When college students think of
While I was talking to one of my writers over the summer about an article for the Daily Trojan's orientation issue, I saw I had another call on my phone. I didn't recognize the number and I was having an important discussion, so I let it go to voicemail. When I listened, I heard something about playboy.com wanting to work with me.
Suddenly, I wished I had picked up.
I called back and found out
So far, no incidents have ensued. That's more than I can say for my time at the
But I wasn't done paying for my mistake.
The next week at practice, I wanted to interview defensive end Lawrence Jackson. When I introduced myself, he gave me an incredulous look and asked "Aren't you that guy who picked against us last week?"
Lawrence Jackson is 6-foot-5, 265 pounds. I am 5-foot-10, 140 pounds.
I tried to explain myself, but I don't think Lawrence was having any of it.
However, coming from a school that hangs a crucifix in every single classroom on campus, I wasn't sure how well it would go over with the powers that be here at Notre Dame.
My father was a little upset that he had spent eight years sending me to catholic schools so that I could end up in
When the ballots were finally cast, I found mine wasn't too far from what the
Alabama was a team I had slotted just outside of the top 10.
When I asked my editor if I could participate in the poll, he said it was cool, as long as I felt comfortable doing it. Prior to that comment I'd never questioned my comfort level, and I found it funny that he brought it up. A) College football is awesome, so why would I not participate in the poll? and B) I think it's great that
In terms of my rankings and preseason picks, each year I remain unconvinced that analyzing the field prior to week one will produce a good forecast of the ensuing season. But that doesn't mean preseason polls aren't a useful basis for analysis. Right now, comparing
To be honest, when I was first contacted by Playboy to be a part of the poll, I was in a state of disbelief. It actually took me a couple hours to realize I had just been asked to work with such a well-established and recognizable brand, and then I felt honored to be included.
At a college newspaper, one of the main goals is attempting to gain as much exposure as possible. But that generally just means trying to get websites or other publications to print something you've already written for your paper. That isn't nearly as satisfying as participating in the creation of original content on a website as well-respected as
As a writer, it was a great exercise to get me thinking about all the nation's other teams. Reporting at a campus newspaper generally tends to make you think exclusively about your school, and sometimes I lose touch with what is happening nationwide. But sitting down and thinking about all 25 of the nation's top teams made me realize just how much talent is out there.
When I looked at the first AP Poll, it was eerily similar to mine. There were a couple teams rearranged in a few places, but for the most part they were incredibly similar. There were only two teams I put in the top 25 that the AP didn't -- Utah and Fresno State -- and both were in the standings the next week.
I've always fashioned myself a college football buff, but had never really gotten any confirmation that I knew what I was talking about. Compiling my own top 25, however, did (to a degree) prove that I'm fairly knowledgeable about the sport.