We were very skeptical when we strolled toward the Johnny’s Tavern setup on the corner of the Power & Light District in Downtown Kansas City. We’ve been to a couple of places around there before and the experiences were weak. We had some hope, however, as Johnny’s Tavern came through for us before. After spending the afternoon there we can say it is the best bar in the district. The food was great, the poker game was loads of fun, and the games on the screens were stellar. If you own or work at a bar around that area, read on to see how to make it successful.
Perusing the news feeds throughout the week, I couldn’t help but notice the over abundance of items talking about the renewed rivalry of Notre Dame and Michigan. That rivalry is one built with years of contests and traditions. But most of the articles talked about how it was renewed. How? They play each other every year. Is this because Notre Dame is ranked and looking for a BCS run? Usually the shoe is on the other foot with Michigan pushing through the Big 10 and gunning for BCS. So why is it getting so much press this week? It’s very simple. Because college football needs this rivalry.
College football is what it is today because of schools playing each other every year for over 50 years. The tradition of going against a familiar foe and claiming bragging rights for your school is why college football draws the bank that it does. So when Notre Dame and Michigan suit up today for the 37th time, remember that they first played each other in 1887. That’s about 122 years ago. So when they trot on that field today, they carry on their shoulders a history of competition older than Brent Musberger. This is the linchpin of college football.
Of course, we would be remiss to mention that there really isn’t any other big games going on this week. Most rivarly games are played another week. For the ranked teams, the only marquee match up is USC heading to the horse shoe and playing Ohio State. So the pick of teams to talk about this week is pretty weak. Especially because of the big games from last week. There were Top 20 upsets and down to the wire games for BCS contenders last week. This week seems pretty lame comparatively..
But college football needs these two teams. We were lucky enough that it is quiet enough to hear about the Wolverines and the Fighting Irish. For the Wolves, they need to get better fast. The Big 10 needs them to be elite much more than college football. Nowadays, people talk about how weak the Big 10 is. Sure they have Ohio State and sometimes Penn State, but without Michigan and their tradition (the winningest team in history) people will always scoff at the Big 10 and turn their noses at them. As for the Irish, it’s been years since they even mattered. There’s no patience up in South Bend. Just look at Ty Willingham. So the vaunted Charlie Weiss led Notre Dame Fighting Irish need to manufacture a BCS trip or face falling back in mediocrity. It’s been way too long for them. They even set up a cupcake schedule because they know they’ll make it on name alone.
That’s where we are at today. In a couple hours, the whole nation will watch an 18th ranked team travel to an unranked team’s home and play football. Usually in a bigger week with tougher matchups, this game would be overlooked. Usually teams with higher rankings would get the national rub and this one would be pushed to regional action. But this is Notre Dame. This is Michigan. This is a history rich in competition. This is college football. We’re lucky enough to see it.
Practices are rocking this week as the schools are getting ready for some real hitting here in a couple of weeks. Some may think that we’ve been practicing every week in this but column but it’s been prime time, every time. We are still deliberating as to whether or not we’ll continue the Crib Sheet in the regular season. Feel free to drop a comment below to let us know. Here’s this week’s Crib Sheet:
- The Michigan Defense couldn’t mow him down last year, so Appalachian State’s quarterback Armanti Edwards did it himself. Yup he’s out a couple of weeks with a foot injury.
- The 12th Man talked a Montana punter to transfer to Texas A&M. Ken Wood was big on the NFL Seattle Seahawks and when A&M sued them for the use of the 12th Man moniker. Wood saw this and fell in love. It’s great, too, because the punter will probably be the MVP on that team this year.
- The USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll for the preseason came out today and Florida eats the top spot. Big 12 wise we have Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Nebraska at 2,3, 11, and 22 respectively. That’s great and all, but the better poll/list for the week was put out by Fox Sports in their Top 10 most annoying fans list. Oklahoma’s number 4 on that one. It’s a good list even though it trends to teams that have been traditional powerhouses, sans Clemson.
- Speaking of Clemson, they are docked two practices for a non conforming uniform modification under NCAA rules. The crime? Wearing girdles at practice. Let’s hope they don’t catch them wearing leggings or panties. Yikes!
- Dezmon Briscoe from Kansas is no longer stupid. Er, no longer too stupid not to play football that is. He completed summer courses and can play this fall for the Jayhawks. He’s sorely needed, too, as he is expected to be a top receiver in the conference this year.
- Bobby Bowden wants another national title before he retires from Florida State in a couple of years. Bobby, it’s not gonna happen but we wish you the best of luck. If only your conference was stronger.
- There’s a great article about Kansas State quarterback Carson Coffman. Carson comes from a long lineage of NFL tight ends, with his dad Paul and now his older brother Chase. So this version of Coffman will try his hand a quarterback this year, but don’t be too excited because he has alot of transferred competition coming his way.
