Monday, October 31, 2011

Don't Mind Ed Rendell, He's Just Trying To Stay Relevant


Ed Rendell, I appreciate your service to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but your time is up and it would be nice if you retired to your Eagles postgame show and big breasted blondes.

There is no need for you to start throwing firebombs at the school where you got your law degree (5:30 into the clip,) it achieves nothing, and I question your motives for doing so. I hear that university presidencies very often go to former politicians, and what better president is there for a school that is uniquely Philadelphian than a man who is uniquely Philadelphian (well a man who was born in New York but is uniquely Philadelphian).

Please make your motives clear and understand that Villanova has an obligation to protect its own interests, and that Temple has had a chance with the Big East and failed.

Let's make another thing clear: John Chaney and Temple were just as responsible or more responsible for ending the Big Five as Villanova was.

WVU's Lawsuit Against The Big East


It's relatively short, rambling, full of legalese and at times contradictory, and it's here.  

Oliver Luck, you're a shyster.

BREAKING NEWS: A FORMER GOVERNOR WROTE A LETTER!

In a shocking development, former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell and current Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter wrote letters advocating Temple's inclusion in the Big East.

This is the most shocking development in the last two years of conference realignment. We'll be sure to update you on these stunning developments.

2011 Big East XC Championship Videos

All courtesy of Flotrack

Women's Race highlights:
Watch more video of Big East Cross Country Championships 2011 on flotrack.org

Men's Race Highlights:
Watch more video of Big East Cross Country Championships 2011 on flotrack.org

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Villanova Sweeps Cross Country Championships, Sheila Reid Is a Legend


It was a banner day for Villanova Cross Country today in Louisville as both the men's and the women's teams took home Big East team titles.

On the women's side, an extremely close race was essentially won on the strength Sheila Reid's dominant kick for a third consecutive conference title, and a second place finish by 2010 All-American Bogdana Mimic.

The men finished in a close pack and wound up winning by 53 points. They ran so well together that they still would have won even if all seven of their runners were scored as opposed to the usual five.

Men's Race:
PL Points Team Runners: 1 2 3 4 5 (6) (7)
1 43 Villanova 5 6 8 11 13 (14) (31)
2 94 Georgetown 7 15 16 20 36 (45) (49)
3 96 Louisville 3 18 22 24 29 (42) (53)
4 97 Syracuse 9 19 21 23 25 (26) (30)
5 116 Providence 2 17 28 34 35 (38) (46)
Full results

Women's race:
PL Points Team Runners: 1 2 3 4 5 (6) (7)
1 54 Villanova 1 2 12 16 23 (38) (44)
2 63 Providence 4 6 9 19 25 (32) (47)
3 77 Georgetown 5 13 15 20 24 (29) (39)
4 92 Syracuse 10 14 17 21 30 (33) (40)
4 92 West Virginia 3 7 11 28 43 (46) (56)
Full results

Friday, October 28, 2011

2011 Big East Cross Country Championship Live Stream Link

Oh, Sheila Reid we stand on guard for thee

Stream Here.

The action kicks off tomorrow, October 29th from Louisville at 11:00 AM for the men and 11:50 for the women. The women will attempt to win the meet for the fourth consecutive year, and Sheila Reid will look to defend her title from last season.

Dana Holgorsen Has His Bindle Packed


And he's ready to go back to the Big XII.

Friday Links: Without Alcohol, Realignment Would Be Unbearable

 
Superman agrees 100%

Links:
  • In Villanova football news, the quarterback shuffle will continue as Chris Polony will likely start at quarterback against Maine.
  • Here's an article about JayVaughn Pinkston that features a picture that would qualify as an EXTREME CLOSE UP WHOAA!
  • Villanova track alum Bobby Curtis is a little more than a week away from making his marathon debut in New York, and he's finished with his major training, most of which took place at altitude in Mammoth, California. Although he failed to make the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Curtis had his best season as a pro and he should be in the running along with 2009 winner and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi to be the top American finisher.
  • Speaking of track/cross country, the Big East Cross Country Championships are this week. The women are going for their fourth consecutive Big East championship, and should be the favorites despite the strong teams that Providence and Georgetown have. The men go into the competition with a decent chance at winning as they are the second ranked team in the conference and they performed well at a meet a couple weeks ago in Wisconsin.
  • Former Villanova assistant and current Penn State head coach Pat Chambers wants to recruit Philly. I wish him luck, but he may have to broaden his recruiting area.

