In the way of #1 – Stanford

Kyle Porter —  August 16, 2011 — 1 Comment

Photo Attribution: Icon SMI

Welcome to a new series on what must take place for Oklahoma State to reach #1 this year. Who must win in order for the Cowboys to sit atop the college football world? Who are we, as OSU fans, pulling for?

Last week we looked at Boise and today we’ll be moving southward to take a gander at their west coast brethren from Palo Alto.

Stanford opens the season with a pair of killer non-conference games against San Jose St. and Duke. I guess I can at least credit them for going to Duke in what might double as the single most cerebral gathering of 300 lb. humans in the history of the world.

Then they go to Arizona, who will be coming off a 10-day rest after playing OSU, before hosting UCLA and Colorado. I don’t really see a loss in there so far. I mean are we really banking on Arizona’s porous D to take down the Heisman frontrunner three weeks into the season?

To Washington State in October in what should be a padding of Mr. Luck’s Heisman resume and home against Washington the week after. Uhhh…still no losses.

Then it gets interesting. At SC and then up to Corvallis for Oregon State’s annual “oh, you’re in the hunt for a national title, well you should have come here in early September instead of November” game.

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Recruiting Update – LaDarrell McNeil

Kyle Porter —  August 16, 2011 — Leave a comment

I love these names that are combinations of other names we’ve come across in our time watching sports. When I think LaDarrell McNeil I think LaDainian Tomlinson, Darrell Arthur, and Reggie McNeal and then because of the association I immediately think he has to be the best [fill in position] since [fill in OSU player who was good at that position].

McNeil is actually a safety out of Dallas. He’s the #5 safety in the country (Rivals) and the #16 player in Texas (which is like being the #2-#3 player in every other state save California, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania).

He chose Tennessee on Monday over Texas A&M and Oklahoma State saying, “I wanted to get it out of the way when I knew I was for sure. I have known for a couple of weeks Tennessee was where I wanted to go and I just now want to focus on playing ball my senior year.”

This makes the second recruit in the last month who has spurned A&M and OSU for Tennessee. As my wife wisely pointed out though (and I can’t believe I’ve reached the point in my life where my wife is weighing in on 4-star safeties out of Texas) we can’t be excited when high schoolers switch from high-powered SEC schools to Stillwater and call it unfair when it’s the other way around.

Oh, and it sucks too because McNeil can SMASH.

Daily Bullets – 8.16

Kyle Porter —  August 16, 2011 — 8 Comments

In case you missed it yesterday I have placed our full football preview at the top of our posts here. It will be updated throughout the next three weeks leading up to Louisiana. Thanks for reading!

Here’s the official Gundy lawsuit. It’s fairly damning as far as allegations go, but it just feels like there’s more to the story than what we’re hearing. Again I ask: what part of a guy in an OU shirt doing manual labor for the Oklahoma State football coach isn’t funny? Hat tip to Kevin DeShazo for the find. (Google)

Todd Monken says he’s concerned with pace and Gundy thinks teams are stealing signs. I mean if this is what we’re worried about a week and a half into camp that’s probably a good sign, right? (NewsOK)

Wow, Stewart Mandel thinks OSU and Texas will finish with the same record. (Sports Illustrated)

Bill Haisten with a nice tidbit on why Michael Bowie might take Nick Martinez’s place on the OL. (Tulsa World)

Two of my favorite sports personalities have a conversation. (ESPN)

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What They Meant (A&M Edition)

Kyle Porter —  August 15, 2011 — 3 Comments

Photo Attribution: Icon SMI

As an addendum to my post last week on why A&M needs to be careful about chasing down the hot girl from the gym, with all the swirling rumors and innuendo regarding our friends to the south I thought it was time for another round of “what they really meant” for all parties involved.

Let’s get to it:

(Texas A&M President) R. Bowin Loftin

What he said: “[I am] committed to doing what is best for Texas A&M not only now, but also in the future. We continue to have wide-ranging conversations regarding all aspects of the university, including both academics and athletics.”
What he meant: “Deuces.”

What he said: “As we have seen over the past several days, there has been a considerable amount of misinformation regarding these discussions and any associated timelines.”
What he meant: “I’m going to strangle our inside leak with one of my bow ties.”

