Category Archives: Sports

The Magic of College and College Football

The Magic of College and College Football: lots of great sports action, and good times with awesome buds

Photo by CC user Rdikeman on wikipedia.org

One of the biggest draws the major colleges have over the smaller universities is college football game day. At places like Michigan you have more than 100,000 fans packing the stadium on Saturday. Fans and alumni travel from miles away. The sound of the marching band reverberates throughout the campus. There are tailgate parties, before and after the game, and the entire state becomes football obsessed. Indeed, the magic of college and college football in America is spellbinding to the uninitiated.

Also, as a student at one of the major colleges, there is Heisman Trophy hype as football writers and commentators spend countless hours discussing the favorites to win the most storied individual trophy awarded in American sports. You want the full college experience? Choose one of the top programs in the country, and you can’t go wrong. In particular, if you are a student at Alabama, Ohio State, or Clemson, you are in for especially exciting fall. The top betting sites throughout the country think that they’re the best bet to finish the season as NCAA Champions.

The race for the Heisman Trophy, however, might be a little harder to pinpoint. Discussion are in the works to eliminate the kickoff, citing the injuries that are caused by the high-speed collisions that most often occur on special teams plays. But think about former winners like Tim Brown, Desmond Howard, and Charles Woodson, who were all aided in the quest for the trophy by their kick return prowess. It would render their type of on the field stardom obsolete.

The verdict on the kickoff and what might replace it are still to be determined.

Also in the works is Big 12 conference expansion. Forgetting for a moment that the conference currently only has ten members, instead of the twelve it’s named for, its place at the table of the power conferences is solid. So expect the competition to be fierce among the universities on the short-list for addition. And the waves created by a possible expansion would be roll across the country, potentially altering the landscape in the Pac-12 and ACC. For students, fans, and gamblers alike, the more teams that take up residence in the power conferences, the better.

Early candidates being talked about for addition to the Big 12 are the Houston Cougars and the Tulane Green Wave, which would be welcome news for fans in Houston, the nation’s fourth largest television market, and New Orleans. But as with everything done in the Big 12, none of it will happen without the approval of the Texas Longhorns.

Ezekiel Elliott Early Favorite in 2015 Heisman Trophy Betting

Ezekiel Elliot, who plays with the Ohio State Buckeyes, is the early fav in Heisman Trophy Betting ... photo by CC user 16887514@N00 on Flickr

As the dust settles following this year’s NFL Draft, the focus has now turned to the upcoming college football season, and the leading candidates to earn 2015 Heisman Trophy honors.

Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott leads the way as the favorite to win this year’s Heisman, with strong 6/1 odds in college football player props betting at the online sportsbooks.

The 19 year-old native of St. Louis, Missouri had a breakout campaign in 2014, rushing for an impressive 1878 yards and 18 TD’s. But it was his big-game performances that have set Elliott apart.

The six-foot, 225 pound junior racked up 220 rushing yards and a pair of TD’s in the Buckeyes’ 59-0 thrashing of the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten conference championship game.

Elliott followed that up with 230 rushing yards and two TD’s in OSU’s 42-35 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl, but saved the best for last, running for four scores and 246 yards in the Buckeyes’ 42-20 win over the Oregon Ducks in this year’s National Championship game.

Elliott is looking to end a five-year stretch during which the Heisman Trophy has been won by quarterbacks.

Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, who was drafted second overall by the Tennessee Titans in this year’s NFL Draft, took home Heisman honors in 2014, while this year’s top pick, Jameis Winston got the nod in 2013 while leading the Florida State Seminoles to a perfect season and national championship.

A pair of quarterbacks closely trail Elliott in Heisman Trophy props betting at the online sportsbooks.

Mississippi State Bulldogs pivot Dak Prescott is pegged at 7/1, followed by TCU Horned Frogs QB Trevone Boykin at 15/2.

