I'd hate to swear this early on (and just for the sake of swearing), but... what up, punks?! The Hybrid is motherfuckin' back. How the hell was your off-season? Mine was great. There was no college football, and I was extremely happy. Now that it's back, I'm somehow happier, which makes no sense whatsoever, as I very much hate the sport and wish it could somehow be totally reformed. Alas.
Seriously though. A lot has changed since I last wrote about the sleazy, corrupt, volatile sport of college football. And we'll recap a few of the changes below.
- My hero, mentor, and friend (in my head) RichRod was fired from the stupid University of Michigan. Despite another increase in wins, making a bowl game, and architecting one of the greatest offenses in the history of the school, the legendary and successful coach was peaced out by Michigan AD, Dave Brandon. Brandon is most famous for wanting to pump stadium music into the Big House, while creating a Michigan Wolverine mascot and simultaneously making everyone out there sincerely hate him. I'll be god damned if him and Jerry Angelo don't hang out on week days.
In his place is a fat guy named Brady Hoke. Hoke unfortunately embraces every single thing about Michigan that I hate more than everything: tradition, old bullshit, entitlement, and, OH YES, white people. If coach Hoke was any better at appeasing stuffy white people, we'd probably have to call him Brady W. Hoke*. He's the kind of guy who -- no joke -- responds to questions like "How will you turn around the defense?" with verbal vomit like "Turn around the defense? We're MICHIGAN."
If you're still torn on him, just know he has approval from Mitch Albom. (Welcome to my side.)
I'm in a weird situation with the school right now. While they have perpetually been my favorite college football team, I almost abandoned them completely when Hoke's hire led to rumors of a Denard Robinson transfer. While Denard maintains he never thought of leaving stupid Michigan, I have my questions. First of all, he's super justified. Second, fuck Dave Brandon. Third, I'm glad he stayed. I really think I would have been out if he left. Seeing as I said something along the lines of "I want to walk to Ann Arbor tonight just so I can watch him sleep," I'm glad Blue was able to retain QB1 going into this season. While I will attribute any offensive success old regime (RichRod 4 LYFE), any defensive improvement will be pinned on Hoke and his super coordinator Greg Mattison. Same goes for recruiting. Hoke might be passionate and fat, but man, he has so far burned the rest of the Big Ten to the ground in recruiting, which has been nice.
I really need to stop talking about this.
- Nebraska has entered the shitty Big Ten. Good for them. I hope they win the league. It's nice to have a not-Indiana in the league.
- I joined a college fantasy football league. While this was mostly precautionary due to the NFL lockout which never happened, we ended up still deciding to do it because we thought it might make all the shitty Big Ten games we watch (think Penn State-Purdue) more tolerable. Yes, that's right, we restricted the league to only Big Ten teams. That'd be like playing NFL fantasy football and having it be strictly NFC West. I named my team "Denard" hoping to draft the No. 1 rated player, but I instead was awarded the last pick of the draft. Fuck. With it, I selected Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson and some other dude I forgot about. Moral of the story, Wilson put up, like, 34 points on awful UNLV Thursday night during the college football opener, and now I have the fast track to win Week 1. Sweet.
- I'm going to flip a coin. If it's heads, Jim Tressel will get get a "he gawn" with three or so W's but if it's tails, he will get a "he gawn" with five hundred.
(It was tails.)
JT? HE GAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
If you disagree that felt good, stop reading this column and go to church
(* - I know nothing about politics, if you're going to give me a pass on anything I say today, make it that line)
Note: It's a new year, so the Tim Tebow Pro Check-In section will be no more. I think we did what we set out to do with it: made fun of him, felt burned by his minor successes, and ultimately, proved he sucked. He's, like, Denver's No. 3 QB right now (behind Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn). In many ways, his life is over. That doesn't mean we can't run that one picture again, though. See?
Some of the other sections (like the link dump and/or Big Ten rants) may come and go depending on if I have material for them or not. Errything else (How do people type "everything" like that? I mean it's one thing to *say* it like that, but...) will stay the exact same.
SOMEONE HIT ME WITH SOME SCARFACE.
Aight, let's go.
Remember, we roll with the AP rankings until the BCS drop.
1) Oklahoma: A great, classic No. 1. Saddling up to that Sooner wagon a few years ago was a great move. Seriously, someone talk me out of casually respecting them. They play in the abandoned Big 12, always have awesome QBs, and I don't have a third thing. They may not win the national title, but I hope they do. BOOMER SOONER.
2) Alabama: Typically don't mind them, but as the highest ranked SEC team, we should probably root against their success early on.
3) Oregon: So torn. They are a school funded with boatloads of Nike money, finally tasted success last year, wear sweet uniforms, but they still have to cheat? Still? Even with all the Nike money (which is sort of like cheating already)? I'll be on the fence with the Ducks for the time being
4) LSU: Not worth thinking about. Will lose.
5) Boise State: Go undefeated for real, or GTFO.
6) Florida State: A solid 11% of me was happy to see them good again, but I think that will drop to about -39% when I realize the consequences of them being good again. Man, I was stupid.
