The Evster breaks down this year's Heisman hopefuls

The Evster breaks down this year's Heisman hopefuls

Everyone loves a Heisman winner (except Rashaan Salaam, that guy sucked). And next Saturday night, another strapping, brooding, virile young man will join college football's most exclusive fraternity. Soon after, the new Heisman winner will have his oil-painted portrait hung up alongside some of the finest competitors to ever play the game: like Nile Kinnick, the Iowa Hawkeyes running back who in 1939 rushed for three touchdowns after getting kicked in the brain. Then there was Notre Dame's Leon Hart, who in 1940 entered Heisman lore after he broke a guy's brain. And who can forget Gino Torretta, the Miami gunslinger who had quite possibly the cutest hairy belly button known to man.

Now just like you, I spent most of my Saturday afternoons this football season asleep on my couch. But unlike you, I am responsible for delivering a sports column to my MANIACAL DICTATOR BOSS editor Enrico every Thursday night. So when Enrico emailed me Thursday morning suggesting I ditch my "Top 10 Kurt Nimphius-inspired NBA Hairdos" post in favor of one focused on college football, I had no choice but to comply jumped at the opportunity.

Do I consider myself a college football expert? Sure. Did I write this while watching THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE TELEVISION EXTRAVAGANZA? Absolutely. Is there anything more annoying than when someone asks and answers their own questions? Yes, The Sound of Music live television extravaganza. There's so much singing!

Okay, enough about the Sound of Muse, let's take a look at this year's Heisman hopefuls.

But one more thing about the Sound of Muse ... how dope is that do-re-mi song?!?!

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

Key stats - 3,490 passing yds, 35 td, ZERO charges of sexual assault

Provided he does not kill a prostitute between now and next Saturday, Winston is a lock to win the award. The guy has been incredible, his team is ranked #1, plus Jameis has both a hilarious first AND last name. (I once knew a dog named Winston. He used to sleep in the dryer!) JW is the total package. An absolute stud. I have never, ever seen him play football.

Fun Fact: Jameis also plays baseball for Florida State and was drafted last year by the Texas Rangers. Granted everyone already pretty much knew that, so that kinda negates it from being a fun fact ... but still. He's also dating Carrie Underwood (not true).

Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois

Key stats - Passing: 2,457 yds, 22 td, 5 int ... Rushing: 1,755 yds, 20 td, 7.1 ypc ... Bowling: recently rolled a 211!

Northern Illinois? There is no way that Northern Illinois is a real place. I have been on this earth for 36 years and I have never, EVER, seen one Girl Gone Wild who went to Northern Illinois. But Wikipedia claims it's a place, so I guess it's a place.

Lynch has been tearing it up at NIU, a dual threat whose rushing numbers might be even more impressive than his passing stats. His team is also undefeated going into the final week, and with a win against the mighty BOWLING GREEN GREEN BOWLERS this Friday night, they might even sneak into a BCS bowl game. Not to mention the guy can roll!

Now I'm not saying that 211 is the most impressive score of all time -- it's a good score, don't get me wrong, it's a great score -- but it's the fact that he was so nonchalant in the way he tweeted about it. No punctuation. No emoticons. Just a decent start to a typical Tuesday evening that most likely ended with him snorkeling in a freshman's underwear. Very similar to my night last Tuesday, when I ended up sleeping on the couch because my wife claimed I was snoring out of my own butt.

Fun Fact: Lynch went to Mount Carmel High in Chicago, the same high school as DONOVAN MCNABBERS!!! Other Mount Carmel grads include: Chris Chelios, Antoine Walker and two-time Tony Award winner, Daniel Sunjata! (never heard of him)

Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Philadelphia 76ers

Key stats - 17.7 ppg, 7.3 asst, 5.8 reb, 3.1 stl

He good!

Fun Fact: Coming up with "Fun Facts" is probably the lamest thing that has ever been done on this website.

That Guy Who Returned That Kick in the Iron Bowl, CB, Auburn

Key stats - One bonkers touchdown that made me fill my pants with shit.

