In the Back to the Future movie series, the shady Biff Tannen stole something called the Grays Sports Almanac and used it to catapult himself into a life of wealth and happiness. See, the book traveled back in time from the year 2015 along with Marty McFly and contained a complete listing of sports statistics, scores and information from 1950-2000. Essentially, Biff was able to snake his way into a cool fortune by betting on games for which he already knew the outcomes. It was like playing Oklahoma in a BCS game. It was an automatic win.
So, as we enter the new college football season on the heels of the wackiest year in modern memory, you can't help but wish you had that freaking book. Because if you did, not only would you be rich, you'd also be able to predict Bobby Petrino's next job in, say, 2009, the end of the Joe Paterno era in the 2100 and West Virginia's forgiveness of Rich Rodriguez when hell eventually freezes over.
Alas, no such book exists in the real world. But that doesn't mean we can't dream. If a future fact book were to show up on your doorstep in time for the 2008-'09 season, what exactly would it say? Here are seven guesses:
USC announces partnership with Gold Bond Medicated Powder
If this is a legitimate outbreak and not some ploy by Yahoo! to cajole more information about Reggie Bush from school officials, it's the kind of thing that will be worth its weight in gold -- no pun intended -- when it comes to joke-making potential.
"Spread HD" bamboozles opponents by looking exactly like the regular spread offense.
Penn State's Jay Paterno didn't spend the summer sunning himself on a white, sandy beach. No, siree. Instead, he was holed up in a dingy laboratory, slaving away with a chalkboard and slide rule, calculating exactly what to inject into the "Spread HD," a new offensive scheme he claims to have invented this offseason. "The whole idea of it," said Paterno, "is to give us the best chance to win."
Well, thanks, Jay. In related news, it's hot in the sun and the sky is blue.
Supposedly, Paterno's innovative strategy -- a variant of the existing spread offense -- calls for the Nittany Lions to throw and run for at least 200 yards each game in 2008. "Innovative," that is, until you realize that Penn State averaged 211 passing and 187 rushing yards in 2007. In which case, the "HD" suffix is just a fancy nickname for a killer 13-yard ground play to complement the Lions' already extensive arsenal of halfback draws and weak-side sweeps. Interesting.
"Bubb Rubb" produces and stars in own reality show.
In a move that could best be classified as "ahead of its time," the pioneers behind EA Sports' national marketing campaign took a different approach this year when it was time to launch NCAA Football 09. The tactic: Stick a Jenn Sterger-type Web phenom in your ads and see what happens. Not for any apparent reason, mind you. Just for decoration.
And that's exactly what EA Sports did with Bubb Rubb, whose last cameo earned him a lifetime of YouTube infamy after riffing on the functional value of "whistle tips" on television in Oakland, Calif. This time, that same clip was resurrected and edited into a national television commercial, unleashing a siren call to thousands of Generation X video gamers to buy the latest installment of the game. If EA Sports' profits soar, don't be surprised to see a reality show follow. Hollywood producers must already be trying to find out all they can about Bubb Rubb. You know, like his actual first name.
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