#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

#Road2Glendale #Countdown2kickoff

ol ball coachAfter months of reliving the agony and glory of last year, a new season of redemption is around the corner. The preseason all-american teams have been announced, the next batch of 5 star freshman have arrived, and fan bases from coast to coast believe this season will finally be the one where they win it all. This season a prodigal son has returned to THE BIG HOUSE and some of most decorated coaches in college football history from Columbia, Blacksburg, and Norman are poised to silence retirement chatter and restore their once proud programs back among the nation’s elite.

As fall camp grows near folks in Tallahassee and Baton Rouge hope to survive what’s leftezekiel elliott of the dog days of summer without losing anymore players. College football fans, the wait is almost over, 125 football teams are all vying to be the last team standing. An early season lost and two quarterbacks later the Ohio State Buckeyes shocked the world. With three national championship to his name Coach Urban Meyer and his stable of future pros appear poised to win his fourth.

travone boykinThe Buckeyes may be everyone’s favorite, but history has shown us that there are no certainties in college football. Can the wide receiver turned quarterback turned Heisman frontrunner Trevone Boykin really duplicate or outdo his jaw dropping performance from last season? After years of probation does USC finally have the depth to survive a brutal Pac 12? Will the play of graduate transfer quarterbacks  Everett Golson or Vernon Adams make fans forget the Heisman winners they replace? And are the SEC’s years of dominance finally over?

This upcoming season is ripe with questions that will only be answered on the field. Asgolson fsu the anticipation and hype builds be prepared to expect the unexpected. A title contender will rise from nowhere, a prominent coach will be fired, and the eventual heisman front runner will not win, and one of the four teams in the college football playoffs will be a team no one expected. Fans, the #Road2Glendale will be a memorable one filled with wide rights, hail mary’s, and torn down goal posts. Stay tuned…I know I will

– A.Denmark @eatdrkslpsprtz2

Road2Arlington: Ohio State Buckeyes – Championship or Bust, No Excuses. No Apologizes.

12 n 0THE Ohio State Buckeyes have had two unblemished regular season finishes, but no national championships to show for it. At programs like that SCHOOL UP NORTH a 23-game win and a Big Ten Conference is something to be proud of, but in Columbus where excellence is expected NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP are all that matter.

This year the Buckeyes are stacked and the gap separating them from their Big Ten peers is gaping. After three years Coach Urban Meyer has well stocked roster that has both speed and talent galore. Despite the Buckeyes abundance of riches the national championship hopes of Buckeye Nation rest squarely on the surgically repaired shoulder and previously strained MCL of Heisman favorite senior quarterback Braxton Millerbraxton miller injury

When Miller was on the field he was nearly unstoppable, which is why he has two Big Ten Player of the Year Awards in his trophy case. Although Miller will always be a threat to run he continues to grow and mature as a passer. Each time Miller pulled the ball down fans were both amazed and horrified hoping that he would get up unscathed. Although there is no shortage of talent, replacing an entire offensive line for an injury prone quarterback is a bit unsettling.

However, the Buckeyes saving grace will be their defense, which will rank as one of the best in the country. Despite the losses of first rounders Bradley Roby and Ryan Shazier, the defense will be nothing short of dominant. The defensive line will be downright scary and opposing quarterbacks and OC will be terrorized in their dreams osu dand on the field by Michael Bennett, Joey Bosa, and Adolphus Washington. At Ohio State they don’t replace, they simply reload, FS Vonn Bell, CB Doran Grant, and LB Curtis Grant are all poised to be premier play-maker that will not be a secret for much longer.

Although no team will ever rival Meyer’s 2008 Florida Gators, Meyer may have assembled his best team yet in Columbus. The offensive line holds the key to the Buckeyes championship fate. Since they practice against the nation’s best defense there may be hope after all. If talented play maker Dontri Wilson finally live up to his Percy Harvin expectations which he is more than capable of doing then the Road2Arlington will be an easy one. But if Miller misses time due to injury all bets are off. 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

 

 

Road2Arlington: Michigan State Spartans, Big Ten Champions and Beyond?

you shall not passLast season the Michigan State Spartans led by a record setting defense was one of the hottest teams in the nation. The Spartans gave Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes their first lost in two years in route to a Big Ten Championship. And if that was not enough they out toughed and out muscled the bullies from the west the Stanford Cardinals to win their first Rose Bowl Championship since 1945. 2013 was truly a banner year for the Spartans but with expectations heightened what will they do for an encore?

The new kings of the Big Ten Conference must replace their two All Americans shilique calhounlinebacker Max Bullough and Thorpe winner Darqueze Dennard but the cupboard is far from bare. Two-time assistant coach of the year Pat Narduzzi continues to turn unheralded recruits into prime time play makers and former basketball player Shilique Calhoun is his latest discovery. Calhoun and his 8.5 sacks 16.5 career tackles for loss will be relied on to terrorize opposing quarterbacks as the newest members of the no fly zone Trae Waynes and company get their feet wet.

Unlike in years past the Spartans offensive cupboard is far from barren returning 8 starters on offense. Quarterback Connor Cook confidence grew in the latter part of the season displaying pinpoint accuracy and mobility to extend plays. Running back Jeremy Langford was a human pinball whose punishing style led to big runs in the fourth quarter. Tennessee transfer Deanthony Arnett joins a deep stable of ball-hawking big receivers led by senior Tony Lippett.

jeremy langford and ryan shazierExpectations in East Lansing could not be higher. In 2012 the Spartans were everyone’s darkhouse  BCS title contender but they finished 7-6. Is another disappointing encore on the horizon or is there another Big Ten Championship and a trip to the College Football Playoffs in Arlington to play for a National Championship in the cards? 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

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