Thursday, July 26, 2007


Boredom Ensues...

So I've moved to Tallahassee with some money in the bank but no job. The move to the smaller market has proved tougher than originally thought and thusly I have a lot of free time on my hands with zero friends so far. If you know anyone with construction management/real estate development connections in Tallahassee, by all means provide. On a whim I vowed to stay completely sober until I find work, leaving me with a heap of original thought and motivation. With not much else going on, I've turned to my OCD tendencies to help me through this quiet time. My activities have included:

I've been reading blogs that I usually don't frequent due to 1) a lack of time and 2) they're written at a level that, honestly, I can't handle everyday. MGoBlog, Dawg Sports, and Sunday Morning Quarterback are just three of several websites that lower my literary self-esteem to a level of inadequacy that makes undersized, bullied youths become cops. (I wonder if the local PD is hiring?) Here are three things that need your attention as fans of college football and the internet:

  1. T. Kyle King's recent piece on DawgSports regarding the ongoing struggle with/against the media Death Star, espn.
  2. On top of doing a preview page for every team in D-1, SMQ is now in the midst of thoroughly breaking down each BCS conference and Pac-10 Week should be right around the corner.
  3. MGoBlog hosts the BlogPoll each season, which is like the AP but us sophisticated blogger types vote instead of the mainstream media folk. I've contacted the site about making tHOH eligible to vote but have heard no response so far. Preseason ballots should come out sometime in the next month and yes, I'll be totally biased for the Devils.

Not to leave without anything ASU-related, here's few nugs to keep you sedated for at least part of the next 36 days:

* The Sun Devils were picked to finish fourth in the Pac-10 preseason media poll, but who cares about the opinions and prognostications of writers before the season starts?

* Former ASU fullback Tex Wright, not to be confused with Randall "Tex" Cobb of Raising Arizona fame, is alive, well, and author of one of the all-time great ASU finishes that I'd never heard of before this week.

Nope, not him.

* As poster "ENCINITASjon" of Devils Digest put it, here's "one of the dumbest articles you'll ever read." It's so bad it may get its own post here in a couple of days.

* Former Sun Devil basketballer and Sigma Nu douchebag Ron DuBois landed a job as an assistant coach with the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies. See Tucson, we do stuff in the NBA too.

* I started my own poll at Devils Digest since I don't know how to do it here. It asked readers to vote for how long it would take for the 35-44-1 all-time record vs. UA to get evened up. The vast majority of voters chose 11-15 years, but unfortunately some folks from down south got involved and it turned into an argument about semantics and the interpretation of the written word, then forever banished to the rarely visited smack board.

* Dennis Erickson inked his fourth signee of the 2008 recruiting class, local offensive lineman Patrick Jamison, who was suited by Erickson since his last name is a fantastic whiskey. Jamison also received scholarship offers from UCLA, Tennessee, Oregon State, Boise State, UNLV, and Arizona.

Thanks to google image search, I was also reminded that "Jameson" is also the last name of a prominent porn star.

* Apparrently KTAR 620 was late to Pac-10 media day since they only have audio of Jim Harbaugh, Pete Carroll, and Karl Dorrell available on their website. Admittedly I was also late to link up to it, that's why I was looking. As soon as I can find a complete archived audio file of the proceedings I'll pick apart everything Dennis Erickson says and take a few pokes at Mike Stoops.

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An open roundtable from Trev

Through a lot of linking I found a roundtable discussion brought forth by Trev Alberts of that, while a month old, could use my attention. I'm not yet a blogpoll member but I aspire to be, so here goes...

Your Home Field Advantage

Give the more zealous portion of your fanbase a religion. What's this cult following? Feel free to give the splitters a derogatory nickname.

