Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Conference Season, Super Bowl, NFL Draft

The Pats are going 19-0. I don't know if I have said it before but even their bad games are better than some teams good games. The thing that stands out to me the most is how often teams get in the red zone and have to settle for field goals. That was the Chargers demise. The Giants do have a remedy for that in Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs but they still won't beat the Pats.

As much as I love football season and everything that goes with it, there is no better time than conference basketball season. Football has many great games but they all happen on one or two days of the week.

Every night of the week there is a compelling matchup and a great game to see. If anyone has ESPN Classic, I don't know who does anymore, watch in the mid-afternoon when they play classic games of that night's matchup. The thing to notice is how recent some of the games are. For example, with Texas and Oklahoma St. playing last night, Classic showed last years 105-103 triple overtime game where Kevin Durant proved again the monster ballplayer he is. Last night Georgetown beat Syracuse in OT and Texas edged out OK St. 63-61. The Longhorns don't have Durant anymore but D.J. Augustin is an entertaining player to watch.

Another great thing about confernce season is that almost every game is a battle, except for Memphis. The Tigers do play Tennessee next month in what may be their last test to an undefeated regular season. Case in point, Maryland travels into Chapell Hill and upsets UNC while UCLA loses at home to rival USC. In confernence play there are no gimmies unless you get to play Oregon St. Further, anyone can beat anybody else at home or on the road. So lets enjoy another great season of college hoops before tournament time.

As a side note, I don't know if anyone noticed but the Baylor men's hoops team crashed the top 25 this week. After the Patrick Dennehy murder by a teammate and the Dave Bliss debacle, I or no one else could have imagined the Bears program would be able to bounce back. The Bears decided to hire Scott Drew, the son of Valparaiso coach Homer and brother to Bryce. In four seasons Drew imported point guard Aaron Bruce (10.1 ppg, 2.1 apg) from Austrailia, and convinced Top 25 prep star LaceDarius Dunn (12.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg) to come to Waco. Those two are getting help from Curtis Jerrells (12 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.8 apg), Kevin Rogers (11.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg), Henry Dugat (12.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and Tweety Carter (9.2 ppg) their first McDonald's All-American recruit. For more check out this ESPN.com article by Dana O'Neil. It's long but worth it to tell a story as good as this one. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?columnist=oneil_dana&id=3189351

NFL Draft Early Entries
(what I think of the notables; listed alphabetically)

Branden Albert, G, Virginia, Big (6'7 315) and battled tested, he went up against Chris Long everyday in practice.

Adrian Arrignton and Mario Manningham, WRs, Michigan, Makes the big plays and the routine ones, great after the catch and can both go up in traffic.

James Banks, WR, Carson Newman, Franklin Dunbar, OT, Middle Tennessee St., Who?

Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt, Not a burner but a great route runner and has the most catches in SEC history

Martellus Bennett, TE, Texas A&M, Matchup problem in the Jeremy Shockey mold. A better blocker too.

Devone Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullen, WRs, Hawaii, Not big guys and will be labeled system guys but they can pick up a complicated offense. They also knew their stock could only drop after Colt Brennan left.

Calais Campbell, DE, Miami, huge defensive end that will probobly be picked in the top 20 by a 4-3 team.

Jaamaal Charles, RB, Texas, Great speed but with running backs that were picked low excelling, his stock will drop because he doesn't do anything special.

Ryan Clady, OL, Boise St., Three year starter and twice all-conference

Anthony Collins, OT, Kansas, not sure at all

James Davis, RB, Clemson, Thunder to C.J. Spiller's Lightning and proved he's a power runner that can carry the load. Will drop b/c for same reason as Charles.

Johnny Dingle, DE, West Virginia, a force who proved unblockable in the Fiesta Bowl and can play in either a 3-4 or a 4-3.

Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech, solid and physical corner who can play man and in a cover 2, and unlike fellow alums D'Angelo Hallv and Jimmy Williams doesn't think he's better than he is.