(Big 12 commissioner) Dan Beebe

What he said: “I’ll put it this way, I’m taking it very seriously. I’ve been talking to a number of people. Obviously, there are a significant number of Aggie supporters who are interested in going in that (SEC) direction.”
What he meant: “I am so screwed. Does the Sun Belt need a commish?”

High ranking Big 12 official (who is leaking news)

What he said: “”I don’t know if this could go down in a month or a year or in weeks,” the source said. “But it’s taken on a life of its own. I would just tell A&M to be careful what you wish for.”
What he meant: “I hear Baton Rouge in October is enjoyable.”

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Most Important People #17 – Quinn Sharp

Kyle Porter —  August 15, 2011 — 6 Comments

Photo Attribution: Icon SMI

Who he is: Kickers are kind of like left-handed pitchers in baseball: really quirky, keep to themselves, and for some reason you always seem to need them in huge spots during big games. Sharp is somebody Joe DeForest once called “our most valuable player on defense.” There’s at least an 85% chance DeForest was just saying this because, at the time, his kick return D was #120 in the country, but still.

What he does: At 46.2 yards per punt last year he was the second best punter in the country behind Mississippi’s Tyler Campbell who probably loathes Jeremiah Masoli for running him out there sixty (!) times.

Sharp will also take over field goal kicking duties from Dan Bailey. Bailey stole punting and kickoff duties from Sharp in last year’s Alamo Bowl after Sharp couldn’t pass six hours of class (which blows my mind). That rule was changed this year so if the same thing happens again Sharp would be suspended for the first four games of 2012.

Seriously though, how does a kicker not pass six hours? Your median day goes like this…

530 AM: Wake up.
6 AM: Lift weights/chat up Rob Glass while he trains the DTs.
7 AM: Go back to your apartment and play the FG mini game on NCAA ’12 with yourself.
8 AM: Go to class.
9 AM: Watch SportsCenter at the Student Union for two hours.
11 AM: Go to class, halfway pay attention.
1 PM: Kick the ball around Boone Pickens with the walk-ons for ninety minutes. Play kicker games if you get bored.
3 PM: Make extra points with the first team.
4 PM: “Ice down”.
5 PM-12AM: Whatever you want (and if that doesn’t include the 25 min. of studying you need to pass college classes then you probably don’t deserve to be eligible).

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Conference Realignment

Kyle Porter —  August 15, 2011 — Leave a comment

Matt Amilian rejoins the pod to talk conference realignment, what it means for OSU, and why we even care.

You can listen to the podcast below or feel free to subscribe in iTunes HERE.

Play

Daily Bullets – 8.15

Kyle Porter —  August 15, 2011 — 5 Comments

Happy move-in day to all my collegiate readers out there. Outside of four weeks in March/April that include the NCAA Tournament, Masters, and start of baseball, this is by far the best time of the year. Enjoy it.

OSU checks in at #416 on Forbes’ list of top colleges. OU is #453. Not that I’m not going to gloat about this but once you get in the 400s aren’t we kind of just drawing names out of a hat anyway? Hat tip to Nolo for finding this. (Forbes)

I helped the guys over at College Football Zealots with their OSU preview. Check it. (CFB Zealots)

Berry Tramel says the Big East could be a play for OSU?! Somebody make this stop. (NewsOK)

Gundy didn’t even know A&M wanted to go to the SEC? (ESPN)

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Fowler Wins Bet

Kyle Porter —  August 13, 2011 — 5 Comments

Rickie Fowler takes on his roommate, Cameron Tringale, in a game of P-A-R (their golfing equivalent of H-O-R-S-E). One catch to the game though, they’re traversing the streets of downtown Atlanta. With laundry and dishes at their house for a month on the line.

People seem to be pretty polarized towards Fowler in general (you either love him or loathe him) but I appreciate that he doesn’t really take himself too seriously. I think too many professional athletes get all buttoned-up when they make it big time and forget that they get to play games for millions of dollars while the rest of us peek in on their surreal world. If you can’t have some fun with that and give a little back to your supporters then I don’t have any interest in following you.

