LATEST STORIES FROM CRYSTAL BALL RUN

Big XII Preview Week: Freshmen to look out for

To knock off any Longhorn hate, I will open with this: Johnathan Gray, the top running back recruit in the country a year ago, is going to be a beast. Adding him to the Texas backfield with Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron will be a bit daunting for any Big-12 defense. For now though, Gray is still No. 3 in the rotation. Now that we have that taken care of, let us move on to some...
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July 20, 2012  |  Discuss

Meeting of the Minds: Bold predictions for the Big 12

I put a spell on yoooouuuu! With CBR's Big 12 Preview Week drawing to a close, it's time for our staff to give some bold predictions for the conference in the coming season. Allen Kenney: I dont think people realize just how miraculous of a season Kansas St. put together in 2011. The Wildcats won eight of nine games decided by a score or less. Statistically...
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July 20, 2012  |  Discuss

What is Jim Delany up to?

Say what you want about Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, but the man is nothing if not a big thinker. Delany was the genius behind the Big Ten Network. He was the first to publicly advocate for a small stipend for his players. And while he didn’t ultimately get every wish on his list, there’s no doubt he was one of the key players in the new playoff that will hit college football...
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July 20, 2012  |  Discuss

Morning Playbook - The Dark Saban Rises

This man has ideas people. SEC media days wrapped up in Hoover, Alabama just in time for everybody to flock to their local movie theaters for the midnight release of the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. Alabama's Nick Saban has already risen to become the coaching icon the college football world needs at this time, according to Dennis Dodd from...
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July 20, 2012  |  Discuss

The Crystal Ball: Week Seven

Daddy needs a new pair of shoes! Aaron handed off the Crystal Ball to me with the kind of stunning nonchalance that you'd expect from someone who borrowed your car for a day and returned it with the gas tank on "E" and a couple suspicious stains in the back seat. Heading into its seventh week in circulation, this baby was starting to show some wear and...
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July 19, 2012  |  Discuss

Big XII Preview Week: Can Texas win this conference?

Well kiddies, it’s almost the end of Big XII week here at Crystal Ball Run, and it wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t talk about the team everyone loves to hate: The Texas Longhorns. Ask many opposing fans, and that cash-printing, TV-network-owning, Texas A&M-push-out-the-dooring (ok, that last one is a stretch, both factually and in pun terminology) juggernaut down in...
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July 19, 2012  |  Discuss

Big 12 Preview Week: Holding Court with TCU and West Virginia

Two off-seasons ago who knew we'd be sitting here talking about the Big 12 still existing, let alone being one of the strongest conferences in college football. Well, that was accomplished with the additions of West Virginia and TCU this summer. Sure they are replacing some decent schools in Missouri and Texas A&M, but both TCU and WVU have been relevant on the national...
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July 19, 2012  |  Discuss

Morning Playbook - John L. Smith runs wild on SEC Media Day

Does this man look stupid? After a great start to SEC media days on Tuesday, what did we have to look forward to on Wednesday? John L. Smith. He did not disappoint. The energetic and charismatic Arkansas head coach is enjoying the ride after replacing Bobby Petrino, and he did seem to get a little tired of questions relating to Petrino. Asked if he would like...
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July 19, 2012  |  Discuss

Big 12 Preview Week: Will Charlie Weis be a flop again at Kansas?

For the first time in Charlie Weis' coaching career the expectations surrounding him are relatively low. He has already shown us when they were sky high at Notre Dame and Florida ... well, he couldn't deliver. But now he's at Kansas, which went 5-19 the past two seasons. The Jayhawks are happy to have their second 300-pound plus coach in the last decade. Welcome to...
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July 18, 2012  |  Discuss

Big 12 Preview Week: An attack of the 'Clones leads list of Danger Games

The Pokes' pain was the Cyclones' gain last year. Last season, a Friday night road trip to Ames, Iowa, proved to be the difference in Oklahoma St. getting shut out of the national championship game. What are the potential landmines for the Big 12's top teams this year? Where are the chances for stunning upsets? Let's take a look at the Big 12 Danger...
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July 18, 2012  |  Discuss

Morning Playbook - Texas A&M, Missouri formally introduced to SEC culture

Kevin Sumlin was cool under the pressure of his first SEC media day event. "It's a pretty damn hard league." That was Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin's response when asked about the difficulty of the SEC schedule, which will pit the Aggies against the past six BCS champions. It was one of the first tests Sumlin passed with praise as a...
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July 18, 2012  |  Discuss

Spurrier Steals Spotlight from Debuting Coaches on Day 1 of SEC Media Days

SEC Media Days can be a strange bird because you never know what you might get, but the one thing you can count on is getting something out of the 'Ole Ball Coach and in 2012 Steve Spurrier didn't disappoint as his charges after Georgia and more overshadowed the debuts of Texas A&M and Missouri as members of the SEC at the annual event. Why the jabs? Well, if you'...
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July 17, 2012  |  Discuss

Care For a Soak, Chip Kelly?

