12.28.2007

ALBUMS OF THE YEAR

Time to combine two of the things that we love the most – rap albums and lists. Without further ado, we present to you The Realests’ Top 5 rap albums of the year.

(Editors’ Note: Jim took no part in the making of the list. This is mostly due to the fact that he listens to this song called “Strawberry Wine” on repeat on his iPod. His rap rights have been revoked – not even watching Season 4 of The Wire in 3 days will save him. And yeah, I do have the audacity to blast Jim after he kept this blog afloat for the last 3 months. You know what we call that? The audacity of real. Word to Obama.)

On second thought, I can’t do 5 albums. Mostly because I’m rusty and don’t know how to blog anymore, but moreso because it’s tough for me to think of 5 CDs from this year that I know that I’ll listen to in the future. And that’s the standard by which I’m listing these CDs. So, here it is:

4) 8 Diagrams – The Wu-Tang Clan


While it’s true that you’re never going to get a very upbeat album from Wu-Tang, this album’s whole sound seems targeted toward a more somber and laid back vibe. Of course, some of that has to do with the fact that ODB isn’t on the album. And his presence is missed because he could add a jolt of life to some RZA beats that seem to plod along. But the beats aren’t a problem at all here. A lot of people have complained that RZA lost his damn mind on the CD – but I’ll flip mctwerk it and say that those people have lost their minds. I think, if anything, RZA going off and doing soundtrack work has really helped him expand as a producer and the beats are the better for it.

“Campfire” is very ominous and a tone-setter for the album. Also, thankfully, Method Man has the opening verse on the album and he actually sounds interested for the first time in years (except for the Justin Timberlake reference – it seems forced). Ghostface and Cappadonna finish out the song – Ghost coming in and saying “On anything that RZA throw, Ironman’s invisible” gets me pumped up anytime. And Cappadonna used to drive a cab last year. Now that’s real.

I also love how jarring the beat on “Unpredictable” is – I think it would be perfect for a car or foot chase in a movie. And you know what? I think RZA envisioned a lot of these beats as accompanying movie scenes. I’ll bet money on it. Someone get him on the phone.

“The Heart Gently Weeps” was one of the more celebrated songs off of the album because of the supposed Beatles sampling, but even aside from that it’s a great song – Meth, Ghost, and Rae rap on it and all of them sound great. Ghost is in story telling mode and hearing his verse makes me feel ashamed that I’ve underrated him for so long. Hearing him tell a story is just absolutely fantastic – his mix of details (most of them absurd) with humor is perfect. (I’ve also gone back and listened to Ironman recently – it’s better than most albums released this year, you should get it if you don’t have it – don’t waste your 13 dollars on some other garbage). Oh, and one more thing – I don’t get what Rae’s problem was with this album. I’ve never really liked him that much – except for when he raps with Ghostface – but on this album he sounds incredibly on point in every verse. Don’t know what he’s mad about.

“Wolves” is incredibly weird with a sort of spaghetti-western/Kill Bill/tribal-chanting beat. U-God is on it and even though I hate his guts, he does a good job. Also, anything with George Clinton rambling incoherently is a winner in my book (see: PCU starring (bald) Jeremy Piven, Synthesizer by Outkast).

The only odd song is “Life Changes” which was supposed to be the ODB tribute. It just doesn’t sound that sincere. There’s not that much put into the verses and that’s a sad thing. Because if there was one thing ODB was all about, besides the children, it was putting everything you have into it.

At the end of the day, I’m just happy to have another Wu-Tang album. True, there isn’t a “Triumph” or “C.R.E.A.M” on here, but it’s still a solid CD.

3) American Gangster – Jay-Z



I’ve already slurped Jay-Z for this one and there isn’t a lot more that I can say about it. “Hello Brooklyn” still sounds great every time. I’ve gained a new appreciation for “American Dreaming,” “Pray,” and “Party Life.” I still listen to “American Gangster” every time I go running (it helps to listen to very fast music when your attempting to break the heralded sub-10 minute mark for a mile).

The lyrics on the album get better with each listen and I find myself catching something new each time. But I’ve recently faced a somewhat ethical dilemma with the album. Someone mentioned that it seemed kinda backhanded of Jay to do all that talking on Kingdom Come about how he was too grown up to be talking about selling crack, etc. and then he goes and puts out American Gangster. True, he said that he was just inspired by the movie to go back and talk about his crack slinging days, but come on – seems a little fishy right? I mean, just come out and say that you want to talk about this shit because it’s infinitely more interesting and because it sells records.

2) Graduation – Kanye West




Now here’s an album that I REALLY slurped. It’s still great though. But after a few months removed, I’ve gotten a better appreciation for it. Most notably, when Kanye messes up, he messes up big time. Going back and listening to the CD now, I have to skip “Flashing Lights” and “Drunk and Hot Girls” every time through. Also, “Big Brother” comes off a little too whiny and obnoxious now. And “Stronger” seems to get a little weaker with every listen (no pun intended).

But “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” gets better with every listen, and I mean every listen. The woman singing in the background gets stuck in my head for days at a time. And “The Glory” is still sick. My favorite line of the year might be “cameras flash so much that I gotta do the Yayo dance.” “Good Life” has kept its charm with T-Pain growing on me and “Barry Bonds” is such a simple song, but I listen to it all the way through every time it comes on and then I listen to it again.

1) The Cool – Lupe Fiasco


Hands down the best CD of the year.

I know “The Cool” was a song on Lupe’s debut CD, where he told the story of some hustler that died and then came out of his coffin and went back to the hood and then died again. The whole thing was absurd but it was told with such intensity and complete fluidity that you couldn’t help but be sucked in. And that’s the way it is with this whole CD.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a rapper tell a story the way Lupe does and it is a breath of fresh air. Nowadays you are lucky if one verse on a song happens to stick to the same topic. Sometimes, your lucky if two lines a row make any sense when put together. The beauty of Lupe’s music is that he makes songs around concepts and he sticks to those concepts for the whole song. He tells stories with such intricate wordplay that it’s easy to get distracted for a minute and think, “Damn, I have to start this track over because I want to know everything that’s going on.” At least that’s the way I am. It just seems that he really put effort into these songs. And I don’t understand the whole concept of the album yet – I don’t know what “the cool” is or what “the game” is supposed to represent but I love hearing the songs within this album. Some reviews have said that the CD is a little disjointed and that may be the case, but I don’t mind.

I can’t go through this CD song by song and tell you which ones are hits and misses but the ratio is probably 90/10. And that's even more impressive when you consider the fact that there are 19 songs on the CD. I also can’t tell you which songs have the best lines because I’m constantly finding new ones (here’s a great one I found today – “they want me to leave my Dame like that dude from Marcy”). I will tell you that “Paris, Tokyo” is about love and longing, “Intruder” is about fear, “Superstar” is about potential, “Little Weapon” is about anger, “Dumb It Down” is about arrogance, “Gold Watch” is about bling and Streetfighter, and “Go Go Gadget Flow” is about rapping really, really fast.

The Dude and I had a conversation in college about why "conscious" rappers couldn't make music that people really enjoyed listening to. Lupe would probably fall into that "conscious" category, even though I'm hesitant to label him with that. And I think that The Cool answers a lot of the questions that we had. I mean, if you rap as well as he does on this album it really doesn't matter what you are talking about because it sounds so damn good. Not to get carried away, but Lupe transcends a lot of things on this album. I'm not sure what or how or if I can explain it to you. Just listen to the CD.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Albums I Need To Listen To More That Could Be Very Good:

1) Big Doe Rehab – Ghostface
2) Free At Last – Freeway
3) Underground Kingz – UGK
4) Eardrum – Talib
5) Finding Forever – Common

Albums That Were Awfully Disappointing:
1) The Solution – Beanie Siegel
2) TI v. TIP – TI
3) Curtis – 50 Cent
4) Carnival 2 – Wyclef

Singles of the Year:

1) Can’t Tell Me Nothing – Kanye
2) International Players Anthem – UGK and Outkast
3) Umbrella – Rihanna
4) I Get Money Remix – 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Diddy

Song Most Likely To Give “Since You’ve Been Gone” A Run For Its Money:

1) No One – Alicia Keys

Most Idiotic/Genius Song of the Year:
1) Crank Dat – Soulja Boy

12.27.2007

REALEST/UNREALEST OF THE WEEK

ROW: That crazy bastard Jerry Moore has done it again. In a quote that has gone completely unnoticed for the last 3 months, under Sports Illustrated's newest "They Said It" section is this qem by Moore on why App. State couldn't celebrate beating Michigan for too long:

"We've got Lenoir-Rhyne coming to our place."

We feel like someone just threw a brick in our face. Has our program fallen so low that LeeAnn Rhymes is getting more respect than us?

UROW: Unless I'm missing something here, someone really, really messed up Gary Smith's unbelievable piece on Rob Jones - the grandson of Jim Jones (no, not that Jim Jones) that plays college basketball for San Diego.

Can anyone explain why his name is spelled "RobJones" - without a space - every time in print and online? We sure as shit can't. Either someone made the worst "find and replace" error of all time or we are dumber than a box of rocks.

Or both could be true.

(Editor's Note: To whoever put us on blast in the comments section, as if you couldn't tell from reading this blog, The Realests read on a 2nd grade level so take it easy on us. The word "glued" was too big for our vocabulary.)

12.24.2007

I'M BAAAAAAACK (ALMOST)

Sorry for the delay. I've been chilling off the coast of St. Bartz with spider monkeys for the last few months.

I'm not built like Jim. I don't have that journalism bug flowing through my veins.

But here's what I promise you in the upcoming weeks.

1) Best Rap Albums of the Year
2) The Definitive Jay-Z
3) Thoughts on The Wire

HO HO HO...

Here at The Realests, Jim Jones is as much a holiday tradition as egg nogg, carols and Robin Byrd.

Please pass these along to all your loved ones.

I'm also happy to note that Varun and I are close to settling his blog strike that is now going on three months and plans to hire a scab have been put on hold - for now.

2007-08 BIG TEN PREVIEW: OHIO ST.

Chiggity check yourself before you wreck yourself - the Big Ten Preview is back! With just one week until the conference schedule kicks off, we've sent our preview into overdrive. Next up, the hated Ohio State Buckeyes. We really love this picture of Brutus kickin' it in the parking lot by himself. Almost as much as we love the timeline of Brutus' appearance (how much cooler was he without arms? Big mistake by tOSU...).

2006-07 Record: 35-4
Projected Finish: 3rd
Returning Starters: 1
Head Coach: Thad Matta
Best Player: Jamar Butler (13.5 PPG)

3 Reasons for Optimism:

1) Apparently 7-footers just grow on trees for Thad Matta. As soon as behemoth Greg Oden headed to the NBA, the Bucks brought in Kosta Koufos (Matt's also got another 7-foot stud in B.J. Mullens on the way). If you haven't seem him play, this guy is extremely raw. He struggled a lot early, but after an inspired performance against Florida (17 PTS, 10 REB), Koufos could be turning the corner.

2) Jamar Butler saved a spot on his arm for the Buckeyes' third Big Ten Championship - sadly, this is not a joke. Butler doesn't want to look like a damn fool for the rest of his life. Oops, too late.

3) Following in Jim Tressel's footsteps, Matta signed a 4-year extension with the Devil in late October. Seriously, how do these guys do it? The Buckeyes have a decent shot at making the tournament after two of their players went in the top 4 of the NBA Draft. And they already have two of the best recruits locked up for next year (Mullens, William Buford) and it's still December!

3 Reasons for Pessimism:

1) The losses to North Carolina and Texas A&M were disasters. The Bucks then got blown out by Matta's old school, Butler, by 19, and scored just 47 points against Coppin State the following game. Oh yeah, and this team lost to Division II Findlay in exhibition. Findlay!

2) Koufos was benched against against Coppin State for "lack of aggresiveness." You mean being a cooter? We've taken to calling him "Koufos the Doofus." The guy was flat-out embarassed by Texas A&M and North Carolina, combining to go 5-26 against the two. This guy's no Greg Oden. Right now, he's not even Nikoloz Tskitishvhili...

3) You think Koufos is a bust? Jon Diebler, the leading high school scorer in Ohio history (he averaged 40 points per game last year), has hit the pine after shooting 29% from the field. Why are people surprised when guys looking like this turn into busts?

Realety
Ohio State doesn't rebuild, they reload. We don't want to count the Bucks out because it was supposed to be a down year for the football team and they're playing for the national championship. The Florida game aside, this looks like an NIT team that will flirt with the NCAA bubble.

But they do have wins over the Gators and Syracuse on their resume and should be in the upper echelon of the Big Ten. And the Bucks have something only Michigan State can match - experienced point guard play. Expect Butler to carry this team on his back and be counted on in the clutch.

How crazy is it that the Big Ten could only be a two-bid conference this year? Yikes.

Obviously the Buckeyes don't want Koufos to suck, but his early struggles might force him to return to school which would make the Buckeyes loaded next year with David Lighty returning as well.

12.23.2007

LEGION OF DOOM

Poor Bruce Weber. The guy's so desperate after letting blue chip recruits like Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose and Jon Scheyer (who now sucks, by the way) slipping out of his grasp that he's taken on Alex Legion.

We've already talked about him plenty here at The Realests and you've certainly heard about his mama, who loves talking college hoops with God (yes, The God).

This can only end badly. We foresee one of the following scenarios unfolding within the next year:

#1) Legion becomes BFFs with football stud Arrelious Benn and gets busted in a recruiting sex orgy thrown by Ron Zook for next year's incoming class. The sextape gets leaked onto the internet in which Benn and Legion take turns snorting coke off a stripper's ass.

#2) Legion goes Kermit Washington on Heir Jordan and sucker punches him in the face in practice, breaking Jordan's face in 38 places. Jeff ends up looking like Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky and has to wear a facial prosthetic during games on top of a standard Rip Hamilton facemask. With almost 0 visibility, he finishes as a 3.2% shooter from the field and disgraces the family name.

#3) In two weeks, Legion calls Bruce Weber a "homo" for wearing the orange jacket and transfers to Southern Miss to play for party machine Larry Eustachy, who he considers a father figure.

#4) Legion calls Weber a homo (obviously, we think the chances of this are very high) and transfers to West Virginia. Unable to steal from WVU, Bill Martin looses his mind and spends the rest of his days getting fed tapioca pudding in the UM hospital.

#5) Legion never shows up in Champaign and instead sits out the year to prep for the NBA Draft. Legion's mom receives divine messages that there will be dire consequences if Legion is not taken with the No. 1 overall pick. After going undrafted, locusts mysteriously wipe out half the earth's population.

Let's hope it's one of the first four...



Bruce, what have you done???