It has been a tough off-season for Prescott, who was the victim of a severe beating by a number of assailants at a spring break concert in Florida back in March. But the 230-pound senior looked in fine form in Mississippi State’s spring game, racking up 231 passing yards and three touchdowns before being given a rest by coach Dan Mullen.

Boykin is coming off an impressive junior year at TCU, where he tossed for 3901 yards and 33 TD’s while leading the Horned Frogs to a 12-1 record and a share of the Big 12 championship.

Boykin underwent wrist surgery during the off-season to repair an injury that was no healing on its own, but is expected to fully recover and be cleared for workouts by the end of May.

A pair of running backs chase the favorites in Heisman Trophy online betting. LSU Tigers’ Leonard Fournette and Georgia Bulldogs’ are listed at 8/1, followed by Buckeyes’ pivot Cardale Jones at 9/1.

Jones enters the new season after becoming the first player in college football history to win a ring in each of his first three starts , as reported by Bettingsports.com, while leading the Buckeyes to the Big Ten title and their two College Football Playoff victories in the Sugar Bowl and National Championship Game.

USC Trojans QB Cody Kessler is next at 12/1, followed by Alabama RB Derrick Henry and Clemson Tigers pivot Deshaun Watson who round out the front of the Heisman Trophy betting pack, each with 14/1 odds.

5 of the cheapest ski resorts in America

Mount Shasta is among the cheapest ski resorts in America ... photo by CC user 41205764@N08 on Flickr

While skiing and snowboarding is a thrilling sport that many students enjoy on their winter break from college, it doesn’t come cheap. Gear (whether rented or bought new), lodging, food and lift tickets all exact a heavy toll on one’s wallet, making getting away seem a fleeting dream to many.

Don’t lose heart, as there are still resorts across America where one can get a lift ticket for a reasonable price. The resorts below are among the cheapest ski resorts in America, so scourge through your couch for change and return those beer bottles, and you might have that snowsports trip that you’ve been longing for recently…

But, before getting all exited and booking your ticket after reading the post, make sure you apply for your ESTA visa before heading there or you’ll be just dreaming about hitting the slopes on the plane back home.

1) Bridger Bowl (Montana)

A 2,600 foot vertical drop, 350 inches of snow annually, and there’s rarely ever a wait at the lifts … sounds like a place that you would shred in your dreams, or at least when you are out in the real world with a job? Nope. As it turns out, you can ski or board Bridger Bowl for the paltry sum of $49.

Even better, your apres ski will have you living it up in Bozeman, one of America’s highest ranked college towns for parties, atmosphere and overall quality of life. Ummm … one plane ticket to Bozeman please!

2) Powderhorn (Colorado)

Colorado may be filled with snow resorts, but most seem to be obsessed with becoming the next Vail or Aspen, making them unsuitable for our purposes.

For those of us that take skiing or boarding seriously (so much so that our gear bills leave us close to broke), places like Powderhorn are a breath of fresh Rocky Mountain air, as this area offers some of the best technical skiing in the state, as well as views of the rusty red rocks that herald the start of the deserts of the American southwest.

At only $61 for a lift ticket, you won’t believe your luck as you blast through powder stashes in challenging glades that get tracked out in hours at other resorts.

3) Mount Shasta Board and Ski Park (California)

Located in the shadow of Mount Shasta, California’s 14,000 foot sleeping volcano, you’ll find a ski and boarding park that offers something that’s really hard to find in this state these days – an honest-to-goodness deal.

For $49 for a weekday adult lift ticket, you can shred 275 inches of powder (and with El Nino set to roll through this winter, it may be a lot more than that!) over 425 acres of controlled terrain, during the day or at night.

With 75% of all trails being rated beginner or intermediate, Shasta is also a friendly place to bring your neophyte friends to get them hooked on the powder bug, and with an excellent snowsports school here, they’ll be planning a return trip with you before you know it!

4) Burke Mountain (Vermont)

In the northeast, Vermont has some of the best skiing, as the Appalachians has blessed them with some truly epic pistes. With the price inflation induced by affluent New Yorkers and Bostonians though, you may find that your wallet will be a lot lighter after visiting your average hill here.