- Utah spend the offseason crying to everyone that would listen about how they were screwed out a title game and now they a shutting off communication for ‘instantaneous reports’ from any staff and media. BYU is doing it too. So, are they breeding whiners or hypocrites up there?
- Everybody is high on Notre Dame this year, but Charlie Weiss is more interested in walk than talk. That’s kinda paradoxical when you think about it. Then again, he was running his mouth from day one so let’s see if a quieter Weiss will help the Fighting Irish live up their hype. Maybe he’s learning all about walking from his new-found buddy, St. Louis Cardinals’ player Albert Pujols.
- Ron Prince and his lawyers are asking for an additional $3 million on top of the $3 million he’s already owed by Kansas State after they canned him last year. The reason? They state that the school knew of the buyout terms and even went as far as saying that the school wanted Prince to keep terms of the contract confidential. With that much money on the table originally, it would seem very weird that top brass overlooked that. Plus it’s punitive. The way K-State is trying to weasel out of the deal forced Prince’s hand. This is very ugly indeed. A contract is a contract no matter how insane it is. The quicker this goes away the better it will be for the school. With this lawsuit, the chances are it will stick around for a long, long time.
This weekend is the annual float trip weekend and we are super distracted. The annual event down in the Ozarks leads to all sorts of cathartic releases and gets us ready for the football season to come. For those of you not in the know, a float trip is basically an all day canoe or raft run down a river with food and beverages. This can be known as a Booze Cruise. This year it’s running a little late, but thankfully the weather isn’t too bad, sans any chance for rain. If you ever get a chance, find the closest river and spend a weekend camping. It’s a great way to get away. Here’s this week’s Crib Sheet:
- Right after the Crib Sheet say the Mountain West Conference’s beef with the BCS wouldn’t be over until the beginning of the college football, a new press release came out last week stating that they finally signed with the BCS on the new television deal. Wow that was fast. So they trotted the BCS out to Washington with Utah buddy Orin Hatch to shake them up before finally giving in and signing. Trying to save face much? Time to dust the hands off of this topic.
- Western Carolina junior defensive back Ja’Quayvin Smalls died after a voluntary workout last week. This may be along the lines of the sickle cell issue that have been the cause of the number one death among college football players in the last decade. Our condolences go out and we hope that this builds the case even stronger for mandatory sickle cell tests for colleges.
- We’ve usually ignore player arrests here on the Crib Sheet because, let’s face it, a player or two gets arrested every week. Let’s take a look at this. We’ll give a nice even 100 for the number of division I football teams. There’s about 50 players per team. Those are both conservative numbers. So there are about 5,000 football players. Take that and add in college life. There’s about 6 months in the off season. Two players arrested per week is about 48 players. Or less than 1% of the total amount of players. That seems reasonable to us for the college population as a whole. So while it makes news, there’s nothing exciting about it except that they play a big time sport.
- ESPN and ABC are switching up announcers this year. Michael Hiestand points out that Matt Millen will come to the fray and Paul Maguire will be out completely. WOO HOO! Maguire was about as bad as announcer as they come. There’s a reason they dropped him down on the field and didn’t allow him in the booths for the games last year.
- It looks like after the fiasco of the Bob Krause/Ron Prince fiasco last year and the massive audit fiasco involving the university, Kansas State and their new athletic director John Currie will do what they can to rebuild the fan base. One such way is to sell 1,989 tickets for $9 at the home opener this year in Massachusetts, in honor of Bill Snyder’s first game as head coach. It’s a nice little ploy, but the opponent and the number of tickets for sale don’t do much in terms of a rebuild. It’s a nice start, but they’re going against a weak non-conference team so chances of a sell out are nill. Currie and Co. have a long way to go but it’s a decent first step.
- Urban Meyer let the cat out of the bag this week and told the whole world he’ll never coach for Notre Dame. Never say never. Granted Charlie Weiss will have to make a bowl to keep the job, but with what Florida giving Meyer everything he wants, including national titles, an open Fighting Irish job and a pot of gold won’t be enough. Then again, he did say never.
Not much happening this week in the ways of college football. The kids are graduating and commencement speeches are happening all over. That just means we are a few more months away from some serious college football. Speaking of the football side of college, some players have left and more of the bigger named ones are coming back. What does that mean? A potential repeat of last year’s championship game. Or Texas might slip in and take on Florida again. Who knows? We’ll have our predictions coming up later. For now, congrats to the graduates as you take a new step into the real world and out of the 4 year party that is college. The hangover will be real short, trust me. Here’s this week’s news:
- Greg Paulus made up his mind and he’s heading to Syracuse to be an Orangemen. The rumor, along with other rumors and visits, started when the hype around this guy did. I’m sure he’ll be happy for a year out in the Big East. And no, Syracuse doesn’t matter anymore. He might show some flashes but he’s really just Syracuse’s main recruiting tool now.
