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The PBR Built Ford Tough Series invades Chicago, IL, this weekend for the 2011 Chicago Invitational. Valdiron de Oliveira still sits atop the BFTS standings, while Austin Meier continues to close in on the Brazilian. Guilherme Marchi is currently third, and the 2008 PBR World Champion has a chance to move to the top with a great weekend. Silvano Alves and Shane Proctor are fourth and fifth, respectively, and they will both be trying to continue their climb as well.
The pen of bulls this weekend will be strong as always. A number of big names will be bucking this weekend, including Smack Down, Chicken on a Chain, Voodoo Child, and many more. The first-round draw is up at the PBR Website, and I’ve put together five key match-ups for Saturday night’s first round. If you have anything to add, please comment below or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, be sure to visit the Facebook page and give your input. Enjoy!
Douglas Duncan vs. Ronnie Rooster
Douglas Duncan started the season very well, but he has bucked off nine consecutive bulls. The struggles have dropped him all the way to 29th in the BFTS Standings which means he is extremely close to the cut line. His first-round draw in Chicago is Ronnie Rooster, a bull owned by Reagan Bucking Bulls. This bull will be making his BFTS debut, but he was marked 44 points at a Touring Pro in Jacksonville, FL, a couple weeks ago. He is a great bull, and Duncan will have to bring his best to make the whistle. Ronnie Rooster will have the upper hand in this match-up.
My Pick: Ronnie Rooster
J.B. Mauney vs. Cooper Tires Big Guns
J.B. Mauney has been up-and-down in 2011, but he is still eighth in the BFTS Standings. His first-round draw Saturday night is Cooper Tires Big Guns, a bull owned by Dakota Rodeo/Berger/Struve/Schott. In four BFTS outs in 2011, this bull is unridden with an average bull score of 42.94 points. His average buckoff time this year is an impressive 2.65 seconds. J.B. bucked off this bull at a Touring Pro event last August, and he will definitely be looking for some payback. This one is 50/50, but I’m taking Mauney to make the whistle and be in the high 80s.
My Pick: J.B. Mauney
Mike Lee vs. Wrangler
Mike Lee hasn’t had a great start to the 2011 season, but he is still 18th in BFTS Standings heading into this weekend’s event in Chicago. His first-round draw is Wrangler, a bull owned by Box K Cattle/Universal Pro Rodeo. He hasn’t had any BFTS outs in 2011, but he was ridden once in five outs in 2010. Lee rides left-handed, and this bull hasn’t had much success bucking off guys who ride with their left hand. Wrangler is a very solid bull, and this match-up should result in a qualified ride in the mid-to-high 80s. This should set Mike up very well for the rest of the event.
My Pick: Mike Lee
Shane Proctor vs. Very Smart Remedy
Shane Proctor has ridden better than anyone since Oklahoma City, and he will be looking to continue the momentum this weekend. His first-round draw is Very Smart Remedy, a bull owned by Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls. He is one of the toughest bulls to make the whistle on, and he has bucked off all four riders on the BFTS this season. I made the prediction Proctor will win this weekend in Chicago, and I’m standing by that. It’s going to be extremely tough for Shane to ride this bull, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt because he has ridden almost everything the past month.
My Pick: Shane Proctor
Stormy Wing vs. Gray Squirrel
Stormy Wing has bucked off 11 consecutive bulls, and he is now 32nd in the BFTS Standings. Things won’t get any easier for Wing in Chicago because he has drawn Gray Squirrel in the first round. This bull is owned by New Frontier Rodeo, and he has been very impressive in the early season. He has been out three times on the BFTS, and he is unridden with an average bull score of 43.92 points. His score has improved every out so far, and I expect that to continue this weekend. Wing hasn’t been riding well, and Gray Squirrel has been bucking everyone off. This seems like a no-brainer, so I’m going with the bull.
My Pick: Gray Squirrel
The 2011 PBR Built Ford Tough Series is coming off a great weekend in St. Louis and will now turn its attention to Chicago, IL. Guilherme Marchi and Shane Proctor were the only two riders to ride all five bulls in St. Louis last weekend, and Marchi squeaked out the victory by one point. The 2008 PBR World Champion has already won two events this season, and he is clearly going to be a factor in this year’s World Title race. Proctor has been on fire the last few weeks, and his strong finish moved him into the top five in the season standings.
Valdiron de Oliveira still leads the 2011 BFTS Standings, but his lead has shrunk to 30.75 points over Austin Meier. The race is definitely heating up, and it’s going to be interesting to see how things go in Chicago. I’ve put together five predictions for this weekend’s Chicago Invitational. If you have anything to add, please comment below or email me at: email@example.com. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the article!
