Monday, September 3, 2012

2010 Conference Shake-up

I wrote this a while ago, but I just got this account, so I am posting this along with a few other columns that I wrote some time ago. 

Who would have seen all this coming when the Big Ten announced that they were going to expand their conference late last year? The Big 12 on the verge of dissolving, the Pac-10, of all conferences, becoming the mega conference, and even the Mountain West expanding? This is a crazy time for college sports, especially the biggest revenue gaining sport, football.
Even with the all the changes happening every day, there still are some questions that remain. Many changes have happened since news broke a few weeks ago that the Big Ten (or eleven) unofficially invited three universities, Nebraska, Missouri, and Notre Dame, to join their conference. Ever since that day, the chacellors of the universities in the Big 12 have freaked out and have basically spelled doom for their conference. That's why when the first move happened, I wasn't very surprised. When Colorado decided to jump to the Pac-10 I felt little to no emotion because I knew it was going to happen. CU was one of the first schools that was talked about when it came to schools jumping ship for a new conference. And today, according to many people, the Big 12's death sentence was officially written. Because according to the Associated Press, Nebraska has accepted an invitation to join the Big Ten. As I have watched ESPN over the last couple of weeks to learn more about this conference expansion mumbo jumbo I heard that some people were saying that if Nebraska leaves the the Big 12 is dead. Well then, so long Big 12. It's been a good run. But now, what happens to the other 10 schools left in the conference?
When it comes to that, I agree with the experts. This all depends on Texas. Whatever the Longhorns decide to do will decide the fate of most of the schools currently in the Big 12 South. I don't agree with the experts, though, on where the Longhorns should go. Although all the experts say Texas should go the Pac-10, I think that they should go to the SEC. In the SEC the Longhorns would have better opponents and they wouldn't have to travel as far for most of their away games, but it seems like Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State are going to follow CU to the Pac-10 as early as next Tuesday and other schools In the Big 12 are even considering the SEC. So it looks like the Pac-10 will become the Pac-16 or at least something close to that. News also broke today that Boise State accepted an invitation to join the Mountain West Conference in July 2011. As we now know, change is coming and coming fast to the college sports world.
But even with all the confirmations of changes happening in the NCAA, some questions are still out there. Like what will happen to one of the most prolific basketball teams in the country, Kansas, it's main rival, Kansas State, and in-conference rivals (at least for now) Iowa State, Baylor, and Missouri? Will Mizzou join The Cornhuskers in the Big Ten? Or will they go, as Boise State did, to the Mountain West, or will they come together and invite some other teams to join their own start-up conference? I don't know but I think that they should find an already established conference an join them. It is best for the viability of their athletic programs. But I just say for now, let the chips fall as they may and after everything has clamed down, then make your decisions on where to go. All I can say for now to all the schools with their athletic futures in question is good luck, I'm sure whatever happens will make college athletics more exciting and will keep us interested for years to come. And to all the schools that have made their decisions, congrats, good luck and it will be great to see you in your new conferences (especially Boise State) in 2011.

2009 Heisman Trophy

I wrote this after the Heisman Presentation in 2009 where Alabama Running Back Mark Ingram won the Heisman, in the closest race in the history of the award, over Stanford Running Back Toby Gerhart. I view this as one of my best pieces of writing, and if anyone wants to agree or disagree, I'd like to hear the feed back. 

On the night of Saturday, December 12, 2009 I stood transfixed in front of my kitchen television at six o’clock. (I am in the mountain time zone, so this is why my times are different than all of you out east.) Why was I transfixed in front of my TV? Was it one of the old Christmas specials, like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town? Well, I had been watching those old specials, but this time was not a time for a Christmas special. This was the time that I had been waiting for all fall. I was watching the 2009 Heisman Trophy Presentation.

I stood in a trance like mode in front of my TV for the whole hour watching Brad Nessler introduce the finalists, Ndamukong Suh the All-American defensive tackle from the University of Nebraska who won four other awards on Thursday night. Toby Gerhart, who leads the nation in rushing yards, 1736 yards, and touchdowns, 26 from Stanford University. Mark Ingram, the All-American running back from the University of Alabama who ran for 1542 yards and scored 18 touchdowns, and led the Crimson Tide to a South Eastern Conference championship over the Florida Gators (that’s no easy feat, but Ingram sure made it seem that way). Colt McCoy the senior quarterback from the University of Texas who is the NCAA all-time wins leader with 45, threw for 3512 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions and saved Texas (or maybe just got lucky) when he threw the ball out of bounds with one second left on the clock in the Big XII championship game against Nebraska. The Longhorns won the game and McCoy now faces Mark Ingram and the Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Championship Game presented by Citi on January 7, 2009 in Pasadena, California, where four years ago, Vince Young led the Longhorns to an upset over the USC Trojans for the BCS National Title. Last, but not least, is Tim Tebow, who really needs no introduction. Everyone knows Tebow’s story. Heisman trophy winner, winner of two national championships, the SEC all-time leader in rushing touchdowns, and probably America’s favorite player for his passionate play and leadership of his team on and off the field.

After the introductions, I watched and listened as the players, and some coaches (Jim Harbaugh and Bo Pelini) were interviewed by Kirk Herbstreit in the back of the Nokia Theater in New York. But after almost an hour of watching all this, it was finally time. Time to hear the winner of the 75th Heisman Trophy.

I have to say, I was pulling for Stanford’s Toby Gerhart. Being a two-sport athlete myself, and I just happen to be in those same two sports (football and baseball), and taking a full load of classes, I felt as if I connected with him a little bit. Ever since I saw Toby beat up on USC on November 14, (Stanford won 55-21, Toby had 178 yards and three touchdowns) I knew he would be a Heisman finalist and I was pulling for him from there. My pull for Toby got stronger after I saw him destroy my Notre Dame Fighting Irish (that’s right I’m an Irish fan, and damn proud to call Brian Kelly our new head coach.) and light up the Irish defense for 205 yards and four touchdowns, one of them passing. After that game I thought Toby had established a legitimate case for winning the Heisman Trophy.

So the time has come at last. I listen to Brad Nessler as he rattles of the names of the past Heisman winners that are at the Nokia Theater in New York on this Saturday. After he finished by adding Tim Tebow to the 2000s group of winners, I listened to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Heisman Trophy, as he said, “And in the closest race ever…” I was praying in my head, “Toby, Toby, Toby!” But then I heard, “The 2009 Heisman Trophy is awarded to Mark Ingram, University of Alabama.” I shouted, “Damn It!” I really wanted to Toby to win, but in the end, if it could have gone to anyone else, it should have been Ingram.