12.20.2007

MY TRIP TO GIANTS STADIUM

It's taken a couple days for the emotional scarring to heal from my trip to Giants Stadium for the Redskins-Giants game on Sunday.

If you've ever been to an NFL game - especially a night game - you know it's complete debauchery. I'd imagine the experience for a young kid is about as traumatic as seeing Channel 35 transvestites shake their dong in your face.

But what I witnessed Sunday night was above and beyond all my expectations for Giants fans, who recreated the 8th Circle of Hell. I would venture to say it was comparable to the 2002 Ohio State-Michigan game in Columbus.

In just 4 short hours I witnessed the following:

- A drunken wife nagging her husband to leave the game in the 3rd quarter, then accusing him of adultery once his phone rang. When the husband tried to ignore her, she started screaming, "No one wants a husband with a three-inch cock - HARD!"

No long able to block her out while she screamed about his ineptness in the bedroom, the husband screamed back: "Well no one wants a wife with tits down to her belly button!" He then stormed off, apparently leaving the stadium and leaving the wife to fend for herself and hitch-hike home.

On a side note, and you wonder why every kid you know from New York is nuttier than a fruit cake? (Except for you, The Dude. You're special.)

- Fans pelting each other repeatedly with snowballs like monkeys and multiple fights getting broken up by the Highlighter Jacket Crew - apparently this is a step forward from pelting players with snowballs.

- A handful of Sean Taylor jokes in the stadium, including one guy telling me to "Sit down, he's dead." Once we got on the bus, Giant fans busted out a full-blown chant of "Sean Taylor's dead! Sean Taylor's dead!" Strictly class and extra points for creativity.

- The guys in front of us so wasted that they started pouring vodka straight into their friend's hot chocolate, completely unaware that the steaming liquid was overflowing and dousing their friend's hands.

- The guy behind us screaming "Looking at Shockey lying on the field like a pussy!" while Shockey writhed in pain over his broken leg.

- A guy so wasted in the parking lot that he scaled a small mountain of snow, turning a piece of cardboard into a makeshift sled and wiping out on his ass. Undeterred, he turned to a waiting crowd screaming, "Who's next?! Who's next?!" To which everyone replied, "You are."

- A guy doing this:



OK, maybe not. But you can imagine if he did.

12.19.2007

IT'S COMING.....

If you're like us, it's been an agonizing couple months since the Lost season 3 finale that almost made V run head-first into our TV. Our other roommate Dave has been singing "You Are Everybody!" in his sleep for 5 weeks straight.

While we regularly dispute which is the better TV show - Lost or The Wire - if you can't get excited after watching this trailer, you have no soul:




And we apologize for the light posting lately. There will be plenty of holiday blogging to make up for it, including the prestigious Realest of the Year award. Stay tuned.

12.17.2007

REALESTS' MUSINGS ON COACH ROD HIRE


At long last, we break down the hiring of Rich Rodriguez in typical Realest fashion, which we give two enthusiastic thumbs up:

- Go ahead and say it: Black quarterback. It feels so good when it hits your lips!

Obviously no real journalist can write about how exciting this is, but Dec. 17, 2007 will go done in history as the date the Michigan QB color barrier came down. This isn't just a big day for Michigan, it's a big day for civil rights, people. Now let's not get too excited about Terrelle Pryor, but man this kid is sick. If we steal him from tOSU, you can officially score it as Rodriguez 1, Tressel 0. Insert obligatory YouTube clip here:



- I can't remember the last time I wore my Michigan hoody with pride. Losing 6 out of 7 to Ohio State seems like a distant memory and we can just laugh like Little Cletus about the upcoming slaughter to Florida.

I think the reaction of Ohio State fans to Rod's hire says it all. For weeks, my Buckeye brethren have been hounding me with text messages and phone calls ridiculing the apparent inevitability of Les Miles at Michigan. The reaction now? A bunch of text messages that just say, "Good hire." Yeah, they know Michigan-Ohio State just turned into a rivalry again.

- Bill Martin, you deserve a nice vacation - go sail around the world or something. We give our AD lots of and lots of shit, but this move just saved Michigan football. He updated to the 21st century and went outside the Michigan "family" - both viewed as necessary by Wolverine fans. Count us among the many that didn't think Martin had the walnuts to do either.

- Toodles Ryan Mallett and Mario Manningham. OK, Manningham was already gone (the early over/under for him running out of bounds in the Capital One Bowl is 12).

As for Mallett, you've got to feel bad for the kid. He came to Michigan thinking he'd be the next Tom Brady, showed some real flashes his freshman year, and now looks shit out of luck.

If Mallett was going to be a senior, this wouldn't be a problem. Rodriguez would adjust his offense and then have His Guy ready for Year 2. But with 3 years of eligibility left, why would Mallett want to be stuck in an offense that has 0 use for him as rumors swirl about getting benched for a blue chip QB that fits the system.

We predict Mallett will wind up at Arkansas (pig sooey!) or Texas, where he'd only to have to sit behind Colt McCoy for one year at most.

- No more "Us vs. The World" after a loss. The stories I've heard about Lloyd Carr make him a better man than even sappy columnists are now potraying him out to be. But I was sick and tired of his, "100 losses won't keep me down" BS. Get pissed for once, Lloyd! Although no good can ever come out of a loss to Dave Wannstedt, at least Rodriguez took it like a man.

- Is Rodriguez a little bit of a dirt bag? Yes.
The names Pacman Jones and Chris Henry will follow Rodriguez forever, both of which he brought into Morgantown. And we've already blogged about criminal mastermind Pat Lazear, who ripped off a "Smoothie King" in Bethesda, Md. as a senior in high school and still got a scholarship to WVU.

While it reflects poorly on Rodriguez, this is a non-issue in regards to the hire. Bill Martin will be paranoid about keeping Michigan's good name; discipline will always be appropriate and no Pacmans will ever set foot in Ann Arbor.

- Michigan: 2009 National Champions. You heard it hear first. Led by the dynamic backfield of Armanti Edwards and Noel Devine, Michigan averages 700 rushing yards and 65 points per game en route to their 12th national championship. Book your tickets for Pasadena now, people.

- Thanks Herbstreit! I'm sure this topic will be beaten to death elsewhere, so we just want to give a big pat on the back to Herby for being the savior of Michigan football by turning the Les Miles interview process into a debacle.

Given the Bill Martin sailing story, we'll never know if Herbstreit is actually responsible for blowing up the Miles deal. Who cares? We get goose bumps thinking about upsetting tOSU next year, then watching Bucknuts heckle Herbstreit on the GameDay set afterward.

- Willie the Wolverine??? Rumors swirled last year that Willie Williams almost ended up at WVU. Could we be so lucky to see him in the maize and blue???? Hey, a Realest came dream...

- Hurt recruiting? Are you kidding? Lloyd Carr was a hell of a recruiter and he certainly left plenty of talent for Rod to work with - albeit lots of talent that doesn't necessarily fit Rod's system. Lloyd's incoming recruits - namely Kenny Demens, Sam McGuffie and "Boobie" Cissoko (OK, we just made that nickname up) all seem on board - and by the reaction of Pryor, who knows the kind of offensive talent we could end up with by February.

- A quick apology to all the Ray-Rays, Billy-Rays, Billy-Bobs, Billy-Joes and Billy-Johns (Billy-anything really) in West Virginia. Wasn't it bad enough when we beat the Mountaineers 130-0 in 1904? Now we had to go out and take their basketball and football coach? Hey, it's nothing personal Mounty fans. You know, we have always wanted a mascot... Eh forgot it, you can keep him.