Valdiron de Olveira Will Still be On Top of the Standings After Chicago
Valdiron de Oliveira has ridden 75 percent of his bulls this season, and that’s one of the main reasons he is leading the BFTS Standings going into this weekend’s event. Austin Meier has been chipping away at the lead the last couple weeks, but that will come to an end in Chicago. VDO will more than likely get on four bulls in two days, and he will more than likely ride at least three of those four. All the riders currently in the top five are riding extremely well, so there could be some shifting in the standings this weekend. That being said, there won’t be a shift at the top.
Travis Briscoe Will Ride His Way Back Under the Cut Line
Has there been a bigger disappointment than Travis Briscoe so far this season? Briscoe usually starts the season on fire before struggling down the stretch. Maybe the opposite will happen this year, but he needs to get things going before the next cut. He is currently 33rd in the BFTS Standings, and he has ridden only 25 percent of his bulls in 2011. He is obviously struggling with his confidence and has recently written the letters “CHIN” on his glove to remind him to keep his chin down during his rides. The only thing more surprising than Briscoe’s slow start will be him getting cut from the tour in a couple weeks. That’s not going to happen, however, and he will show some desperation in Chicago this weekend and get back on track.
Smack Down Will Continue His Recent Domination
Smack Down, a bull owned by Dakota Rodeo/Berger/Struve/Rosen, has been one of the most impressive bulls the last few weeks. I thought he was the second-best bull behind Bushwacker at the Iron Cowboy Invitational two weeks ago, and he was the highest-marked bulls last weekend in St. Louis. He hasn’t received the attention Bushwacker and I’m A Gangster have received so far this season, but let me be the one who starts the hype machine for Smack Down. He has been outstanding in 2011, and that will continue this weekend in Chicago if he makes an appearance.
Voodoo Child Won’t Be in the Final Championship Round
This prediction is a little more far-fetched than my others so far, but it’s a gut feeling I have. Voodoo Child hasn’t been the same bull he was at the beginning of last season, and that’s just part of the business. He is one of the best bulls of all time, and his career and longevity has been outstanding. That being said, his time in the spotlight is slowly coming to an end. He still has the potential to be a short-go bull, and he will probably be a part of the short-go on Saturday night. He has been marked under 44 points two out of four BFTS outs this season, and that’s probably not going to be good enough to be a part of the Championship Round Sunday afternoon. Let’s see if Cody Lambert agrees with me.
Shane Proctor Will Win the 2011 Chicago Invitational
No rider has been hotter than Shane Proctor the past few events. Since Oklahoma City, he has ridden 10 out of 11 bulls. I mentioned above he went 5-for-5 and finished second last weekend in St. Louis, and that hot streak will continue in Chicago. I haven’t seen a copy of the draw yet, but it doesn’t matter. Proctor is riding well enough to make the whistle on long-round and short-go bulls, and when the dust settles Sunday afternoon, he will be in the winner’s circle. He won’t be able to jump to the top of the BFTS Standings, but he will continue moving up the list.
Keep an eye on Sean Willingham, L.J. Jenkins, and Kody Lostroh as well. Willingham went 4-for-5 in St. Louis, and he has been riding with much more confidence lately. He has moved up to 13th in the standings. Jenkins has ridden over 57 percent of his bulls this season, but he just hasn’t figured out the first round. If he gets a score on his first bull Saturday night, look for him to be a factor in Chicago. Lostroh returned last weekend after several weeks off because of an elbow injury. He went 3-for-5, including a long-round win Sunday afternoon. The 2009 PBR World Champion looked healthy, and it won’t be long before he moves into the top 10.
Photo Credit: All rights reserved by heegeman329 (Flickr)
There aren’t many PBR bull riders who create more discussion than J.B. Mauney. The North Carolina cowboy always gets some of the biggest cheers at live events, and the PBR has put a big spotlight on him since his debut five years ago. Every fan seems to have a different opinion on Mauney, and some of them aren’t very high. Whether it’s his gritty riding style in the arena or occasional temper tantrum outside the arena, he certainly knows how to cause a stir in the bull riding world.
Whether you love or hate J.B. Mauney, he is still the face of the PBR. I’m going to take a look at both sides of the controversial bull rider, and I’ll give my opinion on him at the end of the article. If you have anything to add, please comment below or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please visit and like the Bull Riding Rant Sports Facebook page. Enjoy!
The first thing worth mentioning is J.B. Mauney’s performance so far in the PBR. There is no doubting how talented he is, and his results over his first five years back that up in a major way. He started riding on the Built Ford Tough Series in 2006, and he was named the Rookie of the Year that season. He finished a modest 25th in the final standings, but that was just a precursor of things to come.
