College basketball preview


We here at LND love basketball.  We grew up playing it, grew up watching it, and grew up idolizing those who were fortunate enough to play it on television – whether that person be one of the all-time greats like Michael Jordan or just have one of the all-time great names like God Shammgod, creator of the Shammgod.  Our shared love of basketball can only be matched by two things – our respect for any man willing to rock an ironic mustache and our hatred for Duke basketball.

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Dunn’s picks

So it’s college basketball season again. Which marks the start of real ODU sports, real hatred towards anything Duke, and real allegations against another incoming Kentucky frosh. I swear, UK is like the collegiate social worker. Take in the worst cases possible with the idea of a heartfelt conclusion. Unfortunately for Calipari and UK, after so many great turnouts (D Rose, Cousins, Wall, Tyreke Evans) it was bound to backfire eventually. Like Todd Phillips with Due Date. After so many great turnouts (Hangover, Old School, the underrated Starsky & Hutch remake, and an eerily similar premise of comical genius known as Road Trip), he had to miss eventually. Kanter could still join my Wildcats. Just like Galifianakis could still make Due Date continually watchable. Maybe.

Oh, and as far as Duke, I say hate because it’s not like I can have my main wish granted and just have Duke basketball, as a program, completely eliminated. Or, could I!?  Maybe I could hire Dexter to take out each player one by one like Julia Stiles rapists/terrorizers. Oh how nice THAT would be! I can see it now, right before the knife tears through the plastic wrapping I’d make Dexter tell them it’s all because of him! Then my mastermind plan of ridding the sports stratosphere of any recollection of The Shot we will not mention, except here, will commence.  (BTW screw Coach K, that second cheerleader, Mashburn for celebrating, Grant Hill, the announcer, the UK Center who jumped like a kid with MD to block the shot, and THAT BITCH ASS GEORGE HILL!)

Now my picks

SEC– Kentucky (with or without Kanter) I do love Scottie “I got Hops” Hopson though

Big Ten– Michigan St. (With respect to Purdue without Hummel)

Big 12– Kansas St. (Pullen babay!) Although my two-named brother from another, LaceDarius, WILL be back

Pac 10– Washington (w/ the real Isaiah Thomas)

WCC– Zags (No Omar Samhan, no Saint Mary’s)

Big East– Pitt I guess

C-USA– Memphis (although I can’t wait to watch Culpepper and UTEP)

A-10– Richmond (but watch Dayton)

Mountain West– BYU (Fredette all day)

CAA– Let’s GO O.D.U.!

MVC– U Northern Iowa

lastly ACC, and since I am about to slice my hand completely off……..Duke.

Final Four– UK, UNC, Mich St., & Kansas St.

National Champ– UK (with Kanter) or Mich St. (w/out)

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Perron’s Picks

Many of you may recall that I chose Virginia Tech to win the football National Championship this year.  That didn’t work out so well. Well guess what, I was ready to pick the Hokies to win the ACC, but then they lost J.T. Thompson and Allan Chaney for the season and all of VT’s frontcourt depth disappeared.  This is bad news. Very bad news.  What may be even worse news than this for all College Basketabll fans is that the Hokies are ranked (two weeks in a row now so shove it Jay).  The reason this is bad news for College Basketball? There is not one single player on Tech’s current roster that has played in an NCAA Tournament game, they lost two of their top three post players for the season before the season even started, and they are ranked in the preseason.  That tells me there aren’t a whole lot of quality teams out there. That also tells me that another Butler-type team will make a run to the Final Four and the admin assistant who picked her bracket based on which school she would most like to visit will win your annual office pool again.  And now the predictions:

SEC–  Georgia – I also predict that Tennessee will get put on probation before Kentucky because of the shady practices of Mr. Orange Blazer, but his conference will belong to the Bulldogs (watch out for them as a dark horse in the tourney this year).

Big TenMichigan State takes it. My favorite non-Greenberg coach in the nation has to be Bo Ryan because he does the Soulja Boy, but Izzo is probably the best coach.

Big 12Kansas St. ends Kansas’ run of six straight conference titles and Frank Martin makes some poor official crap his pants after he threatens to eat his forehead

Pac 10Washington I guess.  PAC-10 : CBB  ::  Big East : CFB  ::  poop : sandwich

WCCSt. Mary’s – The Zags get no love from me like a Scrub from TLC.  (90’s reference!!!!)

Big EastSyracuse – Wes Johnson wasn’t that great anyway. He can’t even high five.