I decided to skip the depressing realignment links. Today's old  school rap song is Nuthin' But A G Thang off of Dr. Dre's debut LP "The Chronic" featuring the debut of a young rapper from Long Beach named Calvin Broadus, better known as Snoop Dogg.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Miss This Guy


The Best Scenario For The Big East: WVU Staying

If one team in the Big East winds up getting poached by the Big XII, it will be better if the team leaving winds up being Louisville. Yes, Louisville is better than West Virginia in basketball, but West Virginia has command of virtually an entire state, they're consistently a lot better in football, and they have an entire state behind them.

When the Big Ten picked Nebraska over Missouri when they were expanding, they proved that a marketable national power in football with the eyeballs of an entire state is more important than a program that is consistently above average, but usually no better. I know that Louisville has won a BCS Bowl game within the past five years, but WVU won a BCS game against Sam Bradford and Oklahoma with Bill Stewart coaching them.. Not an easy task. Louisville beat Wake Forest, and they haven't been any good since then.

From a basketball perspective, both coaches are slime balls, but I'm pretty sure Bob Huggins doesn't have "15 seconds" closely associated with his reputation, unlike Rick Pitino. The recent outspokenness of Pitino with regards to realignment hasn't done him any favors with me.

Not that it will matter if it both teams end up leaving

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dear ACC, This Is What You're Getting


Yeahgoodluckwiththatbro.

So It Might Be Louisville and Not WVU?

Something something

Per Pete Thamel of The New York Times, Louisville, not West Virginia may be the team that leaves. This is further proof that college athletics are a joke that is all about the money and reinforces my feeing that this is just a huge clusterfuck THAT NEEDS TO END.

My reaction to each successive wave of realignment news:

Video: 2011-12 Villanova Basketball Roster


This clip, which was played at Hoops Mania, introduces the 2011-12 Villanova basketball roster. The audio is a little choppy, but it's pretty cool nonetheless.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Big East is Done

The future site of the Big East Tournament

Let's do some recapping:
  1. The Big East is fucked.
  2. Villanova is equally fucked.
  3. John Marinatto is a big fat guinea dolt.
  4. I hope Syracuse and Pitt get infected with plague.
  5. The CYO basketball conference is going to be a lot of fun.
  6. #&$&$&$*#*#*@*#*@&#^%#%^^#*#%%^#%^
 Take it over Lil Flip:

2011 Vilanova Blue-White Scrimmage Highlights


It's almost basketball season!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Yep, Drake Performed at Villanova Hoops Mania


Confirming the rumors, Canadian half-Jew actor/rapper Aubrey "Drake" Graham performed at Villanova Hoops Mania tonight. Confirming my suspicions that we're turning into Kentucky.

Paranoid Temple Fans Are Paranoid


Apparently, the paranoid fans of Pennsylvania Government Waste (Temple) were unjustifiably butthurt according to Big East commissioner John Marinatto when they were claiming that Villanova was saying malicious things about Temple in a conference call.

Says Marinatto:
"They've never disparaged Temple in any way. Father Donohue and Vince Nicastro have tried to do things the right way."
If you would like to see the extent of the butthurt, please go down the threads on this forum. The penis envy is palpable.

43 Years Ago This Week: Larry James Wins Two Olympic Medals (With Video)


The 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City featured one of the most exhilarating (and important) track and field competitions of all time. This Olympics was famous because it marked the first time in an Olympic Games that fully automatic timing was available to measure performances, it was also the beginning of the era of African (Kenyan) dominance in middle distant running and there were several world records set in Mexico City that would have staggering longevity.

There is also a notable Villanova subtext to this Olympics. 1968 tied the 1956 Olympics for the greatest medal haul in school history and the six Villanova track athletes who represented the school in at those Olympics was the most as well. 

In the 110m hurdles, Erv Hall ran faster than the previous world record in the event only to lose to fellow American Willie Davenport who shattered the previous record by over a tenth of a second.

In the 400m dash, Larry James, also known as "The Mighty Burner" made a furious charge to the line to challenge a tiring Lee Evans for gold, but he was unable to catch up, finishing with the silver to Evans' world record time. Countryman Ron Freeman completed a USA sweep in the event by finishing third. James' time of 43.97s was faster than the previous world record, stood as the second fastest time ever run until 1988 and James remains the ninth fastest man of all time at the event and is still one of only nine men (all of them Americans) to go under 44 seconds at the event, a feat that no one accomplished in 2011.


