Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Friday, September 01, 2006 at 3:15 PM

The Weekend Warrior Post.

Yes sir he’s back and ready for business, the prodigal son returns to bloggy-blog and it couldn’t come at a better time – football is here! Come on now, who missed me, who missed me? Anyone, someone? Well, you don’t count mom, but thanks for chiming in anyway. That’s right folks it is once again time for the Weekend Warrior to take his place on the high and mighty throne and install some insight and humor into the world of college football. So here it is folks, the first installment of many weekly meetings between you and I, the all knowing of know nothingness, the silly, ridiculous and straight up mentally insane President of the Neifi Perez Fan Club… the Weekend Warrior!

Northern Illinois at Ohio State

Yes, the sweater vest returns and is dressed in his usual “Saturday’s Best” on the sidelines. Starting the season #1 has not gone well for the Buckeyes in the past; in each of the seasons that they have started #1 they never finished there. Why do I mention that here you might ask? For the simple reason that I like to put jinxes out there for the teams that deserve them so why not! Security is tight around the stadium because there are reports that Maurice Clarett has been seen outside the stadium trying to steal cell phones from fans at gun point. Ohio State wins by halftime and the sweater vest actually undoes one of the buttons and cracks a smile.

Ohio State 42, Northern Illinois 10

Akron at Penn State

Surprisingly enough JoPa is back for another season, although he can barely remember his way around campus. The campus is scattered with signs that say “JoPa go this way” to help the old man to not get lost in the Valley of the Happy. Even though his team will be up big before he has a chance to forget his name JoPa is up to his usual cranky self and barks at the officials just because they are there because that is about the only thing he does remember to do on his own these days. The officials laugh it off and remind JoPa that a touchdown for his team is a good thing and not a bad one.

Penn State 29, Akron 13

Notre Dame at Georgia Tech

Man, with all the greatness juice coming out of Notre Dame these days you would think they changed the name of “Touchdown Jesus” to “Touchdown Charlie” or something. If my memory serves me right, and mine is only slightly better than JoPa’s, it wasn’t too long ago that a rookie coach had a very successful first season, all the talk was about him returning the Irish to glory, and within a couple seasons he was out on his back side! Remember that there Irish, that guy, what was his name, oh yeah – Tyrone Willingham or something like that. The point is don’t count your chickens before they hatch, especially with Weis as your coach, because he may just eat them! Irish win without much effort anyway.

Notre Dame 45, Georgia Tech 24

Idaho at Michigan State

Well all I can say is at least it isn’t Central Michigan here Sparty, if it were you may be in trouble. Yes you have yourselves a fine QB in All-American Boy Drew Stanton but after that you have a roster full of some other dudes in green. This is just another walk through game for the Spartans whom are already looking forward to the Notre Dame game in a few weeks. Everybody’s favorite hot seat candidate, John L. Smith, reportedly spent the pregame warm ups in a tub of cold water to keep himself cool as Spartan basketball coach Tom Izzo was seen showing his buddy Steve Mariucci around the stadium. The Spartans win, but not as pretty as many would hope.

MSU 38, Idaho 24

Vanderbilt at Michigan

Replacing your worn out defensive coordinator with a fresh voice, check.
Replacing a boring offensive coordinator with a successful one from the past, check.
Hoping to erase the memory of an injury plagued season way short of expectations, priceless.
There really is not too much to say about this one other than Lloyd Carr hopes to come out injury free and has the stadium not filled with fans but with the staff of the University Hospital just in case. After last years players started dropping like flies the coach promises that even the smallest hang nail on a player will be treated immediately. The Wolverines openers are usually snoozers as Carr mostly looks to get the kinks out and keep some things under wraps for the match up against Notre Dame. The Wolverines win but it is not anything truly special.

UM 31, Vanderbilt 16


Florida State at Miami

The only thing I can think of with this game is you have got two teams worth of malcontents that are recruited straight out of juvenile halls and there is nothing better than watching prisoners got at it on the playing field. Take your pick here, prison team A or prison team B – I am going with the Warden, I mean Bowden in this one.

FSU 27, Miami 24

And now finally here it is, the feature of all features, the:


Western Michigan at Indiana

Seriously, please, before I start typing I have to stop laughing right? How do you pick a winner in this one? The team that turns it over less or remembers which cleat goes on which foot? There has to be a safer way to do it so that no one gets injured like maybe a coin toss or something right? Either way this one will go down to the wire with the winner being decided by who can spell their teams name correctly.