The best play in the history of college football. Period. Actually, that might not be true. That Cal-Stanford "the band is on the field!" play was probably better. But this is second. Although I always liked that Desmond Howard 4th and 1 diving in the corner of the end zone jawn against Notre Dame, too. So maybe this is third. Then again there's always a play every year where some guy jumps over a whole guy and kicks someone in the brain, so this is probably like the 14th or 15th best play in college football history. But still ... incredible.

[Enrico says: FLUTIE!]

It was the kind of play you'll tell you're grandchildren about, or if you're like me and are unable to have an erection and make love to your wife, the kind of play you'll tell someone else's grandchildren about. I'll always remember where I was when it happened: at my in-law's house in upstate New York, a house that does not have a working television. You see, my wife's father recently got remarried to a Rabbi (I know!) and the Rabbi is one of those people who prefers to have conversations and eat granola instead of watching television. (I KNOW AGAIN!) And let me just clarify, when I say she's a rabbi, that doesn't mean she's one of those dudes who has a long beard and smells like yogurt, she's actually a very nice human being who plays the guitar and walks around barefoot and is very down-to-earth and understanding. But she also chooses to live in a house without a television which is just WEIRD. I mean, wasn't she even the least bit curious about the latest LIVE TELEVISION EXTRAVAGANZA???

So as I sat in her living room listening to people TALK AND TALK AND GOOD GOD WHEN WILL IT END, I was also secretly checking the score on my phone. As the fourth quarter approached, I started periodically excusing myself, pretending to have a severe case of EAS (Exploding Ass Syndrome) so I could go to the bathroom and watch the game buffering on my phone.

The 99yd touchdown pass was one thing. And the triple option 50-yarder was another. Then came the back-to-back fourth down stops, and the blocked kick, so by the time the last field goal attempt was being teed up, I had been screaming so loudly that everyone in the house thought I had to go to the emergency room.

My Wife: Are you okay in there, Ev?

Yep!

My Wife: You keep screaming.

Not screaming. Not screaming at all!

My Wife: Like, right there, you're screaming. Don't strain.

This is really something!

My Wife: I'm sure it is. I am sure it is. Do you need more toilet pa--

OH MY GAWD!

My Wife: What?! What is happening?!

HE'S GONNA DO IT!

My Wife: What is he doing?! Who is he?!

HE'S GONNAAAAAA DOOOOOO ITTTTTTTT!

My Wife: WHY IS HE IN THERE???

OMGGGGGGGGGGGG!

My Wife: GET HIM OUTTA THERE!!!! RABBIIIIII!!!!

Fun Fact: Below is a (semi-interesting) video of the kick return recreated on Tecmo Bowl. It's almost worth watching.

Andre Williams, RB, Boston College

Key stats - Rushing: 2,102 yds, 17 td, 6.4 ypc ... Receiving: NADA, NUTHIN, NOT ONE STINKIN' RECEPTION

Andre Willy is an absolute beast. He came out of nowhere this year to rush for over TWO THOUSAND yards, but also happens to attend the same school that Enrico went to, so he is officially a MAJOR DORK.

Look at this tweet he sent out earlier this season:

Ughghhghghhh. Shut up. No one cares about intelligent dinner conversations. Except for my Rabbi/Step-Mother-In-Law (who happens to be a very nice person!).

Fun Fact: Doug Flutie can suck my butt!

AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama

Key stats - Passing: 2,676 yds, 26 td, 5 int, 1 really really really hot girlfriend

AJ McCarron has done it. The man has really done it. He's done everything anyone would ever want to do in this world. And I don't mean the back-to-back titles or the upcoming NFL contract, I mean the fact that he has a super-duper-glooper-hot girlfriend. What else in life really matters?

Okay, maybe decent service at Cracker Barrel also matters, but let's talk about more important issues.

Even though AJ has been dating a totally bing-bong-don't-stop-get-it-get-it girl for the last two years, isn't it time for him to cash her in for something different? Not necessarily something better, but a little variety? It's not like Matt Leinart won the Heisman and then stuck with whatever ridiculous chick he was dating at the time. He lived it up as a bachelor and starting goin out with celebrities, porn stars and Playboy Bunns. I'm guessing he also got it on with older chicks, younger chicks, dudes?, whomever. And good for him. Good for him! I would much rather look back on my life knowing that I lived up to my sexual potential as opposed to getting the most out of my athletic skills. Athletic ability is fleeting, sexual domination lasts FOR-EVAH.

