Thursday, July 30, 2009

Walker's Being Random, and He's Ranting

We are one week away from training camp, so till that happy day comes around, you guys are stuck listening to me rant about whatever, I feel like.

I know a few weeks back I said that Mark Martin was bad for NASCAR, but after watching today’s Brickyard, I remembered that it will be Jimmy Johnson who is the death of NASCAR…

Judging by Shaq’s television ventures and other media ploys, I have a good feeling he will come into the 09 season a few pounds overweight and Cleveland fans will once again suffer through a painful season…

It was great to see Ricky Henderson inducted into the Hall of Fame, but damn, I was hoping for some classic “Ricky moments.” I guess even the most extravagant can be humbled on the big stage…

I guess Lance Armstrong didn’t get a big enough dose of his special vitamins before the Tour. Don’t worry next year he will have some new and improve meds…

Brett Favre, take your ass back to Mississippi and stay there, you’re an embarrassment to the league and to yourself…

T.O. should never be on television if it is nothing football related…

Mike Vick is reinstated to play football. He deserves it. He served his jail sentence, and now he deserves a chance to get back on his grind. That being said, smart move by Goodel to make him sit out at least opening week, to help keep the focus on the NFL and not Vick…

Remember when the New Orleans Hornets were the pick of the league? Well with the impending trade of Chandler for Okafor it’s safe to say, those days are long gone…

Tony Parker gets hurt overseas, Yao ruins his foot playing for China, Manu does the same playing for Argentina. How long before NBA teams start putting clauses in these guys contracts to keep them from playing international ball?

Watching the Denver Broncos implode will make for god television this season…

Since when did T.O. become the voice of reason in the NFL? We are in the midst of strange times I tell yea…

Congratulations to Xavier Rugby for finally stepping up to play with the big boys. Now it’s time to cowboy up…

Jason Whitlock, Shut up…

You know what I hate? Fans who swear they are abandoning their team cause of the owner and then proceed to snipe and moan at every move said owner makes…

I have a bad feeling Mike Vick is going to land in Ashburn Va. Before it is all said and done, just wait and see..

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jim Johnson You will be Missed

I know this is not breaking news from us, but it needs to be said. The NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles lost a great man yesterday evening. Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson lost his battle with cancer yesterday. As some of you may know, Johnson took a leave of absence from the team in May to continue his fight with the disease. Despite being a fighter, Johnson was not able to overcome this final battle.

For those who don't know, Jim Johnson was one of my favorite coaches in the NFL. Although I am by no way an Eagles fan, I loved the style of defense the Eagles played under Jim Johnson. He was a mad genus who kept his defense ramped up. They blitzed early and often. More often than not they reeked havoc at the line of scrimmage and crippled the most powerful offense.

It saddens me to say the NFL has lost a true legend and a great man. He will be missed. And for those of you who care, please help and donate to cancer research so that we can find away to tame this beast that is taking so many great individuals from us.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

U.S. Rugby Chat Episode 8: America Rugby Championship

For those of you who don't know here at Walker-Sports we are partnered up with Heavens Game. And the best part of hanging around with the guys over there is I get to record a podcast each week and educate the boys down under about United States rugby.

Check out our latest installment, episode 8 of U.S. Rugby

Monday, July 27, 2009

Keith Eloi Jumps Out of a Pool BACKWARDS!

So we have seen a few guys jumping out of pools recently, and to be honest, it's pretty cool. However, what rookie Keith Eloi pulls off is simply amazing. Leaping out of a pool backwards is just amazing.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

2009 SEC Football Preview

Continuing with a tradition we started last year, Walker-Sports is partnering up with our friend the Gridiron Goddess and her blog to talk a little college football. Today the Goddess of the gridiron and her friends are talking some SEC football.

Hey Football Fiends!

