For those of you that read this site regularly or listen to the radio show I co-host on 1320 KFAN in Salt Lake City you know I’m a lifelong tormented New York Jets fan. Like most Jets fans I am very cynical and this upcoming season may be the worst yet. Heck, just Friday running back Mike Goodson was arrested for drug and gun charges! So with all that said, I would like to recognize the Jets for at least doing something right for a change–putting together their annual 2014 Swimsuit calendar with their cheerleaders, The Flight Crew. At least in the photo above they spelled the teams name correctly unlike the bozo’s below! Also scroll down for other photos from the Cayman Islands.
With the Pac-12 Football Media Day approaching on Tuesday (we’ll be there live) Kyle Gunther contributed his Pac-12 Power Poll plus BYU for Sports Mashup. Of course this a feature we created and submitted weekly last season. If you missed the news and video Gunther will co-host the afternoon show with Kevin Graham on Utah’s 1320 KFAN. Follow him on Twitter @GuntherKFAN.
1. USC: Almost everyone on offense is a returning starter including the best QB in college football this year, Matt Barkley. USC has been looking for a run game for 2 years now though and I don’t see USC having much success in that area unless they can find another linebacker to move to running back.
2. Oregon: The Ducks will be fast and talented yet again but I think their QB, Darron Thomas, leaving early for the NFL surprised them. The battle to replace Thomas will continue into the fall but whoever plays QB for the Ducks will be running Chip Kelly’s crazy offense so I’m sure they’ll be a track star. The Ducks also have a sneaky good defensive line that may wear down as the season moves along because of the fast pace that Oregon plays with on offense. We also know that their utility player De’Anthony Thomas, may be the fastest player in the country this year.
3. Cal: I think their QB Zach Maynard is primed to have a big year as a senior because he has a veteran RB to lean on in Isi Sofele and a future 1st round draft pick in WR Keenan Allen. There also might be a third consecutive DE taken in the first round for the Cal Bears in Deandre Colemen. The Bears are also able to play in their actual stadium this year as it was under renovation last year.
4. Utah: If the Utes could’ve made a field goal against Colorado a year ago they would have represented the Pac 12 south the championship game. Utah has the best defensive tackle in the country and the best running back in the PAC 12. If Jordan Wynn’s weight gain is any indication of his overall ability to stay healthy then Ute fans should expect a big year for the Utes. If both USC and Utah are able to start 4-0 their matchup in SLC on October 4th will be an epic battle
5. Stanford: The Cardinal had 4 players drafted in the first 2 rounds of last year’s NFL draft so replacing that much talent will be difficult. So much of what allowed Stanford to be successful the last couple of season was based on Andrew Luck’s ability to simply wake up in the morning and be the greatest QB prospect since John Elway. The Cardinal won’t be as “Lucky” this year.
6. Washington: The Huskies return a stud at QB in Keith Price but they lose one of the best running backs to ever play at Washington in Chris Polk. Keep your eyes peeled for their tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. He was a true freshman last year and he looked like he could already play in the NFL. Seferian-Jenkins will surely build on his freshman all-American season from a year ago.
7. BYU: If only we didn’t have to speculate about this and could just have the Utes and Cougs in the PAC 12 it would be perfect but they’re not. BYU does already play Washington and Oregon state though so we will get to see that for sure. BYU has elite talent at the top of their roster but I wonder about some other key positions. In 2011 for example, BYU had a safety starting for them that wouldn’t start for too many other teams in division 1. BYU will have to commit to running the football sooner this year than they did in 2011.
8. UCLA: The UCLA campus is in one of the most well known and “hip” cities on earth and yet the Bruins have not been able to take the next step as a program for nearly a decade. It’s a mystery to me. NFL scouts drool every year watching the talent at UCLA only to be left disappointed by the Bruin’s season win total. Jim Mora has taken over and has apparently been cleaning house. By that I mean he’s been weeding out the swussies (sweaty wussies) and championing the stud muffins. UCLA could surprise people this year but I’d be surprised if that happened-pun intended.
T-9/10: Arizona and Arizona State: the Wildcats return five starters on their offensive line that had zero returning starters a year ago. On defense they were putrid last year so my expectations are not very high for them this year either. The Sun Devils of ASU could not have ended their season any worse last year and that led to a coaching change. It’s now up to Todd Graham to change the culture of an ASU football program that for the last decade has revolved almost entirely around beer bongs and hot blonds. Neither of these schools should be world beaters in 2012
11. Washington State: Everyone is assuming that new head coach Mike Leach can turn things around up there in Pullman, I’m still on the fence. Leach will improve the overall talent and attitude for the Cougs but it’s still nearly impossible to recruit to Pullman, Washington. I should know, they recruited me when I was in high school and there wasn’t a snowballs chance in hell you were getting this California Kid to Siberia. On the plus side though WSU has not one but two studs at their disposal at the quarterback position.
