Tuesday, November 24, 2009


With the semester wrapping up, this will be my last post on my blog. I hope that some of my posts have provided some insight into what Division I athletics is really about.

Growing up, it was never my dream to go on and play college sports. I always played for the love of the game, and put in the hours on end because it was something that I enjoyed doing. I can not thank my parents enough for not pushing me towards collegiate athletics. They have always been supportive in all of my decisions, but it was never a topic of discussion that I needed to play a college sport. They wanted me to make my own decision on whether I wanted to continue my career, and it was pressures off when I was choosing a college. They have always looked out for my best interests, and they have always been my biggest fans.

I would not be where I am today without the neverending support of my family and friends. I have had so many coaches over the years, and they have always been there for me in whatever my endeavors have been.

Playing a collegiate sport is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It is the most time consuming, stressful, and aggravating thing that I have ever done. You put in hours upon hours and it can feel like it is never going to end. It is also the most fun, exhilarating, and overall best experience I have ever had. I would not trade the 5:30am workout alarm clock for anything. The people that I have met, and the experiences that I have had make everything worth it in the end. I have met some of the most amazing people through collegiate athletics, and taken some of the most amazing trips.

When deciding if a Division I sport is right for you, there are so many things that you should keep in mind. Make your decision from your heart, and follow what your gut instincts are telling you. It is too big of a commitment to be unhappy, and college is supposed to be the best four years of your life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Football Wrapup:

With the college football season winding down, it is down to crunch time and some do or die situations for teams to earn the possibility to continue their season and get a bowl bid.

For college football week 13, the top 7 teams held their spots all with wins this past weekend. It looks something like this: 1. Florida 2. Alabama 3. Texas 4. TCU 5. Cincinnati 6. Boise State 7. Georgia Tech 8. Oregon 9. Pittsburgh 10. Ohio State.

The margin between Florida and Alabama is close, and the true number one will be determined when the teams will play each other for the SEC title on December 4th. If both teams remain undefeated until then, that game will be seen as the national semifinal contest. The number 1-6 teams all hold undefeated records, and these final games will determine the outcome of their seasons.

LSU dropped the most spots this week going from number 8 to number 15 after a disappointing loss to unranked Ole Miss 25-23 this past weekend. Iowa brought themselves up 2 spots from number 13 to number 11 after shutting out Minnesota.

Top ranked Florida will take on in-state rival Florida State this weekend, the the rivalry will be sure to fuel some addrenaline and we will be sure to see a good game there. Number 2 Alabama will take on unranked Clemson before the two teams meet of for the championship game. Number 3 Texas also has a challenge ahead of them this weekend as they also take on another in-state foe with Texas A&M.

The best in-state rivalry we should be looking for this weekend is the number 8 Oregon taking on number 16 Oregon State. It will be a battle for increases in rankings, and it will bring some interesting results.

With the season coming to an end, you will see teams, especially those who are senior dominated, pull some victories out of no where. You will see teams leaving it all on the field because now is the time where you have to give it everything you've got if you want your season to continue. This weekend will make it or break it for quite a few teams, and their preparation and determination will take them a long way.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

1997 Tennessee Lady Vols:

The Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team has been known as one of the best women's basketball programs of all time. The 1997 season saw the Lady Vol's go 39-0, and claim the national title for the third consecutive time. ESPN titled the game one of the top 10 moments in women's sports history. They won the National Championship in convincing fashion defeating number 4 Louisiana Tech 93-75. The Lady Vols' played 12 games against top 20 teams, and handled all 12 teams easily. Head Coach Pay Summit is known as one of the best coaches of all time. Even more impressively, the Lady Vol's played only one game where they won by only ten points, and besides that all games were won by a margin of at least 15. The Lady Vol's were led by Chamique Holdsclaw, who garnered multiple post season awards.

The Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team is one of the most dominant teams of all time, and is right up the with the UConn women's basketball team as the national powerhouse team. The Lady Vols have made it to the NCAA tournament every year since the NCAA sanctioned women's sports in 1981. The Lady Vols have won 14 SEC titles, 13 SEC tournament championships, has made 18 Final Four appearances, and won 8 National Championships.

The Lady Vols have been coach by Pat Summit for over three decades. She has over 1000 victories at Tennessee, and has won an impressive 91% of her home games.

What is also impressive about the Lady Vols is the rigorous schedule that they face each year, yet continue to have such success. The Lady Vols play on average 47% of their games against ranked opponents. Last season was the first time in over a decade the the Lady Vols suffered double digits in the loss column. After winning the National Championship in the 2007-2008 season and graduating all-american Candace Parker, the Lady Vols had a rebuilding year.

Currently the Lady Vols find themselves again in the top 10, and you can be sure that they will be yet again, a team to beat this season.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

1970's football:

1971 Nebraska Cornhuskers:
The 1971 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team completed their season at 13-0. The team averaged an impressive 39 points per game, and their defense was equally impressive. The Cornhuskers played Oklahoma on Thanksgiving Day in 1971, and defeated them 35-31 in what has been tabbed the "game of the century." Nebraska concluded their season in the Orange Bowl, where they defeated Alabama in impressive fashion 38-6.

Another notable Nebraska Cornhuskers football team was the 1995 squad. They finished the season 12-0, after playing a very tough schedule. The schedule saw them facing 4 other teams who were in the top ten. Their offense is said to be one of the best of all time, as they averaged over 50 points per game.

1972 USC Trojans:
Just one year after the Nebraska Cornhuskers celebrated an undefeated season, the USC Trojans marched in and accomplished the same feat, going 12-0. The Trojans were the first team to ever be name number one in all media and coaches ballots. The team averaged 43 points per game, and also dominated on defense allowing on average only 12 points per game. The Trojans ended their season with a convincing win in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State taking the game 42-17.

The 1970's was a great era for college football, and the game really saw a lot of advancements in the offensive and defensive sides of the game. 1976 saw the longest collegiate field goal to date, when Ove Johansson kicked a 69 yard field goal for Abilene Chrisitian. This was followed in 1977 with a 67 yard field goal being kicked on two separate occasions, once by Texas and once by Arkansas.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Penn State Nittany Lions

The current Penn State Nittany Lions Women's Volleyball team has an extremely impressive streak going currently. They have won 82 straight games, and are back to back national champions. The Nittany Lions have been ranked number one all season for the past two years, and have produced countless all americans. They have easily handled all other teams they have faced in the top ten. They are currently tied for second in the NCAA women's history books for consecutive wins, tied with North Carolina Women's Soccer. They will play this coming weekend for the most consecutive wins all time for women's sports. Not only are they closing in on the women's record, but they sit only 6 games away from breaking the NCAA all-time record set by John Wooden and UCLA (discussed earlier) with 88 consecutive victories. Their roster last year saw 4 of the 6 starters earning first team All-American honors, with the other 2 starters being named to the second team. The Nittany Lions have not lost a game since October 8, 2006.

Last season, the Nittany Lions defeated Stanford in the National Championship game 3-0. The season, the Nittany Lions are just two wins away from taking the Big 10 title and clinch its seventh straight outright title. A win tonight will also see Penn State breaking the North Carolina women's soccer team current record of 92 straight victories. The Nittany Lions tied the record last weekend with a win against Northwestern. Penn State has been the unanimous number one vote on the rankings all season, and received 60 number one votes in the latest poll. This says a lot about the Nittany Lions, since 3 other Big 10 teams also find themselves in the top 15. Illinois is number 5, Minnesota is number 12, and Michigan is number 14. Head coach Russ Rose has been very successful and has built a volleyball empire at Penn State. It is one of the most respected collegiate programs in the nation, and they are well on their way to a third straight NCAA title.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Greatest Teams in History: 1968 UCLA Bruins

UCLA head coach John Wooden has been recognized as one of the best coaches of all time. UCLA won 10 national championships under Wooden, and one of the best teams of all time is known to be the 1968-69 team. The Bruins started the season 25-0, and finished the year with only one loss. Though there have been teams to finish the season undefeated, the '68 Bruins had one loss against Houston. The Bruins went on to win the national championship in convincing fashion winning 101-69 and 78-55 in the semifinal and national championship games. The Bruins were paced by Lew Alcindor, who was noted as the best college basketball player at the time, averaging 26 points and 16 rebounds each game. Three other players averaged in double digits for points, and 5 of these players were drafted by the NBA after their careers with UCLA were finished.

