#BillSnyder :The Greatest where it counted most #SnyderStrong #EMAW

snyder-statueWhen we define greatness we often refer to records, banners, and rings.Based solely on these standards of greatness Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder would not warrant mentioning. Unlike past greats Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno, Tom Osborne and Paul Bryant or recent greats Pete Carroll, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer there are no national championship banners hanging in the rafters or no crystal balls collecting dusts in the trophy case.

hell-freeze-overBut this does not make Snyder any less greater than his contemporaries. His contributions to college football is immense and nearly covers four decades. Although Snyder’s story of  turning  K-State from a laughingstock to contender is well documented but what is more remarkable were his methods of achieving greatness. Unlike his ‘championship’ peers Snyder amassed his success without a single scandal or NCAA infraction.

Over Snyder’s 20+ tenure in the Little Apple his rosters may not have included many 4* bill-snyder-letterand 5* but unlike his peers it also did not include murders, rapists, thieves, and sex offenders. While mining the infertile recruiting pool of the too small, too slow, or too troubled Snyder unearthed a few NFL champions, an eventual congressman, as well a mentored his fare share of prominent coaches at some of the top programs in the country (Bob Stoops, James Franklin, Brent Venables, Bret Bielema, Jim Leavitt,

Although winning a national championship will always be a factor in evaluating greatness, be sure to consider the thousands of fathers and husband whose life was forever changed due to the impact Snyder had on their life. From the handwritten notes of encouragement to the opposing team to him molding young men into college graduate and instilling in them an unrelenting will to not quit regardless of the odds. Snyder may have come up short a  time or two on the gridiron, but he is the epitome of perfection in the game of life. What will he do for an encore? Stay tuned…I know I will.

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

 

Nick Saban Urban Meyer V! It is inevitable

saban-v-meyer-vThe 2016 college football season is only in its infancy, but it already appears that Saban Meyer V in Tampa is all but inevitable. Although parody is supposedly alive and well, thus far we have learned that Ohio State and Alabama are the two exceptions. The gap between these two elite programs and whoever is ranked below them is outstanding, and will only grow wider as the Tide and Buckeyes continue to improve.

The Lamar Jackson phenomena has certainly been entertaining, but thus far there have lamar-heismanbeen few surprises this season. Although the fortunes of teams often change from week to week, due to injuries or a lack of depth several teams will be the victims of misfortune. Unlike the Buckeyes and Tide, the fortunes of most teams rely too heavily on the play of one player.

No one will question the dynamic playmaking ability of Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson but they alone will not be enough to jabrill-peppersbridge the Buckeyes-Tide gap. The Stanford Cardinals are all out of byes and McCaffrey is already averaging 35 touches per game. LB/OW/PK/KR Peppers has amazed on offense, defense, and special teams but maintaining such a heavy workload for 13 week is a lot to ask of anybody. September Heisman winner, Lamar Jackson may be 2nd in the nation in rushing, but each time he flees the pocket the Cardinals faithful all hold their breath hoping Jackson jumps back up.

Thus far we have been wowed by the dynamic play of those great players and others but the truth may be hard to accept but it is nearly impossible to deny. at this rate two spots saban-meyer5for the college football playoffs is all but set, everyone else is simply playing for third and fourth. Like Cavaliers v. Warriors, the regular season appears to be meaningless because Meyers Saban V is inevitable. The only question that remains is who will be in the home and away jersey.  It took Neo from the Matrix two movies to realize that it was inevitable, how many games will it take you to realize the same? Stay tuned…I know I will. – A. Denmark

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

Seminoles win BCS Championship, will they repeat or be dethroned in 2014?

seminoles bcs champsTonight a champion was crowned but after the confetti and parades are done the real work begins for the National Champion Florida State Seminoles to defend their crown. Winning back-to-back titles will be more difficult than ever due to the 4-team playoffs which is debuting next year.

Although the Seminoles return Heisman winner Jameis Winston, we learned tonight that titles are won and lost in the trenches and in the secondary. The Seminoles will certainly be everyone’s Pre-Season #1 but who will be their biggest challengers in 2014?