So I think we can all agree that it's time for AJ McCarron to break up with Katherine Webb. I'm sorry Katherine, it's not you, it's me. I want to watch AJ McCarron do the diddle-dang-dang with other ladies. Could this be the first time The 700 Level was responsible for a breakup?!?!

Enrico?

Thanks, boss!

Fun Fact: Check out your boy's tattoos!

Real Gs don't cover up their belly buttons!

(I have no idea what that means.)

Follow The Evster @TVMWW.

NBA Notes: City officials declare Kobe Bryant Day in Los Angeles

NBA Notes: City officials declare Kobe Bryant Day in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES -- Lakers fans packed Los Angeles City Hall chambers to witness the mayor and other officials declare Kobe Bryant Day in honor of the retired NBA superstar.

Councilman Jose Huizar said Wednesday's declaration is the city's way of thanking Bryant for his excellence on the court and philanthropic efforts across Los Angeles.

Bryant attended with his pregnant wife and their two daughters. He called the experience "surreal" and jokingly said someone would have to explain to his unborn daughter why "daddy has a day named for him."

Fans cheered and chanted Bryant's name as he was presented a framed proclamation by Mayor Eric Garcetti and council President Herb Wesson.

Bryant played his entire 20-season career with the Lakers, leading them to five NBA championships.

Lakers: No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram, vet Yi Jianlian signed
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Lakers have signed top draft pick Brandon Ingram and Chinese NBA veteran Yi Jianlian and re-signed center Tarik Black.

Ingram was the No. 2 overall pick in this summer's draft. The Duke product's rookie contract is expected to be worth more than $23 million over four years.

The 28-year-old Yi hasn't played in the NBA since 2011-12 with Dallas. The former No. 6 overall draft pick by Milwaukee spent five seasons in the NBA, averaging a career-best 12.0 points and 7.2 rebounds for New Jersey in 2009-10.

Yi spent the past four seasons with the Chinese Basketball Association's Guangdong Southern Tigers. He is an eight-time MVP of the CBA, winning four championships.

The 6-foot-11 Yi averaged 20.4 points per game for China at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Black has averaged 5.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in two seasons with the Lakers.

Timberwolves: Towns chosen as face of 2K mobile app
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns has been tabbed to be the face of 2K's mobile companion application to NBA 2K17 video game, which is set to launch on Sept. 8.

The reigning rookie of the year will be the icon cover athlete for MyNBA2K17, the latest in a series of high-profile endorsements for Towns. The NBA 2K franchise has been the No. 1 selling NBA video game for the last eight years.

"I've been a dedicated NBA 2K fan since I was young, and being selected as the face of MyNBA2K17 is an incredible milestone this early in my career," Towns said on Wednesday. "Playing MyNBA2K and NBA2K is an essential part of my offseason and keeps me grounded during the season with all my travel. I love that I will have the opportunity to connect further with my fans through MyNBA2K17."

The free app connects players to the NBA 2K17 console game and includes facial scanning technology. That allows fans to design players for the game on Xbox One or PlayStation 4 using their own facial features. The app also allows users to watch 2KTV on their mobile devices and play quick games and season tournaments against users around the world.

Towns also has deals with Nike and Samsung among others and made a guest appearance on the Disney television show "Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything" this summer.

On the court, he is teaming with Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Ricky Rubio and Kris Dunn to try to end the Timberwolves' 12-year playoff drought.

Questions loom for Mark Sanchez entering Broncos' 3rd preseason game

Questions loom for Mark Sanchez entering Broncos' 3rd preseason game

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos face critical decisions two weeks before the Super Bowl champions open the season.

They have more questions than answers heading into the third preseason game, none more glaring than at quarterback. Trevor Siemian was named the starter ahead of veteran Mark Sanchez for the game against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, and the full-time job appears to be his to lose.

Siemian, in his second year out of Northwestern, said he isn't looking beyond the Rams.

