The Raf report


By Raf Czarnecki

Memo to Bud Selig: college football is here, go away.

The college lads are back to tossin’ around the old pigskin and crackin’ helmets, so now’s the time to pull the plug on those body builders, err, I mean baseball players’ shameless excuse for a season. It’s time to allow sports fans the enjoyment of watching the best sport in all the land, week in and week out, without having to worry about whether Barry Bonds’ “creatine” supply is still holding strong.

With that out of the way, welcome back students, faculty, staff, alumni and whoever else has the pleasure of having a few free minutes on their hands.

It’s been a long, hectic summer of sleeping in until the wee hours of the afternoon while juggling a few summer courses and a full-time job. However, with the much appreciated help of a few friends named Bud and Light, I managed to come out of the summer in top notch condition, just in time to put together something we in the world of sports entertainment like to call: The only college football preview that matters.

Throw away your subscription magazines and all those newspapers that you actually had to pay for and find a cozy spot to indulge yourself with this uniquely brilliant masterpiece which offers you more bang for your buck. Break out the Top 5:

Five Teams that are better than the other 112

1. Texas – This has to be Mack Brown’s year to win “The Big One.” He’s got the best set of receivers in the country, a stud running back, the hands down best recruiting class and a solid defense led by freak (remember this name) middle linebacker Derrick Johnson. Maybe Chris Simms will even find the guys in the orange jerseys come Big 12 Championship time.

2. Florida State – A year after going an un-Seminole-like 8-4, look for the Noles to rebound nicely. With returning, healthy talent loaded on both sides of the ball, QB Chris Rix should have no problems getting his squad back atop the college football world.

3. Miami – Half their team went pro, but other than that, the defending champs are sittin’ pretty. Reloading is fun. There’s not a linebacking duo in the country that compares to Jonathan “I run over Cornhuskers for fun” Vilma and DJ “stronger and faster than you” Williams.

4. Oklahoma – Sports Illustrated placed defensive superhero Tommie Harris on their cover a few weeks back. Translation — probably not going to win a championship, but a BCS Bowl Game is where this battle-tested Sooner team should find themselves at the end of the year.

5. Florida – “Zook ball” is what they’re calling it down in Gainesville now that Spurrier is gone and new head coach Ron Zook is calling the plays. I’ll call it “let Rex Grossman throw the ball 40 times a game and the Gators might find themselves in a similar situation as they did a year ago.”

Bonus five, because Top 10 polls are never trendy enough …

Tennessee, Colorado, Georgia, Ohio State and Washington State. Arrange them however you like, know who their best players are, pretend you’re as scintillating as I or just do whatever feels right.

Random thoughts are big time …

– Michigan State, Texas A&M and Clemson are your sleepers because Charlie Roger is huge, the Aggies are due and Tommy Bowden is fighting to keep his job.

– The Big 12 edges out the SEC as the pound for pound best conference in the world.

– The streak of 33 straight 9-win seasons for the Huskers is in jeopardy until late December. That’s when the Big Red squeaks by Oregon State in the Bowl and finishes the year with a misleading 9-5 record as 4 of the 5 Husker losses came at the hands of a better team.

– Can Marshall QB Byron Leftwich win the Heisman Trophy? How about no? Throwing for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns would be cool, but strength of schedule and TV time will hurt the Thundering Herdsman. Look for either Grossman or Simms to take home the award and begin their run as Heisman melters in the wonderful world of NFL mediocrity.

– And finally, the controversial one loss theory will come into play. Pay attention because it’s been known to confuse — nobody will finish the year undefeated. Did you get that? I heard playoff systems work, but instead, the BCS will pin Texas and Florida State in the Fiesta Bowl as six other capable championship teams look on and tell themselves “that Raf kid knows a thing or two.”

My reputation precedes me.



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