Now don’t get me wrong. Suh had an amazing year, especially in the Big XII Championship game. He was third in the nation in sacks and he led Nebraska in tackles, which is not a category usually led by a d-lineman. McCoy too had a great year, but when his chance came to shine and take the trophy, he really didn’t perform and let Suh and the Nebraska defense get to him. (Good Luck with Alabama’s defense Colt, it’s even better.) Then there’s Tebow. Now c’mon, everyone loves Tim Tebow, but we all knew he wasn’t going to win this year. Out of his three years as a starter, this was the one year that he never really outshone anyone on the field. So, no matter how much I love Tim as a player in the game of college football, this just wasn’t his year. When it came down to the end, it was really between two players, the best two running backs in the nation, Mark Ingram and Toby Gerhart.

Stanford fans could say that Gerhart didn’t win because the people voting in regions outside the west never saw Toby play and therefore would vote for Ingram because he plays out east. But who are they to say that? It can’t be proven, even though the only region that Gerhart won was the west, he only finished five first-place votes behind Ingram. Five. That’s all it takes, though, folks. Stanford fans could also cite the fact that Toby came up with four 200-yard games in the last five games, while Ingram was powerless in the Iron Bowl against Auburn. But here’s why Mark Ingram won the trophy.

Mark Ingram won because when the bright lights shine, the whole game was on his shoulders. Yes, Mark faltered once, against Auburn in the Iron Bowl when he only had 30 yards. But Alabama had already locked a place in the SEC title game. That game was just to keep the perfect season going, and since Ingram was ineffective against the Tigers, Alabama found another way to win, their passing game. They used that and won the Iron Bowl. But back to Ingram. As I said, when the bright lights shine, they shine on Mark Ingram. In the SEC Championship, as I was watching on TV, all I heard was “Mark Ingram. Another huge run by Ingram! Another catch by Ingram! And Touchdown Alabama! Mark Ingram scores again!” So on and so forth throughout the game. So when it came down to it, Mark Ingram took Alabama on his back and won games for them.

Did the Heisman Trophy go to the right person? You tell me. Both were deserving, but I guess that’s why it was the closest race ever in Heisman trophy history. Congratulations, Mark Ingram on winning Alabama’s first Heisman Trophy in the storied history of the program. You had a great season.

Let’s hope the 2010 Heisman race is as good as this one.

(Note: Auburn University QB Cam Newton went on to win the 2010 Heisman, in a race that wasn't nearly as close as 2009, over Stanford QB Andrew Luck [who I saw play in South Bend, Indiana against Notre Dame, and Damn, is Luck good], Oregon RB LaMichael James, and Boise State QB Kellen Moore. All but Newton will be back for the 2011 College Football Season. In 2011 Heisman went to Robert Griffin III from Baylor over Luck, DB Tyrann Mathieu of LSU, RB Trent Richardson of Alabama, and RB Montee Ball of Wisconsin)

Trip to Northwestern

So as I explained in my last post, I'm currently looking at colleges to see where I want to end up after my senior year. Luckily, since my mom has had a lot of business stuff to do this month, I have been able to go and look at two of my top 4 colleges. I already saw TCU, and this week I am at Nothwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. I actually haven't been able to check out the campus yet because well, I just got here. My mom had some work to do in Indianapolis (home of the hated-at least in my mind-Peyton Manning) and so I flew there and met up with her. We went straight from the airport and headed on our way to Evanston. Now, I've been to Indiana before, but only once, back in September. I came with my friend, Anthony Frucci, and his parents to go to the Notre Dame vs. Stanford game. We're all huge ND fans, GO IRISH! It was a fun trip, even though Stanford won. But the reason I mention that is because of the one food item we (Frucci and I) wanted the whole time we were here. It is something both of us had never had before, but thanks to Harold and Kumar, had been wanting for a while. That would be White Castle. Ever since we saw one on the way up to South Bend (and I have pictures of everything that I saw except White Castle on my facebook: we sorta beeged to go and try out what we had heard to be awesome burgers (or sliders, to be more correct in the culinary sense). Finally, on our last day, on the way back to the airport, we stopped and tasted the goodness that is White Castle. I think I had 10 or 11 burgers and I think Frucci had 13. So of course being back in Indiana, I wanted to find a White Castle and have another go at it. We stopped at one in Lafayette, Indiana (Home of my physics teacher, Mike Steinle's alma mater, Purdue [sucks]) and had another go at it. I only had 8, but I wanted more. My mom wanted to get to Northwestern, so we went. It turned out to be a good idea that we started driving. The roads weren't that bad until we hit Gary and Chicago. But before that it was really cool because we went through this gigantic wind farm that just went on for miles! It was awesome! But once we hit Gary, Indiana, not only did it start pouring on us, but we got lost, basically because I-65 ended and we had to go on this side highway (sort-of highway) that took us through Gary. Eventually we got on I-90 and took that through the border. Here's one thing I do not understand. Why, if the toll is $1.50 on the border, is it $3.50 like 4 miles away in the Chicago city limits? Can someone explain that one to me? Because Chicago just robbed me and I'm kind of mad about it. Then we kept going on the "Chicago Skyway" (or something like that, it was still I-90), through the South side of Chicago, past US Cellular Field, until the Garmin told us to get off and then we somehow took a wrong turn, even though we thought we were following what it said perfectly. So we got an accidental tour of some of Chicago, in the pouring rain. Eventually, though, we made it to Evanston and to Northwestern, which is where I am now. I have a tour of the campus and a journalism meeting tomorrow, so be sure, more is to come about this trip.

The 2008 Arizona Cardinals

I wrote this after the Arizona Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2008 NFC Championship. Sadly, the Cards lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Florida. This is also one of my best pieces of writing, in my humble opinion. If you have feedback (positive or negative) please comment. I would like to hear it. (I had this on my old LiveJournal account, lambkin12, but I don't use that one anymore, so I'm posting this here) 