For the 3rd year in a row my Vol pal Byron is here to provide us with an SEC Preview. So without further ado, I’m turning the reigns over to Bryon Earnheart for the day:

2009 SEC Preview

by Byron Earnheart (one Vol fan who has not yet drank the Kiffin Kool-Aid)

Well college football fans, the time of the year we’ve been looking forward to is drawing nigh. That’s right, it’s college football time!! I don’t know about you all, but it couldn’t get here soon enough! When I’m finding myself actually caring about baseball, I know I’ve been without my football for way too long. Sadly, golf isn’t even doing it for me anymore…I just need my fix. I need my Bloody Marys and my “Game Day” and my nachos and my BBQ sandwich and my Miller High Life and my couch and my wife to put up with me lounging on the couch all Saturday. It’s time sports fans…it’s time.

Since the last SEC preview, I’ve found myself in a bit of a different situation…I got married. Now, thankfully, she likes football and is somewhat conversational on the subject. She knows enough about the BCS to pull for the teams for which we need pulling. She got as excited as I did last year during that TX Tech/Texas game…not that we had anything to gain…but WHAT A GAME! Every once in awhile, I have to explain to her some rule or why a coach would call a certain play at a certain time in the game, but that’s understandable…and, at least, she puts up with me sitting around hollering at the TV.

So, with the marriage as a theme, I’d like to go through the SEC with some quick-hit thoughts.

Something Ole: Well, not quite “something old…”, but you get the gist. I’ll say more on this later, but if there’s a team in the SEC (not named Florida) who has the opportunity to excel this year, it’s Ole Miss. That’s right…Ole Miss. Great, proven QB…decent coach (my personal opinion of Houston Nutt aside)…favorable schedule…probably a top 15 national ranking. “Wait”, you may be saying “what about LSU and Alabama?! Saban is one season away from curing cancer and completely reinventing Western Civilization!” Well, all of that may be true…but he and Miles both have unproven and young QB’s (not a good thing in this league usually) AND they have to go to Oxford to play. While Oxford is not as intimidating as Tuscaloosa or Baton Rouge, it’s still a road game…and Ole Miss does not have to travel to those aforementioned sights this year. So, in my opinion, the West is Ole Miss’ to lose. Will they choke? Probably so at some point along the way…it’s almost inevitable in this league. That said…at this stage of the year…it’s their division to lose.

Something New: 3 new coaches are in the SEC now…not to mention the 2 “new” coaches last year (Both Nutt and Petrino seemed to come into situations that were not their making…so, they’re still new to me). Lane Kiffin, USC’s offensive coordinator when they ruled the world, is at UT and is writing checks that I HOPE his butt can cash. Dan Mullen is at Mississippi State now hoping to “spread” some of the special sauce that he and Urban Meyer have cooked up over the years. Gene Chizik joins the SEC at Auburn after he managed to completely stink up Iowa State. This had to be the most bone-headed hire in the history of the SEC (and I am counting Ed Orgeron in this!), which leads me to my next point…

Something Borrowed: Time and Trouble. I get the distinct impression that teams now are just borrowing trouble from some of these hires. Gene Chizik…really? Why do I get the feeling this has got “Ron Zook” written all over it…maybe even worse. In the interest of fairness, I’ll throw my beloved Vols here as well. If Kiffin doesn’t work out, we’re screwed. Bad. And when you think about it, that’s two solid programs with a great deal of history that’ve gotten kicked in the nether regions over a dumb hire. (Gridiron Goddess says: Gee sort of like USC in the 1990s) All of this being said, if they pay off…they’ll pay off huge. It’s sort of like getting in on a good stock. If it takes off, you’re a flippin’ genius. If not, then the bank is coming for your home and Little Junior is not going to college.