James would get a gold medal in the 4x400m relay when he set a world record along with Vincent Matthews, Freeman and Evans. Despite a somewhat lackluster first leg by Matthews, who would become an individual Olympic champion in 1972, a torrid second leg by Freeman along James' extremely fast third leg asssured a world record by the time that the baton was handed to Evans, who powered home to shatter the existing world record by over three seconds. The time of 2:56.16 seconds would not be broken for 24 years and remains the seventh fastest time ever run and the fifth fastest ever run at the Olympics.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Greatest Way To Quit a Job Ever

Breaking Realignment News: Who Should You Trust?


As I have found out over my relatively short life, there are reporters you should trust, and those that you shouldn't. One of the things I'm most skeptical of is the "anonymous sources" that journos always quote. If someone isn't able to comment publicly, there are chances that they aren't privy to the decision making process. However, there are certain members of the media that deserve infinite credit for their ability to gain factual information from sources.

For conference realignment news Brett McMurphy from CBSSports.com has been right on target on just about everything. At this point, I've become extremely skeptical of any information from a person other than McMurphy and to a lesser extent, Pete Thamel of the New York Times.

All of the bullshit this past week involving butthurt Temple fans getting angry over media reports that may have contained false information  involving Villanova "blocking" their entry into the Big East only underscores the need to view the media in a more skeptical light. Getting the scoop on these stories is a huge "get" for anyone in the media, and you can rest assured that they'll report on some shoddy information from time to time.

In other words, don't listen to Joe Schad.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Temple Fans Are Like #OccupyWallStreet Protesters


What do Occupy Wall Street protesters and Pennsylvania Government Waste (Temple) fans have in common? A lot actually.

Both groups are disgruntled with those who are more fortunate, and want to stick it to the man by whining about it. Instead of inciting actual change through means of cooperation, they decide that they want to try to manufacture a revolution with no realistic demands and just a lot of whining about how they've been fucked by the system. What they don't realize is that the best way to incite real change is to elect Barack Obama have a reasoned debate without insulting the sensibilities of the groups that could help you.

If Temple fans realized that Villanova is simply trying to protect its future, I think they would be much more receptive to Villanova's motives. One issue remains: I don't know if you can expect Temple fans or Occupy Wall Street protesters to be reasonable.

Rick Pitino Has No Sense of Irony


Today at Big East Media Day, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino made an interesting quote about being betrayed by Pitt and Syracuse when they left the conference
"You've been dating this woman for 30 years, show a little respect."
 I guess Pitino forgot about his 15 seconds of nirvana with Karen Sypher. As Sean Keeley of Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician points out, Pitino was married to his wife for 30 years at the point he had the encounter in the restaurant another woman.

It's funny because it's ironic:


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Most Pathetic Website Ever?

It appears that a few (one?) disgruntled Pennsylvania Government Waste (Temple) fans have decided to start a website to lobby for their inclusion in a BCS conference despite their lack of an invitation.

What's the problem with the website? When you look at the site's blog and its twitter account, it seems to have one purpose above any other: vilifying Villanova for "blocking" Temple. What Temple fans do not realize is that they have absolutely no right to be in a BCS conference, especially after they were thrown out of the Big East in 2004.

Temple has never demonstrated that they can have long term success in football, and all of their talk of basketball "tradition" falls flat due to their pathetic fan support and one NCAA Tournament win in the past decade.

In summation, I have a brief statement to make to butthurt Temple fans:

Audio From The Big East Conference Call

Sydney Maree's Sons on Their Father's Case


This video from the Philadelphia Inquirer is a buffer for an upcoming story about Villanova track legend Sydney Maree and the documentary that his sons are making about him and his legal plight.

A related video is this Reebok ad with Sydney talking about Philadelphia:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Villanova Offers (Insert Name of Unproven 17 Year Old Kid)

Earlier today, I got into a discussion with a friend about how former University of Miami quarterback Kyle Wright wasn't as bad as history will reflect. That same friend said that Wright didn't meet expectations and somehow deserved to be looked at critically. Expectations are the problem because we will be disappointed more often than not if we heap expectations on teenagers.

With recruiting services these days, no collegiate athlete is looked at in hindsight as a good player or great player, but rather whether or not they met expectations. In a rare occasion, you have an athlete like Jimmer Fredette who dramatically overachieves from their level of recruitment, but stories of players who are rated highly by a recruiting publication who doesn't grow up to be the next Michael Jordan and is labeled a "failure" or a "disappointment" by entire fanbases.