2007 was a breakout season for Mauney, and he finished third in the world behind only Justin McBride and Guilherme Marchi. In 2008, the North Carolina bull rider did one better and finished the season second behind Marchi. Mauney finished the 2009 season second once again, and he was probably a ride or two away from winning the gold buckle. Even though he was a little more inconsistent in 2010, he still finished third in the final standings. He has already had his ups-and-downs in 2011, but he is still seventh in the season standings. Other than Marchi, no bull rider has been more consistent over the past five seasons.
Mauney has already accomplished so much in the sport of bull riding, and he still has several more years to make an even larger impact. He was a perfect 8-for-8 at the 2009 PBR World Finals, he has performed well at the PBR World Cup in the past, and he continues to knock on the door of winning the PBR World Title. And when it comes to the draft, he isn’t afraid to pick the rankest bull available and believe he can ride him. When it comes to talent and desire, there aren’t many riders who have more than Mauney.
J.B. Mauney has a lot of passion for the sport of bull riding. If anyone doubts that, he or she probably hasn’t watched him ride much. When he bucks off, he occasionally throws a fit after he leaves the arena. This past weekend in St. Louis, he left the arena before throwing his bull rope and helmet down the hall. He gave the helmet a nice kick for good measure and went on about his business. Several fans absolutely despise this kind of attitude, and a number of them feel he should be punished for his actions.
Another reason some fans don’t care for J.B. Mauney centers around the fact he has been portrayed as the golden child of the PBR the last few seasons. He hasn’t won a World Title yet, but he seems to get as much or more attention than any other rider in the organization. It’s also no secret he has gotten a few breaks in recent years when it comes to replay challenges and/or possible reride situations. This is out of Mauney’s hands, but it still makes fans cheer against him on occasion. The more the PBR talks about him, the more fans seem to dislike him.
The Final Say
I’ve never been J.B. Mauney’s #1 fan, but I’ve never been one of his detractors either. The more I hear about fans griping about his actions outside the arena, however, the more I’m starting to like and cheer for the guy. I’m not going to sit here and say it’s mature to throw helmets and temper tantrums. That being said, it’s really nobody’s business what the guy does when he leaves the arena. The camera crew shouldn’t be following him after a buckoff anyway, and that’s also out of Mauney’s control. I’d rather see a guy show emotion rather than not care at all.
I love the sport of bull riding, and when it comes down to it, J.B. Mauney is one of the most consistent bull riders in PBR history. He has only been around five years, but he has been one of the top two or three during that time. He is passionate about the sport, and he will get on anything put under him.
His goal every season is to win the PBR World Title, and anything less is a disappointment to him. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and while it gets him in trouble with the fans from time-to-time, I respect the fact he hates losing or getting bucked off. The more time goes by, the more I cheer for Mauney. If he wins the 2011 PBR World Title, it will be outstanding for the sport because he is indeed the face of bull riding.
It’s your turn to tell me what you think about J.B. Mauney. Do you love him, or do you hate him? Also, give reasons for your choice. If you have an opinion on this, please comment below or visit the Facebook page and give your input there. Thanks for reading!
Photo Credit: All rights reserved by Hazboy (Flickr)
The PBR Bull of the Year race is already heating up as the first two months of the 2011 season is in the books. The bulls are obviously half the story in bull riding, and there have been plenty of great ones so far this year. I’ve put together a power rankings through the first two months of the season. There really isn’t any debate with the top two, but opinions may differ after that. If you have anything to add, please comment below or email me at: email@example.com. Also, please feel free to visit the Facebook page if you haven’t already. Enjoy!
1. Bushwacker- Julio Moreno/Richard Oliveira
There isn’t much to say about Bushwacker that hasn’t already been said. He is the rankest bull to come along in quite awhile, and he has undoubtedly been the best in the PBR in 2011. He has been out four times on the Built Ford Tough Series this season, and he is unridden with an average bull score of 46.88 points. In addition, Bushwacker’s average buckoff time is an astounding 2.63 seconds, and the four riders he has dominated are Austin Meier, J.B. Mauney, Mike Lee, and Robson Palermo. That pretty much says it all.
2. I’m A Gangster- Jeff Robinson/Cappello
Bushwacker is the clear choice for number one, and I’m A Gangster is definitely the clear choice for number two on the list. In four BFTS trips this season, he is unridden with an average bull score of 46.06 points. His average buckoff time in 2011 is 2.14 seconds which is actually more impressive than Bushwacker, and he has bucked off top-10 guys J.B. Mauney and Paulo Lima. I’m A Gangster has been a great bull for three or four years, and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
3. Smack Down- Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Struve/Rosen
Smackdown gets overlooked a little, but he has quietly put together a very solid 2011 season so far. He has been out five times on the BFTS this season, and his average bull score is 44.94 points. He has been ridden just once, and that was worth 90 points. In a great pen of bulls at the Iron Cowboy Invitational a couple weeks ago, he was one of the bulls that really stood out. He dominated Valdiron de Oliveira, and that says a lot about how good he is. Smack Down could be a sleeper in this year’s PBR Bull of the Year race.