- The guff Big 12 officiating has gotten in the last couple of years may have an old solution, thanks to Nebraska athletic director Tom Osburne. He wants to introduce and old Big 8 rule to bench officials that are performing poorly. If the stripes know they could get benched and docked a week’s worth of pay that may help them pay just a little more attention to the action on the field.
- John Currie is your new Kansas State athletic director. Straight out of Tennessee, Currie brings some youth and vigor to the position that was briefly held by an internal, pencil pushing, bumbling amateur in Bob Krause. Hopefully Currie will make his mark when he helps choose Bill Snyder’s successor in a couple of years.
- The old ball coach in Steve Spurrier is jabbing a spur in the saddle of both his former employer’s coach Urban Meyer and current Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weiss. Surrier went on radio and seeded the rumor that if Meyer has another big year, he may take over as the head coach in domerland. We already laid down the ultimatum on Weiss and this little double jab only deepens the severity of Weiss’s challange this year, lest he be heckled by President Obama or they erase his history. Now whether Meyer will actually do it is another thing because he turned down the offer before. But if Tim Tebow reigns in another title there may be nowhere else to go for glory.
In case you didn’t notice, the professional baseball season is under way. Isn’t that great! Just like what Beano Cook says, it just means that the football season is getting closer! We here at the KCCGD do not cover college baseball but we’re sure it’s really exciting. If the major leagues didn’t draft all of the real talent first, we’re sure it would be better. This is the same problem basketball suffers from. Which we don’t cover too (yet). At some point, once the staff gets filled out, we’ll cover the more important college sports for the Kansas City area. Until then, here’s this week’s college football news:
- The vaunted, Charlie Weiss led, Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football Head Coach, er, Charlie Weiss confirmed that we was thinking about leaving the program. He asked his family about after weighing options and a major lumping from USC to close out last season. Last year, they were 7-6. If they can bump that up a win or two and win the bowl, he should be safe. If he dips, he’s a goner.
- Michigan was offering Greg Paulus a chance to vie for quarterback this year. Paulus, who didn’t even toss a ball around when he was visiting the campus, now has the option to join the graduate program and the football team. This is turning into a crazy situation. Is Rich Rodriguez desperate? Or does he see a golden opportunity. This story wasn’t done, however. Paulus skipped the Wolverines and now is visiting both Nebraska and Syracuse. Good luck to whoever wastes their time on the guy.
- The Big 12 comes in at number 3 in terms of attendance broken out by conference last year. It’s a 3% jump whereas number 1 SEC grew by about 2% and number 2 Big 10 dropped by about 1%. It looks like that trend may continue next year, which will keep this writer happy and bring hope to eventually passing the Big 10 in attendance.
- Oklahoma can’t surf the internet as much, due to NCAA voliations and a new policy from the administration. If you are an Oklahoma Sooner, athlete or alumni, this site is safe to use. Tell your friends and family. We are So0ner friendly. Kinda.
- Colby Whitlock from Texas Tech gives major props to wrestling, as Tim Griffin writes. As a former high school football player/wrestler I can attest to how much more an athlete can gain by participating a wrestling. Balance, speed, and endurance will raise up, which is important for the the fat middle guys like myself. The actual wrestling part I didn’t like, but the condition part was great.
- The Mountain West Commissioner did a song and dance to argue for the proposed playoff structure for the BCS. It seems Utah won’t let this go. Hopefully a nice little press release will send this one away. Methinks it won’t go, but one can hope.
You know, we here at the KCCGD figured that the college football off season would be dank with news but after this last week, we can say that there always something to talk about. We’ve got contract negotiations, run ins with the law, rule changes, and even where are they nows (or end ups). The biggest of the bunch being the Mike Leach contract talks. But we will never, ever talk about the Nebraska spring practice game. Here’s what happened in the last week:
- Oklahoma State Wide Receiver Bo Bowling was caught drugging up and is now suspended from the team. What is it about football players that make them think they can continue to do what they did back in high school when they are under more a public light? You’d figure some of them would learn, but learning isn’t why they’re there.
- So there’s a proposition floating around to make pre endzone celebrations penalized and points taken off the board. I guess the treat of points slipping from the board will make players think twice, but I would go with the penalty first and if that doesn’t work then hit them up with points.
- Kansas coach Mark Mangino promoted a couple of coaches. When it rains, it pours. The success of the Jayhawks goes around for everybody on the staff. Although when it rains on Coach Mangino, I bet his feet never get wet.