If we stop relying on recruiting publications for our expectations, we can judge players by what they achieved rather than what they failed to achieve. This is a dialogue that fans of college sports must have, because when you talk recruiting, you're ultimately talking about a 17 year old kid who isn't fully developed.

Video: Sheila Reid After Winning on Friday



Assertions From Temple Fans Throughout History


Since Pennsylvania Government Waste (Temple) fans aren't willing to take some ownership for the fact that Temple has been woefully uncompetitive in football throughout history and want to blame Villanova for everything, I've decided to go into the vault and look at things that have happened throughout history that Temple fans have decided to blame Villanova.
  1. It was Villanova's idea to allow Hitler to annex Czechoslovakia. Neville Chamberlain said nothing in the discussion.
  2. The October Revolution of 1917 was caused when the Villanova elite decided to stifle the Russian proletariat. 
  3. Villanova scientists fabricated the Moon landing.
  4. The guy who convinced George W. Bush that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was a Villanova graduate.
  5. The Manhattan Project was an attempt by Villanova fans to destroy the ambitions of Temple.
  6. Villanova is the reason that Temple has to take millions of dollars in subsidies every year to have a viable athletic program (oops, that's true).
  7. Villanova framed Heisman Trophy CandidateBernard Pierce for beating up his high school classmates and got him sent away to reform school.
So there you have it, Villanova is Satan and Temple is not responsible for anything.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Familiar Image of Sheila Reid and Jordan Hasay


At this point, Jordan Hasay of Oregon is pretty familiar with Sheila Reid's backside. Reid won today at Wisconsin, outkicking Hasay to the finish.


Place TmPl Bib   Name                  Yr  Team               3k    Time     
===== ==== ===== ===================== === ================== ===== ========= 
   1    1  2751 Sheila Reid            SR Villanova          789:01   20:02.5 
   2    2  2621 Jordan Hasay           JR Oregon             789:02   20:05.0
   3    3  2360 Deborah Maier          SR California         789:02   20:10.2
   4    4  2628 Alex Banfich           SR Princeton          789:02   20:13.2 
   5    5  2348 Morgan Haws            SR BYU                789:02   20:14.8 
   6    6  2750 Bogdana Mimic          SR Villanova          789:02   20:14.8

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dear Butthurt Temple Fans:

Dear Butthurt Temple Fans,

I understand your neanderthal rage against Villanova. It's extremely difficult to cope with a superior institution flexing their muscles and hindering your school's athletic ambitions. It is not Villanova's fault that Temple dramatically underperformed on the football field and were asked to leave the Big East less than a decade ago. That was all on Temple. Villanova has a duty to protect their brand from being impinged by a school with a 43 percent graduation for basketball players. Villanova recruits student-athletes, Temple recruits athletes with the hopes of turning them into students. Temple's best football player, Heisman Trophy Candidate Bernard Pierce was plucked directly from a reform school, a gamble Villanova would be unable to justify given their stringent moral and academic standards.

If Villanova were to lie down and allow Temple to immediately enter the Big East, they would find themselves facing a team full of talented Junior College transfers and players who were thrown out of ACC schools. Once you figure that out, it's understandable why Villanova has reservations about Temple. So stop being butthurt and go back to flipping burgers.

Sincerely,

Fact

The Future of Villanova Athletics

Given the tenuous state of the Big East, I have gained unique incite upon into Peter's tentative plans for the future of Villanova athletics.

Behold:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

QUIDDITCH IS NOT A THING!

As a fan of Harry Potter who has read the seven books at least five times each, I don't understand why a bunch of dickhead fanboys have become hellbent on destroying the books for all of us by doing things like playing "quidditch". When I found out that Villanova has a quidditch team, I was livid. There is no such thing as magic and as such there is no such thing as quidditch. You are ruining this for all of us.

If you want to play a fake sport, play Kronum:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gene DeFilippo Puts Foot in Mouth.

Delicious Crow
Oops.
"I spoke inappropriately and erroneously regarding ESPN's role in conference expansion."
Well there's my retraction, except it didn't come from ESPN.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Expect an ESPN Retraction Shortly


In a recent Boston Globe article, BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo (who held the same position at Villanova from 1993-1997) basically admitted that ESPN was a co-conspirator with the ACC in the raiding of the Big East this time around.