"I'm not reading too much into it," he said of his second straight start.

Siemian was limited in practice Tuesday because of a bruised right shoulder but he was throwing Wednesday. Coach Gary Kubiak said Siemian did 80 percent of his usual workload and is still on track to be the starter against the Rams.

"He looked good," Kubiak said. "I think he was a little sore coming out but he worked through it and hopefully he'll be better (Thursday)."

Siemian was 10 of 14 for 75 yards and led the Broncos to a touchdown on their first drive of Saturday's game against San Francisco. He dinged his shoulder when he tried to make a tackle on safety Ed Reid, who intercepted him and returned it for a touchdown early in the second quarter.

"I was a little sore and it got a little more sore as it went on. I didn't feel anything right away," Siemian said. "I've gotten better each day. If I'm playing (Saturday) I won't be holding back."

Sanchez struggled in last Saturday's loss to San Francisco. He was 10 of 17 for 120 yards, fumbled twice and was nearly picked off. He said after the game that he "squandered an opportunity" to separate himself from Siemian as the No. 1 quarterback. He clarified that comment Wednesday.

"Squandered an opportunity that game," he said. "It wasn't like, `OK, that's it, throw in the towel.' A lot of people interpreted it that way. That's never been my attitude. I don't quit. I'll take this thing down the wire if that's what it takes, and that's what it looks like, so let's go."

Sanchez wouldn't speculate when asked if this is his last chance to be a starter in the NFL.

"That's a big-picture question," he said. "I'm still in the moment."

The offensive line is still unsettled, most notably right guard. Ty Sambrailo was the projected starter but a hyperextended elbow has sidelined him for most of training camp. Darrion Weems was playing well in place of Sambrailo but suffered a concussion against San Francisco.

Sambrailo is still wearing a brace and has not taken part in practice. Weems is in the concussion protocol.

C.J. Anderson is the clear No. 1 running back but veteran Ronnie Hillman's spot on the roster is in jeopardy because of the play of rookie Devontae Booker and second-year back Kapri Bibbs.

Hillman led the Broncos in rushing last year with 863 yards but Anderson was the main back in the postseason. Anderson rushed for 90 yards and a score in the Super Bowl while Hillman had just five attempts for no gain.

Hillman has responded after being pushed by Booker and Bibbs.

"I thought Ronnie had his most productive game and week last week," Kubiak said. "Ronnie is pushing hard. Kapri has been consistent and Kapri has been a really good special teams player. Those are the things that are really important."

Notes
WR Bennie Fowler had the brace removed from his fractured right elbow and did some work on the field before practice Wednesday. Kubiak said Fowler could be ready for the season opener against Carolina. ... C James Ferentz is out for a few weeks after having a knee scoped Monday. ... DE Derek Wolfe missed his second straight practice to deal with a family issue, Kubiak said. ... CB Aqib Talib returned to practice after missing Tuesday due to illness.

Tonight's lineup: Ryan Howard and Tommy Joseph both start

Tonight's lineup: Ryan Howard and Tommy Joseph both start

Wednesday's matchup against floundering White Sox righty James Shields is a rare opportunity for Phillies manager Pete Mackanin to have both Ryan Howard and Tommy Joseph in the same lineup (see game notes). In an American League ballpark against a right-handed starter, Howard (DH) will bat cleanup and Joseph (1B) will hit sixth.

Howard, who is hitting .378 with five homers and 13 RBIs in August, sat out Tuesday's 9-1 loss (see game recap). The Phillies managed only five hits, as White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon stymied the team's offense.

Cesar Hernandez and Odubel Herrera also return to the lineup. Herrera has four hits in six career at-bats against Shields. Overall, the Phillies have a .297 batting average against the veteran Sox starter. 

With Herrera and Hernandez back at the top of the order, Aaron Altherr moves down from second to seventh. Out of Altherr's 95 at-bats this season, only four have come from the seventh spot. Here is the full lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Maikel Franco, 3B
4. Ryan Howard, DH
5. Cameron Rupp, C
6. Tommy Joseph, 1B
7. Aaron Altherr, LF
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Peter Bourjos, RF