Ok, so the Arizona Cardinals of the NFC of the NFL just won the NFC Conference Championship. This is for one absolutely awesome, but it also gives me a bittersweet feeling. As most of the people that will read this know, I used to live in Arizona. In fact, I used to go to Cardinals games when Jake "The Snake" Plummer was their quarterback and they played in the Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium. But, since then they are on their 3rd or 4th quarterback, Kurt Warner, and they have moved the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale and I have moved back to Fort Collins. Also, since then I have become a huge New England Patriots fan. Yes, I know all the stuff that happened last year in Super Bowl XLII. So please, don't leave any of that crap in the comments.
But it is sort of weird. I have been living in Colorado for 10 years now. But sometimes I want to go back to Arizona. I do not know why, but there are just times when that would just be awesome.
But, now back to the Cardinals. The Team that no one believed in is going to the Super Bowl, number XLIII, in Tampa, Florida. It still feels weird to say it, but the Arizona Cardinals ARE in fact going to the Super Bowl. But what a ride it has been this postseason for the Cardinals out the NFC West division (they won that too). They came into the postseason after losing 47-7 to the New England Patriots and six other games too. Those teams include playoff teams: the Minnesota Vikings, the Philadelphia Eagles (who they exacted revenge on), the New York Giants, and the Carolina Panthers. They lost to non-playoff teams like: the Washington Redskins, the New England Patriots, and the New York Jets. They may have come from the 2nd worst division in the NFL next to the AFC West (the Denver Broncos division), but they are still going to the Super Bowl. They beat teams like the San Francisco 49'ers (twice), the Miami Dolphins, the Buffalo Bills, the Dallas Cowboys, the St. Louis Rams (twice), and the Seattle Seahawks (twice).
This isn't the best record to go to the playoffs with. So nobody gave them any respect. Nobody picked them to beat the Atlanta Falcons (they did) and because they didn't have any wins in the Eastern Time Zone this year absolutely NOBODY thought they could go into Carolina, where they had already lost this year, and beat a Panthers team that was the 2 seed in the NFC and who had not lost at home all year. But guess what? The Cardinals handed it to the Panthers. 33-13.
After that, how could you not give them at least some respect? But guess what, most of the experts still gave the Cardinals no respect and picked the Eagles to win the NFC Championship, even though it was in Arizona, where the Cardinals had played great all year. I don't know how the experts did that, but I did pick the Cardinals to win. I knew from how they have played at home this year and from how soundly they beat the Panthers that they would win. And guess what, they did. They played a great game against a great Philadelphia Eagles team that put up a great fight in the 2nd half. Just when it looked like the Eagles were down and out at the half it was 24-6, they held the Cards scoreless in the 3rd quarter and then in the 4th took a short lived lead 25-24. The Cards didn't give up though, they scored one touchdown to make it 30-24 and Kurt Warner threw a 2 point conversion to Ben Patrick and the Cards took the lead for good 32-24.
And now, (and it still feels weird to say it) the Arizona Cardinals are going to Tampa, Florida to play in Super Bowl XLIII. And I mean, after these playoffs, how can you not give them a chance? I know I am. They are my pick to win in two weeks. I have the Cardinals over the Steelers 38-27 in the Super Bowl. There you have it. That's it, the end. The Cardinals will win the NFL/ World Championship and become the NFL/World Champions. Kurt Warner will be the MVP, and I mean, how can you give it to anyone else? He is the heart and soul of this team and he will beat the #1 defense this year because although defense wins championships as the saying goes, it will not this year. The offense of Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Edgerrin James combined with their defense (awesome as of late, but middle of the pack during the regular season) will triumph over Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh offense and Troy Polamalu and the Pittsburgh defense and will come out as world champions.
That's my prediction, that's my reasoning. You can question it all you want, I don't care. Just leave it in the comments and I might get around to answering it over the next two weeks.

We'll See You in Tampa!       

Northwestern Tour

Ok, so today is the day I took my tour for Northwestern University, here in Evanston, Illinois. Unfortunately, we didn't exactly get the best day to go on an outdoor walking tour of Northwestern's campus. Luckily, Northwestern is a private university with only about 8,400 undergrads, is not a gigantic campus. The tour started in the Office of Undergraduate Admission, which is just a big old house. They have a large lecture room upstairs where the tour started with a q&a. An undergrad admissions counselor and a current student that works in the admissions office came and gave a PowerPoint presentation that focused on the facts about Northwestern. They did get into the student life a little bit, but it was towards the end of the presentation. Overall, the presentation that the admissions counselor and the student (a senior, named Andrew) gave was pretty good. They had pretty good information and it made an impression on me. I did like learning that Northwestern makes up what students cannot make in financial aid. They make sure that the students who want to go here, can go here. Since the group in the q&a session was freaking huge, about seven tour guides came and broke us up into groups. I went with a girl, a senior named Kirsten, who is a journalism major, just like I hope to soon be. My group was small, on my mom, me, another prospective student and her mother and grandmother, so we got to go inside of some buildings when it got really cold. The tour was great. We saw the rock, about every academic building on campus, the technology building, the student center, and most importantly, the journalism center. Sadly, they didn't show us the gym, library, or a dorm, but that may have been due to the winds off the lake, the fact that it was freezing cold, and that it was snowing. It was good that I go to experience that, though. It shows me what winter can be on the shore of Lake Michigan, because Northwestern is literally ON the shore. If you were inside, the lake was actually a pretty cool thing to see. I can't even imagine how nice it is during the spring and summer. The tour was actually pretty good. I hat a great time and our tour guide was great. After the tour we went and ate at the Student center, which was a little expensive, but that really doesn't matter when you become a student because of the meal plan.  After eating, we went upstairs and checked out the auditorium and the third floor which is where the many, many students activities and clubs are housed. The reason that we went up to the 3rd floor is to check out where the office for the student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern, is housed. We went in and checked out the office where articles are written for the newspaper. We ended up talking to the sports editor (Katherine Driessen) and learning what life in the Medill School of Journalism was like and what writing for the paper was like. I learned (and I liked this) that as a freshman, I could end up writing beat stories for the sports section of the Daily. I couldn't believe that. I definitely thought you would at least have had to have been a sophomore to get in the paper. Later on, I had a Journalism School q&a and tour. We had another PowerPoint presentation in the Medill School and what really impressed me about this was the internship possibilities that Northwestern has. They have internship partners all over the US (and Qatar and South Africa) with newspapers, websites, and news networks. There were so many places that they had a packet with all of them listed and it took up 3+ pages. It was impressive. I know that the possibility of real word experience definitely intrigues me when it comes to the Medill School. We then toured the TV studio the the Northwestern News Network operates from. I was impressed with this also. Just like TCU's it rivaled a professional studio. We then toured the rest of the school and the other building that houses the Medill school and we went on our way.
When it comes down to which school I like most so far, and which university I am leaning towards, I think I have a definite answer. Although Northwestern and the name and real life opportunities that come with it would be great to have on my resume in the future, I am definitely leaning towards Texas Christian University. TCU has just as good of a program as Northwestern. Their newspaper is up and coming, their news network just got a brand-new amazing studio and honestly, when I went to TCU, it felt as if they wanted me. I didn't totally get that feeling here at Northwestern. Don't get me wrong, Northwestern is great and I would be honored to be a part of the program here, but TCU just floored me when I was there. When it comes down to the campus feeling I also liked TCU's better. I just got a really good feeling at TCU and I just loved it. I also like how closed off TCU was compared to how open Northwestern is. I loved how when you got to TCU, you knew it. When we arrived at Northwestern, it was just all of the sudden. It was like "Oh, we're here." When I put the pros and cons of both schools against each other, I definitely have a winner. TCU hands down. I want to be a part of the rise of TCU's journalism program, and unless Oregon, Missouri, or Kansas can knock me off my feet more than they did, I think I'm going to be headed down to Fort Worth to become a Horned Frog.