Now, why do I care about this in a Preview column? Because that’s what the fans of these schools with new coaches are watching for. We want to see improvement. Most UT fans (the reasonable ones who a) actually went there and b) don’t have “Rocky Top” as car horn or doorbell) aren’t expecting a 12-1 season. But, perception is on trial this year for at least 5 teams in the league. We really have no idea what 4-5 teams are going to look like once they step out on the field. The Court of Public Football Opinion, Southeastern District, is cruel. Fans are going to want to see improvement. They’ll want to see close games. They’ll want to see their teams “in” games that they should not even be in. We all want what Florida has, what Alabama is building, and what LSU is probably losing…but it can’t happen to everyone…so, someone is borrowing trouble!

Something Blue: So, I’m going to go ahead and spoil the fun and pick Florida and Ole Miss in Atlanta…and you have no idea how much that crawls under my skin. I hate these two teams passionately. Why? I just do. And what team has a more crystal clear path to the National Championship than Florida? Let’s review…their ENTIRE D is coming back; they have Tim Tebow who rivals Chuck Norris in freakish talents, and an easy schedule. Sure, they have LSU in Baton Rouge but, trust me on this, LSU’s Def. Coordinator wouldn’t know what to do with Florida’s offense if he was handed the playbook and given a month to study. Sure, it’ll be a tight game for 3 quarters but Chavis will start giving the receivers nice 8 yard cushions. It’ll be so nice to watch another defense implode on itself and not have the accompanying arm pains and shortness of breath. So, with all of that…Gators, yet again, it’s all you.

So, here, in my predicted order of finish by division, is the SEC.


1) Ole Miss: I think I’ve explained my reasoning above for this. I just like a team that’s got a great QB, good depth, able D, good coaching, and a favorable schedule. Now, they may choke. But at this point in the year, I just can’t bring myself to say they can’t win the West.

2) Alabama: Yes, I know Nick Saban is God’s gift to mankind in the South and is the reincarnation of Bear Bryant. But without a proven QB, even the Bear didn’t win every game. I like everything about this team but the Ole Miss game and the young QB.

3) Arkansas: Bobby Petrino has proven he can win games, in my opinion, when he’s got the QB. Mallet is that type of QB if you watched any of his Michigan games. He’s got the skills (to pay the bills…sorry, couldn’t help it!). There are some questions on Defense…like are they any good…but, I think the offense could save the team a few times.

4) LSU: I’ve just seen John Chavis’ defenses crumble too many times in the presence of teams that can pass the ball to get too excited. In addition, Jarrett Lee did nothing to impress me. I’m going to go out on a limb here…a REALLY big limb…and say that 2009 could be the beginning of the downward slide of LSU.

5) Mississippi State: As this is my 2nd favorite team in the league, I’m pumped about this year. This is one of those teams that have to show improvement. Perception is the name of the game here. Mullen should bring a great deal of excitement to the team, and, coupled with a punishing RB (pending his DUI situation) and very serviceable D…it might be a decent year…look for them to sneak in the bowl picture.

6) Auburn: Crash and burned, huh Mav? I just can’t find anything good to say about this team, I’m sorry. I don’t hate the Tigers. I just can’t find any reason to put them ahead of anyone in the division. Gene Chizik? Really? That’s who you thought could do a better job than Tuberville? Last year, Kodi Burns didn’t know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt. It was embarrassing. So, has it gotten better now that you got the Chizik? The only good thing I can say, seriously, about Auburn, is that acquiring Gus Malzahn will probably save their butts some. But if he doesn’t have the tools (and Burns did NOTHING to prove that he has the skills), it won’t matter.


1) Florida: Ok, save me the energy here…does anyone really argue this? We can argue it if you want to…but you’re wrong. This team reminds me of stacking your team on NCAA Football on PlayStation, turning it to JV level, and start getting top 5 recruiting classes each year…it’s almost not fun to watch. And, TRUST ME…this praise is not because I like the Gators. I hate them passionately! But they’re really freaking good.

