Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2010 – Round 1 #9- Buffalo- RB C.J. Spiller writes- Spiller is not the kind of back who can carry a team by rushing 20-25 times a game over the course of a 16-game season. Like a Reggie Bush or Felix Jones, though, he can be a situational player who gives the offense big-play capability out of the backfield. He has a rare burst through the hole, and not many safeties can run him down once they lose the angle on him. He is a competitive runner who will fight for yards and has balance to bounce off hits and keep his feet to gain more yards. Spiller is apt to be the first back taken in the draft in spite of his lack of power and bulk.


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament- March 19th

This post will remain at the top of the blog for the rest of today. To see newer posts, scroll down.

As results come in today, I will update this post. I’ll also include any related tournament news here.

West Virginia beats Morgan St. 77-50
Cornell beats Temple 78-65
Xavier beats Minnesota 65-54
Purdue beats Siena 72-64
Pittsburgh beats Oakland 89-66
Wisconsin beats Wofford 53-49
Texas A&M beats Utah St. 69-53
Gonzaga beats Florida St. 67-60
Duke beats Arkansas-Pine Bluff 73-44
Michigan St. beats New Mexico St. 67-64
Syracuse beats Vermont 79-56
Maryland beats Houston 89-77


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball predictions

Here are my selections-

2010 predictions1

2010 predictions2

So you heard it here first. Duke and Ohio State in the finals.

Note- Starting tomorrow I will have a sticky post at the top of the blog featuring that day’s results. Feel free to make your own predictions in the comment.


2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket

Well here it is-

2010 bracket

I don’t have to say. Later in the week, I’ll take a shot at predicting the outcome.


Chicago Bear DE Gaines Adams dead at 26

The cause of death is unknown at this time. Very tragic and RIP.

Chicago Bears defensive end Gaines Adams died Sunday morning after he was taken to a Greenwood, S.C., emergency room, the county coroner said.Gaines Adams

Greenwood County Coroner James T. Coursey said Adams was taken to the emergency room at Self Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9 a.m. ET Sunday morning.


Adams, 26, listed at 6-foot-5 and 256 pounds, played in college at Clemson and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft. He was traded to the Bears in October.

In 47 games over four seasons with the Bucs and Bears, Adams had 67 tackles, including 13.5 sacks.


Are you ready for some bowling? II

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this afternoon, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Note- I gave the shortened name version of all the upcoming games. Also I listed what broadcast network would be televising the game and what time they would be coming on the air. All times are Eastern Standard.

Dec 19

New Mexico- Fresno State vs. Wyoming 4:30 p.m. ESPN
St. Petersburg- Central Florida vs. Rutgers 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 20

R+L Carriers New Orleans- Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 22

MAACO Las Vegas- Oregon State vs. BYU 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 23

Poinsettia- Utah vs. Cal 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 24

Sheraton Hawaii- Nevada vs. SMU 8 p.m. ESPN
Dec 26

Little Caesars- Marshall vs. Ohio 1 p.m. ESPN
Meineke- Pitt vs. North Carolina 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Emerald- Boston College vs. USC 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 27

Music City- Kentucky vs. Clemson 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 28

Independence- Texas A&M vs. Georgia 5 p.m. ESPN2

Dec 29

EagleBank- UCLA vs. Temple 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Champs Sports- Miami vs. Wisconsin 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 30

Humanitarian- Bowling Green vs. Idaho 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Holiday- Arizona vs. Nebraska 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 31

Armed Forces- Houston vs. Air Force Noon ESPN
Sun- Oklahoma vs. Stanford 2 p.m. CBS
Texas- Navy vs. Missouri 3:30 p.m. ESPN
Minnesota vs. Iowa State 6 p.m. NFL Network
Chick-fil-A- Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee 7:30 p.m. ESPN

Jan 1

Outback- Northwestern vs. Auburn 11 a.m. ESPN
Capital One- Penn State vs. LSU 1 p.m. ABC
Gator- West Virginia vs. Florida State 1 p.m. CBS
Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Oregon 4:30 p.m. ABC
Sugar- Cincinnati vs. Florida 8:30 p.m. FOX

Jan 2

International- South Florida vs. Northern Illinois Noon ESPN2 South Carolina vs. UConn 2 p.m. ESPN
Cotton- Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss 2 p.m. FOX
Liberty- Arkansas vs. East Carolina 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Valero Alamo- Michigan State vs. Texas Tech 9 p.m. ESPN

Jan 4

Fiesta- Boise State vs. TCU 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 5

FedEx Orange- Iowa vs. Georgia Tech 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 6th

GMAC- Central Michigan vs. Troy 7 p.m. ESPN

Jan 7th

BCS National Championship Game- Texas vs. Alabama Jan. 7 8 p.m.