What do you get for the college football coach who has everything?  How does a private hot tub next to your office sound?  That awaits Chip Kelly - along with a built-in waterproofed video center, so he doesn't lose sight of the important stuff - at Oregon's new palatial football facility slated to open in 2013. Other amenities include a skylink between the football...
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July 17, 2012  |  Discuss

Big 12 Preview Week: The Proudest Coach in America? Meet Paul Rhoads

"I am so PROUD to be your football coach," those nine words uttered following a huge upset over Nebraska in 2009 sum up all you should need to know about Iowa State Cyclones head football coach Paul Rhoads. When Ankeny, IA native and former Cyclone assistant coach Paul Rhoads entered the fray there probably wasn't a more under the radar higher heading into the 2009...
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July 17, 2012  |  Discuss

Big 12 Preview Week: Searching for new superstar receivers

Who's the next Justin Blackmon? The Big 12 produced a bumper crop of wide receivers in wide receivers in 2011. There was two-time Biletnikoff Award winner Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma St., the first wideout off the board in April's NFL draft. Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles broke the the NCAA record for career receptions despite playing in only nine games during his senior...
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July 17, 2012  |  Discuss

Morning Playbook - SEC Media Days are here, let the fun begin

SEC media days are here and they are bigger than ever. Yes, football is back, as Dennis Dodd writes for CBSSports.com. Brace yourself for plenty of quotes from some of the country's most quotable coaches and prepare for plenty of attention given to the new conference members, Missouri and Texas A&M. Yes, this year should be one of the biggest SEC media days in conference...
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July 17, 2012  |  Discuss

Podcast: Bylaw Blog's John Infante on Penn State and the NCAA

The release the Freeh Report on the investigation into Jerry Sandusky and the Penn St. football program rocked the college football world last week. The unprecedented level of impropriety alleged in the report strengthened the calls for criminal charges against members of the Penn St. administration, as well as investigations into the school by the Department of Education and Department...
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July 17, 2012  |  Discuss

Big XII Preview Week: Five Big Questions

Simply put, it’s hard to find a conference with a more interesting and dynamic group of players, teams and coaches than the Big XII in 2012. Between the new programs joining up (helloooooooo West Virginia and TCU), the new coaches and coordinators in town, and plenty of returning talent both on the field and in the coaching box, this is a league that appears to be as strong as...
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July 16, 2012  |  Discuss

Big 12 Preview Week: A look back at seasons past

It is Big 12 Preview Week here at Crystal Ball Run. Before looking ahead to the 2012 season and debating who will be the team to beat and whether or not the conference is ready for another strong season, we begin once again by taking a look through history of the conference and their incoming members. Last Year in the Big 12 Conference Champion: Oklahoma State (12-1, 8-1) It was...
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July 16, 2012  |  Discuss

Case of the Mondays: On SEC Media Days and Rueben Foster's ink

Welcome to this week’s edition of “Case of the Mondays” Crystal Ball Run’s look at the good, the bad and the sublime from the week that was in college football and the world beyond. With SEC Media Days hitting the calendar this week, we are unofficially ready to start the college football season. But before we do, a quick reminder that… 1. This week at Crystal Ball...
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July 16, 2012  |  Discuss

LVH SuperBook releases Games of the Year lines and win totals

The LVH SuperBook, the nifty new moniker by which the Las Vegas Hilton's sportsbook is now known, got college football gamblers' juices flowing Sunday by releasing not only its Game of the Year point spreads, but win totals on 35 teams as well. LVH is posting its numbers with some significant lag from its Vegas competitors, as the release of the Golden Nugget's GOTY...
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July 15, 2012  |  Discuss

Pac-12 Preview Week: Five Burning Questions on Arizona and RichRod

Most of the time, I'm down here, but ol' Groban, man, he raises me up. Rich Rodriguez led West Virginia on arguably its most successful run in program history. He followed up that feat by leading Michigan to one of its lowest points. What's in store for Arizona? We checked in with our buddy Kyle Kensing of Saturday Blitz for his take. 1. Whatever the reasons...
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July 14, 2012  |  Discuss

Fight on to victory evermore, but vacate Paterno's wins

"It's two different guys: There's a guy I knew for 40 years and did everything right; then a guy who did a dastardly thing." – Bobby Bowden As my colleague Kevin McGuire wrote on Thursday, "Joe Paterno died on January 22, 2012. The Joe Paterno I thought I knew died today, July 12, 2012." And, now, on the heels of the Freeh Report being released, comes...
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July 14, 2012  |  Discuss

Meeting of the Minds: What to Expect from the 2012 Pac-12 Season

The CBR Staff is counting down to the beginning of the 2012 regular season with dedicated preview weeks. To conclude Pac 12 Preview Week, our minds came together around the CBR Tailgate to offer a bold prediction for what awaits the conference in the coming season. Will Oregon continue their championship ways? Will USC bounce back to the top of the conference and the nation...
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July 13, 2012  |  Discuss

Pac-12 Preview Week: Which freshman will 'Fight On?'

There are numerous extremely fascinating freshman to watch this football season in, what should prove to be, a very exciting Pac-12 conference. Two of note: Havey Langi, running back for the Utah Utes, may be the opening game starter; and Devon Blackmon, wide receiver for the Oregon Ducks, has a tremendous opportunity for playing time right away after the loss of Lavasier Tuinei...
Via Crystal Ball Run
July 13, 2012  |  Discuss
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