Sunday, June 24, 2012

Catching up wears Ohio State gear to church

Robert Nkemdiche to Clemson: Clemson's annual inexplicable recruiting jackpot: Robert Nkemdiche, a defensive end out of Georgia who's the consensus top recruit in the country and therefore probably worth mentioning here. Details from ESPN:
Robert Nkemdiche, the No. 1 prospect in the ESPN 150 from Loganville, Ga., committed to Clemson on Thursday during an expected three-day, unofficial visit to the ACC program.

"I did commit," Nkemdiche said. "I love Clemson.

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end at Grayson High School picked the Tigers over offers from programs across the country, including Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss.

Nkemdiche emerged as a five-star prospect after an 18-sack sophomore season and followed it up with another 18 sacks for the undefeated Class 5A state champion Rams while scoring 17 touchdowns at running back as a junior.
The surprising thing isn't necessarily that he picked Clemson but that he didn't pick Alabama (the presumed favorite because of being Alabama) or Georgia or even take his official visits, instead making an out-of-nowhere announcement almost eight months before Signing Day. Possible explanation: Two of his high school teammates/buddies recently committed to Clemson, which says something about Dabo Swinney's recruiting intuition and something else about the weirdness of spending a crapload of time figuring out what's most enticing to 17-year-olds.

As for Clemson, this random commenter's analysis wins the internet:
Clemson gonna Clemson ... and by that I mean Clemson will get some crazy good recruits, have a nice 9-3 year, build-up lots of hype for the next year, get epically blown out by someone, lose a few games inexplicably, and finish that season 6-6. Repeat until world ends.

Of course: Relatively highly touted running back Greg Garmon signed with Iowa in February. You know what comes next:
Iowa incoming freshman running back Greg Garmon has been charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana in his hometown of Erie, Pa., according to multiple media reports.

The Erie Times-News reported that police stopped Garmon's car on June 1 and found a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle. Garmon also was charged with driving with an expired registration.

Iowa has yet to comment on Garmon's legal situation.
Derp. The charges themselves aren't that serious but will be problematic for a freshman with a legitimate chance to start, a chance that exists because Macus Coker got dismissed transferred to Stony Brook, Mikail McCall left school and Jordan Canzeri had his knee destroyed by AIRBHG. And all that happened after Adam Robinson got dismissed, Brandon Weghter transferred after being suspended, Jewel Hampton tore his ACL (for the second time) and so on and so forth.

In other words, the depth chart is nonexistent. The healthy-and-not-suspended alternatives on the roster include sophomore DeAndre Johnson, sometimes receiver Damon Bullock, fifth-year walk-on Jason White (not that Jason White) and incoming (but not as highly touted) freshman Barkley Hill. FWIW, Johnson had 18 carries last year (Bullock and White have 16 combined in their careers) and therefore is the nominal leader in the clubhouse.

The inanity of APR: Just to clarify that APR is not nearly as correlated with actual academic success as the NCAA likes to pretend it is:
In the latest figures from the NCAA, Ohio State football’s four-year average APR — capped by the 2010-11 school year, Tressel’s last — was 988. It was the third-highest among major programs nationally and second only to Northwestern in the Big Ten.
Ummm ... yeah. On a related note, Kentucky's basketball program hasn't graduated a guy in roughly 18 years but has posted a 979 in each of the past two years, tying with Vanderbilt for the highest score in the SEC last year.

The thing about APR is that it's not really a measure of academic quality or success as much as it is a measure of player eligibility and retention (transfers and draft entries are counted as ineligibles if the relevant players don't finish the semester), and it should be obvious that keeping guys eligible is not necessarily an indicator that they're getting a quality education; in some cases, it's just the opposite. Insert Andy Katzenmoyer joke here.