7) Stanford: We like Andrew Luck, right? Sure, he pocket passes, but his coach totally abandoned him. And hey, maybe he'll get hurt. Risk!
8) Texas A&M: Huh?
9) Oklahoma State: Perpetually ranked No. 9 pre-season.
10) Nebraska: Thought they were ranked higher.
11) Wisconsin: As a waverer between "Wisconsin is fat, white, and boring" to "it's very cool that Wisconsin runs up the score", I think I just might roll with them this year. Their RBs appear to be not-fat, they have a sweet QB who will likely carry my fantasy team (I cannot believe I play college fantasy football), and they appear to be the best non-Nebraska Big Ten team. Whatever. We'll see how it plays out.
12) South Carolina
13) Virginia Tech
14) TCU: Ugh, again? I'm glad I don't know any TCU fans. I'm sure they convinced themselves the Rose Bowl was the same thing as the national title. If so? Welcome to the Big Ten!
15) Arkansas: Even with Ryan Mallett gone?
16) Notre Dame: I feel like I know nothing about Notre Dame this year, but another part of me feels like I know everything about ND this year. This is a weird way of saying I was blown away to see them ranked this high.
17) Michigan State: Being 100% sure Kirk Cousins graduated made me really question my personal certainty, as he is back for his senior season.
18) Ohio State: Copy and paste what I wrote for Notre Dame here.
While one may think I hate Ohio State, it's really not true. I mostly hated Tressel. I would love it if the Buckeyes played well this year and won the national title. Because I hate myself, and I hate college football.
20) Mississippi State
24) West Virginia: I tweeted this a week or so ago, but I recently started a new job and I was being trained for an hour or so on a random afternoon by this super nice lady who graduated from West Virginia. Before I could ask her anything, she said something along the lines of, "Everything you've heard is true: the school is a dump, we party hard, and yes, we burn couches."
We had a pretty good CFB discussion, and outside of the above quote, my favorite exchange was probably this.
Me: Before we go any further, I think you should probably know, I absolutely love Rich Rodriguez.
Her (naive, super nice): Well, we all did before he left.
Me: No, I mean I still like him *now*.
Her (naive, surprised): What? But why?
Me: I'm a huge Michigan fan.
Her: He should be fired from that school.
Me: Well, have I got some news for you...
She's right, it's true.
I was going to complain about the Week 1 slate being uber-shitty, but then I got to the night games portion and realized there are two good ones (spoiler alert: no Big Ten teams are involved).
TCU (14) at Baylor: Friday night lights. Sweet, maybe TCU will lose.
Akron at Ohio State (18): Sweet, maybe tOSU will lose.
Another story (of the many) regarding Ohio State boning me: I wanted to draft their No. 1 RB for my fantasy league, but he's suspended for five games. I then drafted their No. 2-ish RB, but then yesterday, *he* gets suspended for their Week 1 game. What the hell is wrong with these people? I now have a waiver claim put in for their No. 3-ish-ish RB, which a) I might lose out on, b) might not go through in time for Week 1, and c) might not even matter, because who knows if the dude will even play.
I just need to keep telling myself about how dead Tressel is and forever will be.
Appalachian State at Virginia Tech (13): FUCK.
South Florida at Notre Dame (16): Anyone wanna talk me into this?
Idaho State at Washington State: Terrible game, but it could be the only time my Cougs are still undefeated this year.
Oregon (3) vs. LSU (4), neutral site: Hell yeah, sweet game! Sure, LSU has suspended players, but they might still win! Game of the Week fo' sure. Game of the Year until my short-sightedness leads me to tabbing another.
Boise State (5) at Georgia (19): Might be even more excited for this one. Huge national title implications as well. When I think of this game, I (for some reason) picture Georgia being very scared of it.
College Football Bandwagon 2011
Week 1 :: serenity
I asked Ryan if there were any teams outside of ND he wanted excluded from the bandwagon right off the bat, and he sent me this amazingly grammar'd e-mail:
Nebraska wisconsin ohio state boise state. roll damn tide and god save usc!
He's ready for the season, too.
Feeling somewhat tapped out, let's see if I can think of something.
About .2 seconds into thinking, I realized we haven't talked about "Legends" and "Leaders" yet, but I mean, what else is there to say? It's horrible, painfully void of self-awareness, and somehow staying for the duration of this year (at the very least).
What really kills me about it, other than everything, is how Michigan is in the Legends division. While both divisions are stupid, Michigan has the word "leaders" prominently sung in their pretty famous fight song. So when the divisions first dropped, I blindly assumed that was their division. Because, you know, there's a shred of logic in that concept. As always with this horrible conference, they were wrong and I was wrong.
- Clay Travis, one of my favorite college football writers (despite all of his SEC preferences) launched a new site this off-season called Outkick The Coverage. It's been great so far. Disclaimer: he asked me to write a Big Ten column for it a few months ago. I'm going to send him this week's Hybrid, and we'll see if that request still stands. Regardless of if I'm part of it or not, it's been a very compelling site thus far, and it for sure deserves your attention if you care about not the NFL.
Wrapping It Up...
Here's to a great season. Void of controversy and Big Ten success.