Burke Mountain is the rare convergence of a quality hill at an unbeatable price, as $64 will buy you access to a peak full of runs that will test your mettle. 86% of the runs at Burke rank as intermediate or harder, keeping out the yuppies that cause collisions with their inattention, leaving only those that revel in a true mountain experience.

5) Dartmouth Skiway (New Hampshire)

In case you are wondering if there a college that actually has a snow resort in its backyard … yes. Yes, there is.

Dartmouth College in New Hampshire owns a hill 20 miles north of its campus in Hanover, using it to train its collegiate snowsports athletes, but also allowing the general public to carve up its nearly 1,000 feet of vertical for no more than $47 per lift ticket.

Looking for a reason to take a road trip up to see your Greek brothers or sisters in the ol’ NH? Now you have your excuse!

BONUS: Grouse Mountain (British Columbia, Canada)

While this is a list of American ski/boarding areas, we realize some of you have your passport and want to visit our Canuck cousins this winter. While you might be frightened by the cost of living up there, there are even snow areas here that are totally affordable.

Mix in a visit to friends at UBC with an outing to Grouse Mountain on the North Shore of Vancouver. With 1,300 feet of vertical, massive Pacific dumps of snow, and a killer view of one of North America’s most modern cities below, it is a killer deal, especially when you can get a lift ticket for no more than $58 CDN (~$64 USD).

Go at night, when the floodlights permit you to shred while admiring the glow of Van City below!

3 Ideas on how to spend winter break

 You may be wondering: how to spend winter break? Snowboarding is a great way ... just try not to wipe out too much like this derp... :P

With final exams coming up in the next few weeks, you’ve been furiously studying to ensure that you make the most of the crucial marks that remain up for grabs in all of your courses. Somewhere in all that studying and exam writing, you need to pick up a few gifts for Christmas as well.

With all that going on, you only now realized that you also have a week or two before you get back to class as well! What will you do with all this free time? Below, we have a few suggestions that instruct you on how to spend winter break in style…!

1) Party like a rock star on a tropical beach

That’s right – do the spring break thing a full three months early. While you might not have the crowds and the hedonistic atmosphere that goes along with that time of year, it’s still warm and sunny, and when you’re in a place where the palm trees sway, any night could be occasion for a blowout party.

Cancun is a place where one can rock out with abandon with Senor Frog at any point during your winter break, while the once-monthly Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan, Thailand will give you the excuse you’ve been looking for to finally check out the Far East before winter semester begins!

2) Tear up the slopes at a mountain resort near you

Instead of running away from the snow and cold, you may wish to embrace it. If this sounds like you, then there is no better way to do this than to set your course for the nearest mountain range with plans of ripping the slopes there a new one.

Whether you choose run the glades of the Northeast at a resort like Sunday River, or challenge gnarly alpine terrain in Rocky Mountain ski areas such as Jackson Hole, you’ll get the adrenaline rush of a lifetime, along with all the apres ski nightlife you can handle in these popular snow resort towns.

3) Be a tourist in your own hometown – staycation!

Of course, you could just go home and spend your winter break with friends and family – that’s totally cool. However, if you find things becoming a little stale towards the end, don’t despair … just treat your hometown like a tourist destination and watch new possibilities open up.

Being away from the place of your upbringing at college allows you to see it as a place to be visited, rather than as your home. So check out the museums you’ve always ignored, eat at the joints you passed up because you had your favorites, and drink the bars you’ve never seen before (because you know, you weren’t legal back in high school … duh!)

By the time the day rolls around to go back to your new home at college for your second term of the year, you’ll see your former one in an entirely different light.

The Best Time Of Your Life: Top 10 Colleges With the Happiest Students

Of all the colleges with the happiest students in America, Clemson ranks in our top 10...!

Of all the colleges with the happiest students in America, Clemson ranks in our top 10…!

