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IN YOUR BIG ORANGE PANTS IT'S TIME TO DANCE!!! Regardless of whether the big man in Orange is there anymore or not, the Fulmer Cup retains both its name and scoring system for 2009. DANCE AND ELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF ANOTHER OFFSEASON!!!

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The Fulmer (Memorial) Cup celebrates in Bronx Cheer fashion those in collegiate athletics most prone to testing the bounds of civil and criminal code with outlandish, illegal, and sometimes injurious behavior. If you're joining us for the first time here: the Fulmer Cup awards points for programs based on charges filed against players from said programs, with the points going to a collective tally for each school.

This solves two problems with one stone: killing time during the interminable offseason, and determining the answer to the age-old message board question, "Is your football program geniunely more thuggish than mine?"

This humble website awards the points based on the rules, which are as follows, but with a few minor tweaks this season:

* Murder: 5 points.

* Rape: 4 points. Downgraded to one if either participant is wearing a clown mask.

* Bestiality: 4 points. It's a form of rape, really, no matter how much the goat has had to drink. High point value justified further by the fact that it involves having sex with an animal. You could say this was unthinkable, but in the past year alone two stories involving college athletes and at least the association with barnyard bonhomie of a most intimate degree have been reported, including the EDSBS Official GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD: the arrest of Oregon State player Ben Siegert for stealing a sheep used in a study on homosexuality in sheep.

* Grand Larceny: 4 points. We use this as a catchall for players being involved in crime so outrageous and well-planned it can only be described as 'nefarious,' 'professional,' or 'legislation.' Applies to large drug rings, chop shop operations, and the Haitian human trafficking ring that's been run out of the Miami locker room since '93. (We kid! They didn't get that thing humming 'til '95 at the earliest.)

* Hitting Girls: 3 points. We'll downgrade this to 2 if the girl can hold her weight and requires daily medication to prevent her from gouging her own eyes out (since those were the ones we always ended up dating, and we understand); or we'll upgrade to 4 points if the damage includes intensive care. Dad always said never hit girls, so we take this one seriously. Dad also said always double down with split aces, too, but we'll be damned if we didn't end up selling bone marrow in Macau the last time we followed that bit of advice.

* Car theft/Assault/Driving through houses drunk/Drug possession of the Tyrone Biggums variety: 3 points. "Drug possession" never sounds all that bad until you add in 'crack cocaine,' which is society's signifier that your life has gone from that of high functioning simian in a complex society to that of a rat with electrodes in your brain's pleasure centers hitting a pedal in a glass box in a lab. Weed? Par for the course, especially if you're NFL-bound. Crack? Break out the Sports Century 'Weepy Sonata' music, because the story of your descent from boundless potential has just begun, and they haven't even begun to show the grainy shots of 130-lb you huddled in a shelter on Skid Row.

* Fightin' in 'da Club/Weed Possession/Standard DUI: 2 points. Any scenario involving group fighting of a thugged-out, 'we run this place' variety, and marijuana possession of the nickel bag level. Possession of 100 pounds of marijuana is a totally different thing, and takes you right back up to the 4 point 'nefarious' level.

* Drankin'/Suspended License/Assorted petty misdemeanors: 1 point.

Pay attention! NEW SHIT CONTAINED!!! There is something to be said for a program that has eight or nine multiple small arrests in a single offseason losing to a program with only two or three arrests of spectacular nature. To counter this effect, we propose a force multiplier tacked on to a program after the third arrest regardless of the charge to account for the shame brought on a program when the eighth arrest comes rolling down the pike. It works like this:

Third arrest: No bonus

Fourth arrest: Four bonus points awarded.

Fifth arrest: Five bonus points awarded, and so on and so on.

This may seem overly cruel, but consider that Iowa, a program undoubtedly the most lawless over the brief span of the Fulmer Cup's existence, has never won the Cup despite having people arrested constantly for little two and three point crimes. Contrast this with Alabama, who earned a crown last year based largely on the tremendous points garnered by Jimmy John's booger sugar operation and its subsequent busting.

The multiplier applies to sepearate incidents only. Five guys arrested at once at a frat party will not kick in the multiplier. It is meant to emphasize the pattern and lack of discipline overall, not supercharge already sensational scores from single incidents.

You will find the following two websites most useful:

The Preview. Devil Grad composes an always prescient top ten preview at Miami Hawk Talk. We say prescient because putting a Bill Stewart team in Morgantown at number one is savvy, savvy stuff indeed, though the classic Arizona State pick is proof that when Dennis Erickson coaches your team in any decade, they're going to score...on or off the field.

The Scoreboard. We update the field weekly here thanks to Brian, who is hung like Reggie Fucking Nelson, but the sick, wonderful people at SAS Wiki keep their own tally as well as the Fulmer Cup Processing Station, a necessary repository of scores we either haven't scored yet or missed entirely. (And if you're familiar with this website, missing things entirely is all part of the fun. Or negligence. Or both.)

Enough! Gentlemen! To your kegs, scooters, and slapping stations! Fetch your dimebags of weed and performance-enhancing substances! Prepare the open containers, and hie thee to a club of convenience to begin the fightin in said club! The Fulmer Cup is open for business. Let the accounting begin.