To go undefeated during a college basketball season speaks a lot of your abilities and team comrodory. Collegiate basketball always has its ups and downs, and teams are faced with injuries and needing to replace star players. The Bruins completed an undefeated season even with their star, and NCAA great Lew Alcindor out with an injury. This also speaks wonder about what this team was really made of, because they were ablet to easily win games with their leading scorer on the bench.

Other teams have finished an NCAA season with an undefeated record, but the fact that the Bruins did it, and won 13 National Titles in 14 years, speaks about the greatness that was in their program, and also speaks highly of what head coach John Wooden brought to that university.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Women's Basketball Preview:

With men's and women's basketball underway, after giving a preview of NCAA Men's basketball, it only seemed appropriate to preview women's basketball as well. Just like the men, there are some powerhouse schools for women's basketball, and the first team that will come to mind when most people talk about NCAA women's basketball is the University of Connecticut or UConn. Stanford and Ohio State have been known to produce some very successful team, along with Oklahoma and the ever-famous Tennessee.
The AP Top Ten looks like this:
1. Connecticut
2. Stanford
3. Ohio State
4. North Carolina
5. Notre Dame
6. Tennessee
7. LSU
8. Baylor
9. Xavier
10. Texas

Unlike the men, the ESPN/USA Today top ten lineup looks very different than the Associated Press:
1. Connecticut
2. Stanford
3. Ohio State
4. Baylor
5. North Carolina
6. Duke
7. Notre Dame
8. Oklahoma
9. Tennessee
10. Michigan State

Connecticut was the unanimous number one selection in both polls, and at their season opener against Northeastern they proved that they are going to be tough to hang with, winning 101-35. They will be challenged throughout their season, as they will take on a number of opponents who also find themselves in the top 10. Connecticut has produced some outstanding players over the years, and one of the most notable is Diana Taurasi, who was named MVP of the WNBA last year.

Tennessee has always been looked at as a women's basketball powerhouse. With names like Candace Parker in their alumni list, it is easy to see how they always have success. Head coach Pat Summitt is one of the most respected collegiate coaches, and with someone like that on staff, the Lady Volunteers are bound to have another great year.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Men's Basketball Preview

With NCAA men's basketball just getting underway, the preseason polls and ranking have recently been published. Men's basketball is known for having the typical powerhouse teams such as Duke and North Carolina, but this year some other schools are making some waves and the powerhouse teams are finding themselves further down the list in rankings.
The ACC conference has been known to produce some very successful teams in the past few seasons, followed closely by the Big 10. The associated press top ten look like this:
1. Kansas
2. Michigan State
3. Texas
4. Kentucky
5. Villanova
6. North Carolina
7. Purdue
8. West Virginia
9. Duke
10. Tennessee

The ESPN poll looks very similar, but Butler appears in the number 10 slot with Tennessee following at number 11.
Top ranked Kansas won their season opener against Hofstra with a convincing 101-65. In fact, the entire Big 12 conference is undefeated winning every one of their season openers.
Number 2 Michigan State also started their season with a convincing win over FGCU with a 97-58 victory. Much like the Big 12, the Big 10 conference is also off to a great start winning all games with exception to one (Iowa).

The NCAA basketball season is long. Most coaches refer to is as a marathon, not a sprint. It is important for these teams to show up every day. These teams will face detrimental injuries, and the top ten teams will likely change every time it is published.

