Well thank goodness we are playng football again! The worst offseason ever is over and the Buckeyes are back to their old ways, throttling the lesser teams of the Midwest. Despite having a new coach, new QBs, and 7-8 players sitting on the sidelines due to various infractions, the team looked very good against an admittedly overmatched Akron squad. Bauserman was way more mobile than we thought, Braxton Miller played well, new receivers arose and made some stellar grabs, the running game was fine, and the defense looked like another very good Buckeye defense. And Fickell seems to have the program under control, no rampant chaos due to the coaching change. Wisconsin, Penn State, Nebraska, Iowa also looked strong against overmatched foes, should be a great race for the title this year.
Of course when you think football, you immediately think about getting all your digital media football assets in order for the season! Because it is not enough to just watch the games, you need to monitor 3 more simultaneously on your tablet and phone, you need to be reading the tweet stream, you need to participate in pools or other contests, etc. Here’s my lineup:
* Newspapers. The “Dispatch”:www.dispatch.com has always been the paper of record for OSU football but…the “Plain Dealer”:www.Cleveland.com has really upped it’s game. With some staff transitions happening at the Dispatch, I’m finding the PD to be the best read of the old guard so far this season.
* Blogs and new media. There are a lot of OSU blogs and to be honest they are somewhat repetitive — AlongTheOlentangy.com, ElevenWarriors.com, MenOfTheScarletAndGray.com, OurHonorDefend.com, TheBuckeyeBattleCry.com, DuaneLongReport.com, and more. I have all these in my Google Reader setup and they are all useful but I rarely read them all. Then there are the other college football blogs which cover the entire sport — “Dr. Saturday”: http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/blog/doc_saturday/rss.xml and “Every Day Should Be Saturday”:http://www.everydayshouldbesaturday.com/ are reliably the best but there are millions. And millions that cover other teams. The Michigan blogs used to be entertaining but with the collapse of Michigan football, they have lost their edge.
* BCS polls. My “Blogroll” (that name should be retired) has links to all the BCS computer polls so that I can watch those by the second. And “BCS Guru”:http://www.bcsguru.com/bcs_standings.htm for computed projections of BCS standings.
* “Yahoo Pickem”:http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/college for engaging with communities in a competitive way
* Twitter follows. The top sports writers, on air sports reporters, and bloggers are worth following — @edsbs, @smartfootball, @BCSfootball, @PlaybookMark, @HuskySportsNow, @Andy_Staples, @IntelligentCFB, @MrCFB, @Nastinchka, @CornNation, @Adam_Jacobi, @ChipBrownOB, @PreSnapRead, @CharlesRobinson, @JayBilas, @PeteThamelNYT, @DanWetzel, @rollerCD, @espn4d, @LoriSchmidt, @GerdOzone, @brdispatch, @greggdoyelcbs, @ramzyn, @dennisdoddcbs, @slmandel, @marcushartman, @PDBuckeyes, @Ivan_Maisel, … Oh gosh i probably forgot a ton.
* I’ve cleared 4 slots on my iPhone home screen for sports apps. ESPN Scorecenter for scores, tho they can get awfully behind on peak Saturdays. Yahoo Sportacular as a backup, and I like Yahoo’s in game visualization a little better. SB Nation for access to commentary and community during the week, tho I am not overwhelmed with the app yet. CFStats for detailed stats — this app is comprehensive but quite slow. I will look to change this lineup during the season as I try out more apps.
* On the iPad, the HD versions of Scorecenter and Sportacular.
* Video. Of course I have Comcast at home so I can get games in HD realtime. Also trying to get WatchESPN on the iPad to work tho having some difficulties proving to it that I have a subscription with one of the supported providers. And also BTN2Go which also doesn’t seem to like Comcast at this point. XfinityTV on the iPad unfortunately doesn’t seem to let you watch live sports.
* Google SMS. When I am in Ohio Stadium or another crowded venue, and data services have been crushed by the load, and voice is nearly crushed, I can sometimes squeak out SMS queries for scores, so I have this in my contact list. The score update app of last resort.
OK with all this in place, I am ready for the season!