Food for Thought 8-29-2011

Photo courtesy of Spencer Ware (pictured above) could be the difference maker in the marquee matchup of Week 1 in College Football.

By Josh Kramer

Thankfully Hurricane Irene has decided to leave the East Coast alone.  Sports are once again at the forefront.  MLB, NFL, NCAA Football, Grand Slam tennis and more.  Here is what has caught my eye.

Beware of Spencer Ware

College Football is just a few days away.  And sure there are a ton of games slated for Week 1 of the College Football season.  But most eyes are focused on Dallas.  Jerry Jones’ Playground will play host to the biggest game of the Week, as two top 5 teams slug it out in the opener.  And as has become the case in College Football these days, scandal and off the field controversy are eating up the majority of the media attention regarding this outstanding matchup.  If you have not been living under a rock the past few days, you at least have heard that LSU will be debuting minus their starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson.  In addition, their top returning receiver has been ruled ineligible as well.  Many are rescinding their picks of LSU to possibly win the SEC and the National Championship already.  Well I say slow your horses folks.  I got four words for you.

“Beware of Spencer Ware.”

If you have not heard of the sophomore running back out of Cincinnati, you will know who he is soon enough. Oregon is a very good team.  They were the National Runner Up last year for a reason.  But LSU was pretty darn good in their own right and it is not like Jefferson was their whole team.  Jefferson’s absence will open up the door for other players to step up.  The SEC has been so good over the past five years largely due to star power of course.  But also largely due to the outstanding depth of their teams.  LSU is very deep and full of speed and size at every position.

Oregon has some definite playmakers at the skill positions.  But they are not as fast as LSU nor as big.  Most football games are won and lost in the trenches.  LSU holds a large edge at least on paper in regards to the trenches.  Plus LSU has Cincinnati native Spencer Ware.  Ware is already known as a legend among the Cincinnati prep football ranks.  But he just had his coming out party in the Cotton Bowl last January.  And wouldn’t you know this opener will be played at the same Cowboys Stadium.  Ware is an amazing talent just waiting to make a name on the national stage.

At a mere 5 foot 10, this guy can fly, with 4.4 speed, plus he has outstanding strength at 230 pounds.  Good luck bringing down this freight train.  In addition, as is the sign with all great running backs, Ware always falls forward.  In large part due to Ware, solid offensive/defensive lines, and an outstanding Tiger’s defense, I expect LSU to “fall forward” and steal the show in Week 1.

LSU’s National Title hopes live on.

The year is not over yet

Many Cincinnati baseball fans have already moved on and are looking ahead to football.  This became very apparent when scanning a half empty Great American Ballpark on a beautiful Sunday afternoon after the eight inning.  And sure the Reds are all but eliminated from playoff contention.  But finishing above 500 is always a goal for every team in the MLB.  Sure some teams would prefer to accomplish loftier goals of making the playoffs or winning the World Series.  But still, winning more games than you lose is always a goal.  Especially for teams like the Reds, with around an 80 million dollar payroll.

Cincinnati has not had back to back winning seasons in baseball since the feat was accomplished in 1999 and 2000.  And sure neither of those teams made the playoffs, but there was still a positive and optimistic feeling about the future.  Now I realize that the future unfortunately became a very rough decade in Red’s baseball, but nonetheless, a winning season is a winning season.  As I have said before, Cincinnati is arguably the most disappointing team in all of baseball this year.

This team has a great lineup.  Solid young pitching.  And a real star in Joey Votto. But great teams on paper do not always live up to lofty expectations.  Still, this season would not be considered a complete failure if the boys can somehow figure out a way to win 82 games by the end of September.  82 wins is much better than 81 wins in MLB standards, even though neither total will get you into the playoffs.

We only have a couple of more years in the Joey Votto era.  Lets milk the luxury of having arguably the best first baseman in all of baseball towards multiple winning seasons.  And hopefully another playoff appearance next year.

Just some “Food for Thought.”

Let me hear your thoughts though.  Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

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