- In Big 10 land, Iowa re-upped Kirk Ferentz’s contract with more dough going into his pockets. A little rumor goes a long way. When the Kansas City Chiefs fired Herman Edwards, on of the replacements on the list was Kirk Ferentz. Kirk needs to send Scott Pioli a fruit basket.
- The vaunted, Charlie Weiss led, Notre Dame Fighting Irish will now be more lead by Chuck as he’s taking over on offensive play calling. They had a bowl year last year to save his butt, but taking over on calls makes me a little worried. I’m gonna go dust off the clock on his hot seat right now.
- Be ready for some Mizzou mania early on in the year on ESPN. They are playing the Big 12 opener against Nebraska on Oct. 8. Which means we get the game against Nevada and the season opener against Illinois on TV as well. The earlier the better, as this year will be an off one for the Tigers.
- I’m trying really hard not to talk about baseball in any form, but when they are recruiting 12 yeard olds it gets to be too much to handle. Please oh please don’t be like baseball and take the fun out of the game at young age. Let the kid grow up some first before buying him an iPhone.
- Texas Tech and Mike Leach are still dancing around the contract ho down. Leach wants a better buyout option and Texas Tech wants fine him for talking to other schools. We get some reality from realfootball365.com, where they remind us he has two years to go on his contract and if nothing happens, then they will do this dance again next year. That is, after the board of regents figures things out.
- Ivan Maisel reminds us that the BCS won’t change for awhile. He goes on to talk about Jerry Jone’s mega dome and how it could be the potential home for the Sugar Bowl. That would make it more of a player than the other BCS bowls. Tune in next four years as the BCS turns.
- Taking his ball and going home, Ron Prince will be named the new Associate Head Coach at Virginia. Welp he had a 3 year run as a head coach, ruined a program, and is pretty much right back where he started. Good luck and good riddance.
We kicked off the off season with our first Mascot Monday here at the KCCGD and now we’re continuing the trend with our first edition of the Crib Sheet. Yup, it’s a weekly news round up of college football with our own little Jamaican Jerk style spice tossed on top. Much like how a good number of student-atheletes need a crib sheet to get by the student part, well lay out what you need to know for college football news wise. Chances are you’ll get better news elsewhere, but you won’t walk away from it with a minty fresh feeling like you would hitting up the Sheet. So buckle up because here we go:
- Notre Dame quelled the rumors that John Gruden will be the new had coach. Charlie Weiss just save his behind whooping Hawaii, why would they go with anyone else. Weiss has one more year and Gruden is still NFL, maybe even for the Chiefs.
- Kansas names Kerry Locklin as their new D-Line coach. He replaces Joe Bob Clemens as Joe Bob comes back home to K-State. Hopefully it was part of some ellaborate, Bill Snyder led, recon mission to sniff out the Jayhawks scheme so the Wildcats can notch a win in forever against the Hawks.
- Michigan hires Greg Robinson as the new Defensive Coordinator. Whoah, so Syracuse dumps him after the Kansas City Chiefs dump him, and now Rich Rodrieguez wants him? I say take him. Let’s hope the tradition of losing carries over to the Wolverines just enough to keep them mediocre.
- Washington had to report a recruiting violation to the PAC 10. Steve Sarkisian is off to a big start by breaking some rules. Looks like the Huskies are not shaking off the Neuheisel stigma anytime soon.
- Tim Griffin tells us that the Big 12 North is cherry picking the hell out of Texas for recruits. Tell us something we don’t know, Tim. Sheezuz.
- Recruiting sucks for the Big 10 this year. Apparently 2 schools can claim five star recruits (Ohio State and Michigan duh). Is this the beginning of the end? Chances are the Big 10 tanking will break the stranglehold on the Rose Bowl.
- In the “Oh my God, he can still get a job” department: Ron Prince is rummored as being in the running for the Offensive Coordinator for Miami o’ Florida. Great, so he can coach down a talented quarterback and jack up some trick plays for the Hurricanes? I’m sold.
- Finally, Former Missouri Quarterback Chase Daniel is a superstar at ESPN. Source indicate he will also film a commercial with Pittsburgh Steelers quaterback Ben Roethlisburger. Chase will play Ben’s younger, less talented brother while they take turns throwing a football at the back of Stuart Scott’s head. Who will knock out the glass eye first? Tune in and find out.
Welp that’s it for round one of the Crib Sheet. Well be back every Wednesday to spit up nuggets of news we chowed down on from previous week. Until then, eat your vitamins and say your prayers, brotha. Yup, the Yeti’s filling his time by watching a lil wrasslin’ Sunday by way of the Royal Rumble. Hey, you gotta pass the time in the off season somewho. As Ric Flair would say, “WHOOOOOOOO!”