We all bow to Frank Kush, the patron saint of Sun Devil football who was professionally crucified by those whom he had come to enlighten- a camp catalyzed by a false idol, none other than a flag-waving kicker. (as everyone knows, kickers are NOT football players) The congregation became disillusioned and dissolved in the following years by carpetbaggers such as Rodgers and Cooper, then demoralized by Marmie the incompetent. Savior Jake Plummer had come to restore joy to the desert, but by that time the barbarians of professional sport had fully infiltrated the holy land and many followers had converted to the dark side. Our sect became divided in recent years, falling into the camps of lovers and haters and split by one man's papacy, Dirk Koetter. Koetter was forced out after piss-poor performance and record-setting bad decisions, which allowed for the new savior to enter our church, one Dennis Erickson. In a throwback to the old testament of Kush, Erickson preaches ideas once thought to be antiquated, like a running game and a physical defense. Lovers and haters are reunited and hope is restored in Sun Devil Land as we wander through the desert, although not-so-aimlessly anymore.

If this piece doesn't get me into hell for violation of the 1st Commandment, nothing will.

Your biggest rival is in town, and College Gameday is your citaaaaaaay... Create a blatant corporate sellout promotion to appeal to the mass unwashed.

In the spirit of espn being onsite, Pat Tillman's death will be exploited to the grandest extent. Gold-colored Army Ranger berets will be administered to the first 50,000 attendees, the marching band does a patriotic 4th of July-style set at halftime, and there is a missing man flyover to accompany the fireworks after each Sun Devil score.

Add one local delicacy to your stadium's concessions. Post-tax pricing is optional.

Other than alcohol? For four bucks apiece, Filiberto's (or whatever it's called now) offers burritos made to order. The tortilla throwing tradition takes on a whole new level when players and cheerleaders start slipping on fresh-made guacamole, but Michael Crow puts the kibash on the whole thing after a male cheerleader dies when a chorizo and egg burrito funnels through a megaphone and asphyxiates him. Jan had spirit, yes he did...

With an unlimited AD budget, add or subtract one thing to your school's gameday experience that has nothing to do with football.

Lot 59 is replaced with sod, shade trees, and plumbing facilities because quite frankly we are light years behind the Southeastern schools when it comes to tailgating, mostly because spending all day on shadeless blacktop in 110+ degree heat is no one's good time. For extra income the former parking lot is a nine-hole, par-three golf course during the week and a 10-story parking megastructure is erected for regular student parking where the bullshit Alpha Drive fraternity houses once sat.(hollaback old school Adelphi row!) We can put it right next to the football team's brand spankin' new indoor practice facility.

Just imagine a grove of oaks 160 yards that way.

General NCAA questions

Coin a hilariously unrealistic stereotype that you would like to "make stick" for this upcoming season.

The Stoops regime is fired from Tucson and they moochingly move back into brother Bob's McMansion basement in Norman, all while trying to raise a young daughter/sissyboy. Think My Two Dads but with three guys, two of whom are gay. And a lot of strained-faced yelling.

Redesign your conference or independent schedule with reckless abandon. Be prepared to include compensation for jilted schools and conferences in your explanation.

Jeez this thing is getting long. The Pac-10 finally got it right with the full round-robin schedule, no need for me to go fucking with it. As for the OOC slate, I'd like to see the Sun Devils take on more teams in the northeast and upper midwest. ASU is so popular with non-athlete students that it offers virtual orientation in Philly, Chicago, and Seattle, and this desire to escape the miserable fucking cold of those God-forsaken places ought to be exploited for recruiting purposes. Imagine getting on a plane in lake effect snow-ridden Buffalo in February and landing in Tempe where it's 75 and sunny for an official visit, and now envision a behemoth 18 year-old signing on the dotted line.

Following up on your new realignment, blow up the BCS and devise a national playoff system, money grabs and missed exams be damned. Using your new fantasy conferences is optional.

The existing bowl games get used on a rotating basis as neutral sites for a 16-team playoff, and the ones that aren't selected for the bracket games can be held as exhibitions, like a football NIT. More traditional bowls like the Rose and Fiesta are used for the latter rounds and they rotate much like the BCS does now. I'd like to suggest that the current conferences be blown up and reorganized into equally sized divisions (while eliminting those bullshit conference championship games) for the purpose of selecting some of the participants in this proposed playoff, but that's just crazy talk.

Elect one public figure to replace NCAA president Myles Brand. Anyone with proper name recognition is eligible.

Charles Fucking Barkley, and I don't think I need to explain myself. Even though he's a basketball player, being from Alabama he should intuitively understand the importance of college football.

