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Thank you

After being the first making a market in fantasy college football advice in 2005, it is with sadness and without regret that I announce that Fantasy College Blitz is closing its doors effective July 1 2012.

End of the Road

End of the Road

While business is not strong, our decision comes down to life choices.

Our most conservative projections in 2005 predicted great success if we could only get 1% of all the pro football fantasy players to engage in a new and more intense game of skill. Perhaps our friend Joe Dexter knew what he was talking about years ago in that the game itself is just too damn hard to fully grab hold of a large amount of players – and that was only with 116 teams then!

Thomas Edison taught us all that he failed 9000 times before getting the light bulb correct – I raise a glass to all my business partners for joining me on this journey that will someday lead to success.

My personal special thanks to:

Jeff Lagos and Daniel Freer, former FCB business partners that chose other paths along the way. Few know business like Lagos, few know college football history like Daniel. All the best to you as always.

Drew Smith, who like me started this thing and now finishes it. Besides arguing over the draftability of JaMarcus Russell, we learned a lot about each other over the years and I look forward to that continuing.

John Huss, our web business humbled even this force of nature. Without meeting you fifteen years ago, I chill to think of what my life would be like now.

My wife Megan, who supported me in this venture far beyond what many mates would dream. I look forward to getting more sleep with you and our beautiful daughter.

“Neil Young”, college football superfan with more energy than a solar power array. May you find other outlets for your passion for the game (and can I still be in your league with the scoring system envied in ancient Byzantium?)

Our freelance writers, who would often ask when they would get paid and our response was always “When we do…”.

Short of a couple cats, you guys and gals were always timely, entertaining and I learned a lot from you – especially Matt McCluskey (now doing serious news in Upstate NY) who covered the Big East  for us and let me guest weekly on his radio show for a few years. Great times. Keep an eye out for Chris Pendley who possesses unique wit and intelligence – like me when I was his age, just needs to mellow a bit. But talent beyond reproach. Nick Gerogosian the MAC Daddy and his MAC predictions – he knows the Midwest better than most politicians.

To Jason Collette , one of the fantasy baseball elite, who tried his hardest to introduce us to all the right people – heck we even hung out with Jenn Sterger for a couple hours. Seriously, Jason was instrumental in a lot of our success.

The folks at Fantasy Sports Ventures / Big Lead Sports / USA Today Sports Media Group – our marketing partner grew at a much faster trajectory than we did. One of my favorite moments of the FCB journey was when your salesperson called to see if I would buy ads on your new network, and I turned it around and actually got ON the network as the first fantasy college football site on their roster! Between Andy Regal on content strategy and Chip Walker on business, we really had no business getting access to your business sense and intellect so we appreciated every second. Thanks for the time, the laughs and continued success wished to you all.

And quickly, Tim Dady, Randy Burgess, Vincent Lauria, Will Carroll, Nathan Karp, The Senior Bowl staff, Jeff Erickson, Alex Esselink, Todd DeVries, Steve Lassan, Mike Bianchi, Brett Atkin, and Topher Dean were great people I met through this journey and I aim to keep in touch.

And finally, the hardest of the hardcore fantasy college footballers continue to experiment at the NCAA Project. Check us out throughout the season.

If I forgot anyone, my sincere apologies. Please reach out to me at my real name at vincent.regan[at]gmail[dot]com so I can make proper amends. Bless you all.

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Top Ten Penn State Teams of the Joe Paterno era

I cannot win.

This is not a phrase ever uttered by Joe Paterno except maybe in the last year of his life, but rather my reflection on how this top ten list will be received. Penn State fans, and general college football fans alike, will argue back and forth all day about the best Nittany Lion campaigns as USAToday aims to celebrate Joe Paterno’s amazing career.

(Originally published in USA Today Special Edition on January 26, 2012)

As a result, please consider this list loosely ranked as it would be folly to support which of JoePa’s National Titles is the finest, and I have had many certain that the 1969 squad was the finest despite its finish at AP #2.

One thing I am certain of – we should all be in awe of a career of both quantity and quality, of toughness and grace, his principles and his adaptive ability and finally of Joe Paterno’s historical and cultural significance. While I break down each team in this article with lots of Hall of Fame players and football stats, I also layered on some significant news stories from each season to reinforce the impressive longevity of JoePa’s legacy on the football field.

Paterno took the helm in 1966, 44 years ago which is at the top end of this reader demographic. To reflect on just how long ago Paterno began his stellar career, I submit these other 1966 events:

*   Star Trek debuted on TV
*   NFL-AFL merger
*   Miranda v. Arizona
*   Texas Western beat Kentucky in college basketball final
*   Sound of Music won Best Picture at the Academy Awards

With that, the Top Ten Nittany Lion teams of the JoePa era. Continue Reading »

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BCS National Title 2012 Preview: a Rematch for the Ages, LSU to wash out the Tide

Film history is littered with bad sequels to fantastic movies – Godfather, Caddyshack and The Matrix come to mind as examples of producers who didn’t know when to stop.

You have no doubt seen this analogy heading in to the 2012 BCS Title Game between the LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide but it has two flaws – 1) the original game was not entertaining nor played at a high level, and 2) there is always the chance we will get a “Wrath of Khan” or a “Dark Knight” followup.