Says DeFilippo:
“We always keep our television partners close to us. You don’t get extra money for basketball. It’s 85 percent football money. TV - ESPN - is the one who told us what to do. This was football; it had nothing to do with basketball.’’
Now I'm not a lawyer, but if this isn't illegal, it's highly unethical. If the Big East is gone, there is no way that another major media corporation can outbid ESPN for a TV contract, and ESPN can essentially dictate the destinations of the orphan schools after everything blows up. That's wrong.

The Big East needs to issue an ultimatum to ESPN: rectify the situation with a sweetheart television deal, or we're suing you for a billion dollars.

Expect a retraction from ESPN's massive PR wing within a few days explaining how they had nothing to do with this and how they "value their partnership with the Big East".

Villanova-UNH Postmortem

Well, another week results in another (predictable) loss. With five losses in six games, Villanova is off to one of their start in recent memory. They're too banged up, too offensively challenged and do not have nearly enough defense to win every game. Hopefully next season will be much better because this season is essentially an audition for then.
  • First off, there is no excuse for losing a game by 30 points.
  • Three turnovers- Too many.
  • Losing to UNH by itself doesn't bother me very much because Villanova has never really played very well there, but the manner in which they did it should bother everyone. Getting blown out is almost never a  good thing because it's very hard to find a silver lining.
  • Chris Polony played okay, but I would really like Dustin Thomas to stay healthy for the rest of the season because he does a good job of avoiding being sacked every third play.
  • The offensive line is simply putrid. If a line provides neither push nor protection, it isn't doing its job. I was in favor of allowing Chidozie Ekweozor to walk at one point, but now I realize that he must come back for next season.
  • Something must be done about the defense, whether it's schematic or based on personnel. There's a reason that so few teams run the 3-3-5 base. The strength of this team is its defensive linemen, why are there only three of them on the field at a given time? Think about it.
  • Please come back Matt Szczur.
  • Four wins for this team would be a huge accomplishment. Fans just need to search for things that bode well for the future.
  • Still folks, go to games. The team could still use support.
Time to watch some football,have a good week folks

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Demoralizing: Villanova Loses 47-17


But Hey! At least we scored 17 points, right? I wish that I could look at moral victories at this point, like Villanova finishing ahead of UNH in turnover margin, but now I have to come to the realization that this team's best player is Mark Hamilton, the kicker/punter. I'm still going to go to the games, but there's no guarantees that I'm not going to leave before halftime. Just counting the days until basketball season.

I'll be back tomorrow with the postmortem.

27-10 UNH at Half


And the UNH offense looks like the fucking 2007 Patriots.

A Look Back to Brighter Times


Skip to about two minutes into the video to see one of the most bizarre games in Villanova history, the 2009 national quarterfinal win against UNH.

Friday, October 7, 2011

John Marinatto: Manchurian Candidate?

In case you've never read either the book, or seen either of the movies, a Manchurian Candidate is a person who has been brainwashed to act toward a particular interest. John Marinatto, commissioner of the Big East has shown an uttler lack of interest in doing anything proactive to further stabilize the conference since realignment related Armageddon began last spring. His only solution was to suggest Villanova join in several seasons and to add TCU in a couple years. Well, the Big XII was raided again and it destabilized, something that many people should have seen coming, and Syracuse and Pitt jumped at an invitation from the ACC, yet another predictable move given the frailty of the Big East conference.

Marinatto's actions lead me to wonder if he was looking after the best interests of the conference itself, or the school in the conference that he is most closely associated with: Providence. Marinatto is a Providence native, a Providence alum and was the athletic director there for 14 years. It's not very secret that Providence has an inordinate amount of influence in the conference offices, which are located in Providence. Since taking over the Big East in 2009, Marinatto has done exactly nothing to strengthen the conference which has me thinking that he has an ulterior motive: competitiveness for Providence basketball.

For a long time, Providence was a better basketball program than neighboring UConn, and until 1985, they were probably comparable to Villanova, but now they're Big East bottom feeders and nothing was going to change much until they got rid of a few schools on top of them. You have to imagine that the fans up in Providence aren't too happy with two NCAA Tournament appearances last decade and no sweet 16 appearances since 1997. With a few less automatic losses on their schedule, The Friars all the sudden look much more likely to be an at-large NCAA Tournament selection year after year. If you get rid of those pesky football schools and all their resources, it doesn't look as hard all sudden.