 The gloves have an NU logo on them, it's just really hard to see

University of Kansas Tour

So the time has come again for me to continue the search for what college I am going to enter when the fall of 2012 comes around. I am on Spring Break this week, as most students (especially college students) should be, and a few weeks ago my mom and I decided to go and check out of a couple of colleges since we had the time. The first one that we decided to head out to was the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. 
I hadn't looked into Kansas very much because I had really never heard of their journalism program and I had only learned of it through one of my mother's work friends. So, I decided that I would check out the website and I liked what I saw and so I requested info and signed up for a tour. On Monday, my mom and I left Fort Collins for the eight hour drive to Lawrence. The drive was nice, straight, and easy, but Kansas is very empty and kind of boring to see just fly by the window for eight hours. Sadly, my mother did not let me drive on the way out to Lawrence. I don't know why, but she just did not want me to drive.  But oh well, we made it and that is what matters. We got into Lawrence around eight or nine o'clock and checked into our hotel, got some dinner, and basically just went to sleep. 
The next day, my "Jayhawk day" started at around 8:00-8:15 AM in the KU Visitors center where as with every other tour I have taken, the day started with and information session about the school, the students, and just what was interesting about the school. One of the things about KU that really struck me that I loved was how tradition rich the school is. The students at KU are very superstitious and have many different traditions that they adhere to. I come from a high school where tradition is also very, very important so I loved that. The many traditions at KU range from things with graduation, traditions with their clocktower, many statues on campus, and many more. After learning about the school in the info session, the large group that was there was divided into three smaller groups and put onto buses so that we could go to where the tour started at the Kansas Union. The buses that we were on were part of the bus system that can take anyone anywhere they want on campus. The routes are a little weird and would take some time to get used to, but after awhile, I believe that one would just know them. I learned on my tour that one bus takes students to the local Target, and that was also pretty cool. After reaching the Kansas Union by bus, each bus was then broken down into at least three, if not four, even smaller groups, led by KU student ambassadors for the tour around campus. The ambassadors took the groups around the main part of campus, which is pretty much just the main hill on campus. From there one can see almost every building on campus no matter how far it is away from the hill. 
After the tour my mom and I went to Stouffer-Flint Hall for a meeting with Cassie Keefer, the Recruitment and Retention coordinator for the KU J-School (that's what they call the journalism school) with two other prospective students interested in journalism. We met with her and got her spiel about why you should choose KU over any other school. What really impressed my was the many college Pulitzer prizes that KU has won and is currently in contention for and that KU is also winning many awards in many other disciplines of journalism too. That was really, really impressive to me. After hearing that we went on a tour of the journalism buildings and then we found their TV studio. All I have to say is wow. And this is not the TCU wow, this is a completely different wow. KU's TV news set is completely virtual. There is no set, no desk, only chairs. The desk and the set that you can see behind you on the TV in the studio is not there and that was really cool. The virtual desk even had the reflection of the person sitting behind it. That was amazing and was hugely impressive. I know that the fake desk would take some getting used to, especially having the fake desk in front of you while reading the news. 
After seeing that and talking to some people on the TV and newspaper staff, the journalism tour ended and I went with my mom to find the rec center and the Allen Fieldhouse. The rec center is insanely nice. It has a full quarter-mile track, a gigantic weight room, at least six basketball courts (4 full, 2 half I believe), a floor hockey/indoor soccer rink (if that's what it is called), boxing stuff, a tae-kwon-do room, and aerobics room, and a virtual golf course. It was amazing. Then came the Allen Fieldhouse. I didn't get to go into the basketball part of it, but the Booth Hall of Athletics is AMAZING! Holy crap, it has all of KU's championship trophies from Big 8 conference, Big XII conference, bowl game, and national championships. One of the trophies that KU has, and I believe that it is for having the best record in the country in basketball, was a gigantic crystal basketball on a pedastal and I just wanted to hold that trophy because it just so cool. In the trophy case for sports other than basketball, KU has an Insight Bowl Trophy, an Orange Bowl trophy (which is way bigger than I thought it was), a ton of championship rings and trophies for championships that other sports have won too. The KU hall of fame is also very impressive. 
After seeing the Booth Hall, my mom and I were kind of tired, so we decided to head to the Kansas Union, grab some lunch, go to the bookstore, and then grab a bus and head back to the visitor's center. On the bus back, we met a KU ambassador from Denver and he gave us a lot of additional information that we needed, especially about housing, and after talking to him for awhile, we felt that we had a good grasp of KU, so we went back to our hotel, and I learned that I was so tired that I slept for four hours. It truly was a great day.  
I am also going to give ratings (out of 10.0) for each college I have visited so far: 
Info Session: 8.0/10.0 
Tour: 9.0/10.0 
Staff Meeting: 10.0/10.0 
Total: 9.0/10 

Info Session: 8.0/10.0 
Tour: 6.0/10.0 
Staff Meeting: 6.0/10.0 
Total: 6.67/10.0  

Info Session: 8.0/10.0  
Tour: 7.5/10.0  
Staff Meeting: 8.5/10.0  
Total: 8.0/10.0 

PICTURE TIME!!!! (KU Edition): 
 view on the hill  Memorial stadium from the hill  Me on the KUJH set  The actual "set" of KUJH 

 What KUJH looks like to people watching  KU basketball trophies 2008 National Championship trophy  The Gigantic Crystal Basketball!  1988 National Championship Trophy 2008 Orange Bowl Trophy and 2009 Insight Bowl Trophy  The KU Rings and a list explaing what they are James Naismith! (KU Hall of Fame Pics now)  Dean Smith!  Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain!  Larry Brown!  Raef LaFrentz!  PAUL PIERCE!  KU rivalry display

University of Missouri Tour

And now it is time to take a look back on another college tour. The tour I am going to write about today is, as the title says, about the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. Being a prospective student interested in journalism, this, like Northwestern, should obviously be one of my top choices because, not only is Mizzou the original journalism school, it is also one of the best journalism schools in the country. The Missouri School of Journalism is famous for its "Missouri Method" which is basically this. When a student is a junior and senior, they will be out getting real world experience in some sort of news media (and no, I did not get that from the Mizzou web site). One of the most popular, is KOMU, the Columbia (mainly University of Missouri) NBC affiliate, that is mainly student run. The reporters are all students on the newscast and that gives students a great idea of what it will be like when they move on and get actual jobs in the near future. 