Be sure to check out others' responses in the comments section of FireMarkMay's original post.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Premature Premonitions, Part III: The Schedule

You think you can do better? be my guest. At the end of the year I'll be sure to point out every one I get right and ignore every one I get wrong.

9/1, San Jose State: Former UA coach Dick Tomey has a knack for beating ASU and this will be closer than most think. Expect a tough defense, volumes of trick plays, and for this game to still be in doubt at halftime. SJSU was a bowl team last year, and after scaring the piss out of me the Devils will pull away in the second half. ASU by 17

9/8, Colorado: The Buffs went on the road last year and almost pulled off an upset at Georgia, but I think they're still playing intramurals, brother. Too much offense on our side of the ball and the crowd should be good. ASU by 21

9/15, San Diego State: SDSU returns 4 defensive starters from a 3-9 team. While that may help, it won't help enough against Ryan Torain and a senior-laden O-line. The defense should be starting to gel by now. ASU by 24

9/22, Oregon State: Nobody in Corvallis realizes how much they're going to miss departed QB Matt Moore. He was the heart and soul of the team that beat USC and I don't expect them to be in fighting shape by week four. ASU by 14

9/29, at Stanford: I can't believe the Devils haven't won a Pac-10 roadie in Cali since 1999. Coach Erickson has the team playing with confidence and Dirk Koetter is a distant memory. ASU by 30+

10/6, at Washington State: The first serious road trip will be close- it's WSU’s homecoming and QB Brink's a gamer. They have some quality receivers but their run game is a bit suspect. ASU by 7

10/13, Washington: Trap game! ASU returns home at a 6-0 mark and there's a buzz building around town causing the best crowd of the year. UW will be anywhere from 2-3 to 0-5 and hungry for a win. If Dirk's still coaching this is a loss. ASU by 13

10/27, Cal: The Devils will be fresh off of a bye week and seeking redemption after last year's embarassment in Berkeley, but ASU's secondary + DeSean Jackson = bad news, even on Homecoming. Cal by 4

11/3, at Oregon: I'm not sold on QB Dennis Dixon despite last year's statstical beat down in Tempe (lots of screen passes that went long) and Coach Belotti will probably be shuffling Leaf the younger in by this point in the season. ASU by 9

11/10, at UCLA: 20 returning starters for the Bruins, holy freaking God. Their strength last year was the run D and that won't change. Expect Torain to have his worst day of the year. UCLA by 12

11/22, USC: Arizona State has a hard time getting a good crowd on Thanksgiving Day and it's freakin' USC. The young Trojan talent is firing on all cylinders by now and the tryptophan leaves the Devils flat. USC by 27

12/1, Arizona: The premier matchup will be UA's defense against ASU's offense, but the game will be decided by Air-izona vs. the Devil D. If concussion prone Willie Tuitama still has his head on his shoulders by week 12, the kittycat offense will be decent but not good enough. ASU will be trying to save face after two consecutive losses and Erickson won't let them come out flat. ASU by 10

Once again we’re the best of the rest of the Pac-10 at 9-3. We still don’t have the horses to run with the big boys but we’re not beating ourselves against the other dwarves. With this schedule we should be better but it’ll take a minor miracle to run through the final five games with two or fewer losses. The only chance is that the players adapt and buy into Erickson’s schemes quickly and all of the outstanding questions are answered with good fortune.

Bowl game, Nebraska: Sam Keller throws for 600+ yards and 6 TD's in a Husker rout. He then goes into the stands and fucks half of ASU's women, yet mysteriously all women present become pregnant and give birth to coked-up, rocket-armed cyborgs that destroy the earth. Far fetched, yes, but it's as close to anyone's bowl prediction made before fall camp.

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Monday, July 23, 2007


Premature Premonitions, Part II: Defense & Special Teams

Remember that it’s still July so there are a ton of unanswered questions and the defensive side of the ball isn’t as shored up as the offense so there’s a lot of guesswork present. You can look at Coach Erickson’s two-deep on page two of the massive PDF right here but few jobs seem secure going into fall practice.