And there we have it, John Marinatto is a Manchurian Candidate.

Villanova-UNH Preview


I hadn't gotten around to writing my game preview for Villanova-UNH, but Brian Ewart from VUHoops.com, which is currently recovering from some serious technical issues and should be up and running again soon gave me a serious assist on the game preview front by allowing me to publish his on here. 

With all of the Big East drama, it is easy to forget that there is a football game on Saturday. Villanova will travel to Durham, New Hampshire to take on the Wildcats of New Hampshire, who are 3-1 on the season with a 1-0 record in the CAA so far. Their offense is among the most potent in Division I-AA, after being put in place by current Oregon coach Chip Kelly.

Villanova also runs an offense that was inspired by Oregon, but UNH has been far more effective with it this season, averaging more than 400 yards of offense this season. They are also scoring an average of 38.5 points per game. Their defense, however, gives up giving up an average of 43.5 points per game, which is inflated at least a little by their 58-22 loss to Toledo on opening weekend.

UNH quarterback Kevin Decker has passed for 10 touchdowns already this season to lead the offense. His top targets are wide receivers Joey Orlando and R.J. Harris who have each caught three touchdowns. Justin Mello has also done some damage in the passing game, leading their team in receiving yards with 107 last week on just two catches.

Decker is on the watch list for the Walter Payton award, which recognizes the top player in the Championship Subdivision. He was added to the list this week.

They are complemented by a rushing game lead by Dontra Peters, who has rushed for 232 yards and averaged a healthy 5.2 yards per carry in a pass-happy offense. He ran for 157 of his team's 210 yards against Villanova last season. He also returns kickoffs for an average of 25 yards per return.
Defensively, they are lead by Matt Evans, a junior linebacker, who has 63 tackles through 4 games and 1.5 sacks. Evans is the top tackler in FCS this season and has earned a spot on the Buck Buchanan award watch list for the top defensive player.

Additionally, sophomore free safety Chris Beranger, lead the team with 12 tackles against Holy Cross last week. Manny Asam, a strong safety, has 2 interceptions on the season.
As many stops as they have gotten so far, the New Hampshire defense still has a tendency to give up big plays.

"Defensively, as much as we want to be better and we want to get better, there have been signs of improvement," head coach Sean McDonnell told the Concord Monitor. "[After the Holy Cross game] I said, 'We got it under 40 this week,' and it didn't get a lot of smiles from some people, but if you look at it [we're getting closer]."

Outlook

"Well, they are (averaging) 38 points a game on offense, very high scoring and quick hitting.  And we are only scoring about 13 a game." Andy Talley told CBS Philadelphia. "We really need to improve on offense, and hopefully we will as the kids get older.  But it’s going to be one of those games, we have to go in and play great defense and hopefully control the football a little bit to take some time off the clock."

The Villanova offense that has averaged around 13 or 14 points per game this season will be undergoing a bit of an overhaul this week. Starting in the trenches, the coaching staff has decided to pull true-freshman Kyle Wallace out of his role as the starting left guard. Instead, Ross Hall, who is at least 15 pounds heavier and has a year longer in the program will get the start. Hall was nursing a shoulder injury at the start of the season.

In order to get more firepower into a passing game that has lost two of its top receivers in Norman White and Joe Price, the 'Cats have also made changes to the receiving corps. Mikey Reynolds will no longer start as the slot receiver; the senior has been replaced there by true-freshman Jamal Abdur-Rahman on the depth chart. The coaches have been looking for ways to get Abdur-Rahman the ball, especially in a crowded backfield, and it appears they will try him out as a full-time receiver.

Reynolds will still get some action in the game, as he is likely to be used in the slot situationally and whenever Abdur-Rahman is lined up as a tailback.

There will also be a change at tight end, where Morgan Craig, a big bodied blocker, will be replaced by fellow true-freshman, Earnest Pettway. Pettway is believed to bring more to the passing game and is an all-around athlete who played high school basketball as well as football.

On defense, Marlon Johnson should return from an injury this week. Craig James, however, is considered "questionable" for the game, which likely means that Eric Loper will again take his old position at cornerback, sliding over from safety. That move pushes sophomore John Maughan and freshman Shane Harris into service at weakside safety.

Two true freshmen will start at linebacker: emerging star, Dillon Lucas, and Joey Harmon.

With the offensive changes and UNH's defensive struggles, one hopes that the Wildcats can take advantage this week in Durham. The 'Cats will hope that better protection and more options in the receiving game will make their attack as potent as the others that UNH has faced thus-far, and help to get a struggling unit back on track.

