Soul Sunday: Long Road Ahead
There's a very long off-season ahead, so we might as well ease into it - and this is a great idea by Zach Travis.
Leela James has been a long-time writer and now singer, and this song from her debut album speaks to that. "Ante up, time to let the trumpets sound / crown me later, Imma take my crown now... / Been writing for 'bout ten years now / finally, the real truth is coming out." Those trumpets give this one a blood-warming quality, something very normal for her music.
And, these lyrics speak to Michigan, as well. "My ship started out with many aboard / But when the storm got rough, they jumped ashore .... You can't lie, can't fake it, it's in your blood: you either got it or you don't." There's a subtle confidence here, something that Michigan could use more of. There's also pride, which is always harder to keep during down times.
This next one is a bit mainstream, so you might know it already. It's a classic, and also purely Alicia. The lyrics are intimate but PG, and her music has a strolling feel - nowhere to go, but always passing by something interesting. Whether she's asking out a guy, as she does in the middle of "You Don't Know My Name," or talking to you about how her music is a diary (in her intro to The Diary of Alicia Keys), she's someone who's easy to connect with, and her music becomes that much more emotionally powerful when that happens.
Finally, we'll leave off with a more somber piece, one that's been around since 1964 and is a part of the Library of Congress for its cultural importance. Partially inspired by Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," this song was born after the legendary Sam Cooke and his band showed up to claim their reservation at a Louisiana hotel in 1963, but were turned away when they arrived in person and told to go somewhere else. When Cooke got angry, his wife warned him, "They'll kill you," to which he responded, "They ain't gonna kill me, because I'm Sam Cooke." He and his wife were arrested for the incident.
The song's been remade many times, but Seal's vocals are incredible here.
Finally, here is a poem by Edgar Allen Poe. It's a poem about loss (like W.H. Auden's Funeral Blues), and it's a tribute to Ohio State's Kosta Karageorge.
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love -
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me -
Yes! - that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we -
Of many far wiser than we -
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling - my darling - my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
~Edgar Allen Poe
Hitting the Links Is A Buckeye
Suicide is one of the top fifteen causes of death worldwide, and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that suicide attempts will go up drastically over the next decade. Unfortunately, it's a part of life, and it's something that needs to be understood for change to happen.
The Decision to Fire Bo Pelini
This article feels a bit brash, but it's a as good a defense as one will find for firing him. The #3 running back in 2015 - Kendall Bussey, who was committed to Nebraska - was only part of a slew of decommits in the aftermath.
Auburn's DC Ellis Johnson Fired | Five Potential Replacements
Will Muschamp and Bo Pelini are big names, but the biggest concern is Wisconsin's DC Dave Aranda. The Big Ten needs to start paying to keep its brilliant assistant coaches. Whether Aranda stays or goes will be a storyline of the off-season.
The Tide have a couple more games to add to their stats, but there's no doubt this has culminated in a down year for Alabama's running backs. While Heisman candidate Amari Cooper has collected 1,573 yards and 14 touchdowns, there are no 200-yard rushers behind T.J. Yeldon (885 yards, 5.2 ypc) and Derrick Henry (754 yards, 5.4 ypc). There hasn't been that lack of depth since 2006. Also, Bama has thrown for almost a thousand yards more than it's rushed.
How USC Fared Against Notre Dame
In the focus on the Game, it was easy to forget that Notre Dame was falling pitifully to USC, 49-14, which left them at 7-5 on the year. ND's defense has been banged up, but Everett Golson turned into a turnover-prone quarterback as the year progressed, and that was the biggest reason why the losses started piling up. Notre Dame lost five of its last six games after starting 6-0.
This has some interesting news about Mike Gundy, who could be on his way out at OSU, and Tyler Lockett passing his father as #1 in Kansas State's history in all-time receptions.
TTB Postgame | Ohio State-Michigan Awards
There are some good reasons to expect Dennis Norfleet to play well, but he has to harness his potential in a way that Devin Gardner, Funchess, Frank Clark, Ondre Pipkins, and Kyle Kalis never have.
With that said, I'm starting to think Norfleet is just a tiny bit too slow for his jitterbug role. He'll never be strong, and he's not particularly quick or elusive in short spaces. And if he can't catch especially well, that limits his route tree and makes it easy to key on his bubble screens when he does go to the outside.
Basically, I'm thinking he might be miscast as a slot/screen guy. He needs to expand his game, because he can be dangerous downfield, if he's able to learn how to make sharp cuts and catch. It would also put him against more similarly-sized corners, and upgrade the athleticism in our receiver unit.
Magnus echoes a few thoughts of mine regarding Devin Funchess and Blake Countess. Also, Joe Bolden is most definitely a candidate for linebacker honors; by the end of the year, he was Michigan's second-best linebacker.
If the top three spots in the CFP are indeed going to be Alabama, Oregon, and FSU, then only one of Baylor or TCU will be admitted to the last dance. The committee will need a very good explanation for their decision, barring an upset in the last weekend.
Three Reasons Why Georgia Tech, FSU Win the ACC Title
Speaking of Florida State, here's their "resume": they have beaten 5-6 Oklahoma State 37-31, they've beaten 5-7 Citadel 37-12, they've beaten 9-3 Clemson 23-17 (OT), they've beaten 7-5 NC State 56-41, they've beaten 3-9 Wake Forest 43-3, they've beaten 3-9 Syracuse 38-20, they've beaten 7-5 Notre Dame 31-27, they've beaten 9-3 Louisville 42-31, they've beaten 5-7 Virginia 34-20, they've beaten 6-6 Miami 30-26, they've beaten 7-5 Boston College 20-17, and they've beaten 6-5 Florida 24-19.
To be honest, none of those wins are amazing, but the consistency is impressive, and it's a very solid if unspectacular resume. Given the turmoil around other top candidates this year, it makes perfect sense for FSU to be in. They face 10-2 Georgia Tech this weekend.
With Baylor's 2-pt win, Bears are now 12-4 in games decided by 7 pts or less in last 5 seasons. Only Auburn (18-5) is better in that span.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 30, 2014
Breaking Down the Ducks' Success
This was published right before Oregon's 47-19 win against Oregon State. Mariota went 19/25 for 367 yards and 4 touchdowns, Royce Freeman ran for 135 yards, and their receivers averaged 19.3 yards a reception. Some of their loss to Arizona can be attributed to injuries to key players along the line.
Kentucky is the first team since Kansas in 2009 to not reach bowl eligibility after starting the season 5-1.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 30, 2014