2) Tennessee: Now, before this gets attacked, let me just say that UT, UGA, and South Carolina (maybe even Vandy) could make a bid here. Neither of these teams have great QB’s, some have better D’s, some have more favorable schedules. This really is a testament to how far down the East will be this year. That said, I am going with my biases here. While I trust UT’s QB about like I’d trust Simon Cowell to break a smile and say something positive (Dang, my wife’s got me watching American Idol…I’m sorry!). Crompton just…I can’t even type his name without feeling the bile rise up. However, the offense is supposedly easier to understand (It’d better be…God knows he shorted enough 5 yard passes last year. Confusing stuff, I know!!). The D should be good, and some good RB depth should give us a fighting chance.

3) Georgia: Again, not much difference here in UGA and UT. Good depth, probably a more suspect D…unproven QB. But UGA is one of the best coached teams in the league. They lost a TON of talent though that they can’t easily replace coming out of the gate. They have the talent…but it’ll take time to develop.

4) South Carolina: Well, it looks like Garcia’s finally been paroled and allowed to play football again. I know that was a cheap shot…but given all the crap that Satan…I mean…Spurrier’s dealt over the years, payback’s a mother! Their D should be fairly solid, however. I’m very impressed with Norwood as a LB. He’s probably one of the most underrated players in the league.

5) Vanderbilt: Coming off the bowl win was HUGE for this program. They always have a fairly decent D but lacking in the skill spots on offense. Well, this year, they’re bringing back the team leaders in passing and rushing and 2/3 of the leaders in receiving. Look for them to make some splash…possibly another bowl bid. Also, as I said above, don’t count them out to be higher than this. Last year, this team gave Mississippi State and Georgia all either team wanted. While I’m not a big believer in “moral losses” since you still lose the game…Vandy’s the kind of team with the kind of talent that can slip up on most any team at any time.

6) Kentucky: I sort of miss those few years where Kentucky was good. Now, I just don’t see it. I will say that they had a heck of bowl game. They’ll win games. They won’t get creamed in every game they play. A small running game and an average QB won’t move you up this list too much, I’m afraid. Lost some key defensive players, as well.

So, that’s the year in preview. I see Ole Miss and Florida going to Nashville with Florida beating them senseless. Revenge is a tough pill to swallow. Then, Florida will probably take on the winner of the Texas/Oklahoma game for the national title. Who will it be? I don’t care enough about the Big 12 to even begin to guess that. Both of those teams are good and it’ll probably be a great game either way.

I wish everyone’s team good luck!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ah Another Lazy Edition of Walker's Rants

Back in the saddle for another week and we are inching ever closer to the start of football season. All in all things are going well in the Walker-Sports universe, but don’t worry, there is still plenty to rant about, so let’s get this latest edition started.

What Tom Watson accomplished at this year’s British Open was impressive. I don’t care that he was unable to finish the deal; it was one hell of a ride…

David Beckham just goes home, you don’t want to be in the States, and you have worn out your welcome. You were a solid player in your day, go overseas and fade away into obscurity…

Glad to see Steve Nash got a re-up on his contract, too bad there is no way he will be able to stay around long enough to witness the second rebuilding of the Phoenix Suns…

Quentin Richardson was traded three times in just over a month, and they say athletes aren’t just pieces of meat…

Mike Vick is finally released from his prison sentence, now Roger Goodell should do the right thing and let the man earn his living…

Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto to match up in the fall? Seriously bring Floyds ass out of retirement and give the fans what they want to see…

Jeremy Mayfield, just go home, you blew it brotha…

The Miami Dolphins will win the AFC East this season and that’s even with the Patriots putting together a helluva season…

News Flash, It’s not news when a celebrity at a golf tournament belts some spectator in the head…

Really we are celebrating that the Yankees are in first place? It’s July give it time. I don’t care who wins the AL East but what happens now is still a bit too early to get all up in arms…

ESPN completely dropped the ball on the whole Big Ben story, it’s news report it. You can always find a new golden boy next season…