Defensively, the 'Cats will rely on a number of freshmen to be ready to play. The UNH offense is tough to stop, but it is not dissimilar to the offense that Villanova themselves run, meaning that the defensive unit should be prepared to handle it — in principle. The actual execution of stopping the UNH attack could be trickier.
Nova will need tight coverage from the secondary and some linebacker help in controlling Peters as well. Pressuring the quarterback and getting into the backfield will help disrupt the passing game and should clearly be priorities.

In a battle of the Wildcats, the New Hampshire version comes into this match-up in far better shape. In CAA games, however, the shape you are in means very little. Rhode Island upset Villanova last season despite their disadvantage, and a well-prepared Villanova team can perhaps overcome some struggles to take home a victory as well.

Just don't go to Vegas and bet on it.

Time, Television, Radio

This game kicks off from Cowell Stadium in Durham, NH at noon, on Saturday, October 8, 2011. There will be no television coverage of this game.
Radio: 950-AM ESPN in the Philadelphia area or a live audio stream will be available from Nova Nation All-Access on Villanova.com.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Music Thursday: 2Pac Edition


If I were to pick my favorite rapper of all time, it would have to be 2Pac. Not only did he produce a massive catalog in his all too short 25 years of life, and also because he gets lumped in all too often with The Notorious B.I.G. I have no problem with Biggie.. I enjoy his music as well, but a guy who made two albums shouldn't be in the same conversation as someone who had more than two number one records. Pac was also one of the most versatile rappers ever; he had a family background that made him extremely perceptive to issues of justice in his community, he was extremely well read, he was a budding actor, and  he could cut a track that would have you thinking critically about justice while simultaneously getting the uncontrollable urge to nod your head with the beat. Upbeat songs like I Get Around  and California Love fit in his repertoire just as well as his more socially conscious songs like Brenda's Got a Baby and Changes did. Part of that brilliance is due to him having one of the great producers ever in Dr. Dre, but Pac could write rhymes as good or better than anyone. That versatility is why in my mind, there will never be another Tupac Shakur.

The saddest thing about 2Pac's death is that he was almost two years younger than Jay-Z, making it conceivable that he could still be producing great records, but he was silenced far too early.

Music after the jump

The Big East's Death Warrant Has Been Signed: TCU to The Big XII

The Clock is Ticking
 
After today's news, the Big East has had its death warrant read, eaten its final meal, had its head shaved and is slowly being led down the corridor towards the electric chair. Swift, decisive action is the only thing that can save the conference and it appears that Villanova is at a major crossroads right now, and a CYO League seems closer to reality than ever.

Now all we can hope for is a stay of execution (viable reinforcements).

What Effect Will Conference Realignment Have on Villanova Track?


One thing that I don't cover enough on here is my love of track. It's ironic that I don't cover it on a weekly basis because of the success Villanova has had in the sport, but there's already a blog that does that exclusively and I don't want to steal their thunder. Other than basketball, the only sports at Villanova that should be absolutely untouchable regardless of conference affiliation are cross country and track. Villanova's success throughout history in track makes Villanova basketball look like small potatoes. Throughout its history, Villanova track has won numerous national championships in track and cross country on both an individual and team basis including the last two NCAA women's cross country titles, won 11 Olympic medals (7 gold, 4 silver), plus the men's and women's cross country teams are both currently ranked in the top 20 nationally (the women are #1, the men are #19).

To go along with the success that they have achieved in competition, the track team has proven a useful tool for attracting students from foreign countries including greats such as Ron Delany, Eamonn Coghlan, Marcus O'Sullivan and Sonia O'Sullivan of Ireland; Sydney Maree of South Africa; and Carmen Douma and Sheila Reid of Canada.

That history could be under threat from the shifting conference landscape that is going on, and the future of the Big East looking very murky. Forming strategic alliances with schools such as Notre Dame and Georgetown, which both share Villanova's interest in being academically prestigious, but also keeping their Olympic Sports, (especially track) nationally competitive is a vital step to stabilizing Villanova track. If Notre Dame were to be forced into joining the ACC, that could have potentially disastrous consequences to Villanova track unless they suddenly develop a Kenyan recruiting pipeline. NCAA championships are too hard to win at the revenue sports to take the ones at smaller sports for granted.

