Big East LobsterFest 2010: The Contenders

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Every season, we set goals.  Most of those goals are on the field of play.  They involve trophies and helmet stickers and Bones and pats on the butt from Doug Marrone.

But we also have off-the-field goals.  Sure, many of them are academic in nature.  But others are about nature itself.  The never-ending battle between man and creature.  Human and crustacean.  Hunger and stomach-wall-lining strength.

Big East Media Day is Tuesday.  But we all know that's just the appetizer for the main course.  Lobster.  Lots and lots of lobster.  And for Syracuse's football players, the goal could not be clearer.  Eat them.  Eat them all.  Eat them all to HELL!!!

Ryan Bartholomew leads the charge for the Orange as they take on not only the red menace of New England but also the seven other Big East school representatives on hand.  That list has been made official and it's time to separate the contenders from the pretenders.  Before we do, let's be clear on what our goals are for Tuesday.

Syracuse School Lobster-Eating Record: 7, Ryan Durand (2008)

Big East Lobster-Eating Record: 9*, Brian Leonard, Rutgers (2008)

*unconfirmed

2008 was the Golden Age of Mass Lobster Consumption, but something tells me we're about to enter a Renaissance.  A greasy, butter-soaked Renaissance.  So who's going to make it happen? We covered the SU players here but what about the competition?

Cincinnati

Not well-thought-out.  This isn't the way Brian Kelly would have done it.  Just sayin'''

Pretenders: QB Zach Collaros and WR Armon Binns just don't have it in them. 

Contenders: LB JK Schaffer might throw down four or five but I just can't see him challenging the big boys.

Connecticut

The Huskies were downright scientific in their selection.  Lots of big bodies and, more importantly, lots of big tummies.

Pretenders: None.

Contenders: LB Scott Lutrus is a workhorse.  FB Anthony Sherman is built for power-eating. So is DT Kendall Reyes.  Smart money is on OG Zach Hurd throwing down.  He's a legit threat.

Louisville

What they lack in numbers they make up for in girth.

Pretenders: None.

Contenders: LB Brandon Heath might go down but he's taking a lot of lobsters with him. OL Mark Wetterer has been waiting a long time for this opportunity.

Pitt

Smart enough to bring five stomachs with them, but were they the right ones?

Pretenders: Waste of time bringing RB Dion Lewis, WR Jonathan Baldwin and S Dom DeCicco.  Just not enough meat on those bones.

Contenders: OT Jason Pinkston is a legitimate threat but consider me scurred of  DE Greg Romeus.  A fierce combination of size, speed, strength, savvy and perseverance.  He's a five-tool lobster eater.

Rutgers

Just a confusion choice of eaters to bring with you, Schiano.  I just don't get it.

Pretenders: Between the two of them, maybe RB Joe Martinek and S Joe Lefeged will be able to equal one of the big linemen.

Contenders: None.

South Florida

Skip Holtz is still figuring this whole process out.  He might have the competitions best eater and its worst.

Pretenders: QB B.J. Daniels is built for running, not mass-consumption.

Contenders: Just look at C Sampson Genus and tell me he's not a prohibitive favorite?  Plus he's got something the other eaters don't...a catchy name.  That matters.

West Virginia

The Mountaineers are built for speed.  That's no good for a battle like this.

Pretenders: RB Noel Devine and WR Jock Sanders shouldn't even bother.  They should just be on water-fetching duty for...

Contenders: LB J.T. Thomas carries the weight of 'Neer Nation on his esophagus.  The motivation could propel him to high numbers.

---------

And so, after careful consideration, here's how I see things playing out. 

2010 LobsterFest Champion: Ryan Bartholomew, Syracuse (9.5)

2nd Place: Sampson Genus, USF (9)

3rd Place: Greg Romeus, Pitt (7)

4th Place: Zach Hurd, UConn (6)

5th Place: Mark Wetterer, L'ville (5.5)

You may now place your bets...

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