Tuesday, May 12, 2009

OTP Mailbag: May 12th Edition

Ask any dedicated blogger and they will tell you that the key to any successful site, regardless of the quality of the information, analysis, or writing, is the interaction of a fanbase, a readership, and those who waste their days here trolling for news, nuggets, and sheer awesomeness. It is for that interaction that we are proud to introduce our newest feature here at OTP... the Mailbag! The chance for you, our readers, to ask the guys who run this place their take on various things. Football, life, etc. The mailbag has bounced around a bit, but hopefully has found its home here on Tuesday mornings. Take it away, Mr. McFeely!

OTP Mailbag 5/12/09
Special delivery, bitches

What's the possibility that Kelly Page isn't the starter next year? Any chance for some of the new guys to have a shot?
Alan: I think the odds of Page not being the starter vary between slim and none, and slim is packing up and getting ready to head out of town. Anything is possible, though, and sometimes a competitive talented group of skill players to create some battles in practice for space on the depth chart makes everyone better. Having said that, Page gets the nod unless something drastic happens. It's the year that will build for the future and set us up well similar to when Davis was a freshman.
Edge: Tough to say. Any team can have a Virginia Tech-like situation happen to them, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that Page could be replaced if he starts defecating all over the field. I don't expect it, but this game is about as unpredictable as any.

RV: There's always a chance and it should be a possibility. While Page might have the skill set to win more games than anyone else, if his youth is going to impede the team's overall ability to win I have to side with the experience of Tanner Justice. A .500 or below season would be devastating to the momentum building from last year, so let's avoid that if at all possible.

Talk a little about Kentucky's season. What do you expect from the Cats?
Alan: As the resident (read: only) UK fan on OTP, I'm very excited for the Cats season this year. They have a talented group of youngsters coming in, a defense that should be filled with playmakers and athletes, and I believe have the potential to do something really special. The interesting thing about this Kentucky team is that they got significantly better in the offseason through the solidifying of the QB position with either Hartline or one of the freshmen, and remember, this was a team that went to a Bowl last year. Their 3rd straight. I'm fully aware that they play in the SEC. I'm also fully aware they play in the brutal SEC East. I'm also aware that Florida and Alabama all appear on the Cats schedule. Still, even with all that factored in, I think this will be a fantastic year to be a Kentucky fan.

Edge: I've actually been building a computer program that predicts, given 1,513 different scenarios on and off the field, when Rich Brooks will utter the word "bullshit". I'm very excited to test this out, so obviously I am pumped for the Kentucky season.

RV: I think Brooks is going to find out who his QB is early on and find a way to upset teams. Don't expect anything spectacular, but Kentucky has enough talent to beat anyone on any given day. *Insert wildly generic prediction here*. *Follow up with boring assumption that can be made about any team*. *Say something about Rich Brooks using "bullshit"*. Done.

Which of the recent draftees from Ball State do you expect to have the most successful NFL career?
Alan: I think the answer to this question hinges on what exactly "successful" means. Is it longevity? Is it impact? Is it name recognition? Robert Brewster will probably have the most immediate impact, as gargantuan offensive linemen are simply hard to find. Especially gargantuan offensive linemen with Brewster's ability and skills. Having said that, Nate Davis seems to be the likely choice. Everyone knows the QB, and even if Nate never really makes it as a starter, teams are always looking for serviceable backups. Ask Jim Sorgi, it's not a bad way to make a living.

Edge: Who knows. Let's get back to college questions... I'll leave these guys to the NFL bloggers now.

RV: I feel like Darius Hill has the best skill set to have an immediate impact, although his drop off in production is troubling. So much of the NFL is taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves, whoever steps up when asked will be the most successful.

Philosophical Question... Should BSU stay in the MAC?
Alan: Wow. Can of worms, open now. I think the MAC serves a purpose for BSU. It doesn't serve it ideally. The argument could be made that it doesn't serve it even adequately, but having a conference tie in is important for lots of reasons, most notably the Bowls and the auto bid to the NCAA tournament. Like all, I wish we were in a "power conference". I wish we didn't have to play our games on Tuesday nights to get exposure. I wish the conference really made a push to promote its championship teams and players. I wish there was a recommitment to the wasteland of MAC basketball. Having said all of that, we aren't going anywhere. Geographically it makes sense, and that's just the way it is. We aren't going independent, we aren't wanted by the Big 10, and the OVC or Sun Belt isn't a better option.

Edge: Should stay? No, they should try to move on. But will that happen? Not for a loooong time, if ever. We're not rooting on a team that attracts 75k+ to the stands or 250k+ on television on Saturday. It is what it is, and that's not a bad thing really, if that's what you expect. I liken it to being perfect on medium level on every song in Rock Band. If that's what you strive for, you're happy. But it doesn't mean shit to those who play at a higher level. So, until BSU can master "medium" (and not just dominating the opposition - I'm talking state-of-the-art facilities too), there's no point in talking about moving on.

RV: Absolutely not. What purpose would it do to move into a new conference? Unless they are building a conference based on flash-in-the-pan seasons without any lengthy history of success with awesome bloggers...The MAC serves perfectly for what Ball State can accomplish. A better question is if the powers in the WAC and Mountain West should be moving to a new conference. Remember when Fresno State was good? NOTHING changed at that program to determine their drop off other than they caught fire with the perfect situation. I believe that TCU might have an argument to change conferences, they'd certainly do better in the Big XII than Iowa State does. But Ball State? No, stay in the MAC until the AD is really ready to address all the major issues.

What other Sports Blogs do you guys read? Any recommendations?
Alan: There are a few that I never miss. EverydayShouldBeSaturday brings it. Orson and company consistently write the absolute best coverage on college football with a side of humor and a roundhouse punch of intelligence. It is simply must read. For Kentucky news and note, ASeaOfBlue is without question one of the best sites on the internet. Well written, fantastic fan interaction, and really what a sports blog should be. KentuckySportsRadio is similar, if not a little more off the cuff but they make up for it with tone and sheer volume of UK news. It's impressive. Of final note is RockyTopTalk. Joel at RTT has been one of our best friends in the blogosphere. He was the first to link to us, the first to welcome us, and still is quick with a friendly email or note. Great blog despite its Tennessee slant, and an even better guy. If you look over to the right of the main page here at OTP, there's a link to some of our blog friends, so check those out. Some of the other sites I never miss: BlackHeartGoldPants, RedCupRebellion, and the JoeCribbsCarWash.
RV: Umm, if you're here I'd imagine you read all the blogs that we read. I'll add BlueGraySky to the list, especially for great gameday analysis (also Brian over at mgoblog does amazing work). Mike Frank and staff at Irish Sports Daily is the only place for ND recruiting news, but if you're at a Ball State/Kentucky blog I doubt you'll be heading over there for anything. There are so many talented writers that use their passion for the game to create some quality reading, it's getting difficult to stay up on everyone's work.
Alan: I forgot Brian. MGoBlog is simply the benchmark for sports blogs. It's great writing, great opinion, a great community. Quite simply, if the sports blogosphere were an episode of Full House, Brian would be Uncle Jesse.

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