2008 NCAA Football Preview: Royal Rumble Edition
It could be said that professional wrestling mirrors life, or that it completely bludgeons it into oblivion; take your pick. Here's a look at the pre-season 2008 rankings with each team being compared to a different WWE star. This may seem a bit absurd but so will these pre-season rankings in about five months.
Florida: Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels—The Gators have sex appeal with their high-flying offense, which makes them appealing as a title contender this year. Shawn Michaels has always been appealing in his boy toy role and has repeatedly been one of the top competitors in between various periods of retirement. The Gators moved on from their own Ron Zook "retirement" period and have one of the best finishers in football in Tim Tebow, who is quite comparable to Michaels' Sweet Chin Music.
Ohio State: Undertaker—The Buckeyes have been a dominant presence in college football for decades now, yet seem to garner little admiration from the viewing public. The Undertaker was a mainstay in the battle for the Heavyweight belt yet never gained widespread popularity, probably based on the fact that he scared the crap out of everyone. The Buckeyes are also able to gain top recruits by buying them Corvettes (see: Terelle Pryor) whereas the Undertaker bolstered his Ministry of Darkness with promises of human sacrifice.
USC: The Rock—Ah, the charismatic, people's champion. That phrase could easily describe USC or the Rock. The Rock always seemed bigger than wrestling itself with his electric personality and incredible skill set. USC has grown to be almost bigger than college football by dominating on the field, taking advantage of their close proximity to Hollywood and churning out media stars who accept bribes and party with under-aged girls. Entertainment doesn't get any better when these two parties are involved.
Oklahoma: Triple H—Whether it's through the role of villain (Fiesta Bowl vs. Boise State) or through the role of the favorite, both these parties have been pillars of excellence. Love him or hate him Triple H is one of the best wrestlers on the planet and even helped wrestlers like the Road Dogg rise to stardom. Not to be outdone, even Oklahoma could turn quarterbacks like Jason White into Heisman winners.
Georgia: Batista—Georgia hadn't been a national title contender in some time and Batista has just burst onto the wrestling scene but has been dominant since his arrival. Batista was able to break up the pecking order of the WWE by unseating Triple H and moving past Randy Orton. Georgia is looking to unseat LSU and Florida and claim their first SEC title since 2005.
Missouri: John Cena—Both are relatively knew arrivals to their respective institutions but have experienced a great deal of success. Will Missouri be able to usher in a new era in Big 12 football as Cena tries to usher in a new era in the WWE? My answer is no to both ,if Kansas coach Mark Mangino has anything to say about it.
Clemson: Bad Ass Billy Gunn—Clemson continually shows promise and potential but sputters out at the end of the season short of a BCS bowl game. Bad Ass Billy Gunn was a formidable wrestler but struggled on his own away from the Road Dogg. It's funny how Terry Bowden will never escape his dad's shadow and Billy Gunn couldn't find a future without the Road Dogg.
Auburn: Edge—Auburn doesn't really do anything flashy or grab tons of headlines but year in and year out they challenge for the SEC crown. Edge is kind of the same way as he is an all-business wrestler who doesn't garner much attention when he's not killing small animals, yet both are incredible performers in their given arenas.
LSU: Mick Foley—The many personalities of Mick Foley suit the enigmatic style of Les Miles perfectly. Both are never afraid to take chances and have always wanted to be a heartthrob media darling like their counterparts in Florida.
Texas: Stone Cold Steve Austin—Stone Cold has to represent his home state of Texas. The Longhorns and Stone Cold have brash styles and rabid fan bases that help make them unique. The "hook 'em horns" rallying signal has caught on almost as well as Austin's double middle finger salute.
Texas Tech: X-Pac—Texas Tech continues to assemble a quality football squad that gets overshadowed by the bigger players in the Big 12. Even during an incredible run last year, Kansas and Missouri had to go and spoil Tech's limelight. X-Pac was always overshadowed by the other members of D-X but he had a similar high-flying, tactical, style to Texas Tech and had some success of his own if anyone cared to notice.
West Virginia: Chris Jericho—Both are never really seen as a top challengers or a force to be reckoned with but every year you look up and see that West Virginia is in the Top 10 again or that Chris Jericho is holding another belt. However, West Virginia could run into problems without Coach Rich Rodriguez and Steve Slaton just as it looks Jericho's career may soon be coming to an end.
South Florida: Randy Orton—Randy Orton may have had much more success so far compared to South Florida but he has amassed it in a very short amount of time. Randy Orton is helping reshape the WWE just as the Bulls are helping re-create a new image for Big East football through ugly mohawks, winning and green and gold uniforms.
Penn State: Bret Hart—Bret had a very long and successful career going about his business while dominating the WWF with his Hart Foundation or beating down the WCW as the Hit Man. Penn State has enjoyed long-lasting success but is it time for Joe Pa to hang it up like Bret? I don't know, maybe Joe will return my call after his afternoon nap.
South Carolina: Val Venis—Val Venis has made a living as a sex-symbol for the lady fans of the WWE. South Carolina has made a living being the sexy early season pick for predictors everywhere. Val Venis is now hanging onto to his wrestling career by a thread, and the Gamecocks are trying to not to be wiped out in the competitive SEC.
Tennessee: Kane—Tennessee went out and won the SEC East last year despite getting little acknowledgement for it. Kane was always dominant but lived in the Undertaker's shadow similar to the shadow the Vols suffer from in the SEC.
Oregon: Rey Mysterio—Rey Mysterio has dazzled with his athletic abilities for years becoming a mainstay in the cruiser weight division. Oregon has always used athleticism and exorbitant Nike funding to remain competitive in the Pac-10. Plus only those Duck uniforms could match the outlandish nature of Mysterio's masks.
BYU: Ken Shamrock—BYU is not very flashy and neither is Ken Shamrock. He is the most logical choice because there aren't many Mormon wrestlers out there. Ken Shamrock just goes out and bashes faces while BYU just goes out and wins football games while abstaining from drinking and premarital intercourse.
Wisconsin: Big Show—Neither does anything that makes your jaw drop or really impress you. Both are just big lumbering figures that continually stay near the top despite better judgement.
Virginia Tech: Matt Hardy—Virginia Tech had great times in the Big East but are really coming into their own in the ACC. Matt Hardy dominated with Jeff Hardy but is now establishing a more dominant career for himself as a solo act.
Florida State: Hulk Hogan—Both were once powerhouses, now both only get attention for the problems their kids are having.
Kansas: Cody Rhodes—Kansas broke into the college football scene with an Orange Bowl victory. Cody Rhodes just won a Tag Team belt. Will both be here to stay or fade into anonymity?
Utah: Hardcore Holly—Neither the Utes nor Holly are a main fixture on their respective stages but each pop up into the limelight every so often. A few years ago with Alex Smith at the helm the Utes crashed the BCS party and in the late 90s Holly was bashing heads as the Hardcore Champion only to recently reemerge as a Tag Team Champion.
Notre Dame: Ric Flair—Both were dominant years ago. Note the emphasis on the word years. Flair realized it was time to hang it up this year, it might be time for the Irish to hang it up as a title contender as well.
Alabama: Jerry Lawler—Both are trying to recapture old glory and soak up as many headlines as possible before people catch on that they're really just a nuisance. Not even Botox injections and a new haircut could spruce up the King, which is similar to how the hiring of Nick Saban did little to rise the Tide out of mediocrity.
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