But back to my experience. The day after my tour in the first part of the KU-MU Border War, my mom and I took the 3 hour drive from Lawrence, KS to Columbia, MO. It was a pretty easy drive that took us straight through Kansas City and past Kauffman and Arrowhead Stadiums, which are right on I-70. When we reached Columbia, we were not exactly sure how to get to the campus, so I suggested getting off on Stadium Boulevard and heading down that way. After driving for a little while, and hoping that we went in the right direction, we found Mizzou. The first thing I saw on campus was Farout Field. That stadium is impressive. It is a pretty open stadium, one could see straight down from Stadium Blvd. to the field. I was very impressed by that stadium, I would love to see a game there. After seeing that, I looked across the street and saw Mizzou's gigantic Medical Center. There's the Truman VA Hospital, The Student Health Center, and the Health Sciences Center. It was impressive. (Wow, I just realized that I use a form of impressive a lot. I need a thesaurus)
After getting some lunch, my mom and I drove around the campus. We went through Greek Town, up Maryland Avenue, down Rollins Road as far as we could go, down Conley Avenue as far as we could go, up 5th and 6th streets, down Elm St., down 9th street, down Paquin St., down University Ave., down Hitt St., and down Virginia Ave. and College Ave. That gave us a very full picture of the Mizzou Campus. After that we went and parked in the Conley Ave. Parking garage to wait for a friend of mine, Will Heckman-Mark, a freshman journalism major at Mizzou, and the person that got me interested in journalism, to get out of class so that we could talk to him, ask him questions, and learn about what life was like at Mizzou. We quizzed him about campus as he took us on a tour and told us what the buildings were, and then when we sat down to dinner at Addison's (which is really good, I had the Pulled Pork BBQ sandwich, and it was great) we quizzed him about life and the School of Journalism and basically what he has done since he has been at Mizzou. Everything Will said about Mizzou sounded amazing and it basically jumped Mizzou to #2, and very close to being tied for #1 with TCU, in my list of colleges that I want to attend in the fall of 2012. It was great to see him, especially since I usually only get to see him for about a week or two during the summer. 

The next day was the big day, it was tour day. And as with every other tour that I have been on, it started with an information session. One of the things that I liked about this info session was that before it started, a movie was playing in the room they had us in that showcased famous alumni like Brad Pitt, Sheryl Crow, Sam Walton (wasn't in the video that one is thanks to, Chris Cooper, John Anderson, and Kate Capshaw among many others. I also learned that Mizzou's mascot is named Truman the Tiger after President Harry S. Truman, a Missouri native. I also learned all the basic facts about Mizzou, and something that was notable to me was how they went way deeper into the scholarships available than any other college I have visited so far. After the info session, the walking tour of campus started. The tour took us through the main area of campus, which is Francis Quadrangle, past the Thomas Jefferson statue and tombstone (don't worry, TJ is buried at Monticello, the original tombstone was just given to Mizzou because Mizzou was the first land-grant university opened in the area known as the "Louisiana Purchase"). The tour took us through Lowry Mall, Ellis Library, the Mizzou Student Center, the Student Rec Center (which is insanely nice, the coolest one I have seen so far), and into a dorm room in Defoe-Graham Hall before letting us go for lunch. It was a great tour, probably the best on I have been on so far. 

After lunch, my mom and I went and tried to just meet with someone in the School of Journalism, since we wanted to skip the tour that we had set up for 2:30. We had a 12 hour drive ahead of us and we just wanted to get home. So we went and met Suzette Heiman in the Journalism Office real quick to get some more information about the School of Journalism. She sat down with us and gave me a ton of really good information that made Mizzou sound like a really, really good place to go to school. 

Right before we left, i made sure to get some pizza from Shakespeare's Pizza. It was amazing pizza. If I do end up at Mizzou, I am going to live at that place. That is how amazing it really is. On the drive home, I realized that I was kind of sad to leave Mizzou. Who knows, maybe I'll back in about a year and five months for a longer stay. 

Here's my ratings for Mizzou: 
Info Session: 8.0/10.0 
Tour: 9.5/10.0 
Staff Meeting: 9.0/10.0 
Total: 8.83/10.0 


University of Oregon Trip: Part I

So, here I am again in another state other than my home state about to go on another college tour. Might as well tell all of the people who actually read this about what has happened. I am calling this Part I because I haven't gone on my tour yet. That happens later today. And by the way, Happy Earth Day and Good Friday! This is a very special time of the year that people should cherish and definitely go to church if they are able to. Also, if possible, rest and do nothing from noon-3 PM today because well, it's a tradition in my church, and I would love to see it spread around to other churches. (another btw: that is the time from when Jesus was put up on the cross almost 2000 years ago to when he died) But back to the original reason for this post. This time, I am in Oregon. My mom and I flew out around 10 PM (Mountain time) to Portland, where we landed around 11:50 PM (Pacific Time). We then spent the first night getting our luggage, rental car, and going to the hotel, where we got to out room and promptly crashed. It was a long day and being able to sleep in the next day was amazing. We left Portland around noon to head down to where we were really headed. We took the two hour drive down to Eugene, Oregon to check out the University of Oregon. The drive from Portland to Eugene was actually pretty peaceful and relaxing. Other than the random town that would pop up from time to time outside my window, it was pretty much just farmland and forests. It was pretty cool. When we did finally reach Eugene, we drove around the campus and and basically got a feel of it, more of which I will get today. We found the EMU, Hayward Field (where the track and field team hosts their home meets), some fraternities and sororities, and basically every other important building on Campus. After we drove around for awhile, we decided to stop and get some lunch. While looking for the frats and sororities, we found this small place called Pegasus Pizza. Damn, was that good pizza. I had a create you own pizza (on which I got pepperoini and sausage) and it was freaking amazing! The pizza was greasy, but who really cares when it tastes as good as that pizza did. As with Mizzou and Shakespeare's Pizza, if UofO is where I end up for college, I will be a regular at Pegasus. After that we went and found Autzen Stadium (and PK Park, which to my surprise was right behind Autzen) and I took some pictures which I will post later. Then we went and found our hotel and relaxed for awhile. After relaxing, we went to dinner at a place called Steelhead Brewing Co. in downtown Eugene. That was another amazing place. I had the grilled roast beef and swiss cheese sandwhich and it was amazing. One of the best sandwhiches that I have ever had. The horseradish in the the sandwhich gave it a pleasant kick which I enjoyed. Well, that's basically my trip so far, I'll be back later with my review of my day on the UofO campus.