A&M: The Hot Girl Always Has Baggage

Kyle Porter —  August 12, 2011 — 11 Comments

A&M is gone. You know it, I know it, R. Bowen Loftin knows it, and whoever broke this story knows it (he’s just praying it’s still true).

It’s going to happen at some point. 2011, 2012, 2013, whatever. But as Richard Justice pointed out today, they can’t keep crying wolf without packing up and heading east.

Right now A&M is just using the Longhorn Network and instability of the Big 12 as an excuse to bail. I don’t really even think they think the Longhorn Network is that big of a deal other than seeing it as leverage (or a reason) to leave, especially considering the NCAA banned high school games from being shown on it as of yesterday.

The Aggies at this point are like the dude who’s dating the cute girl (Big 12) who can cook really well, has a solid job, and generally does everything right and yeah she’s got the crazy mom (Texas) who annoys him but he knows he should just keep his mouth shut because life is pretty good for him.

But he just can’t do it.

He’s been eyeing the smoking hot girl at his gym (SEC) who he knows is certifiably insane and has a ton of baggage but, well, she’s hot and he really wants to date her. So he bails on the cute girl and is excited for a while because he doesn’t have to deal with her mom anymore but realizes six months later the when deranged hot girl is screaming obscenities at him from her poolside balcony and threatening to kill him that he would much rather deal with crazy mom than completely insane girlfriend.

In this case the crazy girlfriend screaming obscenities is A&M going to Death Valley and Tuscaloosa and Gainesville and getting it handed to them.

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Daily Bullets – 8.12

Kyle Porter —  August 12, 2011 — 3 Comments

Solid story by John Helsley on Clint Chelf solidifying himself as Weeden’s backup. (NewsOK)

Can we get enough people to submit ideas so the new tailgating area at OSU is named after this blog? (okstate.com)

If you’re interested in A&M to the SEC and what it means for the Big 12, here are five strong columns/posts.

Outkick the Coverage
NewsOK
Cyclone Fanatic
Orange Bloods
CBS Sports

Russell Okung went down with an ankle injury last night. Hat tip to Jeff Moore for the find. (CBS Sports)

Other NFL stats from last night: Orie Lemon – 2 tackles, Perrish Cox – 1 INT (ESPN)

Ubben’s all name-team. Again, I demand to know where Miketavius Jones is!! (ESPN)

Speaking of Ubben, we might need to take a Lottie Moon offering for him fairly soon when he’s out of work because the Big 12 folds. (ESPN)

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A Few Thoughts On Gina Mizell

Kyle Porter —  August 11, 2011 — 17 Comments

After the Oklahoman hired Travis Haney for the OU beat away from his spot in Columbia with SEC title game #2 fully in his sights just four weeks before the season started I think we all expected an equally ambitious hire for the OSU position.

New OSU Beat Writer, Gina Mizell

That’s fair.

What’s not fair is all the vitriol I’ve seen lobbed at new OSU beat writer, Gina Mizell.

Most of the comments I’ve read have fallen into one of the following two categories:

  1. She can’t cover OSU, she’s a girl!
  2. She can’t cover OSU, I’ve never heard of her or her paper!

Lest I remind you that the last no-name person the Oklahoma hired was David Ubben who seems to be doing just fine with his career.

Let me take these arguments one at at time starting with the sexism thing. If you really believe that Gina can’t do as good of a job as Brandon Chatmon, David Ubben, John Helsley, or Bill Haisten because she’s a girl then you are an idiot. I don’t know how else to write that and I’m not here to pander to you so just move along.

As for the experience thing, how about we let it play itself out? If we’re sitting here in December and Gina hasn’t written a quality story or provided anything of value to you as fans and readers then fine you can say “what a terrible hire, she had no experience.”

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New Recruit: C.J. Curry

Kyle Porter —  August 11, 2011 — 11 Comments

C.J. Curry told his dad last year, ” I don’t think I need to go to through the whole process. I know I want to go to Georgia.”

Well things changed on Wednesday night when he called Mark Richt and told him he would be attending college in north-central Oklahoma.

According to this great piece by Michael Carvell after visiting Stillwater and seeing OSU’s facilities Curry told his dad, “I loved it, Oklahoma State is where I want to be.”

