Friday, August 30, 2013

08/30 (It's Fall) Quickie

*Ole Miss' win over Vandy was as entertaining as you could hope for on a CFB opening night.

*The late illegal block on Jadeveon Clowney is Exhibit A why he should immediately drop out of college and wait for the NFL Draft, where he is guaranteed to be the No. 1 pick -- unless some renegade opposing player takes out his knee.

*So excited for the opening weekend. Viewing guide:

Noon-ish: Toledo at Florida (ESPN3). Trap game? Trap game.
3:30-ish: Miss St at OK St (ABC) +  5:30: Alabama-Va Tech (ESPN).
8-ish: Georgia-Clemson on ABC (check LSU-TCU at 9 on ESPN).
10:30: Northwestern at Cal (ESPN2). Late night, friends.
Key picks: Clemson. LSU. (Upset watch: Toledo. Gah!)

Want a great CFB read to get you ready for the season?
Spencer Hall on Vandy O-line coach Herb Hand.

This from Grantland's Bill Barnwell covers my feelings on the NFL brain-injury settlement.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

8/28 (CFB) Quickie

I love college football. Full stop.

Thursday night marks the start of the season, so I figured I might as well wedge in a few predictions:

*The South Carolina opener will feature my pick as the Heisman winner -- Jadeveon Clowney, the first one-way defensive player to win the award of the modern era.

The question isn't whether he is the best player in college football -- I would argue he is probably the best defensive player in the history of college football. The question is whether voters will reward that. I'm betting they want to make history as much as they recognize they are watching history.

*Alabama will win the national title -- again (again) (again again).

*That said, the perfect way to cap off the ridiculous BCS era would be if a one-loss SEC champ was shut out of the national-title game because two unbeaten teams (say, Ohio State and the Pac-12 champ) went unbeaten facing inferior schedules.

*Because starting next year, the national title game will perennially be between the two SEC teams that make the playoff foursome -- and there will be two SEC teams in the playoff foursome, perennially -- and that'll be that (until they change the system to force the two SEC teams to play each other in the semifinal, probably for the second time in a season.)

*The Tide will obliterate unbeaten Ohio State in the national title game, because (1) that's what the SEC does to Ohio State in national title games, and (2) that's what Nick Saban does to Urban Meyer. I loathe Ohio State as much as any team in the country, so I hope I'm pleasantly surprised and Alabama plays, say, unbeaten Stanford.

*Louisville will go unbeaten -- sublime QB Teddy Bridgewater will finish as runner-up in Heisman voting -- but merely return to a lower-tier BCS bowl, before Charlie Strong leaves to become the new head coach at Nebraska.

*In the opening week, I know I should be taking Georgia over Clemson, but I'm a sucker for Boyd, so I'll take Clemson over Georgia in the Game of the Week. Clemson's typical collapse will come later in the season against a seemingly overmatched foe, as usual.

*What I read last night, college football edition: Warren St. John's profile of Nick Saban in GQ.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

8/27 (Tuesday) Quickie

*Matt Harvey's injury is a reminder about the vagaries of pitcher health. And, wow, do I feel bad for Mets fans.

*Is Jeff Tuel -- with a leap unseen in the past half-century from undrafted rookie to Week 1 starting QB in Buffalo -- the best storyline of NFL's Week 1? Well, no (the return of RGIII is) and clearly, the best game is Packers-49ers, but it is one of those things that instantly jumps near the top.

*Happy retirement, Tracy McGrady. I never really appreciated him -- among prolific shot-jackers, I was more of appreciative of Iverson's game. I'm not sure if he is a Hall of Famer. He should have been a lock -- maybe that's the point.

Of course, McGrady is also responsible for arguably the most impressive flurry of scoring in a single game in the history of the league -- the legendary "13 in 35."

*Keith Olbermann's new show was, predictably, fun. (I'm a long-time Olbermann fan, so I was inclined to enjoy it.) Very heavy on "meta-media" coverage (not necessarily inappropriately, but you wonder how many fans care about the NY Daily News coverage of Rex Ryan, versus the basic idea that he made/didn't make the right choice with Sanchez). But points for a different kind of angle to a story that was worked over by Monday night.

(FWIW, 11 pm is a late start for me on a school night, but through the magic of the WatchESPN app, I was leaning back comfortably and able to enjoy the show. I love that app -- and it gets even more important/integral to my life when college football starts this weekend.)

-- D.S.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

8/25 (Sunday) Quickie

What I'm reading this morning: The NYT longread on ESPN's impact on college football.

There's a great phrase in there, about serving the "breakfast-to-bedtime fan" of college football. I recognized myself in that cohort, for sure, and that audience was certainly an aspiration of Quickish.

-- D.S.