Defense. Honey Badger. Trent Richardson. The verbal stylings of Les Miles. Here is the SportsCentral Preview:

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

My take on the matchup after the jump.

Continue Reading »

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GoDaddy.com Bowl 2012 Preview: Two Great QBs, two 10-win teams, Huskies roll

GoDaddy.com Bowl,  Arkansas State (10-2) vs. Northern Illinois (10-3), Mobile, Alabama Ladd Peebles Stadium- Kickoff 2100 ET (9pm)
Arkansas State
  • Sun Belt offensive player of the year Ryan Aplin is a dual threat QB passing for 3,235 yards with 18 touchdowns and running for a team-high 605 with nine scores for the Red Wolves.  ASU has averaged over 38-points per game over the past six contests.
  • Aplin’s favorite target is senior Dwayne Frampton, who set a school record with 1,125 receiving yards on 90 catches.
  • Sun Belt defensive player of the year Brandon Joiner ranks among the national leaders with 12 sacks. The senior defensive end paces a unit that gives up 19.3 points per game.
  • The Red Wolves hope to continue their success without coach Hugh Freeze who left to take the head coaching job at Mississippi. While former Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn was named Arkansas State’s next coach last month current assistant coach David Gunn will guide the team in Mobile.

Northern Illinois

  • NIU features versatile QB Chandler Harnish, the MAC offensive player of the year who owns 20 school records. Harnish completed 63% of his passes for a career-high 2,942 yards while rushing for 1,382 and having his hand in 37 touchdowns – 11 rushing and 26 passing.
  • The Huskies rank 10th nationally with 481.8 yards per game and ninth with an average of 247.6 rushing yards.
  • Three Huskies receivers have caught at least 39 passes, led by senior Nathan Palmer, who set career highs with 46 receptions, 683 yards and seven TDs.
  • The Huskie defense has had its share of problems ranking in the bottom third of the nation allowing 31.1 points per game. However, they did not give up a second-half point in rallying from 20 down to beat Ohio 23-20 in the MAC championship game
  • NIU has a 4-7 bowl record while ASU is 0-1; these teams have met seven times with NIU holding a 6-1 edge winning most recently in 1996 31-30.

Nick’s Pick: NIU 42 – Arkansas State 35

Official Sponsor Game Preview

Comment: This will be a fun game to watch after the low-scoring NFL Playoffs.  Considering their recent ASU coach change give the edge to NIU and pushing the MAC to an unprecedented 4-1 bowl record this year.

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2012 Orange Bowl

Discover Orange Bowl:  Predicted Finish – Clemson 45 vs. West Virginia 35

Clemson tried to do it. They tried to have another epic meltdown late in the season just like they do every year. In fact, if they would have lost to Wake Forest, like I think they should have (they got lucky with some typically shoddy ACC officiating), they would not have made it to the ACC title game, and thus would not be in a BCS bowl. In fact, we probably would have seen the end of Dabo Swinney. But somehow, after back-to-back losses to close out the regular season, the Tigers managed to come out swinging against Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game and cruised to an easy victory right on into the Orange Bowl. Continue Reading »

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2012 Sugar Bowl

Allstate Sugar Bowl – predicted finish: Virginia Tech 19 vs. Michigan 24

What type of team is best suited to stop a running QB? I’d say a team that has arguably the best running QB in the entire NCAA; Michigan. Virginia Tech finally figured out that they could use their big 260 lb QB as a rusher by mid-season which got the Hokie’s stagnant offense clicking. But Michigan experienced a resurgence toward national relevance under new HC Brady Hoke, and they will know how to handle a QB with wheels.

Tech will look to use their rushing attack and solid defense to control the clock. Look for QB Logan Thomas and RB David Wilson to run close to 40 plays on the ground. The Hokies has a pair of stud WRs in Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin that struggled to live up to much this season, and a national stage could be just what they need for a breakout game.  Wolverine QB Denard Robinson was asked to stay in the pocket more and learn to pass first. The offense struggled because of it. But once the coaches opened up the playbook a little and allowed Robinson to just make some plays, the offense began to really take off. The emergence of sophomore RB Fitzgerald Toussaintand WR Junior Hemmingway kept opposing defenses honest enough for Robinson to rush for over 1,000 yards and 16 touchdowns.

This is going to be a little more defensive of a game as I would have hoped. Honestly, both teams have solid defenses and when you don’t play for a month, it tends to favor the defensive side of the ball more than the offense. This will be a relatively close game for most of the time so it should be a good one to watch.

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2012 Rose Bowl

Rose Bowl Preview:  Wisconsin vs Oregon

Grasp this.  Oregon and Wisconsin are two of 12 teams since 1996 to score at least 80 touchdowns in a season.  In a season!  Now Oregon has done it twice along with Oklahoma.  Take your seat folks, please fasten your safety belts as this one could be a fast paced game that gives you a thrill ride like you have not seen in years.  The Badgers average 44.6 points per game.  The Ducks average 46.2.  The Badgers give up an average of 17 points per game while the Ducks yield 23.6.  Both teams are loaded and both teams have great offenses.  Both these teams had visions of playing for the bigger prize this season but the Rose Bowl is still a great place for these teams.  It is a game that should delight football fans everywhere.   Continue Reading »

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