By Darren Zancan

It’s that time of year again.Really? Already? I would much rather be at home watching “Surviving Christmas” starring my favorite actor Ben Affleck (yes, got it in), but here we are, back at school.

So it’s just another year to survive.

But imagine if you had the talent of three Chad (Johnson) Ochocinco’s on your football team.

How would opposing defenses handle that? I could see coaches biting their fingernails with sweat pouring down their eyebrows, just hoping they drop balls as much as Brandon Marshall does.

Now imagine if a college team had the talent of three Ochocinco’s.

One word comes to mind: Deadly. Another one just popped in my head: Unstoppable. Wait there’s more: Quick, fierce and smart.

Welcome to the 2010 Eastern Kentucky University football team.

We have that talent in our backyard. I tried to race Shannon Davis, Orlandus Harris and newcomer Matt Lendel in my head, but I quit and stopped to eat a bag of M&M’s instead.

I thought about trying to guard them and break up a pass, but the thought died as fast as summer came and went.

I got to watch just a portion of summer practice and I must say, the talent pool is deep, maybe deeper than it has been in years. Cincinnati fans get the chance to see Ochocinco, Terrell Owens and the rest of the receivers run routes around opposing defenses. I am not a Bengals fan, but I am intrigued by what they have the potential to do.

Potential is the key word, but potential means the formula is already there, just have to put it together.

I believe the Colonel offense has that same potential. They have deadly potential. I almost want to be the first to call them the best, but I will wait until I see some results.

It’s easy to drink the Kool-Aid when watching camp. But it’s different when going against teams like Louisville, Jacksonville State and Missouri State.

Did I mention Eastern plays Louisville? This is a game you should travel to. With the offense as good as they can be, T.J. Pryor as a lethal quarterback and a stout defense, there’s a chance for a big upset.again. Remember when Eastern beat the Cardinals before?

Luckily we have receivers that have a portion of the talent Ochocinco has. (I say that because he is a professional and we are talking about college players.) I cannot fully compare them to his caliber, but there are similarities.

Davis is the talker on the team, but his play backs it up. I can see the confidence and the eagerness to step on the field when I talk to him.

When I talked to Lengel, the 6’7″ transfer, I felt intimidated. I hope opposing players feel the same.

This is the year of new streaks – moreover, a winning streak.

Being a fan this year will be a special thing.

We have our own Ochocinco’s in the back yard (minus the attitude, name changes and drama.)

Things I think I was thinking about in the sports (and not-so-sports related) world:

Women’s soccer is a team to watch. Most of these players have been together for three years now. Chemistry takes a while to build. This could be the year.

Did you hear about the woman who was so mad she didn’t get her chicken nuggets she beat the heck out of a drive-thru attendant at McDonald’s? On New Year’s Eve a woman wanted nuggets, but it was too early to serve them, so she got out of the car and beat the drive-thru lady senseless. Then she smashed the window with her fist.twice. Hey Don King, say hello to your next big boxer! I’m not sure a 20-piece is worth 60 days in jail.

Apparently you can grow a pea tree in your lung. It’s true. A man was eating peas and a week later had trouble breathing. Why? A pea tree was growing under his lung. True story.

Cross-country is ranked first for men’s and women’s. Congrats. No matter who runs, they seem to have the talent and dedication to be the top players in the OVC.

This is tuning up to be a big year in Eastern sports.