WMU 9, Indiana 6

Well, that is it for this week, next Friday I will add the Lions to the mix and once the season gets going a little deeper will start adding my upset specials of the week. The Monday Afternoon QB will make his return next week but on Tuesday, even we bloggers like to take three day weekends as well. Later – the sports dude.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 2:35 PM

Wolverine Preview - Part Two

Well I said I would get to the Wolverines schedule and here I am, just as promised, finally doing it. I am not going to make predictions, after last seasons embarrassing show I don’t think they need the dreaded sports dude jinx hanging over their heads! The only prediction I will make is this season will be better than last, it can not get any worse, and that I am sure their will be plenty of people out there screaming about Carr and his hot seat. (Note to the ladies here I am not talking about his butt!) Again I will say this one last time – Carr is not going anywhere!!!! There, I feel much better now, let us get on with the schedule:

Home – Vanderbilt
Home – Central Michigan University
Away – Notre Dame
Home – Wisconsin
Away – Minnesota
Home – MSU
Away – Penn State
Home – Iowa
Home – Northwestern
Home – Ball State
Away – Indiana
Away – Ohio State

The way I see the schedule breaking down is there are five “gimmie” games in there and they are as follows: Vanderbilt, CMU, Northwestern, Ball State, and at Indiana. Do I really have to go into a description for any of those as to why I think they are victories? Didn’t think so! The only one that would swing me is Northwestern because they are playing for their coach this season but I put it in the “gimmie” column because it is in Ann Arbor.

The next four games are the ones that I consider the “50-50” games because of the rivalries involved, the competitive nature of the Big Ten (best conference in college football!), and just any of the other factors that get thrown in. Those games are Wisconsin, at Minnesota, MSU, and Iowa. The nice thing about those games are the toughest three are in the Big House this year and the lone road game is Minnesota and they are full of question marks.

The next three games I will not even touch because they are all big games, all on the road, and there is no way I am putting any hexes or jinxes or anything remotely voodoo related on these games – at Notre Dame, at Penn State and at Ohio State. The only thing I will add is that if U of M finds a way to win in Notre Dame on September 16th I think this might have the makings of a special season. If they lose, oh well, I guess all of you will put Lloyd back on the hot seat again.

That’s it for now, the weekend warrior returns tomorrow, peace! The sports dude.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 at 11:27 AM

Wolverine Preview - Part One.

There is just something about this time of year that gets to me, the grass seems greener, the air smells sweeter, even the beer tastes better! Now I love me some beer and let me tell you anything that makes it taste better is okay in my book! That is right folks, the long awaited college football season is upon us and after the crap I suffered through last year this day has taken too long to get here and give me, and the rest of the Wolverine nation, a chance to get this bitter taste out of our mouths. A taste that was not created by the beer, no that still tasted great when they were losing five games, but rather a taste of a season lost, a season wasted and a season that will seem like a distant memory after this year. That being said here are my thoughts on the upcoming Michigan Wolverine season.

On offense the key to me is Chad Henne but the most important player is Mike Hart. Sports Dude, wait a minute here, aren’t you contradicting yourself there with that statement? Well, if you give me a darn minute I would like to explain, just hold your horses and stop jumping down my throat! We all know what happened last year when Mike Hart was not at 100% or not even in the line up at all, the 7-5 record speaks for itself. For whatever reason he is the sparkplug for that offense and when he is not out there the offense just seems to lose something that no one else can replace. Although the depth at running back never seems to be a question at U of M for some reason Hart is the running back they need the most this year and that can not be argued. The wide receiving corps lost a work horse in Jason Avant but speedy Manningham can be looked at to step up and play a larger role this year and Breaston looks to show the promise (hopefully) at the receiver spot that we have seen with his return game. Adrian Arrington is another promising youngster who, ironically enough got injured early last season and was the cause to us even seeing Manningham at all. The offensive line is your typical run of the mill U of M offensive line with the hogs, but the hogs are slimmed down a little this year in hopes of them being quicker and more agile on the blocks. Jake Long needs to step up in his senior year and he knows it, to show the promise that once said he was the next great U of M offensive lineman. Tight ends are tight ends but I look for this group to be more involved this year as Mike Debord returns to the offensive coordinator position and we all remember the 1997 season when the naked bootleg to the TE was one of their staple plays. Last but not least is the key to this entire offensive unit is Chad Henne and there is really only one reason, if he gets hurt or flops then where do you turn? He needs to make better decisions with the ball, not be afraid to scramble and use his feet and build on the downs of last year to help produce ups this year. Another big thing for him is that without Braylon or Avant to lock onto hopefully that part of his resume will be erased because he won’t really have a guy to lock onto to!

Defense, to me believe it or not, may be this team’s strength and the biggest reason is the new coordinator in Ron English. I think it was clear that the guys stopped listening to Herrmann over the years and that clearly his schemes were no longer working. Another important thing to remember is that last years defense was so decimated by injuries that there is great depth and competition there now because from first string to second string every guy has played and has experience. Someone fails in the starters’ role there is another guy right there behind him to step up and take his place. The secondary actually appears to be a strength for these guys this season and a huge reason for that is the depth that I just mentioned above. The linebacking corps look solid and the defensive line, anchored by senior and Co-captain Lamar Woodley should put plenty of pressure on opposing QB’s. I expect big things from this defense this year but none bigger than what they expect from themselves.

On special teams you have a punter with a great name, Zoltan Mesko, battling it out with Ross Ryan and at kicker you have Garrett Rivas whom as we all know loves the beer just as much as I do.

Well that is it for right now, I was going to go game by game but I think I will save that for tomorrow, this is already a little long winded. Check back for that tomorrow as well as the return of the Weekend Warrior this Friday. Thanks for reading and have a great hump day – the sports dude.

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