While the point of college to learn about a selected field in deep detail and graduate with a degree that stands as your proof of competency in it, if you spend your whole time there bored out of your gourd, what’s the point?

Happiness needs to be factored into the equation as well, and to aid you in factoring that aspect into your decision-making equation, we have put together a list of ten colleges that stands heads and shoulders above the rest in this important category. Let’s review each of them, starting with…

1) Texas A & M University

If college athletics is important to you and you are looking for a university in the Lone Star State, you’re in luck, as Texas A&M is a big sports school, with its students whipped into a mad football frenzy every home game weekend. Those looking for a plethora of living options will be pleased that there are many apartment choices near the university, and those looking to celebrate Spring Break in style won’t have to budge an inch, as South Padre Island is practically in A&M’s backyard!

2) Vanderbilt University

Want your degree to actually mean something? Vanderbilt has some of the highest quality professors around, meaning that you’ll actually have the knowledge to back up the letters by your name after college. On the social side of things, there are tons of restaurants to choose from, which is quite fortunate, because you’ll be frequenting them after the countless parties you’ll be attending, as the party scene here is outrageously huge.

3) Virginia Tech

Despite the horrible tragedy several years back, Virginia Tech is a safe place that boasts one of the most down to earth student bodies in the nation. Those that are looking to ride a team all the way through to college bowl season will be in luck here, as football is a way of life for many students, faculty and alumni at VT.

4) Claremont McKenna College

Taking in the stunningly beautiful campus at Claremount McKenna College will be the first of many positive experiences you’ll have at this school, as the well-entrenched party culture will be the scene of made friendships forged over beers and shared interests. Those who claim Judaism as their religion will love the fact that there is a strong Jewish presence on campus, and those that live, eat and breathe academics will love the fact that their professors clearly know the subjects that they specialize in.

5) Stanford University

Despite being a school of Ivy League caliber, Stanford continually surprises newcomers with the friendliness of its faculty and student body. An open environment ensures that people of all creeds, races, orientations, etc are made to feel welcome and accepted, and the campuses’ Californian location grants it photogenic looks that will the background of every experience you have over the next four years.

6) Clemson University

Well known for its great social scene and incredibly friendly people, socially extroverted types will thrive at Clemson. Those that consider themselves outdoors will love the fact that the natural splendor of South Carolina will be at their finger tips, as the Appalachian Mountains are 45 minutes away, and the sandy beaches of the Atlantic are a mere 4-5 hours from campus.

7) University of Wisconsin

Those that yearn to get involved on campus will find plenty of opportunities to get involved socially at the University of Wisconsin, and for those that would rather paint their face and cheer on their school’s team until they lose their voice, being involved in D1 athletics creates a lot of spirit on campus. What if you’re introverted though? A variety of dorms enables people of all types to find a living arrangement that suits them best, eliminating friction being portions of the population that are less compatible with each other.

8) Florida State University

In the relative warmth of the Northern Florida autumn, football season is a blast from start to finish, as enthusiastic students crowd the stands to cheer on the Seminoles to victory. A vibrant Greek life only serves to fuel that fervor on game days, as well as the party scene on weekends. Those that were hoping to actually get some learning done in all this aren’t left out in the cold though, as the professors here are reported as being very competent and knowledgeable in their area of expertise.

9) Tulane University

First point in Tulane’s favor: it’s in freakin’ New Orleans, so when the books shut on Friday afternoon, the nightlife that ensues will make you the envy of your old high school friends. Those looking to meet people different from themselves will love the fact that Tulane attracts a diverse student body from across the country and around the world, all seeking the Nawlins lifestyle.

10) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Jocks and partiers rejoice: the parties and social events that revolve around sports never seem to stop here, so enjoy the four years you spend here if you go, as they will invariably be the best ones of your life. Despite its location in the midst of the Deep South, UNC at Chapel Hill is actually one of the most open-minded and accepting places in the country, standing in stark contrast to the uber conservative countryside that lies outside this bubble of liberalism.

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