DL- Kyle Caldwell and Jordan Hill were three-year starters and while neither were Terrell Suggs-level superstars their presence will severely be missed. Hill moved to DT from linebacker and was undersized until his senior year, while a myriad of injuries kept Caldwell from reaching his true potential. The remaining starters look good and they’re surrounded by a lot of raw talent. BYU transfer Mike Marquandt was a lane-clogging beast from day one and Dexter Davis, last year’s supposed question mark as a redshirt freshman, became a bigger weapon at rush end than Caldwell by season’s finish. Marquandt will be helped at tackle by Florida transfer Tranell Morant, who transferred two years ago but made little impact at defensive end last year. Erickson has moved him inside but I wonder if he has the bulk to compete in the middle. Backups include seemingly eighth-year senior David Smith along with redshirt freshmen Jon Hargis, Zach Niusulu, and offensive line convert Saia Falahola. Highly touted JuCo transfer Luis Vasquez is penciled in as the other starter at DE, and his supporting cast features veterans Wes Evans and Kellen Mills who have seen little game time during their Sun Devil careers. Expect JuCo transfers Alex Asi and Eric Tanner to be featured prominently in the defensive end rotation.

LB- There is a glut of young talent at linebacker with an emphasis on young. Four of the top six LB’s return from last year but few have more than one year of experience in Maroon and Gold. Local boy Gerald Munns, Pat Tillman look-alike Travis Goethel, and former LA Dodger Mike Nixon stepped in as true freshmen and saw a lot of the field playing beyond the expectations of most. Ryan McFoy saw playing time as a nickel back last year as a true frosh and he will be thrust into the mix at LB along with JuCo transfer Morris Wooten, who some consider talented enough to be a starter right away. The three starting spots are up for grabs among Goethel, Nixon, Wooten, Munns, McFoy, and senior Robert James who is returning after recovering from chronic headaches. Backups that should be in the rotation will be Chad Lindsey, Garrett Judah, and redshirt freshmen Jamarr Robinson and Jeff Bereuter.

CB- Ah, the fun begins. Shockingly enough Keno Walter-White will be missed because nobody seems capable of starting at the number two corner sport. The good news is that Justin Tryon is as close to a lock-down corner as anyone at ASU in the last few years, even though the folks at Cal don’t care for him too much. Chad Green’s unfortunate car accident affects the depth chart but he was one of several that simply shouldn’t make the cut as a starter. Chris Baloney was the hero against NAU in last year’s opener, getting a pick-6 that sealed the win. Nagging injuries throughout the 2006 season kept his productivity down but he appears to be the best of the rest. Help could be on the way in the form of true frosh Omar Bolden, a highly touted recruit that has yet to be academically approved by the NCAA clearinghouse. Many believe that he possesses the physical tools to play corner in the Pac-10 right away, but the phrase ”counting the chickens before they’ve hatched” comes to mind. Travis Smith, Litrele Jones, Grant Crunkleton, and JuCo transfer Jarrell Holman will also be in the mix as back-ups.

Safety- Josh Barrett is racking up tons of preseason accolades and will be the anchor in the secondary. The departure of Zach Catanese leaves the other spot wide open but this looks like the best defensive unit on the team. I thought that Ryan McFoy’s solid play last year would be enough to garner the starting free safety spot but one of Dennis Erickson’s first actions this spring was moving him to linebacker. He did so because of the emergence of Troy Nolan, the defensive MVP of spring camp who will be in close competition for the starting spot with Jeremy Payton. Returnees Rodney Cox and Angelo Fobbs-Valentino will provide back up support while true freshmen Colin Parker and Oliver Aaron may see the field in case of injury.

The defensive unit as a whole is a giant question mark. Teams with multiple high-quality receivers (Cal, USC) will give the corners fits but the biggest question is at defensive line with all of the unproven players. The ability to pressure the opposing quarterback while rushing only four was the key to defensive success last year and problems typically occurred when the corners and safeties cheated in to help with the run leaving the DB’s in single coverage. As crazy and forward-thinking as it sounds, the ability to control the line of scrimmage will be paramount in the success of the Devil D. The early season schedule is soft enough that the team should be working together and picking up schemes by the time conference play begins. A longstanding issue in Tempe has been that the caliber of defensive players under Dirk Koetter was not up to the level of their conference foes. Better players were being recruited in the last two years and there was marked improvement from 2005 to 2006, but the personnel issue still remains: does ASU have the horses to run with USC, et. al?