Given Villanova's rich history of success in the sport along with its relatively inexpensive bottom line, it's a sport that is worth protecting and is another reason why Villanova should be as aggressive as possible in the conference realignment front. Villanova has too rich a history in track to take for granted and consistently winning NCAA championships is a testament to a well run athletic program regardless of what the sport is, so it is in Villanova's best interst to continue its track program at its current rate, or even to attempt to ramp it up from where it is now once the conference situation is settled.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ben Ijalana Placed On Injured Reserve, Done For The Season


Yesterdays bad news about former Villanova offensive tackle Ben Ijalana was confirmed today when the rookie tackle for the Indianapolis Colts was placed on season ending injured reserve with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. This is terrible news, but hopefully the early season nature of this injury will allow him to make a full recovery so that he'll be ready for organized team activities by the spring.

With today's news, you can be pretty sure that football fans won't be seeing Peyton Manning for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Indianapolis Star: Ben Ijalana Suffered ACL Damage: Season "In Jeopardy"


Citing a source, The Indianapolis Star reported that former Villanova offensive tackle, and current Indianapolis Colt tackle Ben Ijalana damaged his ACL  in last night's game in Tampa and could miss the rest of the season. This is terrible news for a player who was able to get significant game action for the first time last night.

I'll try to keep everything updated until the extent of the injury is confirmed.

Taylor King.. You Hilarious

Dear Taylor King,

After reading about your determination to convert to Judaism in order to sign a contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv, I am willing to forgive you for giving me agita on multiple occasions when you were at Villanova. The fact that you would convert to a religion for such a shallow reason shows your determination to the sport of basketball and to helping your cause. I'm surprised you would even be given a visa due to your never being able to stay in one school for more than two years.

Congratulations Taylor King for being a six foot eight inch hooping version of Tim Whatley. Just make sure you're doing it for the money and not the jokes.

Sincerely,

Fact

What Villanova is Really Missing This Season: Push


People will try to point to the absence of Chris Whitney and Matt Szczur to explain away the inadequacy of the Villanova offense this season, but I don't think it's that simple. I think they're missing push more than anything. Push is not referring to motivation, and it is making no suggestion as to the motivation of this team, what it is suggesting is that their has been a glaring weakness in the run-blocking of the offensive line, something that has been a strength of this team since the second half of the 2007 season.

As I was watching former Villanova offensive tackle Ben Ijalana (@TheBiggerBen) make his first extended appearance for the Indianapolis Colts, I realized that very few FCS teams can replace an NFL player without accepting a BCS transfer as his replacement, and not many schools are going to let a good enough offensive lineman transfer, so such a hole is even more difficult to plug. The graduation of Ijalana and his roommate, left guard Brant Clouser along with the devastating preseason injury of incumbent starter Chidozie Ekweozor put Villanova in such a crunch on the offensive line that it was unreasonable to expect anything better than mediocrity from this season's offensive line.

In football it's nearly impossible to win without adequate offensive line play, and with Villanova's losses at that position, it's easy to see why Villanova isn't winning.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Villanova-William & Mary Postmortem


As you probably already know, Villanova lost their fourth game out of five to start the season. The season is essentially lost at this point and there's nothing left to do but hope that the players develop.

Observations:
  • There was a key non-call on the goal line that may have changed the outcome of the game if it went in Villanova's favor. William & Mary running back Jonathan Grimes appeared to have fumbled it at the goal line but he was ruled down. Since Villanova only lost by four points, that was a key play in the game.
  • Once again, Villanova was unable to score in the red zone. That's three red zone touchdowns in five games. If Mark Hamilton wasn't lights out at field goals, it would have been pretty pitiful.
  • When Villanova's defense isn't getting pressure, it's like watching a 7 on 7 drill. 
  • The main difference between this year's offensive line and last year's is the utter inability of this year's line to get a push in a short yardage situation. I guess Ben Ijalana and Brant Clouser really were that good.
  • Matt Szczur, please grow a beard and come back.
  • Those were some killer boots that Sheila Reid was wearing at halftime.
  • The basketball team had better be good this season or else I may shoot myself.
  • At least we have pro football this season!
I'll see you guys later this week folks.

Villanova Loses 20-16 to William & Mary


Another game, another loss. Villanova was unable to capitalize on red zone opportunities and were terrible on third downs both offensively and defensively in a 20-16 home loss to William & Mary. Villanova falls to 1-4, their worst start since 2006.

More to come later when I wrap my head around this crap.