  1. Florida State Seminoles: Why? Jameis Winston Why not? No Jernigan, Joyner, Green, or Shaw. Biggest reason: 4-team playoff.
  2. Oregon Ducks: Why? Marcus Mariota. Why not? Stanford Cardinals
  3. Auburn Tigers: Why? Marshall will only get better. Why not? Defensive coordinators having an entire off season to prepare.
  4. Ohio State: Why? Braxton Miller. Why not? Braxton Miller
  5. Oklahoma Sooners: Why? Budding star Trevor Knight. Why not? Saunders and Shepard are out of elgibility.
  6. Alabama Crimson Tide: Why? Nick Saban and Derrick Henry. Why not? No AJ Mcarrons, a questionable secondary and no pass rush.
  7. Stanford Cardinals: Why? Coach Shaw and the Stanford O-line. Why not? Arizona State, UCLA, USC, Oregon, and no playmakers besides Montgomery.
  8. Baylor Bears: Why? Coach Briles and Bryce Petty. Why not? Defense still wins championships
  9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Why? Everett Gholston returns. Why not? Stephon Tuitt, Louis Nix, and Zack Martin drafted in first round
  10. UCLA Bruins: Why? Brett Hundley and Coach Mora. Why not? Barr first pick in 2014 NFL Draft
  11. Georgia Bulldogs: Why? Marshall, Gurley, and experienced o-line. Why not? Aaron Murray graduated and Todd Grantham is still the DC
  12. LSU Tigers: Why? OC Cam Cameron and DC John Chavis. Why not? Ego Ferguson, Anthony Johnson, Jeremy Hill, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham play for pay in 2014
  13. Michigan State Spartans: Why? Connor Cook and DC Pat Narduzzi. Why not? No fly zone loses Darqueze Denard whose drafted by the New York Jets.
  14. Florida Gators: Why? 4-8. Why not? 4-8.
  15. Arizona State Sun Devils: Why? Taylor Kelly and Coach Graham 10-4. Why not? Will Sutton and Coach Graham
  16. Kansas State Wildcats: Why? Coach Snyder, Jake Walters, and All American Tyler Lockett. Why not? Scheme do not replace size and speed
  17. USC Trojans: Why? Embarrassment of riches. Why not? Coach Sarkistan is no Pete Carroll
  18. South Carolina Gamecocks: Why? No Jadaveon Clowney. Why not? No Conor Shaw.
  19. Texas A&M Aggies: Why? Coach Sumlin. Why not? No Jake Matthews, Johnny Manziel or Mike Evans. Can’t win if you can score and stop the other team from scoring
  20. Wisconsin Badgers: Why? All-American RB Gordon returns. Why not? Lose top 4 wr to graduation.
  21. Clemson Tigers: Why? OC Chad Morris. Why not? DC Brett Venables
  22. Oklahoma State Cowboys: Why? I’m a man, I’m 40. Why not? Coach Gundy.
  23. Ole Miss Rebels: Why? Bo Wallace, and the band of freshman get bigger stronger, smarter, faster. Why not? LSU, Alabama, Texas A&M
  24. Washington Huskies: Why? Coach Peterson. Why not? Coach Peterson
  25. Missouri Tigers: Why? Matt Mauk, Doriall Green-Beckham, and edge rushers galore. Why not? May sack the quarterback but can not stop the run

Texas Longhorns Reality Check

elite football coachesWhen big time college jobs become available a who’s who’s list of coaching royalty is assembled. Names like Nick Saban, Jon Gruden, Les Miles, Urban Meyer and Chip Kelly find themselves mentioned very every coaching vacancy that comes available at so called elite programs. However, the elite coaches are always missing when the school has their press conference to announce their next coach.

These coaching vacancies provide a harsh reality check to programs, boosters, and fans, letting them know that they are not as glamorous or as appealing as they had been led to believe. USC Athletic Director Pat Haden was dealt a similar reality check when their A-list of texas fightprospective hires all said no despite Haden’s promise to pay $6 Million annually. Now, don’t get me wrong Steve Sarkistan may turn out to be a home run hire but initial impressions certainly left more to be desired.

Now as the coaching carousel makes a pit stop in Austin the usual list of elite caliber coaches are mentioned to fill the vacancy. Everyone claims to have well placed sources connecting coaches like Mike McCarthy, Jim Mora, Jim Harbaugh, and even Mike Tomlin to the vacancy at the so-called most premiere college football program in the country.

hookem hornsHowever, just like small town beauty who realizes they are not the dime that they had been lead to believe, the Texas Longhorn football program is due to experience a similar fate. Despite Forbes Magazine declaring them as the highest grossing sports program in the nation, they will not be exempt from hearing the harsh two letter word N-O !!!