4. Super Duty- Jeff Robinson/Katich/Pinnacle Bull Group
Super Duty, formerly known as Major Payne, is having another great season on the Built Ford Tough Series. He is hauled as much as any other bull in the PBR, and he is still getting the job done on a regular basis. In five BFTS outs in 2011, he has an average bull score of 44.95 points. He has been ridden twice this season, and the average ride score is 90.88 points. Super Duty seemed to pull up a little gimpy this past weekend in St. Louis, and hopefully it’s nothing serious. If all is well, he will be well on his way to being a finalist for Bull of the Year.
5. Crosswired- D&H Cattle Company/Clifton Wiggins
Crosswired has been around for a few years, and he was very successful as a three and four-year old. After struggling at times in 2010, he has really been on top of his game in 2011. In three BFTS outs this season, his average bull score is 45 points. He has been ridden twice this year, and the average ride score is 91.75 points. Crosswired may not have some of the extra-rank trips he used to have, but it looks like he is going to be much more consistent moving forward. That will keep him on this list for awhile.
6. Perfect Poison- Boyd/Floyd Bull Company
Perfect Poison is a bull I didn’t like much in 2010, but he has really become more consistent in 2011. He has only been out twice on the BFTS, but he is unridden with an average bull score of 45.13 points. He was strong in Arlington a couple weeks ago, but he was extremely rank in Oklahoma City last month. Perfect Poison may not get as many outs as some of the others on this list, but if he keeps bucking like he has so far this season, he will be a surprise contender for Bull of the Year.
7. Priceless- D&H Cattle Company/L&E Bulls
Priceless had a decent 2010 season as a four-year old, but he has really stepped things up a notch in 2011. He has four BFTS trips so far this season, and his average bull score is 44.56 points. He has been ridden twice, and Robson Palermo (91 points) and Guilherme Marchi (90.5 points) were the two guys who rode him. I still don’t think fans have seen the best Priceless has to offer, and if that’s the case, he will continue to move up this list as the season progresses.
8. Cooper Tires Wild & Out- Dakota Rodeo/Clay Struve/Box K Cattle Company
Cooper Tires Wild & Out has quietly put together a very strong and consistent season on the Built Ford Tough Series. He has five BFTS trips in 2011, and he has an average bull score of 44.4 points. He has been ridden only once this year, and that was by Austin Meier (90 points) this past weekend. He had some off trips in 2010, but he has been marked at least 44.25 points in every trip this season. This bull doesn’t have what it takes to be a true contender for PBR Bull of the Year, but he should be a consistent in the power rankings this year.
9. Carrillo Cartel- 4C’s/Sills/HD Bucking Bulls
Carrillo Cartel has been a constant on the Built Ford Tough Series since 2008, and he continues to buck extremely well three years later. He has been out three times so far in 2011, and he has an average bull score of 44.42 points. He has been ridden all three times, and the average ride score is 91.17 points. Colby Yates made one of the best rides of the season on this bull in Arlington (92.25 points), and that’s what most people will remember him for this year. Hopefully he continues to impress the rest of the season.
10. After Party- Circle T Ranch & Rodeo
After Party was the 2010 PRCA Bull of the Year, and he has been a great new addition to the PBR in 2011. He has four BFTS trips so far this season, and his average bull score is 44.44 points. He has been ridden once, and that was by Guilherme Marchi this past weekend in St. Louis (90.25 points). I’m excited to see After Party the rest of the season, and it will be interesting to see how he bucks after being ridden by Marchi. I fully expect him to bounce back and buck a lot of guys off.
The Next Five: Chicken on a Chain, RMEF Gunpowder & Lead, Pure Smoke, Yellow Jacket Jr., Bad Moon.
Photo Credit: Chad Sattler (Flickr)
The PBR Built Ford Tough Series is two months into the new season, and it’s been an exciting one so far. The great riders and bulls are already starting to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack, and the same can be said for the ABBI Classic bulls. There have only been two major events for the three and four-year old animal athletes, but several of the young bulls have already made an impact.