University of Oregon Tour

This is coming much later than I expected, but oh well, let's get on with it.

Last week, I had my tour at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. I got an absolutely perfect day to come onto campus and take my look at it, only problem was, so did 900 other people. While I did enjoy my time on campus in Eugene, my only advice to anyone in the college search process is this: Do Not, I Repeat, Not Go To Anything Like Duck Days. This event had, as I said earlier, 900 people there. When I walked into the info session at the beginning of the day, the amount of people was absolutely insane. I can't imagine being in a class of that size. I guess it helps that the Ducks were in the BCS National Championship in January and that their sports are basically being privately funded by Nike. Those two, especially the latter, will drive up the number of applications hugely. Everywhere I went during the day, I found there to just be to many people there. When we went to check out a residence hall, instead of having some groups check out some halls, and other groups check out other halls, they just had all of the groups check out one residence hall. That was the worst part of the tour in my book. I expected better from Oregon. The other part that i did not like was that when I went to the academic session, it was not telling me about the program and what they have done, what they are focusing on in the future, and basically what separates Oregon from other schools, like Mizzou or Northwestern (the two classic journalism powers). They (and this is probably because there were seniors and transfer students in the session too) focused on what to do when a student gets to college. They went through what classes a student signs up for and what to do to ensure success when a student begins college. This was easily the worst academic session I have gone to in my search so far. Oh, and the people giving the presentation in the academic session weren't even teachers in the journalism department. They were counselors (or academic advisors, whichever term is preferred). I coudn't believe that UofO couldn't even get one freaking teacher to come and talk to prospective students! This is something that they screwed up hugely. I guarantee that if I (or anyone else, for that matter) would have gone on a day other than Duck Days, I would have gotten a much better feel for the campus than I did with the HUGE group that was there.
Now, don't get me wrong folks. I still loved Oregon. The feeling around Eugene is one that I could get used to very quickly. I loved how basically everything in town runs around the UofO. (Fort Collins would be like that if CSU was good at something other than volleyball) I could see logos everywhere I went, and that was freaking awesome. I feel that Eugene is the quintessential college town. Also, when I took a trip down to Autzen, I couldn't believe how awesome it was in person. I would freaking LOVE to see a game in there. As I said in my last post, I found PK Park back there near Autzen and it was amazing! PK was definitely on of the best college baseball stadiums I have seen. I can tell just from my drive around and day at Oregon, that UofO is a great school that the students love to go to. I was there on Earth day, and there was a ton of activities going on around the EMU to celebrate it. It was the largest Earth Day demonstration I have seen. It was great to see how much the students cared. Even though I went to UofO on perhaps the worst possible day (not weather wise, but tour wise, just read above where the big numbers are) I am still highly interested in going to the UofO and becoming a Duck. It would definitely be an amazing place to spend four years. I don't think that it can top TCU or Mizzou right now, but I'll keep the people that read this posted on what happens in my college search as it gets closer to me applying and choosing my college.

But for now I'll close this post on this off-topic note. Please, Please, Please, Please listen to my radio show, KLIKSports with Jeff live on Wednesdays at 6 PM Mountain Time (5 PM Pacific, 7PM Central, 8 PM Eastern). It is my show that I have on a high school student run internet radio station based out of my hometown here in Fort Collins, Colorado. I really need some more listeners, so PLEASE tune in. (by the way, to tune in one must go to and hit the tune in button. The radio station works with iTunes, Windows Media Player and RealPlayer.) Please tune in! And if you want to, you can call in live to my show and give your opinion on what I am talking about or have talked about by calling 1-888-212-KLIK (5545). Please, I need listeners!

Oregon Ratings:
Info Session: 9.5/10.0
Tour: 8.0/10.0
Staff Meeting: 6.5/10.0
Total: 8.0/10

Colorado State University Tour

Ok, well, this happened about a month ago, but I feel that I should still report on it. In early May, I went and took the tour at the university here in my hometown, Fort Collins, CO. That university is Colorado State University. 
I went into the tour not expecting much, but came out with a much different perspective. I went on a school day, which meant that I was in a pretty small group, only about 10-12 people at the max. It was very enjoyable. After getting out of school and racing home to meet up with my friend, MacKenzie Brown (a former Ram swimmer and, obviously, CSU alum), and then racing back over to the campus, where we couldn't find parking, which is never possible on a college campus, we still arrived late to the info session, but whatever, we still made it. I missed a lot of the video they show at the beginning of each info session, but what I did see was pretty well done. There was a quick q&a with an admissions rep, but I didn't have any questions since I'm from Fort Collins and have a sibling at CSU (my brother, Alex, is going to be a junior at CSU next fall). Before I knew it, I was on my tour. Our tour guide, a senior economics (or sometihing like that, it was a month ago) major, who was honestly, one of the best tour guides I have had in this college search process. He took us absolutely everywhere and made this tour, the absolute BEST tour I have been on at any college. I have said this to many people since, I only wish I was more interested in CSU. This tour took us through the Oval, which is the oldest part of campus and a favorite hangout spot for students (and President Obama came and spoke there during his campaign in 2008), then past some academic buildings, through the Lory Student Center, the Rec Center, past the Lagoon, to a typical dorm, showed where the medical center is, where Moby Arena (the Rams basketball and volleyball arena) is, where the library is, and showed us a ton of classrooms. When it comes to college tours, one can't get much better than CSU. After finishing the tour, my friend MacKenzie and I went and got some stuff at the Bookstore and then we headed back home and I went to my choir concert that I had that night. (I didn't have time to meet with anyone in the journalism department at CSU, but I plan to in the near future) 
Now, back to my comment from earlier. I said (and have said to many people) "I only wish I was more interested in CSU." I'm not saying that I am not interested in CSU as where I end up next August, I just want to get out of Fort Collins more than I want to go to CSU. Since I have lived in Fort Collins for 12 years (and 13 after next year), I really just feel as if I need to go somewhere out of state for my college experience. I would recommend CSU to anyone else though. The athletics are on the rise, Boise State just joined the MWC, and the academics are great! And the town is freaking amazing! Fort Collins is an awesome college town (and Pizza Casbah, which is right across the street from CSU on Laurel, was just featured on Outrageous Food on the Food Network!). 