Some random notes on the above 34 games

*- 19 of the 34 games are not scheduled till Dec. 31st or later. I guess college football fanatics are expected to flip channels very quickly on those 3 days(Dec 31-Jan 2) when 15 games are being aired.
*- What a downer must it be for Oregon State players and fans. A few weeks ago they were one win from a Rose Bowl trip. Instead they lost to Oregon and are playing in a minor bowl before Christmas.
*- The NFL network televises a college football game. I guess that’s the cable sports equivalent of the Sci-Fi channel showing wrestling….
*- The bowls are now set where now certain conference finishers are locked into the same bowl games every year. I understand why the current system is done, but I prefer the day when bowl games would have greater variance from year to year. The Peach bowl would usually invite a ACC or SEC school but they could be creative, like when they invited Army and Illinois. Wouldn’t a SEC team against BYU or Wyoming be nice for a change?
*- Bobby Bowden’s farewell game is against the same school(West Virginia) that he left before coming to Florida State. I do know FSU and WV have played at least twice previously in bowls during the Bowden-Florida State era.


Clemson Men’s Soccer Coach Trevor Adair resigns

He had led the Tigers for 14 years. From AP-

Longtime Clemson men’s soccer coach Trevor Adair has resigned, more than two months after his arrest on charges of attacking his teenage daughters.

Adair, 48, had coached the Tigers for 14 years and led the team to nine NCAA tournament appearances including a trip to the 2005 national semifinals.

In April, police charged him with two counts of assault and battery. The cases are pending. Adair was released on $10,000 bond and placed on a leave of absence.

“After a great deal of thought and prayer, I believe the time is right to pursue other opportunities in coaching and to help transition the Clemson program to new leadership,” Adair said in a statement released by the school.

Clemson assistant Phil Hindson will take over as interim head coach for the 2009 season.

“We had many bright moments at Riggs Field during his tenure and we wish him the best in his future endeavors,” athletic director Terry Don Phillips said in a statement.

In 1998, Adair led the Tigers to a school-record tying 22 victories, the Atlantic Coast Conference championship and the No. 1 ranking.

Adair leaves with a mark of 174-91-26 at Clemson.

IMHO, the only justification for violence towards a woman is self defense. Details are sketchy as to what form of assault Adair did against his own flesh and blood, but whatever it was it calls into question his character and whether he should be coaching young people at all.


NFL Draft 2009 Round 5 #166 – Dallas Cowboys – S Michael Hamlin

With the 30th pick in the 5th round, the Dallas Cowboys select Clemson safety Michael Hamlin.   This will, of course, create confusion since they already have a safety named (Ken) Hamlin.  And this after they rid themselves of the two Roy Williams situation by getting rid of the safety and keeping the wideout.

But I digress.

He’s 6’2″ and 214 pounds and runs a 4.62 40.


Hamlin showed his leadership skills in 2008, speaking up and imploring his teammates to play up to their ability after the team struggled and underwent a midseason coaching change. The young players responded, with Clemson winning four of its final six games to earn a spot in the 2009 Gator Bowl.

Hamlin and his two brothers all followed in their father’s footsteps and became defensive backs. While Michael went on to star at Clemson, his siblings, Markee and Marquais, play for South Carolina State. The two teams played each other in 2008, marking the first time since 1981 that brothers competed vs. each other in a Clemson game (Mark Richardson of Clemson and his brother, Jon, who attended North Carolina, played vs. each other at Chapel Hill that year).

The Tigers’ defensive captain started 43 games for Clemson, the most by a defensive back in school history. His 14 interceptions rank third in school annals and his 243 yards gained on interception returns rank second. He also ranks second in school history with 18 takeaways (four forced fumbles, 14 pass thefts).

At Lamar High School, Hamlin was a finalist for Mr. Football in South Carolina. Rated the 11th-best safety in the nation by Tom Lemming, he was named the state’s Defensive Player of the Year by High School Sports Report. He added All-State honors as a junior and senior and was a three-time All-Region selection, capturing Region Player of the Year honors in each of his final two campaigns.

Hamlin registered 23 career interceptions, including a team-high four as a senior. He threw three passes as a senior and two were touchdowns, including one to his brother in the state title game. He had 20 catches for 290 yards and four scores, and gained 148 punt return yards and 179 kickoff return yards. He added All-Region accolades in both baseball and basketball, as Lamar’s baseball squad won the state championship as a junior.