12.14.2007

TODD BOECKMAN LEAVING EARLY FOR NFL?!?!

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!!!!

ESPN is reporting that of the 13 Buckeyes who requested information by the NFL on where they might be drafted is quarterback Todd Boeckman.

The Todd Boeckman that handed Michigan State 14 points in October?

The same super stiff that had 3 hideous interceptions against Illinois to blow OSU's perfect season?

The same doofus that Jim Tressel trusted to throw against Michigan's atrocious secondary just 13 times in "The Game" (granted, why pass when you can just run over us?).

THIS Todd Boeckman (skip to the 1:10 mark)?

Oh, I'm gonna puke...



So, let's see here. If Ohio State's all-world, Heisman-trophy winning quarterback went in the fifth round of last year's draft, where can we expect his no-talent ass clown backup to go?

12.13.2007

SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET

If you've seen Season 4 of The Wire, you've undoubtedly seen the following clip of Senator Clay Davis and gone straight to YouTube looking for it. We did too. And the YouTube Gods have answered our prayers again.

This could be our happiest moment since finding Leeroy Jenkins.

Note: If you don't watch The Wire, what further convincing do you need?

REALEST OF THE WEEK

We almost named Bobby Petrino Realest of the Week for going AWOL on the hapless Falcons (don't worry, Bobby P will get another shot once he resigns after Darren McFadden goes pro).

We're glad we waited.

Don't worry, despite the image below, the ROW is not Rasheed Wallace - but rather Rip Hamilton. Running around behind Sheed and then doing the two-handed "I can't feel my face" move is nothing less than spectacular.

Is Rip the new Flavor Flav?

12.10.2007

LES MILES IS A GORILLA

Will this soap opera ever end? The Detroit Free Press is reporting that - surprise! - Les Miles is still a candidate to replace Lloyd Carr. We're tired of discussing of this issue so we'll let Les bury himself with his Top 5 Moments of Douchery:

5. "I'LL PLAY ANY SUCKER IN THIS COUNTRY!"



Stop jockin' Bo's style, Les! Seriously, this is getting pathetic.

4. "LET 'ER RIP"



Gee, what a surprise Oklahoma State lost this game 52-9.

3. "HAVE A GREAT DAY"



What is this, some kind of cheap Elvis Presley impersonation? I wish we could cut down this clip down to the part where he just says, "Have a GREAT day" but YouTube has its limitations.

2. R-KANSAS?



How can we look Jim Harbaugh in the face when our coach can't even pronounce Arkansas? Bruce Madej is already dreading the Illinois game next year.

1. THE TIMEOUT



Yeah, just what Michigan needs. Another guy that doesn't know how to use a timeout. We'd venture to say even Willie Williams knows the clock stops on a change of possession. Well, maybe not.

12.07.2007

REALESTS' DARKHORSE: JIM LEAVITT

We've had a lot of fun with Big Blue's coaching search so far but when Michigan gets turned down by the Rutgers football coach, you know we're in dire straits. Time to roll up our sleeves and get grimy with this issue.

Enter The Realests with the solution: USF's Jim Leavitt.

For all the talk about Big East coaches (Greg Schiano, Brian Kelly and prayers for Rich Rodriguez), I haven't heard Leavitt's name come up once.

Let us list the reasons this guy is one of the top 10 coaches in America:



#1) HE BUILT A PROGRAM FROM SCRATCH!

What Schiano and Kelly have done is great, but neither can touch Leavitt in terms of accomplishments at their schools. This program began in 1997, the same year Michigan last won the national title. Not jumped to Division I. Started from scratch. And just three years ago, USF went 4-7 as a member of Conference USA. Fast forward to 2007 and they're already a top 25 program. To build a powerhouse in Tampa, Florida of all places with the likes of Florida State, Florida and Miami all poaching your recruits, you have to be an incredible coach.

Ascending to #2 this year got everyone's expectations for the program way out of whack. In the span of a month, USF went from the Story of the Year to The Pretenders. So they dropped three in a row (at Rutgers, at UConn, Cincy). Considering they rallied to finish 9-3 and let's not forget - beat Auburn on the road and West Virginia - Leavitt should definitely still be considered a candidate for coach of the year.

And that's with star players like Matt Grothe, George Selvie, Jessie Hester, Nate Allen, Mike Ford and Carlton Mitchell all being underclassmen. This team will easily be ranked in the top 10 to start next year. Too bad you can't say the same about Michigan!

#2) HE'S INSANE

Did you see this guy on the sideline during the Rutgers game?



He's an absolute madman. We've grown accustomed to Lloyd's stone face as we commit mistake after mistake (with the occasional tantrum). It's time for fire and brimstone on the sidelines of the Big House, people.

And now Leavitt's about to pull a Bruce Pearl and "paint up" to support the basketball team. Let's just hope he doesn't start chewing out Stan Heath's players on the bench.

Granted, the statistics don't indicate the Bulls are a very disciplined bunch (ranked T-94 in turnovers and 117th in penalties - keep in mind Cincy was dead last in the NCAA), but would you want to make a mistake in front of this guy? We'll take our chances those statistics are flukes.

#3) THE SPREAD

Count us among the many Wolverine fans hoping to break into the 21st century with the spread offense. Obviously, it would be ill-suited for current QB of the future Ryan Mallett, but it's a move that would signify so much more to Big Blue Nation. In case you missed it, USF averaged nearly 36 points per game with this guy running their offense. I think we'd be OK.

Michigan averaged 10 points less (albeit against tougher defenses) with what was supposed to be the most explosive offense in the country.

#4) DEFENSIVE MASTERMIND

You think this guy has figured out the spread offense on defense? USF held West Virginia to 13 points - granted it doesn't look nearly as impressive after last weekend. South Florida's scoring defense was ranked right behind Michigan's (23 and 26, respectively), and found an absolute monster in George Selvie, who has 14.5 sacks. Imagine what Brandon Graham could become with Leavitt coaching him up...

And say goodbye to sitting on our heels and letting athletic quarterbacks run circles around us, as the man blitzes like crazy. His team also led the nation with 40 turnovers gained.

Flat out, the man has the balls of a bull.

#5) NO DRAMA

Hey, we love Brian Kelly as much as the next guy. But Bill Martin would never, ever hire him after the Central Michigan night club death controversy that included a comment by Kelly many called racist. Said Kelly:"A number of them were African Americans that had been in that culture of violence, and they're taught to look away. You don't want anything to do with it. Get out of there. You don't say anything to anybody."

To call him a racist is a huge knee-jerk reaction, but after dealing with Ed Martin, Bill must have nightmares of answering questions about this at Kelly's first presser.


Nick Saban's cheap shots aside, Leavitt has no such issues.


What's left to ponder?! Give this man a chance!!

12.05.2007

JEWISH JORDAN BACK WITH THE BOZACKS


... And by bozacks we mean babies.

A day after devastating news about Courtney Sims, we are proud to announce that Tamir Goodman - a.k.a. The Jewish Jordan - has returned to the States to play for the Maryland Nighthawks of the "Premier" Basketball League.

From the same geniuses that brought you Sun Ming-Ming, the publicity-starved PBL just hit a grand slam by bringing home D.C.'s own Prodigal Son.

In case you forgot, Goodman was featured in Sports Illustrated in 1999, where he was given the now-infamous moniker. Well, things didn't exactly work out. He bailed on Maryland and played just one season at Towson before bouncing due to a rift with his coach. He's spent the last couple years overseas, most recently in Israel.