C-USAUTEP –  Memphis lost their shady coach in Calipari. UTEP hired their shady coach on Tim Floyd. Advantage Miners.

A-10Richmond will make it three teams from the Commonwealth in this year’s tourney and none of them will be associated with Thomas Jefferson.

Mountain WestBYU – How can you not love a guy that willingly goes by Jimmer?

CAAODU lost a nailbiter to Georgetown, but nobody in the CAA can compete with their size.

MVCWichita St. – The Shockers and their creepy mascot are going to “Shock” some people this year. (Pun!!!!!!!)

ACCVirginia Tech – Screw it. You don’t need a big man to win in this league. I also predict Paul Hewitt will get fired for chronically underachieving with top notch talent and Mr. Red Blazer will keep his job despite chronically underachieving with top notch talent and I still won’t be able to spell Kryschefshki.

Final Four– Duke,  Wichita St., Mich St., & Kansas St.

National Champ– Kansas St.

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Jay’s Picks

College basketball has the nearly undisputed greatest postseason in all of American sports. But let’s not overlook the regular season, which is important when you’re a UVA fan and that’s the only place your’e going to see your team play in 2010. Oh, no, here I go again. Why should you waste your 10 minutes of not-paying-attention-to-work time to read about my moderately irrelevant Virginia Cavaliers? Because a new giant is rising, people. It might not happen this season, but Tony Bennett is formulating a plan in Charlottesville so devious, so underhanded, so devilish that only, well, the Devils would do it. The Duke Blue Devils, that is. Tony Bennett, a well spoken white dude who comes off extremely well in the living rooms of rich, pretentious parents of “high IQ” (read: white) basketball recruits, is literally stealing the playbook right from under Coach K’s scrunched ferret nose. The Crooner of the Court isn’t trying to beat UNC, Georgia Tech or Wake Forest for your typical stud ballers with entire entourages and connections to World Wide Wes. UVA isn’t going to win those battles. No, Bennett is going right after Coach K’s sweetspot – really annoying, ugly white dudes who hustle, make the extra pass, try on defense and pray for the day their coach will give them a gold star sticker to put on their notebook for listening to coach better than anyone. Just take a look at four of the six kids from Bennett’s first recruiting class, UVA’s current freshmen.

Will Regan even came from Christian Laettner’s high school alma mater. Thanks for the blueprint, K. First the Hoos will take Duke’s title for most annoying team in the ACC, then we start taking the real titles.

Getting past my Hoos to the portion of the college basketball universe that the other 99% of the U.S. population actually finds relevant, UNC will own Duke this year, but no one else in the ACC will; the Big East will be another all-out brawl among a half dozen almost elites, leading the entire East Coast population of bracket pickers to again get their brackets busted by Big East overhype; the SEC gets a second relevant team for the first time in a few years, but the Pac 10 won’t find one; the Big 12 will have the best top four teams of any conference in the country.

Some interesting story lines to follow:

1. Kansas St. coach Frank Martin won’t beat one of his players this year, but a woman will have him charged with sexual assault after watching a Wildcats game on a 3D television and a stare from coach’s black, souless eyes actually leaves her vagina suffering from second degree burns.

2. After investing $250 million to convince America we should give a shit about mid-major basketball teams like Butler and Gonzaga with an all out, all season marketing campaign including a mid-major highlight in every Sportscenter top 10 all year and a special mid-major segment in every episode of PTI from November to March, not a single team outside of the BCS conferences will make the Elite Eight.

SEC– Florida (even I think it will be Kentucky, but since Kentucky will end up forfeiting all of its wins and titles from the entire Calipari era in about two years, I’m going to go ahead and speed up the process by handing the stripped title to the Gators)

Big Ten– Michigan St.

Big 12– Kansas

Pac 10– Wait, I thought we were only picking champs for leagues that had a chance of getting more than 1 bid?

WCC– Gonzaga

Big East– Syracuse

C-USA– Memphis (although I still feel dirty picking a program that still has Calipari hair grease all over it)

A-10– Temple. It’s not as fun without Chaney threatening to street brawl on Calipari Rocky V style, but the Owls are back.

Mountain West– BYU

CAA– ODU – and, yes, I will sacrifice a pick in my NCAA bracket to pick the Monarchs to win in the first round, just out of 757 pride

MVC– A team with a bunch of white guys that play fundamentally sound and won’t stop trying hard or shotting threes. Uhhh, Northern Iowa.

ACC- Virginia Tech – NOT. Enjoy that one week run in the top 25, Perron. Sadly, it will be the team with this guy:

Final Four– Duke, Pitt, Michigan St., Kansas

National Champ– Michigan St.