Once the dust has settled and the dream hires decline or uses the vacancy to get another raise or extension a la Saban, a real candidate will be welcomed with little fan fare and a few shades of disappointment.

longhorns winThe next coach of the Longhorns will likely not have won a conference championship, a National Championship, or even appeared in a BCS Bowl game.

Who fits the bill? Vanderbilt HC James Franklin? Clemson OC Chad Morris? Fresno State HC Tim Deruyter? Only time will tell. Stay tuned…I know I will.

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

 

Road2BCS: Week 8 was nothing short of exciting, thank you college football gods #bcscountdown

Wow what a Saturday, from overtime thrillers to unexpected blowouts college football certainly was far from a snoozer. We have reached the midpoint of the college football season and the second BCS rankings will be out pretty soon, and so far the unexpected has become the norm for six straight weeks. In only a short time both preseason title favorites LSU and USC have suffered early season losses and the prohibitive Heisman favorites Geno Smith and Matt Barkley are now on the outside looking in just hoping for invites to the ceremony in New York’s Big Apple.

At the start of the season so many teams had high hopes of breaking through but the harsh reality of a college football season has left its fair share of bruises and casualties. Despite two early season losses that football team in State College continues to surprise the masses after yet another convincing win over the Iowa Hawkeyes.

For yet another season it appears that the SEC is conducting its own version of a playoff elimination format which will determine who plays for the BCS National Championship. Not even the gator faithful would have predicted that Coach Muschamp would have his team ranked as the second best team in the country. However, after another convincing win over top ten foe South Carolina Gamecocks the Gators have survived the toughest part of their schedule. Led by Matt Elam on defense and with Jeff Driskel continued improvement a showdown between crosstown rival FSU stand in the way of Will Muschamp facing his mentor Nick Saban and his Alabama Crimson Tide for an opportunity to play for the BCS National Championship.

Not to be outdone, the Oregon Ducks out west have steam rolled the competition averaging nearly 40 points per game and resting most of its starters by halftime. Led by an explosive offense it appears that not even Matt Barkley and his USC Trojans will pose much of a threat to the Ducks as they appear destined to face an SEC foe in Miami for the BCS National Championship.

Although there are a number of other BCS title contenders it will be interesting to see how squads like the undefeated Kansas Stat Wildcats and the Oregon State Beavers respond with increased pressure to perform and produce on a consistent basis. Each of these teams face trap games and if they are not careful they may find themselves victims of their own success. The Washington Huskies and the Texas Tech Red Raiders have already upset two top ten teams already this season, if they are not careful each of these national championship long shots may be next.

As one Saturday ends college football fans will certainly have more weeks of upsets and overtime thrillers in store. Only at season’s end will we truly know who the best team in the country is, until then all we can continue to do is just guess and enjoy. To my true college football fans, stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark

Road2BCS: Week 4 Reality Check – The Three Favorites and then everybody else #cfb

At the beginning of the season there were 120 undefeated teams who dreamed of playing the role of spoiler and taking down the mighty Goliath’s of college football. Several promising underclassmen turned down millions of dollars in the NFL choosing instead to play another year to improve their draft stock, contend for a BCS title and earn the diploma that they promised their friends and loved ones that they would get.

Although the season is far from over in only a short time several teams have been given a harsh reality check  that a National Championship will not be in their future and many talented underclassmen who passed on the NFL Draft last year  may certainly be regretting their decision at this time.

In week four of the college football season we were treated to a number of surprises that will certainly make for a compelling 2012-13 season. The race for the National Title is completely wide open with Alabama, Oregon, and Florida State looking like prohibitive favorites. In addition to adding a win to the win column these teams also avoided the injury bug that has already compromised the chances of other title contenders. The Road to the BCS title is a marathon not a sprint and how these three teams perform will shape the National title picture.

The Alabama Crimson Tide appear to have the toughest road ahead with tough games remaining against the defensively stout LSU Tigers, pass happy Tennessee Volunteers, and hated in-state rival the Auburn Tigers. Led by the arm of AJ Mccarrons and an ever improving defense each week the Tide will be expected to win, even on November 3rd against LSU.

Although the SEC is praised as the deepest conference, this year that title may belong to the Pac 12. Outside of Colorado who upset Washington State, the conference is riddled with land mines that can destroy the Oregon Ducks title chances. The Ducks have seven games left on their schedule and 6 of those seven will be ranked in the top 25 by season’s end. Outside of their obvious match-up against USC on November 3rd there will be many in conference foes who will have the offensive firepower to score and the ability to confuse their first year starting quarterback.

