Better late than never, it’s Friday Q&A, where yours truly takes on the important questions like: How would Gronk fare in a case race?
Rob Gronkowski, the former Arizona Wildcats standout turned New England Patriots star, seems like the ideal party mate. Sadly, Gronk arrived at Arizona one year after I graduated, so I have no firsthand knowledge of his exploits at Gentle Ben’s, Dirtbags or any of the other campus haunts. Nevertheless, I’m certainly they’re legendary.
@kensing45 manziel/Evans V. You/gronk in a case race. Choice of beer, winner, and who opens up first with a heart-to-heart upon conclusion.
— Alex Kolodziej (@AlexK_47) May 14, 2015
This competition obviously has to be everyone at his respective peak. I respect Johnny Manziel’s efforts in rehab so we don’t want to jeopardize his progress. Scooby Doo era Manziel, on the other hand,
Mike Evans was the perfect right-hand man to Manziel at Texas A&M — so much so, I adamantly believe Manziel’s invite to the 2013 Heisman Trophy ceremony should have gone to Evans. Thus, the 2013 version of Mike Evans is our competitor.
These days, just smelling more than two beers gives me a hangover. However, a case race is the kind of undertaking I would have gladly tackled as an undergrad at the University of Arizona.
As for Gronk? He’s a modern day Doc Holliday, forever in his prime.
At this stage in my life, my appreciation for beer is much different than it was at 19. I live near the craft beer mecca of America, with breweries such as Stone, Green Flash, Belching Beaver and others a short freeway trek away.
The style of beer I enjoy now isn’t conducive to a competition, unless it’s a session IPA. Otherwise, this is a job for Keystone Light.
I am certainly biased, but I give the nod to the Pac-12 representatives over the SEC in this one. Gronk’s size is certainly a factor, and I’m no small fry myself at 6-foot-4. I like our chances with 30 ‘Stones, but there’s no question that I would be the first to get emotional.
@kensing45 What's your impression of how Gary Andersen is establishing a culture after so many years with Mike Riley running the show 4 OSU?
— The Student Section (@TheStudentSect) May 15, 2015
Let me preface with this: Oregon State made the best hire of the offseason, bar-none. Gary Andersen is tremendous, as he’s proven in his previous stops at Utah State and Wisconsin. That said, Oregon State is one of the most difficult jobs in the Power Five.
Prior to Mike Riley’s arrival in the late 1990s, the Beavers were the dregs of the Pac-8/Pac-10 from the post Terry Baker-era on. Riley performed a minor miracle when he made Oregon State competitive almost yearly, and Riley did so with class.
Riley found a nice groove in Corvallis, routinely reaching the postseason with peak seasons like 2006 (10 wins, upset of USC), 2008 (Top 25 finish, another USC upset) and 2012 (nine wins, Top 25 finish) sprinkled in. Unfair as it may be, however, more will be expected of Andersen.
The good news for him and Oregon State faithful is that Andersen has an established track record of flourishing despite residing in some long shadows within his state. Phil Knight’s support has helped Oregon become a national powerhouse, which makes for establishing a contender right down the road a challenge.
At Utah State, Andersen guided what was a far-and-away No. 3 in the state to prominence. The Aggies were arguably better than Utah or BYU by the time Andersen left for Wisconsin.
He’s going to have to take his lumps in Year 1, though. Andersen’s teams have always been built with an effective run game, and Oregon State has consistently ranked at or near the bottom of the Pac-12 in rushing for the last four years. Running back Storm Woods had a solid 2012, but injuries limited him the last few years.
I anticipate Andersen staking the long-term plan heavily to impressive true freshman Seth Collins. I wouldn’t be surprised if Collins take the reins with Andersen knowing Oregon State won’t compete in 2015, getting the dual-threat playmaker acclimated in anticipation of 2016 and beyond.
@kensing45 what are your 5 favorite Air Supply songs in order? Thanks.
— Miguel (@miggiesmalls) May 14, 2015
5. Even The Nights Are Better
4. All Out of Love
3. Lost in Love
2. Every Woman in the World
1. Making Love out of Nothing At All
@kensing45 Where will O-line rank in Pac 12? Nation? I've seen hype re best in country, which is a far stretch from last year's performance
— Rob Noblin (@JRNoblin) May 15, 2015
The above is in reference to the USC offensive line, which is one of the most experienced in the nation headed into 2015. The Trojans started three true freshmen at times last season: Toa Lobendahn, Damien Mama and Viane Talamaivao, who stepped in late in the season for an injured Chad Wheeler.
Wheeler should be back by Pac-12 play, joining veterans Max Tuerk and Zach Banner. That’s an impressive group and should be one of the best in the conference. But in the nation? I have my doubts.
The pass protection in the spring game was lackluster — which, yeah, it’s a spring game. There’s only so much you can glean from a spring game — but should still be something to watch. USC hosts Stanford in Week 3, so we should get a pretty clear picture of just how good this line is early.
The Trojans struggled to move the ball at Stanford in last season’s upset, and Cody Kessler faced a shrinking pocket in what was statistically one of his worst games of the season.