12. Colorado: You could not pay me to watch a Colorado game on TV. I have no idea how the Buffaloes managed to beat the Utes a year ago because that was their first victory outside the state of Colorado since the Reagan administration.
13. Oregon State: The Beavers are led by a head coach that I am very fond of, Mike Riley. I am not however, fond of Oregon State this year. Their QB Sean Mannion surprised us all last year with his moxie, but other than that the Beavers were rather awful to watch. We won’t be spending much time in 2012 talking about Oregon State.
A sign the NFL season is fast approaching? NFL cheerleaders are doing their annual summer swimsuit calendar shoots. Here are the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders. You’re welcome!
I don’t like the “Call Me Maybe” song or the viral YouTube lip syncing videos it has spawned and as a New York Jets fan I definitely despise the Miami Dolphins. But with all that said, the Dolphins cheerleaders lip syncing video of the “Call Me Maybe” song while wearing swimsuits is not so bad!
Just some random thoughts and opinions from around the sports world on this Monday cleverly called the Monday Mashup:
-The Utah Jazz playoff hopes took a big hit with losses to New Orleans and Memphis over the weekend. One could understand falling to a good Grizzlies team playing on a back-to-back but the Hornets loss was inexcusable. It just once again shows the Jazz are truly not a playoff team. And for those that say it would be good for the younger players to get playoff experience–I say it’s more important to get into the lottery (and still hope somehow they can get Golden State’s pick even though the Warriors are clearly tanking games) to continue the building process. If they made the postseason this year it’s highly probable they would get swept in the first round and in reality the experience won’t matter because they’ll most likely get eliminated in the same fashion next year. To me it makes better sense to continue to acquire young talent and slowly grow to where you could be a playoff factor in a couple years. Meanwhile the radio voice of the Jazz and good friend of mine (worked and built 1320 KFAN in Salt Lake City together in the mid 90’s) went national with this call on a blown Derrick Favors layup. It was picked up by ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in which Locke joined them to talk about it (Locke appears around the 2:50 mark).
-New New Orleans Hornets owner Tom Benson made comments recently that he may try to bring the Jazz name back to its original home. It appears this has not been embraced by Utah Jazz fans which is not surprising and quite honestly they shouldn’t. I worked in sports radio in Salt Lake City for several years and while the argument that the area isn’t known for its bustling jazz music scene is true, the loyal fan base there have adopted and embraced the name and team as its own. Besides is there a bunch of lakes in LA? Should Minnesota (where the Lakers moved from) reclaim that name since their state is full of them? The only advantage I could see for the Jazz organization is that it would be a boom for merchandising if every fan had to buy garb with the new name on it. But at the same time I’m sure the franchise would lose a ton of credibility for allowing the name to be stolen back. It’s not going to happen–the Jazz name will remain in Utah and Benson should just concentrate on putting a winner on the floor. He does that then I’m guessing most fans will support them as the Bobcats or whatever other moniker they end up going by.
-Conflicting reports on whether Tim Tebow was cheered or booed at Sunday’s New York Yankees game. Obviously it was both. It just shows we cynical New York Jets fans won’t be instantly wooed and sold on his charm, christian values etc. That’s right–we’re not like those gullible, soft Denver Broncos fans. He needs to lead us to a Super Bowl and anything else is consider a failure. Speaking of the Donkeys some dude tried out to be a cheerleader and it’s as funy as you would expect. Wouldn’t be surprised if their fans put up billboards in support of him!
-Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine questions the commitment of Kevin Youkilis and everybody acts like it’s the worst thing ever. Now granted he should have talked to Youkilis (he has since apologized) about this before the media but you can’t be surprised–this is how Valentine operates. In the end ownership is to be blamed when Valentine is eventually fired. You can’t bring in a me-manager with a declining veteran franchise and expect it’s going to work. I think most of us could see that as soon as he was hired.
-Love the NHL playoffs but the Philadelphia Flyers-Pittsburgh Penguins series is getting flat out brutal with cheap shots:
-And those who know me well realize I’m a huge IndyCar fan. Sunday they raced along the streets of Long Beach (a race I attended and loved last year) and it proved to be entertaining. More passing than you would expect on a tight circuit, great strategy that allowed Team Penske’s Will Power to win his second straight race and plenty of contact including Marco Andretti’s car going airborne. Action wise the sport is definitely better with the new engines and chassis’. However I still think no one really cares which is too bad.
A guy trying out to be a Denver Broncos cheerleader is as amusing as you could imagine. Too bad he couldn’t make the cut because I would have loved to see the Donkey’s trot him out to their fans.