millions and millions of dollars with the current contract to play a game I love on the biggest stage in the game I would not opt out. If he really wants to be loved, and we all know A-Rod has the self esteem of a five dollar hooker, keep playing the game with passion and stay in New York and force Jeter to move from shortstop if he is such a team player.
-Mark Cuban wants to bid on the Cubs and I for one hope he wins the bid. The Cubs are nearing their 100th anniversary of their last World Series...fucking pathetic in my book. Cuban is a great businessman who will spend money in the right areas and get the Cubbies competing again. Look at his track record whether it involves his successful ownership of the Dallas Mavericks or his start up company MicroSolutions, the man knows how to make a winner. Supposedly Bud Selig and baseball's exclusive ownership club might try to blackball him by not approving the sale if he wins the bid. One of his major proponents is Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf who stated to the Chicago Tribune: "It is a matter of public record that when Cuban was approved to buy the Dallas Mavericks, the vote was 29-1." And yes, Reinsdorf was the old ass who decided Cuban wasn't worthy enough to be an owner when he had the chance to vote as the Bulls chairman. I saw screw them Cuban. Steinbrenner is about to croak as soon as the Yankees fail to reach the playoffs so baseball is going to need another renegade owner in the mold of Ted Turner. Give those drunks in Wrigley something to cheer about for Christ's sake.

-As of right now it looks like the Mariners are finally going to be able to hold on to a superstar player. Burned in the past by Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Kurt Cobain; the Mariners have been snake bitten by stars who decided to leave during their peak performing years. The great Ichiro has apparently agreed to an extension in the $90-100 million dollar range for 5 years. Is he worth it? No, none of them are but if a guy like Rashard Lewis gets $113 million for not even being the best player on his team in basketball then I guess Ichiro deserves it in some retarded economic way. I'm going to be honest, I love watching Ichiro play. He is one of those guys in the Albert Pujols/Johan Santana/Jose Reyes group that I would pay to go watch them play everyday. You saw his performance in the All-Star game...the fucker can fly around the bases. Ichiro is the hottest piece of Japanese ass to hit the States since (NSFW)Hiromi Oshima in my opinion.

-Since we are past the halfway mark in the season it is time to talk some trades. Teams like the White Sox, Rangers, Orioles, Reds, Giants, and Astros should be looking to trade veteran players to contenders and get prospects in return. As soon as Miguel Tejada comes back healthy the O's should look to trade him to a team looking for a shortstop/third baseman. I would say the Angels would do it but now all the speculation is them signing A-Rod in the offseason. Detroit would be a good fit for Tejada...say straight up for a guy like Cameron Maybin? If Detroit is serious about making another World Series run it wouldn't hurt to have a hitter like Tejada in that lineup surrounded by Sheffield, Ordonez, and Pudge.

I think the White Sox were stupid to sign Mark Buehrle for the amount they did and should have traded him to the Cardinals for a couple of prospects. They are not going to contend this season in their division because the Tigers and Indians are too good. Now they need to unload Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko, or Jim Thome and get some good young players.

Some other trades I would like to see: Ken Griffey Jr. deserves another shot in the playoffs. I know Seattle says they aren't interested but come on. Dust off the sand in your vagina and put Griffey back where he belongs...not in a vagina but in Seattle. Texas won't be able to resign Mark Teixeria after next season so you might as well trade him and get something in return. Atlanta would make sense but the Braves shouldn't trade Jarod Saltamacchia. "Salty" is going to be a hell of a player and I think he should be their first baseman/right fielder next year after Andruw Jones leaves. You can then slide Jeff Franceour over to centerfield. I would love to see Teixeria (Severna Park boy) in an O's uniform but I don't think it will happen. Angelos will fuck it up somehow. Back to the Braves, they need pitching if they want to compete for a playoff spot. Another starter is preferred. Roy Oswalt would be a hell of a fit in Atlanta with Tim Hudson and John Smoltz. I know the Braves are a team built for the long haul, but adding a guy like Oswalt could make them a serious World Series contender this year.