We applaud the Nighthawks' shameless self-promotion.

Goodman appears unphased that the Nighthawks also introduced two circus midgets and cyclops to the roster at the same press conference.

We also have it on good authority that Goodman was telling people off the record that, "By the time I'm done here, they'll be calling that other guy the Black Goodman."

12.04.2007

V-FACE OUT IN INDY

We hate being the bearer of bad news, but Courtney Sims has been cut by the Pacers.

Needless to say, this is a travesty.

Clearly Jim O'Brien has a vendetta against Sims and is trying to blackball him from The League. We don't want to speculate here, but O'Brien's a fuckin' racist. Travis Diener, Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy and Jeff Foster all on the same roster? What is this, the Washington Generals?

Hang in there C.S., we're sure you'll land on your feet somewhere. Personally we'd like to see him end up on the D-League's Sioux Falls Skyforce, where J.C. Mathis is currently tearing shit up.

Talk about a devastating front court...

12.03.2007

2007-08 BIG TEN PREVIEW: WISCONSIN

With just 3 teams left, we can officially see the light at the end of the tunnel for this Big Ten Preview. Bo Ryan has quietly built one of the nation's top programs but no one's picking the Badgers this year after losing Big Ten Player of the Year Alando Tucker and Chris Rock-look-alike Kammron Taylor.

2006-07 Record: 30-6 (13-3)
Projected Finish: 4th
Returning Starters: 3
Head Coach: Bo Ryan
Best Player: Trevon Hughes (18.2 PPG)

3 Reasons for Optimism:

1) Bo Ryan appears like just another old fart, but he might be the craziest mofo in the country as evidenced by his Soulja Boy dance and Hambone demonstration. We gotta admit, we thought UW was crazy when they hired Ryan. He was 3 years removed from coaching D-III hoops and was just 30-27 in his two years at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. We were wrong (marinate on that for awhile, you won't read it again for a long time).

2) Is Brian Butch finally living up to the hype? People don't seem to remember how highly-touted Butch was in high school. In 2003, He was ranked #11 by Scout.com and named to the McDonald's All-USA team along with Luol Deng, Mustafa Shakur and... wait for it... LeBron James. After redshirting, he went down freshman year with mono. Sophomore year Doug Gottlieb called him "the most overrated player in the Big Ten." And right when he was starting to bust out last year, this happened - look out below! Now Butch is nearly averaging a double-double and put up 24 and 13 in his season premiere. We're still skeptical.

3) Completely overlooked sophomore Trevon Hughes has exploded out of the shadow of Taylor and averaged 18 PPG over his first six games. He's also a solid defender (15 steals), as you would expect from Wisconsin.

3 Reasons for Pessimism:

1) Their trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium was very Michigan-esque. The Badgers only lost by 24 points, but were behind 48-25 at the half after shooting just 30-percent from the field.

2) Senior big man Greg Stiemsma is simply pathetic. Starting every game for the Badgers, Stiemsma is averaging 3 points per game, up from 2 PPG last year. This guy has got to go.

3) Michael Flowers mysteriously left the program for a couple weeks in October and has struggled since coming back (17 assists, 15 turnovers prior to last night).

Realety
This team just can't be as bad as they looked against Duke. Trevon Hughes is a big-time talent that is finally getting some playing time and Carl Landry and Brian Butch provide a lot of size and muscle in the paint. But with Greg Stiemsma and Joe Krabbenhoft in the starting lineup, there is 0 depth on this team. Expect the Badgers to struggle mightily as everyone focuses on Hughes and Butch.

But hey, this team always overachieves. They reached the Final Four with a goon squad (insert picture of Mark Vershaw here) and played a much more talented North Carolina team toe-to-toe in the Elite Eight two years ago.

Who knows, Bo Ryan might just be dancin' again come March:

ALEX LEGION: STILL THE DEVIL

Well that didn't take long.

Alex Legion is apparently "disgruntled" again as he's reportedly decided to transfer from Kentucky after a whopping six games. In his career with the Wildcats, Legion had 40 points and 10 turnovers.

At least he hasn't slammed Billy Gillispie on the way out the door like he did with Detroit Country Day coach Kurt Keener (although we're sure it's just a matter of time).

Hey, Tommy Amaker seems to be building a powerhouse at Harvard, maybe he'll end up there.

The kid could at least have the same class as O.J. Mayo and go out like this:

JASON WITTEN 1, CATO JUNE 0

Ah, we remember this play like it was yesterday.

I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of "What the fuck?" moments like this during the Capital One Bowl, except it will be Tebow instead of Witten outrunning our entire secondary. Totally sweet.

Man, Cato June was much slower without steroids:

12.01.2007

THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE

Losing to Tommy Amaker? Dave Wannstedt sending Ohio State to the BCS title game? This is a new low, folks.

REALEST OF THE WEEK

No, not that crazy bitch.

This week's award goes to It from her show "I Love New York 2" - which has finally taught us where we can find love (the closest either of us ever came before was an orgy with a Mayari tribesman and Finnish dwarves).

During today's marathon on VH1, New York asks It if he's in love with her. A exchange for the ages ensues:

It: How would I know if I want to be with you for the rest of my life when I've only been with you for a week?

New York: The rest of them don't know that but they took a gamble, they took a shot at me.

It (in confessional): I can't say that I love you. We never ate chicken wings outside on the bench or french fries on a bench in the projects. Know what I'm saying?

Seriously, New York - no wonder you still haven't found love after 3 reality shows...

P.S. Where are the YouTube Gods when you need them?

UNREALEST OF THE WEEK


How can you ever forget these puss bags from the early 90s collectively known as Mr. Big? Seeing at it has been 15 years since they were a One Hit Wonder, we thought this would be a good time to put them on blast. We swear there is a female voice double at the end of this video.

11.29.2007

2007-08 BIG TEN PREVIEW: ILLINOIS

As Fred Durst put it, 'Now, I know you be lovin' this shit right here!' What the hell are we talking about? Not even we know. But in projecting Illinois 5th in the Big Ten, we'd like to point out again just how down this conference is in '07-08. In a good conference like the ACC or Pac-10, Illinois would probably be dead last.

2006-07 Record: 23-12 (9-7)
Projected Finish: 5th
Returning Starters: 3
Head Coach: Bruce Weber
Best Player: Brian Randle (11.0 PPG, 52.9 FG%)

3 Reasons for Optimism:

1) The Illini return two of the Big Ten's premier big men (and by that, we mean "very average") in Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle in a conference lacking size. Randle's about as injury prone as Larry Hughes, but could have a big year if he stays healthy. Illinois also returns Chester Frazier, who is desperately trying to look like Dee Brown, but unfortunately isn't nearly as good.

2) The nightmare of last season is finally over. Their season was ruined from the start after Jamar Smith got busted for a DUI after wrecking his car and leaving teammate Brian Carlwell for dead... literally

(Side note: Talk about awkward! Can't you just picture Jamar showing up at Carlwell's hospital bed:

Jamar: "Dog, I'm so sorry..."
Brian: "You crazy?! I wouldn't be here today if you hadn't gotten help - I've never seen you run so fast, kid!..."
Jamar: "Uh... yeah dog. No problem slug nut."
Brian: "Road dogs for life..." - exchange of fist pounds)

Then Brian Randle went down with plantar fasciitis (isn't that what Barbaro had?). A fresh start could do wonders for this team.