CSU Ratings: 
Info Session: 7.0 / 10.0 
Tour: 9.5 / 10.0 
Staff Meeting: N/A 
Total: 8.25 / 10.00

College Search Update

Alright, so I haven't posted on here since June, so here's an update on my college process and life in general.

First- College.

Since June I have started five applications. Four for colleges I have talked about since I started this account and surprise (although, if you know anything about my past, it really isn't a surprise).


Although Mizzou was not my original #1 when I started my college search about two years ago it sure is now. When I started my application process back in August, Missouri was probably the second application that I opened (only because I knew that the next college that I will talk about's application was open at midnight the morning of August 1). When I went to fill out the application, I found it very easy and I loved it because I did not encounter one of those dreaded essays. I have not finished the scholarship application, but hopefully I don't enconuter one there either. I turned in Mizzou's application and I cannot wait to hear if I get in (once I finish that scholarship app and send my transcripts that is)! M-I-Z! (For more about Mizzou, read my post about my trip there below)


TCU has been up at the top of my list ever since I took a trip there all the way back in February. They were the absolute first application that I opened because I love this school. Everything about this school is amazing and more people should consider TCU when going through this experience. I also found TCU's application very easy. It was a bit longer than Mizzou's, but still very easy. The only thing that I have not done is write their essay, but I will do that soon, because all I have to do is choose from one of four prompts that they provide and send in the application and my transcripts. I have just procrastinated a ton with this whole essay thing because, well, honestly, the phrase "college essay" sparks some fear in my mind. It freaks me out, even though I am a pretty good writer (or I've been told that I am), because this one 500-or-less word essay could decide whether I get into a school or not. I don't know if anyone else feels the same way, but it's the absolute hardest part of the whole application process, in my opinion. But, I'll probably sit down sometime this week or this weekend and just pump it out and finish the application. Then I'll send in my transcripts, and if TCU has a scholarship application, fill that out. (For more about TCU, see my post about my trip there below)


Here's the school that started out at #1 back when I started this process. To be honest, Oregon really piqued my interest because of the recent success of the Duck football program and the fact that their Men's A Capella choir, On the Rocks (an absolutely amazing group, just look them up on YouTube) was on the show, The Sing-Off, last year. Being both a football fanatic and an avid music freak (just ask my mother, as a little kid, the first thing I wanted to be when I grew up was a singer), this really put Oregon at the forefront of my mind when it came to college and choosing where I want to go. (College Gameday has also sparked a ton of intrest in them for me because Eugene seems like an awesome football atmosphere and the fans seem as passionate as any fans out there) When it comes to the application, I was really surprised when I opened Oregon's. It is easily the longest application I have seen. Their checklist is 20 items long. I know I'll be able to finish it but, I mean 20 items?! That's freaking insane! Their essay is also one of the essays that scares me even more than TCU's. Oregon (and my next school) are those schools that make it so that you can write about whatever you want. WHATEVER YOU WANT in the whole entire world. It could be anything that you've seen, heard, done, felt, tasted or whatever else there is to write about. For these I cannot even fathom what to write about. (If anyone wants to give some inspiation and tell me what they wrote about for thier college essay in the comments, that would be awesome) As with TCU's, it's only like 500 words, but it's 500 words that could decide whether or not I get into the school and recieve any scholarships. But once I decide what I decide to write about I'll finish U of O's app (their scholarship stuff is within the 20 item checklist), do their Honors College app (cuz I'm smart apparently [who knew?]) and send in those transcripts and wait to see if I get in! (For more on Oregon, see my post about my trip there below)

CSU, I'm really only applying to because my mom has a policy (and she had it for my brother, who is a junior marketing major at CSU, and my sister, who graduated from the University of San Francisco in May 2009 with a nursing degree and moving to NYC later this month because she got a job at a hospital there!) that I have to apply to one in-state school as a fallback if everying else fails. CSU's application is also done except for my letter of recommendation (I just have to turn in this sheet my counselor gave me to the teacher I am having write it) and write that essay. CSU is another one of those "Write whatever you want" schools. As soon as I decide what to write about for that CSU's app will pretty much be done. (To be fair to CSU, it is a GREAT school. Anyone who is considering going there, don't let my words discourage you, I've just lived in FoCo for 16 out of the 18 years of my life, so I just need to get out of here) But as soon as the application is done, just need to do the same as any other school (scholarship app [if there], transcripts, yada yada yada, For more on CSU see my post about my tour there below). And now, here comes the surprise!


"ASU?!?!?!?! Where the hell did they come from? This kid has had Kansas as his #4 since like day one! What happened to the Jayhawks?" That might be someone's reaction to this post after reading everything else I have posted on this blog. Well, I decided to forsake KU after talking to a good friend of mine, Mizzou sophomore journalism major, Will Heckman-Mark (whose exact words when I talked to him about applying to ASU instead of KU were "Fuck KU. Make it ASU." That kid freaking rules!) and realizing that Phoenix (where ASU's journalism school is) and Tempe are actually right next to each other. I thought Tempe was closer to Tucson, where U of A is. This along with the fact that I used to live in Scottsdale, AZ, my first football game that I remember was an Arizona Cardinals game back when Jake "The Snake" Plummer was their QB, they still had the old uniforms, and they played in Sun Devil Stadium, and that some of my friends from back when I was in preschool are going there put ASU over the top and I applied there. ASU has the world's easiest application. I finished it in 10 minutes or less. My only complaint is that the world's easiest application cost $65! That's freaking insane!!! The harder applications (Mizzou, UofO, TCU, or probably every other school in the country) all cost less than that. BRING YOUR PRICE DOWN ASU! I paid it, but I don't want anyone else to. Now all I have to do, since I have my ASURite ID is fill out the scholarship app, turn in the transcripts, and all that other jazz. (For more on ASU, go to

Well, that's my college update, now onto my life.

I started my senior year at Fort Collins HS on August 22. It's been a blast so far. I have become the sports editor for my school newspaper, Spilled Ink, and learning the ins-and-outs of putting a newspaper together has been so much fun. Our website is not up yet, but as soon as it is, I'll post the link to it here. Our football team (of which I am a member, playing both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball) is 3-2 (1-0 in confrence), with our wins coming against Loveland HS (37-7), Grand Jucntion Central HS (31-13), and Mountain Range HS (21-20). Our losses have been against Douglas County HS (39-38, OT) and Colorado 5A #2 Grandview HS (51-21), and this game should have been a lot closer, but our third quarter was abismal (3 INTS and an 11 yard punt). This week we play cross-town rival Poudre HS and our game will be televised statewide on Root Sports which is ch. 26 on Comcast. It's the channel that all the Rockies games are broadcasted on, if anyone was still not sure what it is. Also, I just turned 18 on Friday, September 30 and I am really happy now that I am considered an adult in all facets of life! That's pretty much it for my life.