For now, Kansas sits in the top spot. Only time will tell if they deserve the number one ranking, and we will all find out soon enough.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Book Review- I Dare You

The book I Dare You, by William H. Danforth is one of the best motivational books that I have read this far. It focuses not only on motivational tools for athletics, but it also focuses on motivational tools for life in general. One of my favorite quotes from the book is:
“I dare you to think bigger, to act bigger, and to be bigger. I dare you to think creatively. I dare you to lead and inspire others. I dare you to build character. I dare you to share. And I promise you a richer and more exciting life if you do!”

The book was published in 2003, though it has the feel that it was written quite a while ago. It is an easy read, as the book is only 152 pages long. The books main message focuses on four main pillars in life, and the four key components in life need to be in balance at all times Physical, Mental, Social, and Religious.

Danforth also co-founded the American Youth Foundation, which is an organization designed to develop young men and women, and help them prepare themselves for a life of responsibility and leadership. The book really emphasizes leadership and being a good leader.

“I dare you, boys and girls, to make life obey you, not you it. It is only a shallow dare to do the foolish things. I dare you to do the uplifting, courageous things.” Danforth pushes the readers to be a strong person, and to take risks and do the things that they really believe in and truly want to do with their lives.

I really enjoyed the book I Dare You. It is inspirational, and it gives easy points and easy passages that inspire you to be a great leader. The book can be purchased on amazon.com in a hardback or paperback edition for a very reasonable price.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Football Update

Going into week 11, there have been some dramatic changes in the top 10 rankings for Division I football. Florida is still holding strong in the number 1 spot, and have a 9-0 mark on the season. This weekend they will take on South Carolina at South Carolina, and will yet again be challenged for the top spot.
Alabama and Texas sit at numbers 2 and 3 respectively, and there is some controversy in the different polls who belongs in which spot. In the BCS standings, Alabama sits at number 2. In the Associated Press top 25, Texas claims the spot. In either situation, both teams remain unbeaten and boast 9-0 records.
The TCU Horned Frogs are at number 4 in both polls, and will face one of their toughest challenges of the season this weekend when they take on number 16 Utah.

One of the most drastic changes that Division I football saw over the weekend was the then number 4 Iowa Hawkeyes get taken down by unranked Northwestern. It was the biggest upset of the week, and it saw the Hawkeyes drop from number 4 to number 10, and also lose their undefeated record.

The big game to watch this weekend is the Big Ten Championship matchup between number 10 Iowa, and number 11 Ohio State. The game will be played Saturday at 3:30pm at Ohio State. The Hawkeyes enter the game with a 9-1 record, and the Bukeyes bring an equally impressive 8-2 record to the contest.

Rounding out the top 10 you have 5. Cincinnati 6. Boise State 7. Georgia Tech 8. LSU and 9. USC. Teams 1 through 6 all remain unbeaten on the year.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Eating Right

Leading a healthy lifestlye is an important part of being a successful athlete. Putting good things into your body can only make you a better athlete. This doesn't mean that you have to eat only organic food, and you can't even think about going to McDonald's, it just means that you should be conscious about what you are putting into your body.
The day before competition it has been proven that the intake or carbohydrates can be beneficial to your performance. It gives you the energy you need on game day. What you eat also depends on what sport you play. A cardio intensive sport like cross country, soccer, basketball, or track will allow you to consume more carbs than a low cardio intensive sport such as baseball, softball, or golf.
Depending on what you want your body to do, also varies in what you eat. A lot of male athletes come in to college trying to gain weight. These athletes need to eat a lot more calories, but it is important that they are consuming good calories. Proteins such as chicken breast and red meats are healthy fats that can be consumed.
It is important that you balance all of your food groups, you don't want to eat a lot of protein each day and have that be it. You want to be sure to get your full servings of fruits and vegetables, because your body needs the vitamins and minerals that these can provide for you.
Fruits and vegetables are very low in calories and are typically very low in fat. The fat that you do find in these items is generally good fat that your body needs to comsumer anyway