The ABBI will host a number of Classic events throughout the rest of the season, and the top bulls will earn their way to the PBR World Finals in October with hopes of winning big money. The two events already completed include the New Year’s Eve PBR Cowtown Classic and the Oklahoma City PBR BFTS Classic. I’ve put together a list of five young bulls that have really impressed me so far this season. There are still quite a few more events in 2011, but these bulls will surely continue to make their mark. If you have anything to add, please comment below or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!
V-5- Henry Wilson/Marty Foutch
V-5 hasn’t won a Classic event yet in 2011, but he has definitely been the most consistent so far. He started the season by splitting third and fourth in Fort Worth at the Cowtown Classic, and he followed that up with a runner-up finish in Oklahoma City a couple weeks ago. He scored 88.5 points in Fort Worth, and he racked up 90.5 points in OKC after bucking off J.B. Mauney. V-5 has a ton of potential, and he could very well find himself in some Championship Rounds as the year progresses.
Bad Blake- Lightning C Cattle Company
Bad Blake actually made his mark late last season at the 2010 ABBI Classic Finals in Las Vegas. He had two great trips at the 2010 PBR World Finals and split second and third. He had a lot of expectations coming into 2011, and he hasn’t disappointed so far. He tied for 14th at the Cowtown Classic on New Year’s Eve, but he bounced back by winning Oklahoma City and over $10,000 a couple weeks ago. He was definitely the best bull out, and he deserved the win. In fact, only Bushwacker was marked higher than Bad Blake in OKC. He is going to be one of the definite favorites all year.
Train Wreck- D&H Cattle Company/Enlow & Gilberts
Train Wreck is one of the many up-and-comers for D&H Cattle Company, and he has started the 2011 Classic season very consistently. He finished second in Fort Worth, and he followed that with a seventh-place finish in Oklahoma City. No disrespect to Blackwidow, but I thought Train Wreck should have won the Cowtown Classic on New Year’s Eve. Nonetheless, this bull has looked great so far this year, and you can bet he will continue to make his mark as the season progresses. He is going to win a lot of money in 2011!
Blackwidow- Lufkin Ranch and Rodeo
I mentioned above that Blackwidow won the Cowtown Classic to start the new ABBI Classic season. I thought Train Wreck was a little better, but that doesn’t take anything away from how rank this bull was. He was extremely impressive, and the win was a great way to start the year for Lufkin Ranch and Rodeo. Blackwidow is the only bull on this list that didn’t buck in Oklahoma City two weeks ago, but his victory in Fort Worth is more than enough to get him a spot on the list. So far, he is undefeated in 2011. I’m excited to see how he performs the next time he bucks in competition.
Pure Smoke- Cody Ohl/Ken & Tex Beshears
Pure Smoke has been destined for stardom for a couple years. He won the Futurity Finals in 2009, and he qualified for last year’s ABBI Classic Finals after a great trip in the Wild Card and finished sixth in Las Vegas. He has seemingly been around forever, but he is only a four-year old this season. He started the new year slowly by finishing just outside the top 25 at the Cowtown Classic, but he stepped up in Okahoma City and finished fifth. Pure Smoke was also one of the best bulls out at the Iron Cowboy Invitational last weekend, and his future is extremely bright. He will probably continue to get even better as the season progresses.
Five More to Keep An Eye On: Hustlin, Back Bender, Hurts So Good, Studly, Alternator.
Welcome back to Bull Riding Rant Sports. I launched the website in August of 2010. I was given an opportunity to write for a bull riding organization, and I jumped at the opportunity. After about six months, I’ve decided to relaunch Bull Riding Rant Sports. My passion is the PBR and ABBI, and that’s what I’m going to cover. You can expect the usual event previews and reviews, power rankings, and various opinion articles. As always, please provide feedback if there is anything you would like to say. Be sure to visit the Bull Riding Rant Sports Facebook page and like it, and you can also become a follower on Twitter. Enjoy the ride because it’s going to be a great one!
The Built Ford Tough Series returns to action in Memphis Friday and Saturday night, and the event should be as exciting as last weekend in Nashville. The bull pen is as strong or stronger, so there will be plenty of chances to see 90-point rides. I’ve put together eight key first-round match-ups, and as always, I’ll do my best to give a prediction. If you have any to add, please comment below or email me at: email@example.com. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the event!
Caleb Sanderson vs. RFD-TV
Caleb Sanderson has had his ups-and-downs in 2010, but he has maintained his spot on the BFTS the entire season and currently sits 26th in the standings. He is coming off a 1-for-3 performance and short-go appearance in Nashville. His first-round bull in Memphis is RFD-TV, a bull owned by Teague Bucking Bulls, LLC. In 11 BFTS outs this year, he has been ridden seven times for an average ride score of nearly 89.5 points. Sanderson could win the round on this bull, but RFD-TV will throw a rider off if he stubs his toe at all. If all else fails, I go with the animal athlete.