3) They've got Heir Jordan on their team! I mean, how far can the apple far from the tree?! (By the way, we love his bio on fightingillini.com: "Father's basketball accomplishments are far too great to even attempt listing.") Apparently, pretty far. As has been widely reported, Jeffrey isn't on scholarship. And don't be expecting one anytime soon. His stat line through 6 games: 1 PTS, 0-3 FG, 4 TO.

3 Reasons for Pessimism:

1) The Illini are still reeling from the loss of their emotional and spiritual leader, The Chief, who retired during last year's home finale during Michigan. Man, that guy was a douche:



An even bigger douche than the guy running chiefforever.com.

2) B Web scrambled to put together a pretty decent recruiting class this year, but is it too late? The guy inherited Deron Williams, Dee Brown and Luther Head from Bill Self, then couldn't even get weasel-like Jon Scheyer to attend Illinois after his brother coached Scheyer in high school. After originally committing to Illinois, losing superfrosh Eric Gordon - we know him simply as "The Doughboy" in these parts - to Indiana might be the nail in the coffin.

3) Their scheduling might really come back to haunt them. Illinois already lost to Duke and a very mediocre Maryland team and still has Arizona and Missouri left on the nonconference slate. If they go 0-4 in these games, making the tournament again will be a reach.

Realety
After going 37-2 and appearing in the national championship game, Illinois has fallen way back to mediocrity. After barely making the Tourney as a #12 seed, Illini fans were none too pleased when they blew a huge lead to Virginia Tech and lost in the first round last year.

After losing Scheyer and Gordon, Weber is definitely on the hot seat this season. If you saw his team play last night, it doesn't look like he's getting off anytime soon. Illinois will be slightly above average in the Big Ten simply because they have experience most other teams are lacking. Brian Randle has shown flashes of being explosive, but are too often interrupted by ridiculous injuries - i.e. breaking his hand while punching a wall.

Sorry Bruce, we love your enthusiasm, but it might be time to hang up the orange jacket.

11.28.2007

2007-08 BIG TEN PREVIEW: PURDUE

Surprise: The Big Ten Preview is back! Granted, our projections have been tainted by the fact we're still previewing the league in December. But no matter! The Big Ten Network has nothing on The Realests when it comes to conference coverage. We expect a check from Jim Delaney to be in the mail already.

2006-07 Record: 22-12 (9-7)
Projected Finish: 6th
Returning Starters: 2
Head Coach: Matt Painter
Best Player: E'Twaun Moore (12.0 PPG)

3 Reasons for Optimism: (Didn't there use to be 5 of these? Sorry folks, there have been some budget cuts here at The Realests. Hey, do you want this thing done by Christmas or not?)

1) Gene who? Matt Painter looks like the next John Wooden (Pop Quiz: Did you know the Wizard of Westwood played for the Boilers?) Purdue was one of the biggest surprises in the NCAA last year, going toe-to-toe with Florida in the second round of the Big Dance after being a Big Ten doormat the year before with just 9 wins.

2) This Painter guy can recruit too, with four blue-chip freshmen in E'Twaun Moore (#27 Scouts.com rating), Scott Martin (#29), JaJuan Johnson (#47) and Robbie Hummel (#51) - which means he's obviously borrowed coke and strippers from Ron Zook. Martin & Moore haven't disappointed, combining to average 25 points in Purdue's first four games.

3) Purdue is virtually unbeatable at Mackey Arena, going 16-1 there last year.

3 Reasons for Pessimism:

1) Their two best players, Carl Landry and David Teague, are both gone. Landry was the forgotten man in the Big Ten last year with Oden, Tucker and Conley, but the guy was sick even without his brother's stupid Rec-Specs.

2) That Atlantic Sun: So hot right now. But beating Lipscomb by four points at home? That's pretty pathetic considering the Bisons have already lost to Centenary College, Winston-Salem State and Appalachian State. Ugh, don't remind us.

3) The team might want to spend the holidays at the Betty Ford Clinic. A starter last year, Gordon Watts got the boot for a DWI and Keaton Grant was suspended three games for being in the car. Oh yeah, and former blue-chipper Jonathan Uchendu transferred to Arkansas-Little Rock after "suspicion" of public intoxication (what does that mean anyway, like whipping your dong out or something?)

Realety
Purdue is in the same boat as Michigan, with some really solid young talent. They just played a good Clemson team to the wire in South Carolina, but that Lipscomb game was a huge red flag. It's just hard to see guys like Martin banging down low for an entire season in the Big Ten (seriously, someone feed this kid!).

Don't count on Purdue making it back to the NCAA Tournament again this year but don't be fooled, Painter has this program in the right direction.

11.27.2007

THIS CAN'T BE LIFE... THIS CAN'T BE LOVE...

Is that the Horseman of Pestilence I see riding up on Barbaro in the distance?

Normally we don't blog about things you've probably already seen on Deadspin. But in this case, we're making an exception.

Marko Jaric has just replaced Luis Scola as our least favorite foreign player after news arrived that he is dating Victoria's Secret super model Adriana Lima - the most famous virgin since A.C. Green.

This Marko Jaric? The one that can't put his shirt on forward?

What is this world coming to?

FERENTZ TO MICHIGAN DEAL DEAD?

Via Chris Burke via a Michigan message board via The Wolverine (in other words, this is fourth-hand information, so Ferentz could be getting introduced as Michigan's new head coach right now):

"According to a source extremely credible and close to the situation, Ferentz is no longer an option for the Wolverines. It's over, done with - he will not be the next head coach at the University of Michigan, we are confident to report today."

We shall see. Sounds like The Realests were right again. At what point do we cross over from experts to prophets?

WORST COLUMN EVER

How the hell did this kid get into Harvard? Basically this guy just wants to show how much he knows about rap music and show he's got street cred even though he goes to Hah-vuhd. What a douche. I'm just surprised he doesn't write for the Daily Arts staff.

(Update: Apparently the site was down - obviously it wasn't prepared for the enormous amount of traffic we routed there. But now it's back up!).

SEAN TAYLOR

Did anyone else wake up just dreading to turn on ESPNEWS for the latest on Sean Taylor?

While staring at the Breaking News of his death, my whole mind just went numb. I just couldn't pull my eyes from the words, "Sean Taylor dies."

What else is there to say?

I know this isn't possible, but as a huge Redskins fan, I just wish they could cancel their season today and let everyone mourn until they could mourn no more without the media reporting every second of their grief. Please, please don't let this turn into a media circus.

This will go down with Len Bias, Hank Gathers and Roberto Clemente as the most shocking death in American sports history (I'm not sure what to call it, but Chris Benoit is in a whole different category). And the fact that it was a homicide just makes it even more sickening. As stated yesterday, hopefully some serious steps are taking by pro leagues to protect their athletes which are the source of ridiculous jealousy among their old communities.

And hopefully athletes start turning to the authorities to solve their problems instead of trying to handle it themselves. The whole "Stop Snitchin" controversy is about to come roaring back. Let's hope it doesn't overshadow the real story here: A 24-year-old kid is dead. Period.

Taylor always seemed to be a tortured soul but I never thought it would end like this. Damn.

11.26.2007

REALESTS' TAKE ON KIRK FERENTZ RUMORS


If the latest rumor at MGoBlog is true, Brian Cook is the Bob Woodward of Michigan football.

In his own words, his "high level summary" is that "Ferentz is the #1 candidate and either has already been or will be offered the job."

