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Last Call Drinks Pinot, Talks Sporting News College Football '09

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So I just enjoyed a drink and a smoke at the fabulous Chateau Marmont, in West Hollywood.  When in the City of Angels TRE recommends rolling up your sleeves, cutting into an El Rey Del Mundo, and slipping into a chaise lounge chair in the garden after dusk.  As Harry Cohn, founder of Columbia Pictures once said, "If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont."

Esq_bullet_medium Every year I look forward to the day the CFB preview magagines hit the stands.  (I imagine you do also).  The other night, I stopped at a drugstore on Vermont Avenue to pick up a copy of Sporting News College Football '09, the self-proclaimed "No. 1 Source," for pre-season previews.  Sure, it's a bummer having to buy the So Cal region cover -- blown out with a picture of (USC Safety) Taylor Mays and the caption "A-MAYS-ING," but I took my copy over to a back booth in a neighborhood bar, and scanned it cover-to-cover.


It's not the region I bought, but you get the idea.

As I flipped through the extra glossy pages I was surprised at the number of simple errors spread across the previews.  This might be the Journal editor in me coming out, but the guide really has an unacceptable number of typographical slips. 

According to Sporting News, Ohio State's three losses in 2008, "were on the heels of the humbling defeat at the hands of Florida in [sic] '07 BCS title game" (p. 50).

While, technically that's true -- I think they meant to say, "at the hands of LSU in the 08' BCS title game."  (It worries me just a bit when the person writing a preview doesn't remember more than thirteen games back). 

Someone also messed up on the graphics in the "Order Your Favorite Cover Now!" advertisement on page 96.  Amongst the Northeast, Deep South, and Plains regions are two covers captioned "Region Name," as in, "Insert region name here."  Whoops.

Esq_bullet_medium Best season...ever?  (p. 8).  Anyway, on to the substance.  Sporting News is right to fan the flames a bit coming into 2009.  After all:

  • "Over the next several months, we could witness the greatest player in the history of college football, one of the all-time dynasties in the game's history and only the second two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy.  All from one team."
  • "[Q]uarterback Sam Bradford, like Tebow, could become just the second player to win a second Heisman."
  • "[A]nd Ole Miss -- yep, Ole Miss -- is a legitimate national title contender."

Esq_bullet_medium Where's Iowa?  Only two Big Ten teams are listed in the preseason Top 25 (No. 9 Ohio State, No. 12 Penn State).  By comparsion, 5 SEC, 5 Big 12, 4 Pac 10, and 4 ACC teams made the cut.  The only BCS conference that has grounds to feel worse is the Big East, who didn't put a single team on the list. 

Rankings that won't survive September:

  • "No. 6" Virginia Tech (Who faces Alabama, Nebraska, and Miami (FL) before the leaves turn).  The good news?  They won't see East Carolina until November.
  • "No. 14" Boise State (Chris Petersen's luck will run out in the first week of the season when Oregon visits Boise on Thursday night).

Esq_bullet_medium Big Ten Superlatives.  In its "Rating the Players," section Sporting News rates the conference's best.  Here's their list, side by side with my own:

Sporting News Last Call
Fastest Receiver: Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
Best Hands: Eric Decker, WR, Minnesota Eric Decker, WR, Minnesota
Best Passing QB: Darryl Clark, Penn State Darryl Clark, Penn State
Best Running QB: Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State
Most Elusive RB: Evan Royster, Penn State Evan Royster, Penn State
Best Instincts: Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State Mike Kafka, Northwestern

Best Athlete:

Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State
Best Under Pressure: Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa Darryl Clark, Penn State
Top NFL Prospect: Sean Lee, LB, Penn State Bryan Buluga, OL, Iowa
Top Impact Freshman: Tate Forcier, QB, Michigan Tate Forcier, QB, Michigan
Hardest Hitter: Greg Jones, LB, Michigan State Greg Jones, LB, Michigan State
Biggest Underachiever: Juice Williams, QB, Illionis Dustin Sherer, QB, Wisconsin
Best Home Field Advantage: Ohio State Ohio State
Best Fans: Penn State Penn State
Best Mascot: Nittany Lion, Penn State Hawkeye, Iowa
Best Stadium: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa Ohio Stadium, Ohio State


Categories Sporting News didn't include:

Best Tattoo: Bret Bielema, Wisconsin (Who sports an Iowa Hawkeye, "Believe/Achieve," block on his ankle.).


Hottest Wife: Lane Kiffin, Tennessee (Sorry, I had to go out of conference on this one).


Best Visiting Locker Rooms: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa (Even the urinals are pink, a color thought to promote "passiveness.")


More effulgence when Last Call returns to the barstool...