Speaking of Ohio State: BHGP finished its epic Pro Combat mockup series this week with a complete obliteration of all things Ohio State. A visual sample (the detail doesn't make much sense without the key at the bottom of the post but is truly amazing):

And a written sample:
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that hell is other Buckeye fans," says Christopher Polyblend as he takes a sip from his espresso at a corner table in Le Canard de Nuit, the Nike designer's favorite Eugene eatery. "Overbearing, arrogant, entitled, they are just ..." -- Polyblend shakes his head -- "They are just the worst. Everyone knows this."
The brilliantly named Christopher Polyblend speaks the truth. Enjoy.

The Pac-12 allegedly has a network: The Pac-12 Network released an early-season TV schedule the other day that includes a couple games of potential interest, most notably Arizona-Oklahoma State in Week 2 and Cal-USC in Week 4. So that's nice ... but visibility is gonna be pretty limited seeing as how the Pac-12 does not have a distribution deal with either Dish Network or DirecTV. The Big Ten Network had similar distribution issues early on (I believe Dish was the only major provider, even among cable companies, that carried the BTN in its first season), and that was a massive pain in the ass about three times that season.

It's nice that literally every football and men's basketball game will be available online if you're a subscriber to any of the affiliated providers -- if you have internet through Cox, for example -- but that won't be of any help to most of the people who can't watch the games on TV and therefore would be the main demographic looking for the games online. FWIW, my understanding is that the ESPN3-type deal is viewed as more of a long-term investment based on increased mobile usage. People who work on Saturdays and own a smartphone will be most appreciative.

Anyway, be prepared to find a bar/friend's house/whatever if you have satellite (like I do) and would like to watch any of the Pac-12 network games (like I will). Argh.

Jesse Scroggins is going the juco route: Jesse Scroggins has found a (temporary) home:
Former USC quarterback Jesse Scroggins is transferring to El Camino College, Warriors coach John Featherstone confirmed to Thursday.

Scroggins announced he was transferring last month after being buried on the depth chart following two seasons with the Trojans. He'll compete to start at El Camino this fall with the plan of then moving on to another four-year school in January, with two years of eligibility remaining.
Scroggins was the No. 2 QB recruit in the country a couple years ago and should have some options if he can get his grades together at El Camino; talent isn't a problem since he'd probably still be Matt Barkley's backup if not for the academic issues at USC. As noted above, he's a redshirt sophomore this year, which means he'll have two years of eligibility left at whatever FBS school he ends up at in 2013.

Banner derp: North Dakota received an awesome FCS championship banner from the NCAA last week, which was probably pretty surprising since North Dakota did not win the national championship. The winner: North Dakota State. Oops.
According to a report in the Grand Forks Herald, the enclosed letter was signed by Kelly Dodds, the assistant director of the NCAA's Hall of Champions, and read:

"Dear Mr. Faison:

"Enclosed find your 2011 championship banner that hung in the NCAA Hall of Champions. I hope your team, faculty, staff and students can now enjoy it as much as our visitors did."
"Mr. Faison" is Brian Faison, the athletic director at North Dakota (which is not North Dakota State). Clerical errors FTW.

Anyway, Faison said he plans to send the banner to its appropriate home at North Dakota State, which wasn't even aware it was supposed to be getting a banner and really has no idea what's going on.
Ryan Perrault, the associate director of athletic media relations at NDSU, said that the school only learned about the error today. In fact, it was only vaguely aware that the banner even existed, completely clueless that it was in transit to North Dakota.

"It's not something that we ordered," Perrault said.
It seems like this could have been avoided if only the banner weren't so ambiguous:


The UGA cake: A Georgia Tech fan put together the greatest/most disturbing wedding cake in the history of wedding cakes. Proof:

AAHHHH! The realism in the entrails is truly impressive and horrifying, as is the attention to detail in the wrinkly skin and facial features and whatnot. That's some serious "Cake Boss" stuff.

As for the disturbing part, the original photo on Reddit is referred to as "tasteless," which duh; the expectations for inappropriateness are high for dudes who matriculate from a school with a fight song that includes "to hell with Georgia," six other profanities and a request for a college bell in which to mix rum and 3,000 pounds of sugar.

They take their everything seriously.


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