ST- Four-year starter Jesse Ainsworth departs and while he didn’t win any awards he was, in a word, consistent. Kickoffs were always deep in the endzone and he was almost automatic on field goals inside of 40 yards. Thomas Weber arrives unproven and will have to adjust to big crowds quickly. Jonathan Johnson was solid at punter with zero blocked and big hang times, however he wasn’t immune to the occasional shank and outkicked his coverage a few times; hopefully an extra year will provide more consistency. Ultra-reliable long snapper Jason Burke will have to be replaced as well. Terry Richardson (left, saving Koetter's job in the 2005 Duel) departs as one of the best kick/punt returners in recent memory and his position is up for grabs among Kyle Williams, Rudy Burgess, and Chris McGaha. Coverage will be a wild card as Koetter usually used the top athletes on special teams and it is currently unknown how Erickson is going to fill those spots. Keegan Herring and Justin Tryon were excellent gunners on punts last season but no one really knows how kickoff coverage will be since Ainsworth allowed so few returns. Many people are happy to see Tom Osborne go but the punting unit was the only one of the four that had significant troubles during his tenure as special teams coach.

I'll take a look at the schedule and make a few predictions in Part III, which will be up within a couple of days.

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Friday, July 20, 2007


Premature Premonitions, Part I: The Offense

Due to extreme boredom and sobriety, here's a not-so-quick prognostication of the upcoming season. Keep in mind that 1) I'm not an expert 2) I didn't actually see a lot of games live last year, 3) I didn’t see anything at spring practice and 4) it's mid July. You’re probably wondering why you’re going to read this longwinded piece, but it’s because it’s the middle of the offseason and you’ll take any football-related coverage you can, you sick puppy. I've been reading my copy of the Phil Steele CFB Preview way too much and these are my thoughts considering the following huge questions that won't be answered until Camp Tontozona at the earliest:

Does Dennis Erickson still have the magic?
Will the players respond well to the new staff?
How bad will we miss Kyle Caldwell and Jordan Hill?
Which Rudy C. will show up?
Will Omar Bolden qualify academically?
Will anyone plug the gushing dike that is the #2 corner position?
Have the receivers learned how to run routes?
Can Josh Barrett live up to the hype?

Having said that, here goes.

The Offense

QB- The question will be which Rudy Carpenter shows up. On top of being rattled by Decisiongate, Rudy played through a sophomore slump with each hand broken at some point during the season. If he can regain his freshman moxie where he had a 20-2 touchdown-interception ratio and led the nation in passing efficiency then Tempe’s in for a treat. Erickson will have him working out of the shotgun formation, something he often used in high school and pleaded with Coach Koetter to try. The running backs are looking good and should take some of the pressure off of Carpenter. Should he go down with injury, backup Danny Sullivan played well in the spring game and matured physically in the offseason adding 30 pounds. It has been said that Erickson’s playbook is similar to Koetter’s in many regards but that the plays have different names, something that may help to speed up the learning curve for both. Samson Szakacsy and Chasen Stangel are both VHT’s that should have at least a year to learn.

WR- The receiving corps last year was young and it showed as the unit created a lot of the blame put on Rudy Carpenter through bad route running and dropped balls. Rudy C’s production spiraled downward in 2006 after losing Derek Hagan, Matt Miller, and Moey Mutz to graduation, Terry Richardson and Jamaal Lewis to stupidity, and Rudy Burgess to injury. Burgess should be reliable and productive now that he’s back to receiving full-time but at least one of the young receivers needs to step it up. Smith, Jones, and Kimbrough have all shown flashes of brilliance but have lacked the consistency required to earn a starting spot. Chris McGaha has quietly worked his way up the depth chart through consistent play but may get lost in the fold if Brandon Smith or Kyle Williams lives up to their hype. The two have been compared to Derek Hagan and Shaun McDonald, respectively, but neither have done much in actual games so far. My nod for the starting three would be Burgess, Smith and McGaha.