My Pick: RFD-TV
Chris Shivers vs. Stinger
Chris Shivers is currently 25th in the standings which is hard to believe, but he still shows signs of the old Shivers every once in awhile. He has drawn Stinger in the first round this weekend. Stinger, a bull owned by Folds/Strickland Bucking Bulls, is unridden in two outs this season with an average bull score of 43.25 points. This is a great draw, and it’s one Chris should take advantage of. It should put him somewhere near the top five in round one.
My Pick: Chris Shivers
Cord McCoy vs. Deja Blu
Cord McCoy returned to the BFTS last weekend for the first time in months, and fans will get to see him again in Memphis. Unfortunately for McCoy, he hasn’t really gotten anything going in 2010. He has drawn Deja Blu in round one, and that’s one of the best draws a rider could hope for. McCoy had this bull last weekend, and he warmed him up about half the ride. The bad thing with this match-up is the fact Deja Blu will probably go away from his hand, and the riding redhead has trouble in that area. This bull will probably be even better this weekend as well.
My Pick: Deja Blu
Guilherme Marchi vs. Cool Spot
Guilherme Marchi moved down to sixth in the standings after an 0-for-2 performance in Nashville last weekend. He actually looked off a couple bulls which was a surprise. His first-round bull this weekend will be Cool Spot, another bull owned by Folds/Strickland Bucking Bulls. Cool Spot was in the long round last weekend as well, but he bucked like a short-go bull (44.25 and could have been higher). Like I said last week, Marchi is still injured and it has shown in recent weeks. As hard as it is to pick against Guilherme again, this isn’t a bull that will do a rider any favors when battling injuries.
My Pick: Cool Spot
Reese Cates vs. Rusty Zipper
Reese Cates is coming off an 0-for-2 weekend in Nashville, and he currently sits 54th in the standings. He has a ton of talent, but he just hasn’t been very good since winning PBR Rookie of the Year honors in 2008. Things won’t start off any easier for him this weekend either, as he has drawn Rusty Zipper in the first round. This bull, owned by Robinson/Cappello/Teague, has been ridden three times in seven BFTS outs for an average ride score of 88 points. Those numbers are a little misleading because this bull has gotten better and better throughout 2010. He is a little out-of-line at times, and he will toss Cates pretty quickly.
My Pick: Rusty Zipper
Silvano Alves vs. Segs The Juice
Silvano Alves finished eighth last weekend, and he is currently 23rd in the standings. That’s pretty remarkable because he has only been to eight BFTS events and is riding over 65 percent of his bulls. His first-round draw in Memphis is Segs The Juice, a bull owned by Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls. In 19 BFTS outs in 2010, this bull has been ridden 11 times for an average ride score of 87.57 points. This is the easiest pick in the first round, and Alves will be near the top of the leaderboard after all is said and done.
My Pick: Silvano Alves
Valdiron de Oliveira vs. Despicable Me
With all the talk of Renato Nunes and Austin Meier, Valdiron de Oliveira just keeps on riding bulls and rolling along. He is currently third in the standings after a 10th-place finish in Nashville. In fact, he has finished in the top 10 in five consecutive BFTS events. His first-round draw is Despicable Me, a bull owned by Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls. In six outs this year, Despicable Me has been ridden once for an 86.5 ride score. This one isn’t quite the lay-up the match-up above is, but I’m not picking against Oliveira right now.
My Pick: Valdiron de Oliveira
Wiley Petersen vs. Midnight Charlie
Wiley Petersen hasn’t quite been as consistent as usual in 2010, but he is still 17th in the standings. His first-round draw in Memphis is Midnight Charlie, a bull owned by Lufkin Ranch & Rodeo. In four BFTS outs this season, Midnight Charlie has been ridden once for an 85.25 ride score. Judging how he bucked last week, however, he will be a lot better than that in Memphis. He was marked 44.5 points in Nashville and was one of the best long-round bulls out. This one is the toughest of my match-ups to call, but I’m taking Wiley. This is also my prediction to win the first round.
My Pick: Wiley Petersen
The PBR Built Ford Tough Series will be in Tennessee for the second consecutive weekend when they head to Memphis this Friday and Saturday. This past weekend, Ben Jones won his first-ever BFTS event, while Austin Meier gained a lot of ground on Renato Nunes. The bull power was excellent, and it will be similar this weekend as well. Here are five questions I have heading into the Memphis event. If you have anything to add, please comment below or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!
Will Austin Meier and Valdiron de Oliveira Continue to Chip Into Renato’s Lead?
