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Top 10 Ways To Pass The Offseason Until Tip Off

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This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011.

As I type, Spaniards in Madrid, Barcelona and across the world are going bonkers over the country’s first World Cup title. Just three days ago, the "Summer of LeBron" came to a boisterous crescendo, as one of the most anticipated NBA free agency periods all but ended with a new title favorite.

In short, the dog days of summer are here. Yeah, the MLB All-Star game is just a few days away, and drama is sure to ensue next weekend at the British Open from St. Andrews, but there’s really no excuse between now and Labor Day not to catch up on some summer reading... and of course warm up the thumbs for NCAA Football 2011.

Here are the 10 best ways college basketball fans (who also love and enjoy college football) can pass the time leading up to next season:

  • 10) Buy NCAA Football 2011. College football legend TIM TEBOW!!! graces the cover.
  • 9) Read Rush The Court’s Zach Hayes (@zhayes9) on-going "20 at the Top Series." He loves to make lists (who doesn’t?) and will be coming at you for the next six Fridays with the top 20 players in each of the six major conferences. I'll be doing my best to match wits with him.
  • 8) Avoid that damn Entourage show. Because no self-respecting twentysomething really wants to be Turtle, and the new season of Mad Men kicks off on July 25th.
  • 7) Suck it up and throw down $20 for BasketballState.com. Statistical analysis and historical data aplenty, BasketballState is StatSheet.com on steroids, and it's entirely street legal. The summer is a perfect time to explore all its features and breadth of information for junkies.
  • 6) Stay up to date with the latest 2010-2011 scheduling news and notes over at BloggingtheBracket.com. Chris Dobbertean (@chrisdobbertean) is on top of his stuff when it comes to the who/what/where/when of scheduling, including all those fun early season tournaments. Did you know Cincinnati, South Florida and West Virginia are the three lucky Big East teams slated to play lousy DePaul twice next season?
  • 5) Buy NCAA Football 2011. The all new Locomotion System gives gamers the ability to stop momentum on a dime, rebalance after an over-pursue and truly feel what it’s like to play between the sidelines.
  • 4) Track the ongoing story of the NCAA’s investigation of Eric Bledsoe. At this time it’s been reported that one of Bledsoe’s relatives and a family friend told the Birmingham News that they, and not Bledsoe’s high school coach, helped pay rent for Bledsoe and his mother during the former UK guard’s senior year of high school. There’s certainly more layers yet to be peeled back, but it’s a potential saga in the making.
  • 3) Foolishly spend office hours perusing the NCAA Vault.  It was launched in March, giving fans access to highlights and start-to-finish video of every Sweet 16 through National Championship game played since 2000. Did you know that in 2003, #10 seed Auburn played in a regional semi-final game, nearly knocking off eventual national champion Syracuse? It’s this type of relevant information I crave in mid-July.
  • 2) Help me secure an interview with Billy Edeiln. I’m looking at you Onondaga County. Billy is apparently working your in the records department by day, and dominating the King of Kings Summer League by night. This is my second summer writing SFBE, and it’s about time I score some face time with the former Orange guard.
  • 1) Buy, and play, NCAA Football 2011. Because gahd dangit EA Sports is using me as an intermediary to interact with fans, and their investment needs to yield a healthy ROI.