RB- Ryan Torain has a lot of JR Redmond in him and he fits the mold of other successful Erickson RB’s like Steven Jackson and Ken Simonton, big guys with cutting ability that can catch the ball well out of the backfield. Torain’s gaining a lot of praise this offseason including making’s All-American 1st team, so living up to the hype is as critical as staying healthy. There’s plenty of talent waiting in the wings in the somewhat forgotten Keegan Herring, who has better breakaway speed and cutting ability than Torain but lacks the physicality to consistently run up the middle. Dmitri Nance is small in size but has a knack for picking up the tough short yards and always manages to fall forward. Nance was highly decorated but slowly recruited in Texas high school football and he may be playing with something to prove. Many are excited to see what he can do if given consistent carries but, barring injuries, that probably won’t happen until at least next year.

TE/H-back- Losing Zach Miller to the NFL was huge but not all hope is lost. Older brother Brent is back for a senior season and was solid as a blocker while consistent as a receiver. There isn’t much experience behind him but there is unproven talent. Florida transfer Dane Guthrie has yet to make an impact, Andrew Pettes was the other top TE signed with Zach Miller but has done next to nothing, and Jovon Williams and Lance Evbuomwan are young but physically gifted. Someone in addition to Brent Miller will need to earn their keep as Dennis Erickson likes to use a two-TE set on a regular basis.
Lil' Brent scores the game winner at UW.

OL- Zach Krula’s reception of a 6th year of eligibility is huge and should offset the loss of team leader and three-year starter Andrew Carnahan. Krula was a road-grading tackle that was a big part of the early season success in 2005 against Temple, LSU, and Northwestern but he hasn’t played since due to a broken ankle. Big Zach lines up next to five other guys that have more than seven starts apiece thanks to a host of injuries over the last few years, something that can hopefully be remedied through a new training staff. Seniors Mike Pollak an Brandon Rodd are the anchors at center and left tackle, while Julius Orieukwu, Robert Gustavis, and Paul Fanaika have all filled in well. Run blocking should be a strength this year and sack statistics should go down in the new shotgun formation. In addition to Carnahan, the unit lost Leo Talovou to personal reasons, Stephen Berg to graduation, and Saia Falahola to the defensive line. The top seven guys are very good but if the injury bug strikes as hard as it has in the past the offense could be in big trouble. Backups with game experience include Richard Tuitu’u, Thomas Altieri, Shawn Lauvao.

Defense, Special Teams, and a schedule forecast will make up parts II and III. See you next week, you poor depraved soul.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007


Bring it on, spammers

It's currently being broughten.

* Due to some nagging by a couple of friends, the comments section no longer requires that pesky registration. You may still have to decipher the squiggly word, but that's blogger's doing and not mine. If you any love/hate letters for me that you don't want made public, my email address is now available in my profile. Actually I'm reserving the right to publish whatever you send me, so just forget about those naked pictures you've been saving for a great post (not that it's a real problem here).

* The new commercial is here! The new commercial is here! Yay night games.

* Mike Stoops thinks the Rose Bowl is "a lot more attainable" this year, and he didn't say it all tongue-in-cheek like the infamous comments about getting Tucson Tech to the National Title in year three. Year three was last year, oh by the way.

* I decided to make a shirt for the U of A game. Go get 'em now, before the Thanksgiving weekend rush!
***they're not actually for sale anywhere.***

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Friday, July 13, 2007


The State of A-State

Dan Zeiger of the East Valley Tribune has had to create his own stories this offseason thanks to this new-fangled idea called discipline. In the wake of a $30 million deficit and Sun Devil Stadium's structural inadequacies, the overall ASU sports program seems to be doing as well as it ever has as evidenced by Zeiger's article.

A 10th place finish in the Director's Cup standings, although weighted heavily by consistent success across the Olympic(non-important) sports, is a reason to have faith. Rob Evans and Dirk Koetter are out. Pat Murphy(College World Series), Charli Turner-Thorne(Sweet 16), and Clint Myers(WCWS) are staying put. Herb Sendek and Dennis Erickson are in.

I bear the gifts of Frankensense, gold, and a physical defense.

The Director's Cup finish is of little consequence unless one examines the company in which ASU sits. Zeiger puts it well:

ASU is expected to reach the $40-million revenue mark in fiscal year 2008. [athletics director Lisa] Love said that $50 million in annual funds is most ideal, yet realistic.