I mentioned above how Austin Meier cut into Renato Nunes’ lead in Nashville. Meier went 3-for-3, while Nunes went 0-for-2. The lead is now less than 1,000 points. In addition, Valdiron de Oliveira also had a good weekend and pulled to within 1,880 points of the lead. Anyone who thought the race was close to being over before last weekend will hopefully realize it’s just beginning. Meanwhile, J.B. Mauney moved up a couple spots to fifth, and it looks like he figured some things out as well. It’s going to be a race to the finish.
As far as this question goes, however, it’s hard for me to give up so quickly on Renato Nunes. He is still number one, and I highly doubt he will get shutout again this weekend. It remains to be seen whether or not the pressure has finally gotten to him, but I wouldn’t bet against him in Memphis. He is far too talented to struggle two consecutive weekends. Meier and Oliveira may ride well this weekend and put more pressure on Nunes, but he should be up to the task of defending his lead. Then again, a lot of it depends on the bulls each rider draws.
Which Bull Will Steal the Show in the Short-Go?
Last weekend, all the bull talk going into the event centered around Code Blue and Uncle Buck. Both had great outs in the short-go, but Bones’ performance stole the show. Which bull will do the same this weekend? If Highway 12 is still in Tennessee, he gets my vote. He was outstanding in Nashville (45.5), but nobody mentioned his name much after the event. I gave him credit in my recap the other day, and fans need to take notice. The riders won’t wait as long to pick him this weekend, and he looks like a bull who can help take a guy to 90-93 points pretty quickly. If Highway 12 gets out enough towards the end of the season, he might end up in the running for PBR Bull of the Year.
Will Travis Briscoe Have Any Success Riding With His Other Hand?
Travis Briscoe has been battling injuries the last several months, but he sprained his left wrist and elbow in Nashville. He told Leah Garcia he was going to switch hands this week and see how things go. If nothing else, it’s an intriguing story to follow because he is fourth in the standings right now.
I haven’t ever ridden a bull, but since I’ve been a fan, riders switching hands haven’t had much luck. Kody Lostroh attempted it last year before coming to an event, but he realized he wasn’t comfortable enough. Briscoe has done it before in the past, so we will see. It seems like it’s tough enough to compete every week with the correct riding hand 100% healthy. I won’t be betting the ranch on the New Mexico cowboy anytime soon.
Update: It looks like Briscoe will not be riding this weekend, but it hasn’t been 100% confirmed by the PBR website yet.
Which Bull Will be the Favorite for Bull of the Year After Memphis?
Voodoo Child has ruled the discussion for PBR Bull of the Year all season, but it seems like he has lost a half step since the summer break ended. He has only been marked under 45 points twice this season, and those are his last two outs. If the riders still voted on Bull of the Year, Voodoo might have already wrapped things up. However, he will have to earn it at the PBR Finals, and I’m not sure he can beat out Uncle Buck, Bones, Code Blue, etc. if they have their day.
I hate to say it because of how great Voodoo Child has been all season, but Uncle Buck might have become the new favorite after Nashville. Now that Jeff Robinson is hauling him, fans will see him more and more. If he keeps bucking like he did last weekend, Voodoo won’t be able to hang with him the rest of the season. As intriguing as the PBR World Title race is, the Bucking Bull of the Year race may be just as good or better. It’s going to be a fun last two months.
Will Ryan McConnel Continue to Struggle and Fall Down the Standings?
Now that J.B. Mauney has seemingly snapped out of his slump, my attention has turned to Ryan McConnel. He is one of my favorites to watch because of how easy he can make it look when he is on his game, and I actually picked him to finish third in 2010. That being said, he has looked pretty sub-par the last few weeks. In total, he is 0 for his last 7 on the BFTS. Because of the slump, he has fallen to eighth in the standings and is only 100 points or so in front of Mike Lee. If any rider is going to fall out of the top 10 before the Final Five Chase, it might just be McConnel.
Like many others, McConnel has dealt with the injury bug lately. He dislocated his finger, and there have been questions about how healthy his neck is. Tandy wouldn’t let him ride because of it in Tulsa, and that seemed to take something out of McConnel. He hasn’t been his usual self since the PBR returned from break, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him struggle a few more events. If anyone can snap out of a slump and go on a major run, however, it’s this guy. We will have to wait and see.
The 2010 Jack Daniel’s Invitational is in the books, and it was one heck of a final day. There were five rides in the short-go round, three of which were 90.25 or better. The bull power was extremely impressive, and it was great to see stars like Code Blue, Bones, and Uncle Buck back in action. Renato Nunes struggled, and Austin Meier went 3-for-3 to close the gap in the world standings. In the end, Aussie Ben Jones won his first-ever BFTS event and danced like never before. I’ve put together five final thoughts from the Nashville event. If you have anything to add, please comment below or email me at: email@example.com. Enjoy!
