Wednesday, August 12, 2009

College Football Name Game, Year Two

I love college football-----but not nearly as much as I love devouring recruiting lists.

Allow me to explain (as I really don't want you thinking I'm one of those guys)...

Every year I spend $8.95 + tax on Phil Steele's College Football Preview, which is easily the most self-important literature you'll ever get your hands on.

But that doesn't mean it's not great. Because it is. It's positively great.

It's great because he talks about gambling all the time (and gambling is great); it's great because he tells you how great he is (which is unintentionally hilarious); and it's great because he lists the top 500 incoming recruits every year (which gives me an easy topic once a year).

Boys and girls, I present to you...The College Football Name Game.

I'm an Irish Catholic kid from the west side of Cincinnati which explains why my parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins all have "regular" names. But I've also been watching sports and paying close attention to collegiate and professional athletics for 24 years-----so, by now, I'm mostly desensitized by some of the truly bizarre names that pop up on my television screen during sporting contests.

Mostly desensitized, but not all the way.

Every year I check Phil Steele's top 500 freshmen/JuCo's and I'm reminded that names are being invented every day, by folks we'll never meet. This makes me smile, and now I'm delivering that happiness to you.

Without further ado, here are the twelve most ridiculous names entering college football in 2009 (ranked from Plain Old Ridiculous to I Just Made A Toilet In My Pants):

12. Taysom Hill - QB, Stanford

(Note: I passed over a De'Antwan, a DeQuinta and an Eltoro for Taysom Hill and the next few names on my list. I know the name De'Antwan seems ridiculous (and it is!), but Taysom, to me, was unlike any name I'd ever seen, and thus, it found its way onto the back end of my list.)

11. Nyshier Oliver - DB, Tennessee

10. Malliciah Goodman - DL, Clemson

(Note: Either Malliciah rhymes with "Alicia," or it's a unique way to spell "Malakai." On second thought, it's probably pronounced in a way I never could have guessed.)

9. Rolandan Finch - RB, Boston College

(Note: The son of Rolanda and Brandon?)

8. Carneal Ainsworth - OL, LSU

7. Jawanza Starling - DB, USC

(Note: Kwanza!)

6. Nu'Keese Richardson - WR, Tennessee

(Note: That's now our second Tennessee recruit. This should be a sign of good things to come for Vols fans.)

T5. Rantavious Wooten - WR, Georgia

T5. Barkevious Mingo - LB, LSU

T5. Rokevious Watkins - DB, South Carolina

(Note: And you wonder why the SEC is so dominant...)

2. Al-Terek McBurse - RB, Purdue

(Note: At first glance you would think the name of Al-Terek is middle Eastern, but I did thirteen seconds of research on Mr. McBurse and it appears his name is simply made up and hyphenated for the sake of awesomeness.)

Which brings us to the best name entering college football in 2009, a name so difficult to pronounce that, um, I don't even know how to pronounce it...

1. Daytawion Lowe - DB, Oklahoma State

(Note: Look at it. Analyze it. Say it three times fast...Daytawion.)

This was fun.

Thank you, Phillip Steele.

-Brad Spieser (