the study of all things kicker related

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

CFPA 2012 Placekicker Watch List

The College Football Performance Awards has announced their 2012 watch list for placekickers. The goal of College Football Performance Awards is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.

The placekickers to watch are:
  • Parker Herrington, Air Force
  • Jeremy Shelley, Alabama
  • Zach Hocker, Arkansas
  • Brian Davis, Arkansas State
  • Patrick Clarke, Buffalo
  • Chandler Catanzaro, Clemson
  • Jack Griffin, FIU
  • Caleb Sturgis, Florida
  • Dustin Hopkins, Florida State
  • Matt Hogan, Houston
  • Trey Farquhar, Idaho
  • Mitch Ewald, Indiana
  • Mike Meyer, Iowa
  • Craig McIntosh, Kentucky
  • Brett Baer, Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Matt Nelson, Louisiana Tech
  • Drew Alleman, LSU
  • Jake Wieclaw, Miami
  • Brendan Gibbons, Michigan
  • Dan Conroy, Michigan State
  • Jordan Wettstein, Minnesota
  • Brett Maher, Nebraska
  • Casey Barth, North Carolina
  • Drew Basil, Ohio State
  • Mike Hunnicutt, Oklahoma
  • Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State
  • Bryson Rose, Ole Miss
  • Chris Boswell, Rice
  • Ross Krautman, Syracuse
  • Brandon McManus, Temple
  • Ty Long, UAB
  • Andre Heidari, USC
  • Coleman Petersen, Utah
  • Andrew Furney, Washington State
  • Tyler Bitancurt, West Virginia

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CFPA 2012 Punter Watch List

The College Football Performance Awards has announced their 2012 watch list for punters. The goal of College Football Performance Awards is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.

Without further ado, the punters to watch are:
  • Kyle Dugandzic, Arizona 
  • Dylan Breeding, Arkansas
  • Steven Clark, Auburn 
  • Scott Kovanda, Ball State
  • Brian Schmiedebusch, Bowling Green
  • Pat O’Donnell, Cincinnati
  • Darragh O’Neill, Colorado
  • Pete Kontodiakos, Colorado State
  • Josh Brisk, FIU
  • Kyle Christy, Florida
  • Alex Dunnachie, Hawaii
  • Richie Leone, Houston
  • Bobby Cowan, Idaho
  • Kirby Van Der Kamp, Iowa State
  • Ron Doherty, Kansas
  • Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech
  • Brad Wing, LSU
  • Tom Hornsey, Memphis
  • Dalton Botts, Miami
  • Mike Sadler, Michigan State
  • Baker Swedenberg, Mississippi State
  • Trey Barrow, Missouri
  • Brett Maher, Nebraska
  • Will Atterberry, North Texas
  • Brandon Williams, Northwestern
  • Ben Turk, Notre Dame
  • Ben Buchanan, Ohio State
  • Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State
  • Tress Way, Oklahoma
  • Tyler Campbell, Ole Miss
  • Jackson Rice, Oregon
  • Anthony Fera, Penn State
  • Cody Webster, Purdue
  • Harrison Waid, San Jose State
  • Peter Boehme, Southern Mississippi
  • Ryan Epperson, Texas A&M
  • Ryan Erxleben, Texas Tech
  • Jonathan Ginsburgh, Tulane
  • Jeff Locke, UCLA
  • Kyle Negrete, USC
  • Sean Sellwood, Utah
  • Tyler Bennett, Utah State
  • Ian Campbell, UTEP
  • Richard Kent, Vanderbilt
  • Hendrix Brakefield, Western Kentucky

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kicking in the Dark

Kicking a ball of some sort has been a part of rituals and games in cultures around the world for thousands of years. The so-called Dark Ages of Western Europe were no exception, when a game befitting the times was played:

Between the 7th and 9th century in England (including the adjacent areas of Normandy, Brittany, Picardy, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Ireland) various ball games emerged. The most popular of them was mob football. It was explicitly violent and played between villages, at the time of celebration and festivity. In fact, it was so violent that people living nearby would barricade their windows during matches. Both "teams" tried to force a ball into the center square of the enemy village or they might have played across different parts of town, again centered at a market place or a town square.

There are many theories as to how exactly mob football came about. Some of the earlier versions, like Shrovetide football, had vague rules restricting only murder or manslaughter. Legends (from Derby) preach that the game originated in Britain around 3rd century as a celebration over the defeated Romans. Others (Kingston-on-Thames and Chester) claim that the game was originally played with the severed head of a vanquished Danish prince. The game may also have been a pagan ritual in which the ball, representing the sun, had to be conquered and driven around the field, ensuring good harvest. There is also evidence (from Scotland) of this early rugby being played in teams between married men and bachelors, probably also as a heretic rite. It may be possible that mob football was introduced to England during the Norman invasion from France. A similar game is known to have existed in that region not long before mob football appeared in England.The exact origin cannot be pinpointed, but it is likely that the game was played with extreme enthusiasm, considering records of its prohibition.
While the term "pigskin" is still figuratively used today, it may have been used literally in mob football:
These archaic forms of football, typically classified as mob football, would be played between neighboring towns and villages, involving an unlimited number of players on opposing teams, who would clash in a heaving mass of people struggling to drag an inflated pig's bladder by any means possible to markers at each end of a town. Sometimes instead of markers, the teams would attempt to kick the bladder into the balcony of the opponents' church.
Although other forms of football have since proliferated and spread around the globe, mob football can still occasionally be found: