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Rock Chalk Mailbag: Actually Answering A Couple Football Questions Edition

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The college football season gets underway tomorrow with the first FCS game as Montana hosts some school no one cares about, and then it's a brief wait until the first FBS games of the season. Personally I don't get why people are so excited since the CFL has been going on since June and that is better football than college football anyway, but I digress. Today's mailbag discusses the college football playoff, college basketball (of course),  boy bands, and Breaking Bad.

At this point I think anyone playing well would qualify as a surprise given how people have been talking, but I'm going to say tight end Kent Taylor. He had a couple big catches last year, and he should be able to isolate himself on some linebackers given the air raid offense, which hopefully will lead to some long receptions this season. I also really like Virginia Tech transfer WR Josh Stanford, who also should get a lot of work in the air raid offense.

Who are your four predicted playoff teams?

-Mike L.

Noted football expert that I am, I have centered on these four teams:

1. Ohio State

2. TCU

3. Alabama

4. Georgia Tech

Ohio State and TCU aren't very inspired choices: they look like the best two teams to me and I don't see either losing, so they both get in. Alabama might lose more than one game, but the SEC gets the benefit of the doubt from voters so I think the SEC champ will still get in. And Georgia Tech should run through the ACC, leaving Georgia and their ACC Championship game opponent as the only hurdles to the playoff.

I think it's a guarantee we see that. One thing that Beaty does really well is talk the talk. That sounds like a bad thing given what we had with Turner Gill, but it seems so genuine coming from Beaty. Maybe it's because he has been at KU before but it doesn't sound like he's just reading off a script when he talks about how excited he is to be in Lawrence and how good of a job Kansas is. I have been watching some of the videos either taken by the LJW or put out by KU Athletics and I have to say that listening to Beaty and the assistant coaches (especially Rob Likens) gets me pretty fired up for the future.

The worst part about this is it says Bill Self era so I can't promote the greatness of eventual KU Head Coach Jeff Boschee, but I'll try anyway.

1. Tyshawn Taylor

An easy choice for #1 for me. Tyshawn hit two huge free throws to beat Missouri in the final Border War game, was an All American as a Senior, and from a more selfish point of view he was the first player I really went against the grain on analysis wise. He definitely was not a fan favorite his first couple of seasons here, but I kept saying he was good and was going to get even better, and even though it's the dumbest reason to like a player ever I will always be grateful for him proving me right.

2. Jeff Withey

From afterthought to the best defensive weapon in college basketball of the KenPom era. His offense was never incredible, even though he posted good numbers his senior year, but with him on the floor opponents basically didn't score unless they got lucky from three. Anthony Davis, who is currently destroying the NBA, made just 1 field goal in the 2012 national title game and if Kentucky hadn't shot above their season average on jumpers Kansas would have won a title basically all because of Jeff Withey.

3. Cole Aldrich

We are going big here on this team. Cole was the best player of the Self era, a guy who was almost as good of a defensive player as Withey but was one of the better offensive weapons in the country as well. He never gets the credit he deserves because of how goofy he looked while playing and because some of Sherron Collins' heroics overshadowed what Cole did, but he was great.

4. Mario Chalmers

Obviously because he made the shot, but Chalmers has become underrated as a college player because of that shot and because his NBA role has been "get yelled at by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade" but he was a legitimately great college player. He defended well, he shot the lights out from three, and he took care of the ball.

5. Russell Robinson

Robinson's stats are worse than a lot of people remember, but he's a testament to how important seniors can be on a team with as much talent as that 2008 team had. He was probably the best perimeter defender Bill Self has had, and I got to interview him a couple years ago and he was a super nice guy. I also watched him play in a D League game when his Maine Red Claws visited the Dakota Wizards and that was honestly one of the most fun games I've ever been to, even if people were confused as to why I was cheering for the visiting team so much.

I think you'll kind of see them do what they did in the World University Games: Ellis will be the mainstay, Lucas will play when they need rebounding, Mickelson will play when they need interior defense, Traylor will be a sparkplug, and they'll hope Bragg can come along and offer them something by conference season. Obviously the team is much better with Diallo, but don't let anyone fool you: the team is good enough to win a national title with or without him.

As for the football team, my most optimistic pick is 2 wins, so I'm taking the under.

I was always a Backstreet Boys guy. NSync always seemed too "Justin plus 4 other dudes" for me. Also I want it that way is legitimately one of the best 100 or so songs ever made, and appeared on all kinds of best songs of the century lists so that always gives them an edge. Plus Backstreet Boys pretty much started the boy band phenomenon in the 90s.

I will give an honorable mention to O Town, which was formed by a reality show that was ironically entertaining. It was jersey shore minus the steroids and with people who could actually speak their native language. O Town actually released a new album last year and has a couple songs that aren't bad, so I guess they get some points for staying power.

NOTE: IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN BREAKING BAD, STOP READING. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Jesse Pinkman broke almost every law he could during the 5 seasons of Breaking Bad. Murder, theft, distribution and manufacture of dangerous drugs, accessory to a bunch of murders, surely dissolving bodies in acid is against the law, train robbery, I think he had a prostitute in the first season, etc. Even with all the bad things he did, he also had some pretty horrible things happen to him. Being a meth cooking nazi slave might sway a jury.

In the season finale the cops surely picked him up as he sped away from the compound. He uses his one phone call from jail to call you as his lawyer. Knowing what you know about trials, juries, and the law, what do you think his sentence for his crimes would be?

Fizzle

(this is going to be a pretty brief answer because someone could legitimately write 100 pages on Breaking Bad and the legal questions involved and no one wants to read that, so if you have any other questions just get at me on twitter or in the comments).

Some of this is going to depend on whether you think Walter survived. If he did, Jesse is going to get some sort of deal to roll over on Walt to help put him away for life (or give him the death penalty). A quick Wikipedia search says that the death penalty has been abolished in New Mexico, but a lot of these murders would fall under federal jurisdiction because they involved interstate drug trade or in some cases the bodies were moved across state lines, so Walter would still be eligible for the death penalty.

If Walt is dead, I'm not sure the government could prove a lot of things that Jesse did. There would be no witnesses to him dissolving the body in acid, the only people who witnessed the train robbery also participated (or are dead like that kid) and are probably unknown to police, etc. I am going off memory here since it's been a year or so since I've seen the show, but it was my understanding the DEA and other authorities didn't really realize how vast the conspiracy was, didn't realize Gus Fring's involvement, etc, so they might have thought Jesse was just a small time dealer and wouldn't be able to get him for the bigger stuff.

However, he's still probably screwed. His dealings with Walt (and others) would definitely be considered a conspiracy. I'll let the New Mexico Supreme Court take it away:

{10}  New Mexico law defines the crime of conspiracy as "knowingly combining with another for the purpose of committing a felony within or without this state."  Section 30-28-2(A) (emphasis added).1  Our Supreme Court has interpreted this statute to require proof of two mental states:  (1) the intent to agree and (2) the intent to commit the offense that is the object of the conspiracy.  State v. Trujillo, 2002-NMSC-005, ¶ 62, 131 N.M. 709, 42 P.3d 814.

So he's screwed. The New Mexico statutes further add that if the highest crime committed is a first degree felony, the most a conspirator can be convicted of is a second degree felony, so if Walt died, Jesse is probably looking at a lot of second degree felony convictions and is probably in jail for a long time.