Many will foolishly assume that the Seminoles have the easiest route to the BCS title game but in reality there road may actually be the toughest because they will be expected to win every game. The Seminoles will not face another ranked in conference opponent for the rest of the season besides Virginia Tech. Coach Fisher must get his team to not overlook any opponent and follow the process as his mentor Coach Saban taught him. When the Seminoles play against their instate rival the Florida Gators more than state pride will be on the line.

How each of these teams respond to heightened expectation will say a lot about the talent and leadership on their teams, and the quality of coaching on the sidelines and in the sky box. Will they stay strong or will one of these teams falter? Who will outwit and outlast the other? College football fans it appears that another exciting season awaits us. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)

Road to the BCS Title: There can only be 1! Teams may appear better than they seem #bcstitle

We are only going into the fourth week of the season and several  sports pundits have prematurely deemed several traditional powers to be back among the nation’s elite after witnessing them demolish FCS pansies and outclassing undermanned programs. In the words of the Lee Corso from College Gameday I must say “not so fast!”

A few weeks ago Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban went on a tirade lecturing the national media on prematurely ordaining his team as a shoe-in to contend for the national title. Although his delivery rubbed many media member the wrong way his message was SEARS CRYSTAL TROPHY CLEAR, its far to early in a long 15 week season to foolishly overlook opponents and make grand predictions because in college football any team on any day can lose.

The road to a BCS Championship is long and arduous and despite many teams possessing the talent only two teams out of a field of 120 will get the opportunity to play for the crown of being the nation’s best. So far this season we have bared witness to dominant performances by Alabama and LSU but several other teams in the top 15 raise more questions than answers regarding their true legitimacy as contenders for the national title.

Future Hall of Fame Head Coach Bill Parcells once famously said “YOU ARE WHAT YOUR RECORD SAYS YOU ARE” but despite several teams being 3-0 we still have no clue who they are:

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0) — Two very impressive wins over teams ranked in the top 10. The O-line gave up 6 sacks to WKU and suffered a costly injury when RB Fowler who was lost for the season. O-line issues must be addressed before their match-up with LSU Nov. 3rd
  2. LSU Tigers (3-0) — LSU regular season record remains unblemished with dominating performances over powerhouses Idaho, North Texas, and Washington. These wins have come at a huge cost losing 6 players due to academics and 3 to injuries including starting LT Faulk,  LB Tahj Jones, and RB Alfred Blue. The depth of the Tigers will be tested, the talent is there will inexperience be too costly
  3. Oregon Ducks (3-0) — like the Tigers the Oregon Ducks have survived a “tough” gauntlet of unranked opponents in TN Tech, Ark State, and Fresno State and have looked impressive in their wins over these ‘tough’ foes. The Ducks have barely broke a sweat in their wins but suffered two huge losses in G Carson York and All-American safety John Boyett. With a tough conference schedule awaiting the decision making of QB Mariota and a inexperienced O-line and secondary will be tested.
  4. Florida State Seminoles (3-0) — not one to avoid tough opponents the Seminoles paid Murray State and Savannah State for wins and put a shellacking on perennial powerhouse Wake Forest. These wins were costly losing All-Americans DE Jenkins to injury and Greg Reid to suspension.
  5. Georgia Bulldogs (3-0) — the Bull Dogs survived a scare from the Missouri Tigers despite 6 players being lost due to suspension. Will the Dogs be able to just say NO TO DRUGS??
  6. Oklahoma Sooners (2-0) — So you get nearly outclassed by UTEP and still find yourself in the top 10. Coach Stoops did not get the Nickname “Big Game Bob” for nothing…
  7. South Carolina Gamecocks (3-0) — A pass interference no call from Vandy warrants being ranked in top ten
  8. West Virginia Mountaineers (2-0) — James Madison + Marshall = Heisman Frontrunner?
  9. Stanford Cardinals (3-0) — yes they beat SC but nearly loss to San Jose State only winning by 3
  10. Clemson Tigers (3-0) – 26-19 to Auburn who almost lost to Louisiana Monroe, enough said

As the quest for the Sears National Championship Trophy continues as the season progresses the rankings will certainly change and I am more than certain that a few of these teams currently ranked in the top 10 may not even finish the season in the top 25. Who will be those teams? Who will hoist the trophy at season’s end. Stay tuned… I know i will – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)