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Lamest college mascot (Non-BCS FBS schools edition)


Note: In researching terrible mascots, the plethora of available options is just too much to resist stretching this feature out to a four-parter. Take a look at our BCS post and keep an eye out for the FCS and DivII / DivIII editions. Keep voting as the winners of the 4 posts will face off in an ultimate lame mascot challenge.

Before moving on to the FBS schools that don’t get a chance to take home the National Championship, as a Virginia Tech alum I cannot resist the urge to pontificate on that new UVA mascot.  Though it may not be one of the 5 worst BCS mascots, it is definitely in the top ten.This is so bad it needs some quickfire jokes, Daniel Tosh style. Let’s put 20 seconds on the clock:  Is that a horse, a hippo or a California Raisin?  Some kid called, and he wants his Thing Hands back.  Mascots can’t resemble Native Americans anymore, but this proves the NCAA thinks it is fine for your mascot to dress in blackface.  Is that logo ironed on or is it just a sticker?  He’s ready for the upcoming 90’s frat party – he already put on his MC Hammer pants.   I’m pretty sure The Hoo crapped this out in 1983 and it just recently escaped from the sewers of Charlottesville where it has been living a life of solitude, prostituting itself out to drunken frat guys and feeding on the blood of the homeless.

Now that I have that out of my system, I present LND’s lamest mascots from non-BCS Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

5. Akron’s Zippy the Kangaroo

When you have a nondescript nickname like the Zips, your mascot can be whatever you want it to be.  Akron could have gone with a lion, tiger, bear, eagle, gorilla, or any number of menacing mascots.  They also could have gone for a local theme, and since Akron is known as the “Rubber Capital of the World”, my vote would have been for a giant condom.  Instead, they went with this far from intimidating Kangaroo.  On Zippy’s website, he claims his favorite food is stadium hot dogs.  Something tells me that is not the only kind of sausage Zippy enjoys.

4. Middle Tennessee State’s Lightning

MTSU’s sports teams are known as the Blue Raiders, so logically their mascot is a Pegasus. They got the blue part down, as that thing looks like Papa Smurf should be riding in on it.  As a Pegasus, he uses his wings to fly.  That means the only thing the cape could possibly be for is his weekend job performing magic at birthday parties. TA-DA!

3. Louisiana-Lafayette’s Cayenne

The Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana Lafayette have a long history of bad mascots including the drunken Cajun Man and the even more drunken Cajun Chicken, but in an effort to outdo themselves they came up with this atrocity.  As if the pepper to the left wasn’t bad enough, the university felt the need to share the image to the right of what Cayenne looks like when he takes the football jersey off.  That angry dragon turd is going to haunt my dreams.

2. Tulsa’s Captain ‘Cane

The Tulsa Golden Hurricane felt the need to justify this ridiculous superhero getup by actually giving him a back-story and some super powers. Apparently, the Captain “carries a hurricane-summoning sword, energy-sourcing thunder boots, lightning bolt blaster gloves and a wind-current flying cape.”  Even the super-lame Captain Planet had better superpowers than that.  It must be awfully hard to fly with those huge cement blocks for feet. And nothing lets people know you are a superhero quite like that inverted soul patch on his forehead.  They would have been better off with Captain Crunch as their mascot.

1. TCU’s SuperFrog

As discussed in a previous LND post, a horned frog is actually a lizard that can squirt blood from its eyes.  Somehow TCU manages to take the bloody eye lizard and make it even less kid friendly.  It looks like the weird love child of the Predator and Felix the Cat.  When you add the fact that SuperFrog is like 8 feet tall, there isn’t a preteen in the world that will go within 20 feet of this creature.  I do enjoy that Felix the Predator takes his fashion tips from Doug Flutie, however. Nice belly shirt, SuperFrog. Nice belly shirt, indeed.

Lamest college mascot (BCS schools edition)


I recently attended U.Va.’s football season opener, where the Mike London era was deemed a near universal success as the Hoos exorcized the biggest shame of the Al Groh era (a 2009 season opening loss to mighty FCS William & Mary) and helped the ACC prevent repeating another 0-2 start against the mighty CAA by beating the Richmond Spiders 34-13.