She looks at the Directors’ Cup standings and marvels that her school was in the top 10 with Texas ($97.8 million revenue in 2005-06), Florida ($82.4 million) and Michigan ($85.5 million). ASU finished four spots ahead of Ohio State, which had the nation’s largest ’05-06 revenue at $104.7 million.

“We are incredibly, competitively efficient,” Love said. “Now, you can’t help but dream. What could our university do (with Ohio State money)?”

Holy freaking smokes. This leads to the chicken vs. egg argument about Sun Devil athletics- do we win to create revenue or do we spend extra money to get more wins? This is also alluded to in the Trib article, making mention of Koetter's famous departing quote regarding the perception/reality of ASU and Zeiger hints that it may have to do with financial competitive advantage based on a smallish and somewhat apathetic fan base. Also cited is the example of George Mason, who after their 2006 Final Four run had a 20% increase on freshman admission applications and a 25% increase in athletic donations.

How does this affect football? Gymnastics coach John Spini says that morale at ASU is the best it's been during his 27 years in Tempe. Morale makes for a happy place, which makes it easier to recruit. A new coach has invigorated the fan base and created a buzz around town. We won't be punting late in the game when we're behind. A schedule with 8 home games can't hurt, especially when seven of them are guaranteed to be at night. Season tickets for those 8 home dates start at $99, and a happy fan base donates money and creates a bigger fan base which makes it easier to recruit. A butterfly flaps it's wings and so on...

Basketball still gets a pass since they can still only go one direction, but Sendek seems to have laid the foundation for on-court success and local support. The uber-recruits coming to Wells Fargo Arena this season can't hurt either, and while getting excited about recruits is usually reserved for the folks in Stoopsville remember that new blood turns basketball around much quicker than football.

Life seems to be good in Tempe, but as usual it will all come down to winning on Saturdays in the fall. The schedule plays in ASU's favor to gain some early confidence in themselves and for the Valley to get excited and show support before the meat of the schedule comes to town. Phil Steele thinks we have a good shot at starting 8-0, and if he says it it must be true. This is as much of a make-or-break year as ASU has ever had. The deck is stacked in Sparky's favor for once and it's time to put up or shut up. Now is the time to makes strides.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Possession Receiving at it's finest

God bless IOBON Productions for posting the Moey Mutz Highlight Tape on youtube. Other than being tied with Mason Unck for having the best ASU football name of the Koetter era, Mutz was known for for being a gutty, undersized, white kid with a nose for the ball and an ability for getting open on third and long. Here now are more catches than I ever remember Mutz making.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I guess they wanted to give South Korea a sporting chance

John Mackovic, professor emeritus.

Former University of Arizona head football coach John Mackovic will be leading a team of college football players to represent these United States in the 2007 American Football World Cup. Players will be taken from Divisions I, II, and III, including UA quarterback Adam Austin.

The roster is full of names you've never heard from schools you haven't heard of including Hobart, Morningside, and Virginia Tech. (too soon? -ed.) In the offensive overview, the career highlight mentioned with Austin is that he "was a part-time starter for the Wildcats during his career, leading the team to a victory over Stanford last season." Stanford, wow. Congratulations Adam, you have something in common with 92% the Cardinal's opponents.

I'd like to think that I was creative enough to come up with something like this, but it's real. For that sort of creativity in a college football blog, check out the Hayley LaFontaine story at EDSBS. I did a double check just to make sure this isn't an Onion-style article, but if it is a ruse then the authors were thorough enough to create a Team USA website with pictures and everything. Fear not fellow Americans, as S. Korea was defeated 77-0 on Tuesday and Team USA advances to face Germany on Saturday. Austin didn't perform well enough to get his name in the paper, but Macko's probably saving him for the Germans and their stout D. Mmmmm, German stout. I'm off to Leon Pub.

For extra summer reading, Sun Devil Pat ranked ASU's bowl victories on Cactus Ranch. It's not much, but it's something to distract you from behemoth recruit Po'u Palelei not qualifying academically. Remember folks, no offseason news is good offseason news when Dennis Erickson is your coach.

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