First let us state that as evidenced by breaking Lloyd Carr's retirement, it's MGoBlog's world - we're just a squirrel trying to get a nut.

Side note: Major props to Brian for putting the mainstream media on blast after giving him zero credit for breaking the story. Seriously, if you want to ignore blogs altogether, that's fine. But don't dick ride their material and cite the report as just "internet gossip" to fall back on if it's false - then claim you reported it when it turns out to be legit.

Now on to Ferentz. Our guess is that Bill Martin started raving inside the department about Ferentz about speaking/meeting with him and people jumped to conclusions since Bill Martin makes his mind up quickly. With all due respect to Brian, we believe his source might have gooed his pants after seeing MGoBlog break Lloyd's retirement and is itching to be cited as the "inside source" again.

Why are we so skeptical? If Bill Martin has known about Lloyd Carr's retirement for almost a year, as Mike Rosenberg reported, and made up his mind on Carr's replacement within a week of the Ohio State game, the man is a compulsive maniac.

You all know we aren't Les Miles fans, but if this rumor is true, Bill Martin will have passed on the man who many believe (or at least believed until he was exposed on Saturday) to be the perfect hire without even an interview.

Unless Martin has been holding secret meetings with coaches across the country William Walker-style, it appears Martin will be leaving his legacy up to one interview when almost any coach in America is there for the taking.

And that's not even mentioning Ferentz's near-.500 record over the last three seasons (19-18). Personally we think the criticism he's received over cheap housing and lawless players is very weak and will have no effect on his hiring.

As for our "inside" information, we have little to offer. Yeah, his oldest daughter went to Michigan (she's now in grad school at Iowa) and lived in South Quad freshman year - obviously a favor from Mary Sue Coleman. His daughter loved Michigan (who wouldn't?!) but proclaimed to "bleed black and gold!" Ferentz's son, Brian, played center for the Hawkeyes and Ferentz's other daughter also currently goes to Iowa.

Keep in mind that Ferentz has been shipped all around the country for the past 20 years. He's certainly found a home in Iowa City and though his kids are all growns up, we just can't see him moving (although a college job certainly offers more stability than an NFL head coaching gig).

All this combined with his allegiance to Hayden Frye makes it hard to believe Ferentz would bite.

Our guess is that Mary Sue Coleman is head-over-heels in love with him and is ringing in Bill Martin's ear. Ferentz is funny, charming, a complete class act and the nicest guy you'll ever meet. Oh yeah, and he single-handedly brought Iowa football back from the dead before she left for UM in 2002.

So for our executive summary: We think rumors of Ferentz-to-Michigan are greatly exaggerated and he will not be our coach in 2007 whether Bill Martin wants him to be or not.

Now back to being asinine dopes.

SPORTS HOMICIDES RAGING OUT OF CONTROL

We obviously know Sean Taylor has had a very troubled past (we even referred to him as "Teflon Sean" - yes, that's another Jay-Z rip-off).

But at this time, it appears he was a victim of a random act of violence. Currently he is listed in critical condition with the Washington Post's Jason La Canfora reporting Taylor is fighting for his life.

Here are the victims of sports homicides we can think of off the top of our head. We haven't found anything like this except notable sports deaths on Wikipedia. Hopefully it will help put the epidemic in perspective.

Football
Darrent Williams (Denver Broncos): Jan. 1, 2007
Bryan Pata (University of Miami): Nov. 7, 2006
Taylor Bradford (University of Memphis): Sept. 30, 2007
Fred Lane (Carolina Panthers): July 6, 2000*

Basketball
Patrick Dennehy (Baylor University): June 2003
Ryan Francis (USC): May 13, 2006

And that's even mentioning the following
- Duquesne basketball team shooting last year
- Brandon Meriweather's shootout at Miami last year
- Michigan's Markus Curry and Carl Diggs getting shot in 2002
- Antoine Walker, Eddy Curry and Dunta Robinson getting held at gun point in their homes
- Paul Pierce stabbed 11 times in 2000

* Lane was shot and killed by his wife which is obviously a very unusual circumstance

"Alarming" is obviously a massive understatement. Not to justify it, but as Seth Wickersham recently wrote, now you know why Tank Johnson is strapped at all times. Let's hope Sean pulls through and something is done to stop all this immediately.

11.24.2007

DID LSU'S LOSS COST MILES HIS DREAM?

Like many other Michigan fans, I had mixed emotions watching the LSU-Arkansas game yesterday. On the one hand, I wanted LSU to win because I would smash a lamp shade over my head if Ohio State gets to play for the national championship. On the other, a loss to Arkansas might be the only thing keeping Les Miles from the Michigan job.

We're sticking to our guns that Miles will be the next Michigan coach for all the aforementioned reasons but what a difference a day makes. Bill Martin must have shit his pants as Arkansas tried to give the game away over and over again, just to come out on top in the end. Miles once again had no concept of clock management (insert clip of last year's Tennessee game here). And the entire LSU coaching staff looked like fools after R-Kansas (seriously Les, you can't be that stupid... can you?) converted a 4th and 10 in the first overtime in which there was zero pressure and a complete mixup in the secondary.

So now Martin is in the unenviable position of deciding whether the coach of the top-ranked team in the country is worthy of Michigan (as we've said before, in our minds it's a foregone conclusion Miles would take the UM job).

Miles' resume still looks great. He's still 32-5 at LSU and presumably headed to a second straight BCS bowl game. If Martin has already picked Miles as his man, he's got plenty of stats to support the hire.

But - as we all know - this hire will be Bill Martin's legacy and two (Amaker, Burnett) of his major three hires since taking over as AD have been failures (the other, Rich Maloney, was an absolutely genius move).

Aside from running a clean program, the Michigan basketball program is no better off after his five years in Ann Arbor. Let us clarify that. Winning the NIT was a huge step for the program, but now we're back at square one.

Amaker's lack of success reflected extremely poor on Martin because he ignored huge red flags by hiring T.A. Coming off a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in 2000 and signing superprep Eddie Griffin, he was annointed the hot young coach in college hoops (much like Billy Gillespie now) and people expected The Hall to make the 2001 Final Four.

Instead, all hell broke loose once they started conference play. The Hall went 5-11 in conference before rallying for a decent run in the Big East Tournament. Along the way, Griffin punched Ty Shine in the face in the locker room and many wondered if Amaker had lost control of his players (obviously, in retrospective, controlling Eddie Griffin was an impossible task).

Martin also chose to ignore the red flags that accompanied Cheryl Burnett before he hired her. After a curious resignation in 2002 from Missouri State, rumors started flying after she couldn't find a job for two years (she covered it up by claiming she was "on a sabbatical").

After a miserable four-year run at Michigan, now people are talking about how many players had the same issues with her that led to Sue Guevara's ouster. I think it's fair to say Bill and Megan McCallister didn't learn from their mistakes that time.

So here Martin sits, deciding whether to go the classic Michigan route: Hire Miles, slap his LSU accolades on the front page of the media guide and sit back while the majority of media and alumni applaud the decision. But Martin knows that if Miles comes in and proves to be all balls and no brains and gets eaten alive by Jim Tressel (and next year's game could get real ugly anyway), it's going to be Martin on the hot seat this time.

What puts Martin in an impossible position is that there is no one left that wouldn't completely overhaul the Michigan program. Bo would be rolling over in his grave if we ran the spread with - dare I say it? - a black quarterback (gasp!) (Note: everyone calm down, we aren't calling Bo a racist.)