I say “near universal success” because of this creature, which made its debut Saturday:

Now, I’m not one to get too worked up over bad mascots. They are, after all, for kids. And this horrendous creature is only a side mascot to U.Va.’s real mascot, Cavman — a gay, manscaped Frenchman in an astronaut suit, which if you’ve read the tales of Cavaliers is pretty much historically accurate. But the locals in Hooville were not pleased. Some college football fans, and I’m talking about grown ass men, are not merely content to be armchair quarterbacks and Monday morning coaches; they like to play AD with a GED and hold up their pretend BS in mascot marketing to speculate on how a joke of a mascot will crumble their favorite program from the foundation.

At U.Va., the hypersensitive fans probably just can’t take any more ridicule after a 3-9 Al Groh special in 2009. I’ve seen the new mascot called everything from what would happen if Grimus raped the Chick-fil-a cow to Mr. Cameltoehands. I have personally dubbed it Puff the Magic Demon Horse.

What this new scandal of Charlottesville is not is the worst mascot in college sports. Not by far, not even close. In fact, I had only planned one “Worst Mascot” debate, but the sheer immensity of terrible mascots at every level of college athletics has forced me to split it up into divisions: BCS schools, non-BCS FBS schools, FCS schools, and Division II and III (where shit really gets Grateful Dead, Beatles White Album trippy).

So without further adieu, I present LND’s five lamest BCS school mascots. There’s no real methodology (to even suggest such a scientific process is to insult the nature of the late night debate), but in general I celebrate mascots that are so terrible they’re awesome (the Western Kentucky Blob) and instead look for that certain soulless lameness that comes when sports marketing departments try really hard and still fail.

5. The Penn St. Nittany Lion

How do you fuck up a predator cat, Penn St.? Easily, the easiest of all mascot breeds to successfully execute. Well, start with using a leftover oversized Winnie the Pooh costume for the Big Cat’s body. Next, instead of giving your ferocious feline a full set of teeth, make him look like Cletus the Slack Jawed Kitty straight out of the coal mines of Southwest Pennsyltucky by only giving him four teeth and a gap-toothed grin. Third, leave him au natural in the buff, but put a scarf on him just so he has the feel of a freaky European football streaker that you should shield your children’s eyes from.

4. Big Al, the Alabama Elephant

I’ve got no problem with a big elephant costume in principle, but let’s call a spade a spade here: That is a big, swinging, flaccid cock dangling from that creature’s face. Good lord, I’d hate to see Big Al get excited. Maybe I’ve just got trunk envy. Don’t mock me elephant. Some are showers, some are growers.

3. Brutus the Buckeye (Ohio St.)

Ohio St. fans will defend this atrocity to the death, much like they will defend their teams over-inflated ranking every year. But much like Ohio St.’s performances in national title games, there’s just not much evidence to support Brutus as anything other than lacking. Let’s look past the obvious issue that Brutus’ testicle head is the perfect complement to Big Al’s dick face. What is going on with that outfit? He’s wearing those old school, three inch too short jogging pants that everyone but your crazy Uncle Jimmy with the pornstache tossed out in 1986 and, speaking of the ‘80s, Freddie Krueger is bound to come looking for his sweater sometime.

2. Big 12 Cowboy mascots (the Texas Tech Red Raider, the Oklahoma St. Cowboy, and the Nebraska Cornhusker)

Someone tell Big 12 schools to stop the biggest hit to the image of the American cowboy since Brokeback Mountain. Let’s play a round of rapid fire.

Texas Tech: Flouting Warner Bros. ownership of his likeness and all sorts of laws prohibiting fire arms in public places, Yosemite Sam has apparently decided to live out his Zorro fantasy in Lubbock.

Oklahoma St.: I am honestly afraid this man is going to rape me. He has clearly done time. And the detail of the wrinkles in his creepy hard plastic face is disturbing. I’m willing to bet this costume actually smells like chewing tobacco spit and strippers.

Nebraska: Tight jeans, sturdy work shirt, normal size cowboy hat, chizled jawline; the Cornhusker is much more like real modern cowboys — gay.

1. The Stanford Tree

You might think the Tree would fit my “So terrible it’s awesome” exception, but you’re missing a key element exacerbating the horrendous lameness of this mascot. You see, one Stanford student is chosen to grace the Cardinal sidelines each year in a Tree costume that they must make themselves. And under the irresistible pressure for undergrad college students to become unbearably obnoxious by out-cute and clevering anyone who has come before them, it has become en vogue on campus to make each year’s tree more terrible and ridiculous than the one preceding. Unintentional humor has resulted in some of the best mascots in college sports, but forced cuteness in a hybrid form of nerd and college humor is not to be rewarded. Sorry, Stanford smart asses, but I have to give you the only thing that will wipe that smug smile off your pretentious faces. A big, steaming ‘F.’

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