Welcome back to yet another edition of Life, Love?Sport (Survivor Edition). Tons to cover this week, with the re-emergence of the Mother of All Upsets in college football, free agency in baseball, the crowning of our new patron saint, as well as an update on our nearest and dearest Missouri Tigers and maybe a few words about the beginning of basketball season and various other valuable tidbits of information that you won’t be able to find elsewhere (space permitting).
The past weekend served as a reminder for football fans everywhere that dynasties don’t last forever. With this in mind, let’s discuss the Fall of the House of Troy, also known as the University of Southern California. This downfall has been predicted by everyone from columnists at ESPN to that random homeless guy who I saw in Boston. Needless to say, this season USC has been victimized by what I like to call the Blue-Chip Recruit Effect. Basically, it says that blue-chip recruits who have to sit on the bench lose their skills and thus, when its their turn to start, they aren’t nearly as good as the previous starters.
For example, Josh Booty came to USC as a blue-chip recruit, a solid five star player. However, he has been sitting behind Matt Leinart for two years. When his turn to start came, Booty understandably could not live up to the lofty expectations that fans have been accustomed to with Leinhart. Thus, the college football community was treated to another Mother of All Upsets game, as the Beavers of Oregon State got the biggest win in the history of their program. This is the same Oregon State team that was clobbered by Boise State on a blue field. Yep, you read that correctly, the field is actually colored blue! The first USC loss in over two years became the first major upset of the year and exposed a flawed basic principle in college football specifically and college sports in general.
This all ties back to a widespread rule of high school recruits that the LLS endorses: if you have the opprotunity to play immediately, take it.
Year after year, good players take offers from schools loaded at their prospective positions. This creates a waiting list that some players just never overcome. Kids should be smart and take scholarships to places where they will be playing.
The perfect example is Jevan Snead, the backup in Texas. With the emergence of Colt McCoy, that poor kid will never see the field.
Meanwhile, Chris Leak shows the other side of the coin, spurning USC and Tennessee to start as a freshman for Florida. Now he is a potential All-SEC pick and has a bright future as a NFL quaterback.
Meanwhile, in light of all the crazy football action that has been happening, baseball’s free agency has started. Already, several big names, led by Barry Zito, Jason Schmidt, Greg Maddux, et al. have filed for the right to negotiate with other teams. Expect some crazy changes in addresses as the winter approaches and teams look to reload for the drive to next year’s World Series.
Checking in on our team of the year, the Missouri Tigers really took a step back this weekend, getting wrecked at home by the Oklahoma Sooners. This loss really hurts, especially since it tarnishes the perfect 6-0 start. However, the fate of the Big 12 North title rests in their hands. If they beat Nebraska this Saturday, it should be smooth sailing toward a showdown against Texas for the right to go to the Orange Bowl and a major payday.
In response to a friend’s contention that Peyton Manning is much better than Tom Brady, I would like to say that, yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I feel that winning three Super Bowls gives Brady an edge. This Sunday’s matchup is more hyped than “Snakes on a Plane.” LLS will be watching, will you?
Thank you to everyone that sent in their picks for the patron saint of Life, Love…Sport. All three of you. Since there weren’t all that many good suggestions, I will now pick our new patron saint. Everyone, say hello to St. Jennifer Morrison! Also known as the star of the hit TV show “House”. If you have any concerns or problems, feel free to address a prayer her way, I am sure that you will get a response.
With this year’s basketball season starting , the LLS has started to place bets on when Ron Artest will go ballistic. Check back in three weeks, Artest should be angry enough to start fighting fans again.
It takes 3,000 cows to supply the NFL with enough leather for a year’s supply of footballs.
Maystrovsky’s article appears weekly. Maystrovsky is a memeber of the class of 2009.