Previewing the Big Games: College Football Week 1

By Aaron Hyden
PSDC College Football Contributor

With the 2015 college football season already underway, and the first Saturday slate of games kicking off, it’s time to preview the big games from Week 1. Teams from all over the country are beginning their journeys towards a possible National Championship, but it all begins with the season’s first game. I’ll be back when the week is over to review the goings-on and see how close my predictions were. Let’s not waste any more time, though.

No. 15 Arizona State vs Texas A&M: Arizona State is quickly becoming a chic selection as a National Championship dark horse contender, and that discussion starts because of their offense. QB Mike Bercovici stepped in for injured starter Taylor Kelly last season, throwing for 1,445 yards and 14 touchdowns in what was essentially three-and-a-half games. Last season’s leading rusher, DJ Foster, has been switched to WR to replace Jaelen Strong, while Demario Richard takes Foster’s place at RB.

Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A&M needs to improve on a defense that ranked 103rd in the nation, out of 128 teams, last season, including being No. 114 in rushing yards allowed per game. Former LSU Defensive Coordinator John Chavis joins the team in that same role this season, and that gives Aggies fans lots of hope, as Chavis led one of the country’s top defensive units every season in Baton Rouge. [Read more…]

Johnny Manziel: Simply a Winner

By Chris Stuckey
Editor-in-Chief

Love him or hate him, you gotta watch him.

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

Calling Johnny Manziel enigmatic would be an understatement. You probably know how I feel about Mr. Football. Call me a hater if you would like but he is, in my opinion, ungracious, privileged and lacking perspective. But that’s not what this column is about. It’s about Johnny Manziel the winner. [Read more…]

Burning CFB Questions Heading into the 2014 Season

By David Parks
NCAA Sports Editor

Every year I tell myself the summer leading up to football season can’t get any longer and yet here I am every year, wondering how the hell the summer leading up to football season can be so long. In fact, this summer I gave serious consideration to taking a page out of Cartman’s book and trying to freeze myself so I could just skip the dozens of useless midsummer baseball games and wake up for South Carolina/Texas A&M on August 28.

Eric+Cartman [Read more…]

VIDEO: Johnny Manziel Might Be a Better Dunker than Quarterback

By Keith Alrick
PSDC Writer

Johnny Manziel probably felt a little forgotten last week because the daily debate of his draft stock was put on hold for the NCAA tournament. But don’t worry, Johnny posted this video of him dunking to get us talking about him again. The dunks are actually pretty impressive for a guy his size. If Mr. Football doesn’t make it in the NFL, he can add celebrity dunk contests to his list of fall back plans.

Parks & Rec: A College Football Podcast with David Parks

In this week’s episode of Parks & Rec, David Parks recaps the Alabama/Texas A&M game and what’s next for both teams, looks ahead to Week 4’s best bets and releases the top five of his Heisman Ballot. It’s the official college football podcast of ProjectShanks.com.

Click here to download or listen below.

PSDC Random Stat of the Day

By Johnny Griffith
PSDC Stat Man 

With the 49-42 loss to Alabama yesterday, Texas A&M failed to repeat last season’s success and beat the Crimson Tide in consecutive games. In seven seasons under head coach Nick Saban, only LSU has managed to accomplish it winning consecutive games in 2010 and 2011 by a combined margin of six points.

Thanks in part to http://www.tigerdroppings.com/

‘Rumble, Young Man, Rumble:’ Don’t Change Now Johnny Football

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer
 

Before every college football game, players, coaches and fans alike pause for a rendition of the National Anthem. Anyone can come up with a series of reasons why it’s a fine thing to do, but I’ve never encountered a definitive history that explains why we stop for a little dose of nationalism before athletic events of all levels. Nor do I really care. Just know that come this Saturday, we can bellow “land of the free” until we’re bluer than a Smurf in the face, but the Ancien Régime still lives. The gridiron may be as close to a true meritocracy as we can get, but a distasteful aristocratic bent still drifts into stadiums like the smoke off the grills in the parking lot.

For some reason, a large chunk of the college football viewing public still demands gentility from those who entertain it. The expectation that the unpaid laborers of the billion dollar Saturday football industry will not just pummel each other, but also take the time to doff their caps and show deference in all facets of the game runs from New England to the Bible Belt to the West Coast—as if every massive campus cathedral we call a stadium hosts a horde of demonic Emily Post’s every week. Lo, our savior approaches.