If you lasted this long congrats! I glad that you actually care enough to read my whole post. I'll keep you people updated on my college search as it reaches the finish line!

Please comment below and let me know what you think! (In English please, not Russian)


The College Search Results

Well, since I haven't posted on here since October, there's a lot to catch my readers up on isn't there. Since I last posted, I have finished my senior year of football, during which I partially tore my MCL and missed our game against Fossil Ridge High School (our biggest rival). We finished 4-6, lost in the first round to the eventual state champions, Columbine High School, and we came pretty close to beating them, at least in my opinion. I was the sports editor for my high school newspaper, Spilled Ink, and I will get the articles that I wrote this year up on here soon. I swam this spring for my high school and after not swimming for four years, I ended up with a 24.6 second 50 free, and a 1:00 flat 100 free. I always think that if I would have swam for all four years, I would have been pretty damn fast. But, oh well. And back in May, I finally graduated.  

And now that I am an official high school graduate and moving onto college, here are the results of my college search.

The Winner: This school was founded in 1885, has a mascot that legend says was based off of Walt Disney, has 4 total campuses, and 70,000 students...... the winner is Arizona State University!! 
When it came down to it, ASU was just way too good of an opportunity to pass up. The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is amazing. The actual building in beautiful, has an amazing tv studio (home of Cronkite News Now) on the 6th floor and plenty of other opportunities to work for the State Press and the radio station, The Blaze. The people that I will be attending school with are awesome and really cool and the guys and girl that I hung out with at orientation earlier this month may end up being some of my best friends throughout school. And when it came down to deciding whether I would attend ASU or the next school in my list, one event that I will go into later, made the choice for me when I heard about it. Having people I know really well close to me is also a reason that I chose to attend ASU. On the plane back from my visit to Arizona State I told my mom that fact. If I were to attend the next school in my list (I might as well say it now, the University of Missouri) the closest people to me would be in Chicago, 9 hours away. At ASU, I know 9 people in a 30 minute radius. If I were to get into trouble (which most likely wouldn't happen, but you never know), sick, or injured, having so many people so close will be extremely beneficial. There's also the sports. ASU, if my readers didn't know, is part of the Pac-12 (in the south division, as a matter of fact). The opportunity to cover the football team later on will be amazing because of their conference opponents (Arizona, Cal, USC, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, UCLA, and Stanford). I am extremely excited for this season when Northern Arizona, Illinois, Utah, Oregon, UCLA, and Washington State come to Tempe. And if Todd Graham can turn the program around and make it a perennial contender for the Pac-12 south title and tons of appearances in the Pac-12 title game (and bring it to Tempe every once in a while) that will make it even better. Another plus for ASU is the girls. If my readers don't already know ASU's reputation in that regard, let's just say that some of the hottest girls in America go to ASU. The party scene will also be pretty awesome. If it's not already obvious, I am extremely excited to start at Arizona State in August and that I will be moving in in less than two months is extremely exciting. FEAR THE FORK!!!  
The First Runner-Up: This school just joined the SEC, their mascot is the Tigers, and I mentioned them in the part above about Arizona State,..... The University of Missouri

I chose not to attend Mizzou because of one main reason. I filled out an application for a scholarship from the Colorado chapter of the  Missouri Alumni Association. I had to write at least one essay, which isn't that bad, along with a crap ton short answer questions, I'm pretty sure I had to send in a letter of rec, had to send them my transcripts, and do a phone interview. I thought this would be for a substantial amount of money, but when it came back, and I had received the scholarship, it was only worth $500. As I was about $10,000 short of where I needed to be to attend Missouri and become a Tiger, the $500 really didn't make a difference and I enrolled at Arizona State later that afternoon. Even with the pluses of attending a really established journalism program, and a school that is joining the SEC this year, I just could not afford to attend this great school and I wish them the best of luck this year (except on September 15 when Arizona State visits and beats Missouri!) 

The Second Runner-Up: This school is based in a town called Fort Worth, their mascot is a frog, and won the Rose Bowl in 2011,....Texas Christian University 
TCU is also just a school that I just cannot afford to attend. As a private school, their tuition is higher than most schools. Even with the awesome $11,000 scholarship I was awarded by TCU I was so far off of their tuition that I had to throw them on the back burner, and finally turn the heat off. I loved the Schieffer School and their Director, John Lumpkin, is an amazing guy and TCU has a bright journalistic future ahead of them. But they are in that class of schools that are making it infeasible for kids to go to college. It just simply costs too much and getting loads of debt from student loans while pursuing an undergraduate degree is just not worth it. Good luck in the Big 12 TCU! Beat the crap outta Texas! 

The Third-Runner Up: This school has a football team that made an appearance in the National Championship in 2010 and won the Rose Bowl in 2011, their mascot is a duck..... The University of Oregon

Oregon opened up really strong in this race. From the moment I started looking at which college to attend, Oregon was in contact with me and it looked like they really wanted me to go there. And with the emergence of their football program and their a capella men's choir, On the Rocks (and they are amazing, just check them out on YouTube), they became one of the schools that I really wanted to go to. But sadly, my visit there was not that great and from then on, they just continued to fall down my list. Oregon was an awesome campus with an amazing football program and an awesome journalism program but it just was not the best fit for me. 

And the Fourth Runner-Up: This school used to be called Colorado A&M, they have an up-and-coming basketball program, and the campus is in my hometown of Fort Collins, Colorado......... Colorado State University
Although I will always cheer for CSU and I do love it, CSU was never really a college that I wanted to attend. From the beginning they were in last place and honestly, I only applied there because I was told that I had to apply to one in-state school and CSU has the best journalism program in the state now that CU has closed their J-School. So I applied there and decided not to attend basically from the moment I was accepted. I also didn't want my college experience to be just like high school and since pretty much all of my friends are going to CSU this fall or in two years after going to the local community college, I knew that I needed to get away (hence why all four other schools are out of state). I love CSU and I can't wait until they build their on-campus stadium, and I plan on being there when it opens, and I can't wait to see the future of the school.

But after it all, I am an Arizona State Sun Devil and as I said earlier, I cannot wait to start there in the fall. Fell free to tell me where you think I should have gone in the comments or say what you think about the whole search in general. I will have my school articles up soon so be looking for them!