I’m completely okay with what Richard Jefferson pulled last week, get out before it cost you half in a divorce…

News flash to all Wizards fans, just because Nick Young is performing well in Summer League ball, doesn’t mean a thing. It’s Summer League he is playing rookies who stink…

UVA football will be improved this upcoming season, especially if Vic Hall is at quarterback…

Daily Erin Andrews: No Peeping Toms Here

Something very interesting has taken place over the past few days and if you are a sports blog person, you know exactly what I am talking about. Our favorite sideline reporter Erin Andrews recently had her privacy violated in a horrible way thanks to some jerk with a camera. Now I know we have a lot of fun with Ms. Andrews, and we joke around about her looks, and we use her as an easy way to boast traffic here on Walker-Sports. However, in no way what so ever do we condone what this knucklehead did to Erin Andrews by invading her privacy and violating her personal rights. That crosses a line, and is a sick and immoral act. It is my hope that whoever did this disgusting act is found, arrested and punished.

That being said, I would like to thank all of our loyal and new visitors for the increase in traffic Walker-Sports has experienced over the past few days thanks to Erin Andrews. However, I can tell you right now, we do not, nor will we ever possess or show the video of Erin Andrews. This is not a voyeur site, and we do not tolerate assholes. So for those of you looking for a cheap thrill sorry, please move on.

To Erin Andrews, I am very sorry that you have had to fall victim to such a horrifying experience, and know that everything we do here at Walker-Sports is all in fun, and we hope to see you back on the sidelines some day soon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jordan Crawford Dunks on LeBron James

So we have heard about this video for weeks, and thanks to the folks over at TMZ, the world will finally see the truth. A few weeks ago, XU's Jordan Crawford was attending a basketball camp that was run by LeBron James. During the course of a pickup game, Crawford went to the hole and dunked all over James. What did the choosen one do? He had Nike confescate all copies of the video and hide them.

Now for all the masses, its time to witness, LeBron James being dunked on.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Big 10 Conference Preview

The 2009 college football season is inching ever closer, and since we are talking about inches, let’s take a look at a conference that is defined by them. The Big 10 has always been known for it’s “five yards and a cloud of dust” philosophy. While some teams have made efforts to open up their offenses and employ spread attacks, much has not changed in Big 10 country. For one thing, it is still the same old players at the top. The teams you saw battling for a conference championship last season will be back this year. From a BCS Title perspective the Big 10 does not offer a lot, but that does not mean it will not be an exciting conference to watch.

Ohio State Buckeyes: It my only be Terrelle Pryor’s second season at Ohio State, but he needs to have a breakout season in 2009. Last year Pryor’s game was elevated by having the option to hand the ball to Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells 20 times a game. This season, Pryor will not have that guaranteed 4 yards a carry coming out of the backfield. However, even with Wells gone, Ohio State will still have a solid running game to rely on. Daniel ‘Boom’ Herron is looking to make his name in the Big 10 and add his name to the great lineage of Ohio State running backs. At 5’19 193 pounds there is no question that Herron can lay the Boom as his nickname would suggest.

On defense, the Buckeyes are once again stacked. Granted Coach Jim Tressel lost arguably the best defensive playmakers he has ever had over the offseason, but that does not mean the coffers are empty in Columbus. Ohio State will once again prove to be an athletic bunch upfront, especially in their front four. You can expect them to get up field and put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Ohio States entire season will be defined by two things. 1) How does Terrelle Pryor progress as a quarterback? As freshmen last season he showed moments of greatness, but he also struggled throwing the ball. If he can keep his down and distance manageable, then he could be poised for a big season. 2) How does Ohio State fair against USC in week 2. For the past several years, Ohio State has been the beast of the Big 10 but still a puppy on the BCS stage. An early season matchup against USC will give us the tale of the tape on the 2009 Buckeyes.