Not So Fast Renato
Renato Nunes increased his lead in the world standings to over 1,700 points following the San Antonio event two weeks ago. A lot of people started to crown him the 2010 champ, but the Nashville event proved there is still a long way to go. Austin Meier, coming off an 0-for-5 slump his previous two events, rode all three bulls in the Music City and finished second overall. He made up nearly half the deficit in the standings and now trails by less than 1,000 points. Meier had plenty of chances to buck off all three bulls, but it was pretty apparent he wasn’t bucking off anything this past weekend. It was nice to see the grit and determination make its return.
In addition, Valdiron de Oliveira finished in 10th place and also moved closer to Nunes. Oliveira is now just 1,880 points out of the top spot. Before we get too ahead of ourselves, Nunes is still the top guy in the world and rightfully so. He might not have ridden anything this past weekend, but that probably won’t happen too often. Fans are going to see a race to the finish in 2010, and that makes the Final Five Chase even more important. It’s just nice to see some of the guys chasing the top guy making quality rides and progress in the standings.
Bones is Back
The top bull by bull score in Nashville was Uncle Buck, but Bones was the best. It’s been awhile since we have seen Bones (Arlington to be exact), but he was extremely rank this past weekend. He had the drop and kick fans expect to see from the 2008 World Champion bull, and if he continues that form, he will be a serious threat to win the title this year as well. It was very nice to see this bull return to form, and I’m looking forward to seeing him in Memphis this weekend.
While I’m talking about bulls, I want to give another shout-out to Major Payne as well. He has been out almost 20 times on the BFTS in 2010, and his trips just keep getting better. If he has another great out next weekend, he will definitely be moving up my power rankings next month. Finally, Highway 12 deserves some respect as well. This bull traveled halfway across the country and was awesome! Congrats to Mesa Bucking Bulls on a great animal athlete!
To Ride or Not to Ride?
With the World Title race heating up down the stretch, numerous top-10 guys are dealing with rough injuries. It’s admirable to see them in the draw every weekend, but there comes a time when decisions have to be made about the future. Guilherme Marchi, Travis Briscoe, and Robson Palermo are all fighting the injury bug, and they aren’t riding very well in the process. Marchi is the first who comes to mind because he looked the worst in Nashville. Not only was he bucked off very quickly in both outs, he looked off before getting dumped. I don’t recall Marchi looking off, but it’s definitely not going to get the job done moving forward.
Briscoe has been fighting injuries the last few months, and it looks like it’s time to take a break and heal up for the World Finals and/or 2011. It will be tough for him to compete for the title 100% healthy, but it’s almost impossible being this banged up. He said he will try to ride with his other hand this weekend in Memphis, but I can’t see that going very well. I applaud the effort, and I hope it works out for him. That being said, the immediate future doesn’t look good for Briscoe, especially if the injuries keep piling on.
The last guy on the injury list is Robson Palermo. Some injuries are worse than others, but an injury to a riding hand has to be one of the toughest to deal with. I’ll give credit to Palermo for at least getting one qualified ride in Nashville, but he didn’t have a chance against Voodoo Child in the short-go. And Voodoo wasn’t even as good as usual. Last week on the PBR website, it was stated the Brazilian would be missing 6-8 weeks because of injury. It looks like that is probably the smart thing to do, but we shall see. With a couple months break after the Finals, these guys might gut it out and deal with the injuries later.
Has Voodoo Lost a Step?
Voodoo Child is still the most deserving for 2010 PBR Bull of the Year, but it appears he may have lost a step over the summer break. He was still pretty impressive even after slipping in Nashville, but both of his outs since the break have been under 45 points. Prior to the break, he wasn’t marked under 45 points in 12 outs. He is still going to be one of the bulls to keep an eye on in Vegas, but there are others ready to jump up and win the title. If Voodoo looks like he has his last two outs, bulls like Uncle Buck, Code Blue, Bones, Major Payne, etc. will fare better down the stretch.
No Change in the Top 10…..Yet
The Final Five Chase is all the talk right now in the PBR, and while there wasn’t a change to the top 10 in Nashville, Shane Proctor stepped up and moved a little closer. Proctor has been known to start the season off hot, get cold in the middle part, and finish with a flurry. It might his time to get hot again, and he looked pretty good in Nashville this past weekend. A lot of changes could still happen, but it looks like Proctor may be the only one with a realistic shot at moving into the top 10. McKennon Wimberly and Mike Lee both looked good this past weekend as well, so it won’t be easy. If I was a betting man, however, I’d put my money on Proctor bumping Wimberly before the Greenville event.