Vernon Gohlston, DE, Ohio State, All-American and second DE off the board behind Chris Long.

Letroy Guion, DT, Geno Hayes, LB, Florida St., Fast, physical and athetic talents who could have used another year of coaching. Hayes in particular needs to be more disciplined.

James Hardy, WR, Indiana, playmaker with return skills.

Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida, A playmaker and good pass rusher who needs to put on weight and get stronger.

Erin Henderson, LB, Maryland, Terps leading tackler instinctive and can play inside or out.

Jack Ikegwuonu, CB, Wisconsin, Badgers best cover man and all-confernce pick.

DeSean Jackson, WR, Cal, Great return skills and a decent receiver. Willl run fast at combine but can he be a team guy?

Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas, D-Mac's running mate is a strong runner with home run speed and great kick return skills. Second round pick.

Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma, Big (6'4 219) with great hands and decent speed. He and the Michigan guys will be compared throughout the process but he's much bigger and not as fast.

Justin King, CB, Penn St., Makes plays and has good cover skills.

Xavier Lee, QB, Florida St., Great athlete with all of the tools who was never able to hold on to the starting job due to discipline problems and trouble grasping the playbook.

Curtis Lofton, LB, Oklahoma, great tackler who can make plays sideline-to-sideline. Only defender who came to play against West Virginia.

Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee, does a lot of things well but does nothing great.

Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas, the best running back in the draft can also return kicks.

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois, Adds to the depth of the draf t his position and showed homerun ability all season.

Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson, DaJuan Morgan, S, N.C. State, Lamar Lyles, LB, Louisville, Orlando Scandrick, CB, Boise St., Taj Smith, WR, Syracuse, you tell me about these guys because I don't know who they are.

Michael Oher, LT, Ole Miss, Poor man's Tony Ugoh.

Brandon Ore, RB, Virginia Tech, Talent has never been a question with him, discipline has.

Kenny Phillips, S, Miami, add his name to the list of UM defenders making great plays in the show.

Chilo Rachal, OG, USC, John David Booty was clean all season, and USC ran the ball at will. This guy is one of the reasons why.

Bobby Reid, QB, Oklahoma St., remember that Mike Gundy rant, this is the player it was about. Great athletic tools for Reid but his toughness and composure will be questioned.

Darius Reynaud, WR, West Virginia, great speed and has return skills, but not much more than a third or fourth receiver.

Pat Sims, DT, Auburn, first team conference pick right in the middle of one of the nation's best defenses.

Steve Slaton, RB, West Virginia, He's fast and can take it to the house but can he carry the load.

Kevin Smith, RB, UCF, Put up huge numbers against second tier competition, 3rd round pick at best, there are too many good runners.

Reggie Smith, CB, Oklahoma, physical corner with return skills as well.

Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon, Great talent with power and homerun speed. Good receiver out of the backfield. Second or third running back in this draft.

Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas, great cover skills who took his talent to the offensive side of the ball and scored four TD's.

Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan St., Don't know anything about him.

Mario Urrita, WR, Louisville, not sure why he came out but will cause matchup problems becuase of his size (6'6 228).

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think Mario Urrita is going to be a star...he'd be a household name is Petrino had stayed at UL and they didn't self destruct this year

DaJuan Morgan was recruited to Ohio State out of high school, but didn;t make it past admissions. Good athlete, not really sure why he's leaving early. Probably a second day pick

Justin King is garbage. I'm not even sure he should be playing defense. He gets torn apart by good receivers a la Leon Hall last year from Michigan. I think the Bengals are regreeting that pick after a year of Leon getting smoked.

Devin Thomas is a playmaker and will be in the league a long time. Very versatile in MSU's offense and a good/great returner when he could catch it without muffing it. I almost like an Anquan Boldin comparison with more speed, but less size and jukes.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe it...the whole NCAA tourney and not a single post from you? Get back to it, son.

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