I was given a handsome budget to cover the NBA finals and this is all I could come up with.
Sorry Sailor, the shit's unwatchable. So, with Damion James and Texas Basketball in limbo, and college football guru Scipio rehearsing a reenactment of the 2nd Punic War with other aspiring San Franciscan thespians, I figured I'd pick up the gambler's bible and do some work in the tank.
If you're not familiar with Steele's rag, it's pretty much the most information packed magazine on the market. Pick a subject, it doesn't matter. Dude doesn't use paragraphs and devotes an entire half page to abbreviations so he can squeeze even more information into his preview. Here are some of my favorites. VHT=very highly touted. OFY=out for the year. B2B=back to back. DC=Draft Choice. BF=body fat. DPW=defensive player of the week. IFS=in for spring. MIT=most improved teams. You get my drift.
Among the more interesting things in the mag are Steele's rankings by position and rankings by unit. These two areas are where Steele sometimes misses the mark and gets blinded by his own methodology. Phil places way too much creedence in returning starters, especially when those returning starters suck. This is a cat that had Texas A&M winning the Big 12 two years ago based on what they returned. But for the most part his information is pretty good, especially when you can validate it via team blogs like BC. We'll start with positions on offense and then move on to the defense. The third part will focus on ranking the various units nationally.
Sam Bradford OU
Tim Tebow FL
Colt McCoy Texas
Dan LeFevour CMU
Jevan Snead Ole Miss
Colin Kaepernick Nevada
Ryan Mallet Arkansas
Max Hall BYU
Zac Robinson OSU
Jimmy Clausen UND
*Jerrod Johnson at 28 * Todd Reesing at 32*Taylor Pots at 34
Not a bunch to nit pick about. I'd put McCoy over Tebow because he has more rushing and passing yards, but Tebow circumcises Jews and Gentiles alike. He's got skins on the wall. I don't understand how Mallet cracks the top 10 over proven players like Robinson, Hall, Juice Williams, and Case Keenum. But all and all, not a bad list.
Running Back Ranking
CJ Spiller Clemson
Jonathan Dwyer GA tech
DeMarco Murray OU
Jahvid Best Cal
Charles Scott LSU
Chris "WTF" Brown OU
Darren Evans Va Tech
Joe McKnight USC
Evan Royster Penn State
Noel Devine WVA
*Kendall Hunter Ok State at 20 *Washington Mizzu at 35
i'm not sure I'd take an injury plagued Murray over any player in the top 10. Chris Brown ahead of guys like Noel Devine, Damion Fletcher, and James Stark is just dumb. Hell, I'd take Cody Johnson over Chris Brown and Johnson doesn't even crack the list. Steele misses the mark here.
Tight End Ranking
Ed Dickson Oregon
Richard Dickson LSU
Nate Bynum PITT
*Jerod Mastrud KSU at 12 *Blaine Irby at 21 *Geer CU at 31 *McNeil Nebraska at 37
Not much to quibble with here. Blaine Irby will need to learn to run option routes in his Lark.
Kerry Meier "WTF"
*David Gettis Baylor at 26 *Ryan Broyles 39 *Detron Lewis Tech at 50 *Ryan Tannehill at 53 *Edward Britton at 59 *Danario Alexander Mizzu at 60 *Niles Paul Nebraska 71
Kerry Meier in the top 10 has to be a joke. Malcolm Williams is a glaring omission. I take him over every Big 12 receiver with the exception of Briscoe, Shipley, and Bryant. Mal is going to wreck shit this year. Tannehill can't hold Collin's or Kirkendoll's jock.
Meh. USC has two in the top 5. OU's Matt Chlamydia and his faggoty long hair come in at 10.
Chris Hall Texas
John Estes Hawaii
Wisniewski Penn State
Alfred Wash St.
*Hickman NU at 12*Byrnes Tech at 18 *Walton Baylor at 32 *
Chris Hall is an example of Steele's over reliance on classification and number of starts. I like Chris Hall, but I'm not sure he's even the best center on the team and certainly not one of the 3 best in the country. OU's center doesn't crack the top 50 which should be a concern for the Sooners.
Render Va Tech
Carter Texas Tech
*Miller CU comes in at 12. *Shumard TAMU at 17. *Tanner of Texas at 27.
Ciron Black LSU
Young Notre Dame
Jerry Ole Miss
Trent Williams OU
*Tray Allen at 24 *Kyle Hix at 28 *Marlon Winn at 31 *Burkes of NU at 47 *Lee Grimes of TAMU at 52
Tough to take Steele seriously when he lists Tray Allen, who's now playing guard, as one of the top 25 tackles in the nation. You gotta love Texas' bookends though.
I'll get to the defense this weekend.