His dad is apparently a big Mark Richt (and Georgia) guy but told him he was his own man and could make his own decisions.

As for his on the field play, Curry will be at his fourth high school in four years this fall. But not in a Darius Miles kind of way. His dad coaches and has moved around a lot and Curry has been in and out of various private and public schools throughout his career.

Here are his recruiting rankings:

ESPN – 3 stars
Rivals – 4 stars
247 – 4 stars
Scout – 3 stars

And from the looks of his video, he’s going to factor in very early on.

My favorite part is the 2:30 mark and thinking about what’s going through that poor white CB’s head. I know I shouldn’t say this but he reminds me a lot of Dez in this video.

Plus he has a brother who might be even better.

Not to go all hyperbolic on this or anything but it seems like this is the first time “the facilities”, as we like to call them, have really meant something in the way of recruiting against another school. Sure, they have been important to other recruits but this might be the first tangible evidence we have of someone basically saying, “meh, I’ll pass on one of the most storied, prestigious schools in the country to travel halfway across the nation and play for this guy with spiky hair who likes to run the score up.”

That’s big time.

CJ Curry from Kipp Adams on Vimeo.

Daily Bullets – 8.11

Kyle Porter —  August 11, 2011 — 9 Comments

Here’s your introduction to the new Oklahoma State beat writer for the Oklahoman. (NewsOK)

Great read from John Helsley on basically the only positional battle left for Gundy to solve. (NewsOK)

Good story from Jenni Carlson on how Boone’s millions almost went to Texas Tech. (NewsOK)

PGA tee times/pairings today: Rickie Fowler (1:25) with Sergio and Dustin Johnson. Bo Van Pelt (8:40) with John Senden and Scott Stallings. Hunter Mahan (1:35) with Justin Rose and Louis Oosthuizen. Alex Noren (9:30) with Rob Moss and J.J. Henry. Chuck Howell (9:15) with Bill Haas and J.B. Holmes. Scotty Verplank (9:25) with Jerry Kelly and Stuart Smith. (ESPN)

I wish I could wager on “Brandon Weeden’s name will be on this screen on Christmas morning” in Vegas. I’d put a lot of money down. (ESPN)

“I just go out and try to make every kick” (dallascowboys.com)

Cool photo gallery of football players from Oklahoma arriving at training camp. (NewsOK)

Kendall Hunter has a blog that @coachgundy just tweeted about. Not much insight in it but kinda fun that Spud is writing about training camp. Also I guess the AD is cool with blogs now or how’s that working? (49ers.com)

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5 Players OSU Can’t Afford to Lose

Kyle Porter —  August 10, 2011 — 9 Comments

Travis Lewis’ toe is going to make a strong run at Sam Bradford’s shoulder as the most talked about body part in OU football history. Sooner Nation is melting down in part because linebacker is as thin as it gets for #1. I feel bad for them (kind of) because I don’t want any excuses if they aren’t 11-0 on Decemeber 3rd.

It did get met thinking though about the five players OSU can least afford to lose going into this season.

Because I’m not completely sure whether or not the jinx I hold over any and all Oklahoma State golfers carries over to other sports I’m going to spare Weeden and Blackmon from this list. I think you guys get the point with them.

Let’s get to it:

5. Jeremy Smith – It’s not that OSU isn’t deep at RB (they are) but it’s the type of running he does that I’m not sure can really be replaced. Joseph Randle, Herschel Sims, Kye Staley, and Desmond Roland (if he plays) are all great backs but they aren’t built like a Greek Titan the way Smith is. And they don’t run between the tackles like Todd Monken is going to ask Smith to do. Having a unique talent that no one else can replicate equals job security and Smith has it. We need him to keep it.

4.Nick Martinez & Jonathan Rush – One reason: they protect Weeden’s backside. I don’t even want to talk about this. Just go YouTube “Tom Brady Chiefs” or “Sam Bradford BYU” and let’s pretend like we never discussed anything.