Johnny Manziel was placed on this Earth to cure us, as a country, of collective fogeyism. Even with obesity approaching epidemic proportions, the American’s average life span is the envy of history and the world. So why is there such a rush to become a cantankerous old fart who bitches and moans about college kids “playing the right way,” while watching college football with college buddies who all take a turn recounting the dumb shit they did in college?

Manziel has been blessed with the possibility of overcoming America’s premature aging crisis. Of course he is a good football player who knows he’s good and has been told he’s good his entire life. Of course he plays quarterback, in Texas no less, and comes from a great deal of money. Of course during his breakout freshman season, his coach had an arcane rule, no doubt born out of these ridiculous Victorian standards of decorum that we inexplicably apply to athletes, which mandated his media silence. The silence allowed giddy writers like Joe Posnanski to anoint him as a Johnny Appleseed crossed with George Washington messiah for college football. Of course he won the Heisman. And mercifully, Johnny Football broke bad. [Read more…]

Podcast Shanks: Stuckey Interviews Gregg Doyel, CBSSports.com

Podcast Shanks is back with another great interview. Gregg Doyel, national columnist for CBSSports.com, joins Editor-in-Chief Chris Stuckey to discuss a variety of topics including Doyel’s recent trip to College Station, the enigma that is Johnny Manziel, Reid Kerr’s hair and much more. This is a must listen on ProjectShanks.com.

Download the podcast here or listen below.

Johnny Be Bad: Manziel’s Value Outweighs His Attitude

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Writer 

I have a simple message for Johnny Football. Do NOT back down! Just keep doing your thing and winning your games.

Trust me, next year, Roger Goodell, will be taking some of your game checks for these antics. That’s a given, but for now, since you don’t get paid by the NCAA or Texas A&M, you have no incentive to back down. It’s estimated the Aggies made $40 million off Johnny Football last year. How much will they make this year? How much did the NCAA make? How much will they make this year? I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I know how much of it Johnny will get. ZERO!

Johnny is a prime target for other teams to take shots at due to the offseason issues with him signing autographs, for being the first freshman Heisman winner, for being good at what he does and for several other reasons. It is open season for anyone on any team, not to mention everyone in the media, to take shots at Johnny. What’s expected of him? Grin and bear it. Turn the other cheek. Be the bigger man. Just walk away. [Read more…]

NCAA Investigating Johnny Manziel Regarding Compensation for Autographs

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff

Johnny Manziel: I guess you just can’t fix stupid, can you? I’m pretty sure that in a year or two and you wind up in jail, or you’re dead, or worse yet, in the Canadian League. You won’t have to concern yourself with things like autograph seekers.

[Read more…]

Former Aggie Ryan Swope Retires Before Stepping on the Field

Some pretty upsetting news out of Arizona today…

Texas A&M wide receiver Ryan Swope fell to the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft because of concerns about his concussion history in college. Those concussions have sadly ended Swope’s career before it started.

The Arizona Cardinals announced Thursday that Swope was placed on the reserve/retired list. Coach Bruce Arians admitted in June that the team didn’t expect Swope’s concussion issues to linger into the offseason. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said during the draft that Swope suffered four concussions in college, and he suffered a setback after joining the Cardinals.

“We knew Ryan has a concussion history in college and understood that it could possibly be an issue,” said Cardinals general manager Steve Keim in a statement. “But weighing all the elements — the medical information available, the particular position in the draft — it was a decision we were comfortable making. As it turned out, he had a setback after he got here. Over the course of the subsequent evaluations, we all decided that Ryan’s long-term well-being was the No. 1 priority and this was the best course to take.” – NFL.com

Ryan Swope deserves a round of applause as do the Arizona Cardinals. The subject of concussions has become some much more prevalent lately. The stories about players lying about concussions and teams not really caring are endless. They have become commonplace as have subsequent cases of degenerative brain damage and suicide. The stories like Swope’s are few and far between but hopefully in time will be the rule instead of exception. Swope is a bright young man with his whole life in front of him. Best wishes.