Penn State Nittany Lions: The Nittany Lions bring back Daryll Clark at quarterback and Evan Royster at tailback. The two of them will be the cornerstone of the Penn State attack. Royster is a solid running back. He averaged 6.5 yards a carry last season. While he is not a game breaker with great speed he does have great vision. Evan Royster will have to have a monster junior season if Penn State wants to make any noise in 2009. Daryll Clark is a very good quarterback, with a strong arm (2,592 yards 19 TD’s last season) and decent wheels, (252 yards and 10 TD’s). The problem is Clark has no one to toss the ball to. The returning Penn State receiving core combined for a total of 29 amongst the three of them that will not cut it.

Last season Penn State made for a lack of passing production by having a dominating defense. The Nittany Lions have lost a lot of talent on their defensive front. This means their pass rush will not posse the bite it had just twelve months ago. To complicate things further the Penn State secondary is experienced but very shaky. If the defensive line does not come onto its own and apply some sort of consistent pressure onto opposing teams, they could be in for trouble. Teams are going to test the Penn State secondary and if the defensive line cannot apply some pressure the entire defense will be in trouble.

Penn State will make some early noise to get on the national radar. This will be because of their weak out of conference schedule. There is no reason Penn State shouldn’t jump out to a 6 or 7-0 schedule to start things off. After that however, it would not be surprising to watch the Nittany Lions to drop off.

Michigan State Spartans: I actually like the 2009 version of the Spartans, and if they can find a quarterback and a solid producing running back I really like Michigan State’s chance to make a run at a Big 10 title. Michigan State is returning 14 starters in all, the only glaring holes they are at the signal caller and tailback positions. Due to the difficult of filling both of these positions, I have dropped the Spartans to third in the Big 10. That being said, I do not see why the Michigan State Spartans cannot work their way into a New Year’s Day bowl game.

There is one thing Michigan State has going in their favor this season, their season. The Spartans don’t have to worry about playing Ohio State this season. This means their big showdown with Penn State at the end of the season could be for a share of the Big 10 title. All the Spartans have to do is remain focused and keep the learning curb to a minimum.

Iowa Hawkeyes: In some ways the Iowa Hawkeyes were the pride of the Big 10 last season. They were the only conference team to pick up a win in a bowl game. The key to the Hawkeyes success last season was Shonn Greene the Doak Walker Award winner. He won’t be around for the 2009 campaign, but that will not stop the Hawkeyes from being in the mix. Junior quarterback Ricky Stanzi has been called a young Tom Brady (not by this writer). Stanzi is very efficient with the ball, and his leadership will be key to keeping the Hawkeyes on course in the upcoming season. Iowa will attempt to replace the offensive production of Shonn Green with a committee of running backs, which can always lead to mixed results. Again it will be up to Stanzi to stay on the field and really be a game manager to insure that Iowa can put themselves into scoring positions.

I actually like this Iowa team, and think they could be a scrappy bunch in the Big 10. The biggest obstacle the Hawkeyes will face is their overall schedule, which shapes up to be brutal. Games at Wisconsin, at Ohio State and at Michigan State will prove to be too much to overcome.

Michigan Wolverines: Admittedly finishing fifth in Big 10 would be an impressive feat for a team that went 3-9 last seasons and chalked up a lost to Toledo, but I think the Wolverines have what it takes to make the jump. Rich Rodriguez was allowed to use the term rebuilding last season, and he managed to keep the Michigan faithful at bay during a dismal first season. Now in year two Rodriguez needs to get his boys to perform on the field, or he could soon find himself in the unemployment line.

The key to the Rich Rodriguez spread offense is the quarterback. Last season Michigan could not find anyone who could handle the game plan. This year, early enrollee Tate Forcier has shown some promise during the spring training drills, and that’s a very good thing. Granted Forcier is no Pat White, but he is a step in the right direction. Overall the Wolverine attack will be improved unit and they may be able to catch a few times by surprise, not mention they are playing a powder puff schedule.