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Daily Bullets – 8.10

Kyle Porter —  August 10, 2011 — 6 Comments

OSU’s equipment manager on what the team should wear every week: “I hope we decide the entire season before we start so it’s not a distraction every week. And if we do decide, do we put it out there (publicly), or do we keep it to ourselves?” How long is this going to be a story? (NewsOK)

Backup QB Clint Chelf thinks pretty highly of Brandon Weeden’s leadership ability. I wonder if Weeden would have been this good of a leader at 22? (NewsOK)

Ubben with his first Big 12 Heisman watch list of the year. Hard to argue with Landry being #1. I’ll be surprised if Weeden isn’t at least at the ceremony in NYC on December 10th. Oh, and I’m a little surprised Blackmon doesn’t make his top 5, regardless of how long it’s been since a WR won the award. Some real thorough commenting from “DJ_Sooner” on this post as well. Clever, bro. (ESPN)

Here are photos of some of the damage done by the storm in Stillwater the other night. (Flickr)

OSU Cowgirl soccer opens the year ranked #14. As the Cowgirl FC people pointed out: “Six All-Big 12, ten returning starters from a team that finished the season #5 last year. Is #OKState better than #14?” (okstate.com)

Solid Q&A with Jeremy Smith includes this quote: “[the new uniforms] put a smile on my face.” (Go Pokes)

I wonder how strictly the new tailgating rules will be enforced. (okstate.com)

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Should OSU Players Be Allowed to Tweet?

Kyle Porter —  August 9, 2011 — 3 Comments

Well LeBryan Nash’s timeline would imply that they shouldn’t, but let’s pretend for now like that’s the exception to the rule.

In the past few weeks football players at Kansas and South Carolina have received the Chris Peterson treatment by getting that little blue birdie ripped from their collective grasp. Boise’s ballsy head coach pulled the plug on Twitter last year preceding their 12-1 season.

An act full of noble intentions I’m sure, but nonetheless a bit misguided.

Just because you shut down Twitter doesn’t mean athletes aren’t going to express themselves via social media. There’s Facebook and Google+ and a whole host of other outlets through which an student-athlete can ruin his or her career. It definitely slows down the process of student-athlete X getting caught because those sites aren’t as heavily hawked as Twitter is, but that’s about all you’re doing.

“Oh, Jeff Fuller said something stupid online on a Wednesday night, people will now see it on Thursday afternoon instead of early Thursday morning. I’m beating the internet!!”

No, you’re not beating the internet. You’re just confusing kids who think your goal is to take things from them for your own benefit.

Darren Rovell wrote a stout column yesterday about why coaches (and administrators for that matter) should be in the business of educating athletes how to leverage media outlets to their advantage.

Friend of the blog (and part-time contributor) Kevin DeShazo thinks it’s so important that he started an entire company around the concept. He’s probably right too. Education > Ignorance.

It’s incredible to me the number of people who don’t understand what Twitter is for and how powerful it really is. Sure you get guys like Mike Cobbins (@mjc20OSU) and Marshall Moses (@marshallmoses33) who overuse it and unintentionally negate the ability of teammates and other players who are trying to use it correctly.

On the flip side of that you have guys like Brandon Weeden (@bweeden3) who really work to improve the way they’re perceived in the public. Weeden has taken the time to learn the tool and use it to his advantage. Isn’t that what life is all about? Isn’t that what coaches are always spewing about “teaching moments” and “the journey”? Or is that just something they say that sounds good so 5-stars will come run around for them for a few years of their lives?

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Most Important People #18 – Hubert Anyiam

Kyle Porter —  August 9, 2011 — Leave a comment

I would have ranked him higher but after reading and re-reading through all the guys OSU is lining up at WR I’m not sure that it’s totally vital to this team’s success that Anyiam perform at his zenith.

Who he is: When Dez got Tressel-ed in ’09 Anyiam stepped up to the tune of 42-515-3 including a nasty 10-119-1 performance against Mizzou at home. He tailed off at the end of that year, of course a lot of that probably had to do with the fact that Zac’s shoulder was like the homeless man’s McGahee’s knee the second half of the season, but whatever.

What he does: Anyiam struggled last year with injuries and then struggled to get involved in the middle of the season with Blackmon and Cooper deeply established as the best 1-2 punch in the state (yes, I’m looking at you, Mr. Stills).