Let's take a quick look at the names being thrown out right now:

Kirk Ferentz: Rule of thumb: Never hire a coach that is already on the hot seat at his current job (let's call it the Herm Edwards rule). Are we the only ones that have noticed Ferentz has gone just over .500 since winning the Big Ten in 2004?

Urban Meyer: This is so ludicrous it doesn't even deserve a snarky comment.

Brian Kelly: Why wouldn't Bill Martin hire the Cincinnati football coach? BECAUSE WE'RE FUCKIN' MICHIGAN! Oh yeah, and he's racist.

Gary Pinkel: This guy's the Wayne Fontes of college football. They've been calling for his head for years until he flip mctwerked it this season. Michigan's way too good for a One Year Wonder.

Rich Rodriguez: Offensive genius and slightly crazy (which we like), but the guy coached Pacman and Chris Henry. Or how about current LB Pat Lazear, who still got offered a scholarship to West Virginia after knocking off a Smoothie King outside D.C. Throw in the dirty reputation he personally gained last offseason while using Georgia to jack up the price on his alma mater. Let's just he isn't the prototypical "Michigan Man."

Greg Schiano: We won't even start talking about overhyped Schiano is. The man isn't going anywhere just like he proved last offseason.

Jeff Tedford: See Kirk Ferentz explanation above. A team that was ranked #2 in the country has now lost 5 of 6 including last weekend's loss to Washington. Hey, whatever happened to DeSean Jackson for Heisman????

Mike Trgovac: A well respected NFL coordinator with no coaching experience. Look how well that worked out for Charlie Weis.

John Cooper: OK, just kidding. You say old washed up hack, we say Michigan savior. How great would Cooper vs. Tressel I be?


In all honesty, the only way I see Miles losing this job is if Rodriguez wins the national championship making it just impossible for Martin to pass this guy over (we don't know about you, but we are suddenly huge Mountaineers fans),

Other than that, get the Les Miles countdown clock started.

11.22.2007

2007-08 BIG TEN PREVIEW: PENN STATE

We bet you thought we'd forgotten about the Big Ten Preview... well we just flipped it on your face because with 7 spots left, we're just picking up steam. Next on the countdown: Penn State and the annually overrated Nittany Lions. At this pace, we should have the preview done just in time for the Big Ten Tournament.

2006-07 Record: 11-19 (2-14)
Projected Finish: 7th
Returning Starters: 4
Head Coach: Ed DeChellis
Best Player: Geary Claxton (16.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG)

5 Reasons for Optimism:

1) Geary Claxton. It defies logic that Penn State could be so bad with Claxton on their team. He's the Big Tens leading returning rebounder and second leading returing scorer and was named to the preseason All-Big Ten Team for the second year in a row.

2) They played eventual national runner-up Ohio State close both times, losing by 2 in State College and by 8 in Columbus.

3) The Big Ten is a joke this year. While conferences like the Pac-10 are talking about getting 8 teams in the tournament, the Big Ten will be lucky to get 5. With Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern and Iowa on the slate, even these jokers have to win more than 2 conference games.

4) If the wheels come off like last year, DeChellis already knows what to do: Just blame Jo Pa.

5) Pittsburgh superprep Terrelle Pryor is actually considering Penn State (we're sure he will come to his senses soon, though...)

5 Reasons for Pessimism:

1) Everyone predicted a breakout year from Penn State last year and they turned out to be the worst in the Big Ten. Even with Claxton and Jamelle Cornley back, why will it be any different this year?


2) Even the Penn State web site is in loser denial over last year, claiming Penn State beat the Boilers in West Lafayette when, in fact, they lost. PSU might have the worst Division I web site, but that's a new low even for gopsusports.com.

3) If Claxton gets hurt, DeChellis might as well start filling out Burger King application forms. Last year in his absence, the Lions lost to Stony Brook, who finished the year 9-20 playing in the America East. Oh yeah, and Cornley is already gimpy too after hurting himself in the team's scrimmage.

4) Fun fact: Penn State's number of NCAA Tournament appearances? Eight. North Carolina A&T has nine.

5) They just lost to Rider. Oy vey.

Realety
Call us suckers, but with a preseason All-Big Ten Teamer in Claxton and a former Big Ten Freshman of the Year coming back, Penn State can't be as horrible as the Big Ten bottom feeders that have little talent and no experience. Then again, maybe Claxton and Cornley just look good because the guys next to them are so horrible. We're not sure how else to explain today's loss to Rider.

It would have been very poetic if DeChellis - a PSU alum - would have built the Penn State basketball program from the ground up. Unfortunately, it looks like his days are numbers. Hey, we hear Rene Portland is looking for a job as long as Penn State doesn't mind a homophobic racist calling the shots.

HAS DUKE DISOWNED QUIN SNYDER?

With Tommy Amaker now at Harvard, we decided it was time to update the "Ever Shrinking Coach K Coaching Tree" as Mike Krzyzewski embarks on his 28th season in Durham.

There are just five remaining pupils on Coach K's web page: T.A., Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Jeff Capel (Oklahoma), Mike Dement (UNC-Greensboro) and Neil Dougherty (TCU) - Dougherty certainly won't have a job much longer.

And no, we aren't counting Duke assistants as part of his coaching tree. That's just absurd.

Now compare that to Dean Smith's coaching tree (granted, he was at UNC for 36 years). But that's not what got us fired up for this post.

What chapped our asses is that the "pupils page" has mysteriously dropped former Missouri coach and ticking time bomb Quin Snyder (who I always thought looked the guy from Weekend at Bernie's), the current coach of the NBDL's Austin Toros (yes, he is Dennis Johnson's successor after the tragic death in February).

If Harvard is considered a real head coaching job, the D-League sure as shit should be too. And with Kevin Pittsnogle and a mascot with major ups (see below), this team could be a real sleeper come, well, whenever the D-League holds its playoffs:




Shame on you Coach K for abandonding a former player just like you left the Duke lacrosse team out to dry!

Oh snap, that was a little harsh...

11.20.2007

DISASTER AVERTED


Just when it looked like this was turning into the new East Coast-West Coast beef and we were ready to wile out like Snoop Dogg at the Source Awards, we get this message precisely 33 minutes after our post on Kevin Durant's new nickname being "The Realest" from the blogger of The Blowtorch:

No worries. The Realest will not end up as his nickname.

We have to admit, we were caught a little off guard. We've been in the blog game so long and been through so many beefs that this is kind of sadly anticlimactic.

I guess it's like 2Pac said after all: "It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other."

- Real

NO ONE QUESTIONS OUR REALNESS...

There are no words to describe how angry we were after my college roommate sent this link of a blog trying to nickname Kevin Durant "The Realest."

We're like Marty McFly when someone calls him "chicken." It's just blind rage - literally. V went temporarily blind. I almost strapped on my Redskins helmet and ran straight into our living room TV.

Then we listened to "The Takeover" 30 times in a row.

Now I thought I'd settled this over 3 years ago when we mistakenly thought Allen Iverson and Reebok laid claim to the throne. There's no mistake about this.

We demand an immediate apology and retraction. We could go on and on, but this is like Mopp Deep coming at Jay-Z; it's not even worth our time to deal with this small fry (though we encourage our readers to fill his inbox with nasty e-mails).

And just for the record, there is nothing real about Kevin Durant. Not his baby face. Not his tattoo-less Olive Oyl body and definitely not his lime green Polo shirts.