Illinois Fighting Illini: Juice Williams has already written his name all over Illinois football legend and by the end of the season he will leave as the schools all time leading passing leader. The 2009 season needs to be the Juice Williams show if the Fighting Illini wants to experience any level of success. In many ways Illinois proved to be the great underachievers last season. After making the2008 Rose Bowl, Illinois failed to a bowl game in 09 after dropping their last three games. Illinois have a lot of athletes on their roster but their discipline to work hard and do the right things on the field, the theory will prove true in the 2009 season.

Wisconsin Badgers: Another season of disappointment is straight ahead in Madison. The Bret Bielma era got off to a great start in 2006 when he went 12-1, and not much has gone right since then. There are two problems that have afflicted the Badgers over the past few seasons. First Wisconsin has not had a reliable quarterback since 2006. Dustin Sherer has proven to be inconsistent and he makes costly turnovers. The breakdown at quarterback has caused the Badgers offense to grind to a halt. On the defensive side of the ball the Badgers used to have teeth and a force to be reckoned with. However, issues at middle linebacker and at the safety position have caused major breakdowns, and the points have piled on. Everyone remembers the drubbing the Badgers suffered at the hands of Florida State last season in the Champs Sports Bowl.

For 2009 the key for Wisconsin will be finding some toughness and discipline on defense, and any type of consistency out of quarterback Dustin Sherer.

Minnesota Golden Gophers: The highlight of the Minnesota Gophers 2009 season will be moving into a new outdoor stadium. Gopher fans will be happy the Big 10 season wraps early so they don’t have to stand outside and watch their team in the freezing Minnesota winter. On paper the Gophers are an improved team from last season, but that will need to translate onto the field and it is doubtful they can make the transition. Making matters worse Minnesota decided to up their out of conference schedule the same year their Big 10 schedule shifted. Welcome Air Force, Cal, Michigan State, and Ohio State. It is going to be a rough season up north.

Northwestern Wildcats: There was a time last season where Northwester 5-0 and one of the best stories in college football. Even though they were not able to maintain their winning ways once they hit the middle of the Big 10 Schedule the Wildcats still earned a 9 win season and lost a great bowl game against Missouri. The 2009 season could prove to be another banner year for the Wildcats. They lost a lot of skill on the offensive side of the ball and will struggle to score points at time. However, they make up for that inadequacy by returning eight starters on defense. Northwestern will be a stout defensive team that will give opponents hell over the course of the season. Another factor working in the Wildcats favor is the rotating Big 10 schedule that sees Ohio State being rotated out.

Indiana Hoosiers: Despite a low ranking, the Hoosiers are looking to be and should be an improved team in 2009. Ben Chappell is returning as quarterback, and he has the chance to make a little bit of noise, thanks to some solid targets on the outside. In addition Indiana also has a veteran offensive line that should be able to open up some hole for freshmen running back Darius Willis.

The Indiana athletic program has sunk a lot of money into their football program over the offseason. This includes upgrades to the stadium, and building a 24,000 square foot weightlifting facility. All of these upgrades will help the Indiana coaching staff to land some bigger name recruits. The recruits will come in time, what the Hoosiers need to focus on for 2009 is getting to .500. If they want to achieve that goal, Indiana needs to steal two wins out of the follow four road games, Akron, Michigan, Virginia and Northwestern. If they can accomplish that, .500 should be an attainable goal.

Purdue Boilermakers: The 2008 season proved to be the worst season the Boilermakers program have seen since in over a decade. Unfortunately for Purdue fans, their team won’t see much of a turnaround during the 2009 season. The Purdue staff is caught in the middle of trying to implement their new schemes while trying to keep things as simple as possible for the players who are currently in the program. Right now Purdue simply does not have the players to be a competitive team in the Big 10 or on the national scene. All in all, Purdue fans just have to hold on, and wait till better times come around in a few seasons.