And that Blackmon/Cooper combo is kind of the point here, isn’t it? Are teams going to play with eight defensive backs? If they aren’t (and I’m assuming they aren’t) then your third, fourth, and fifth guys are going to get more looks than Jennifer Aniston at a World of Warcraft tournament.

Where he fits in: You could have slipped any number of people into this spot, I chose Anyiam because there’s a precedent. He is the third or fourth receiver depending on your feelings about Tracy Moore and Michael Harrison, both of whom are more hype than production to this point.

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Daily Bullets – 8.9

Kyle Porter —  August 9, 2011 — Leave a comment

Good find by Anthony Slater here of an old Weeden interview/highlight in which he looks significantly more mobile. (NewsOK)

John Helsley stealing my thunder for later today with this piece on Hubert Anyiam. (NewsOK)

Richetti Jones with some fantastic quotes here: “The only number next to our name that means anything is in the win column.” and “Our destiny is a national championship.” (Go Pokes)

Former Cowboy baseballer Tyler Lyons spun a 7-inning no-no in Jupiter on Monday night. Hat tip to Dan Schwane on the find. (MILB)

OSU football practice report by Gavin Lang is always a good read. And I love this quote from Gundy: “James Castleman was making a few plays for a guy who doesn’t know what he’s doing.” (okstate.com)

Robert Allen says fans are going to be in love with Shaun Lewis this fall. (Go Pokes)

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#19 – Justin Gilbert

Kyle Porter —  August 8, 2011 — 7 Comments

Who he is: I am a generally sensible person. I put together a monthly budget for Mrs. Pistols and I and we more or less follow it. I have a career path for myself defined in my mind that doesn’t exceed the limits of my talents and abilities. I know how to stay in my lane in other words.

I can usually put sports in its proper place in our society which means I know when to remind myself (and others) that there’s no reason to overreact to certain things that happen within (or outside of) a given sporting event.

And yet with that being true of my life, it all basically flies out the window when I watch and/or write about Justin Gilbert playing football.

Gilbert is not an especially exceptional player, well, for OSU he is I guess (there are probably five or six of him at each of the BCS conference-toting Florida schools). There is, however something about the way he carries himself on the field. It’s not arrogance, that would be the wrong word. I’m actually not sure there is a word for it. Maybe if DeSean Jackson was an adjective that’s how I would describe Gilbert.

Or maybe it’s just the (real) 10.68 100 he once ran.

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In The Way of #1 – Boise St.

Kyle Porter —  August 8, 2011 — Leave a comment

This is a new series on what must take place for Oklahoma State to reach #1. If you haven’t checked out our other series on the 20 most important people to a 2011 national title you can do so here. Or both are at the top of the right sidebar.

Oklahoma State will start out the year at #8 in the coaches poll (the AP poll will probably have them close to that, #10 at the lowest). It’s the highest they’ve ever been ranked to begin the year. As we saw with Auburn in 2004 however, it doesn’t matter how high you’re ranked to begin the year (or what you do during it for that matter) if #1 and #2 don’t lose.

In OSU’s case they kind of control their own destiny with #1 (OU) but they do need six other teams to fall to attain that #1 ranking by Christmas.

Who do Cowboy fans need to pull for each week though? Are we SEC fans? Little sisters of the poor fans? Do we actually *gasp* need to cheer on OU to beat Florida State?

Well here’s a fan’s guide to who OSU fans should be rooting for as the season progress, starting with the schedule of #7 Boise State.

Note: if OSU is #9 or lower in the AP then I’ll throw in the teams ranked ahead of them but for now we’re just focused on these seven.

Boise opens with its annual “see, we play hard teams!” game against UGA in the Georgia Dome. I’ll have on all the Georgia gear I picked up in Athens in ’07 plus all the Masters gear I own in hopes that Mark Richt can hold serve in his home state against Kellen Moore’s Heisman campaign kick-off.

Then it’s Kyle Brotzman voodoo doll night on October 1 when the Broncos get their rematch with the Nevada team that ended their season last year.

The next “test” is at Fresno which is difficult in the same way going to Lawrence is difficult: you’re not at home and they tackle you harder than the practice squad team does and that’s about it.

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