Hamlin enrolled at Clemson in 2004, participating on the scout team. He shared “Cat” (strong safety duties) with C.J. Gaddis in 2005, as the 190-pound defensive back started the final seven games. On 492 defensive plays, he recorded 55 tackles (30 solos), broke up three passes and intercepted two others as the first freshman to start in the Tigers secondary since Justin Miller in 2002.

As a sophomore, Hamlin missed three games after breaking a bone in his left foot vs. Boston College. He still managed to get on the field for 576 plays in 10 starts. He was in on 64 tackles (47 solos), including five stops for loss. He picked off two passes, returning one 74 yards and knocked down three other throws while recovering a pair of fumbles.

Hamlin received All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition in 2007. He started all 13 games for the first time in his career, producing 97 tackles (73 solos), the fifth-highest total among league defensive backs that year. Three of his stops were for losses, as he also picked off four passes and deflected six others. Three of his four fumble recoveries led to Clemson scoring drives. He also intercepted a two-point conversion attempt and returned it 100 yards vs. North Carolina State for the first defensive score off an opponent’s extra point in school history.

Hamlin was an All-American honorable mention by Sports Illustrated and an All-ACC first-team choice as a senior. He ranked eighth in the nation with six interceptions and was second in the conference with a total of 16 passes defended (10 breakups, six interceptions). He also placed second on the team with a career-high 110 tackles (74 solos), as he served as the squad’s first two-time team captain since the 2001 campaign.

High School

Attended Lamar (S.C.) High School, playing football for head coach J.R. Boyd…Finalist for Mr. Football in South Carolina…Rated the 11th-best safety in the nation by Tom Lemming, he was named the state’s Defensive Player of the Year by High School Sports Report… Added All-State honors as a junior and senior and was a three-time All-Region selection, capturing Region Player of the Year honors in each of his final two campaigns…Recorded 23 career interceptions, including a team-high four as a senior…Threw three passes as a senior and two were touchdowns, including one to his brother in the state title game… Added 20 catches for 290 yards and four scores, and had 148 punt return yards and 179 kickoff return yards…Earned All-Region accolades in baseball and basketball, as Lamar’s baseball squad won the state championship as a junior.


Positives: Rangy player with the frame to add an additional 10-15 pounds of mass. … Quick to come up in run support. … Willing to take on blocks to get to the action. … Reliable tackler in the open field who flashes hitting ability. … Wrap-up tackler who looks to punch or rip the ball out to create a turnover. … Instinctive in coverage. Reads the quarterback’s eyes and gets a good break on the ball due to his feel for the game. … Natural hands for the interception. … Competes for the ball and can time his leap to catch it at its highest point. … Good vision and elusiveness with the ball in his hands. … Cerebral player who lines up the Clemson defensive backfield and was voted a permanent team captain as a junior.

Negatives: Questionable straight-line speed. … Much better with his eyes pointed toward the quarterback, as he lacks the deep speed most teams want as the deep safety. … Reliable open-field tackler, but lacks bulk and explosive hitting ability to be an intimidator over the middle. … Durability red flags: broke both feet in his career, missing three games in 2006 after breaking one against Boston College and undergoing postseason surgery after the 2007 season with a stress fracture in the other.

Scouts, Inc. rates him surprisingly high for a guy that fell to the end of the 5th round:

Overall Football Traits
Production 2 Clemson red-shirted Hamlin in 2004. He started seven of the 12 games he appeared in during the 2005 season finishing with 55 total tackles, 30 unassisted tackles, two special teams’ tackles and one tackle-for-loss. Hamlin also broke up a pass and intercepted two passes in 2005. He started 10 games in 2006 finishing with 64 total tackles, 47 unassisted tackles, six special teams’ tackles and five tackles-for-loss. Hamlin also broke up three passes, forced a fumble, recovered two fumbles, intercepted two passes and missed three games with an injury (see durability) in 2006. He started all 13 games of the 2007 season finishing with 97 total tackles, 73 unassisted tackles, two special teams’ tackles and three tackles-for-loss. Hamlin also broke up six passes, forced a fumble, recovered two fumbles and intercepted four passes in 2007. Hamlin started in all 13 games during the 2008 season and recorded 110 tackles, three tackles-for-loss, and one sack. He also added six interceptions and 10 pass break-ups. Earned second team All-ACC honors during the 2007 season and earned first team honors during his senior campaign in 2008.
Height-Weight-Speed 2 Hamlin lacks elite top-end speed but he’s fasts enough to cover the deep half of the field and he has room on his frame to add even more bulk.
Durability 3 Hamlin broke his left foot in the fourth quarter of the 2006 Boston College game and missed the next three games.
Character 2 Voted permanent defensive captain by his 2007 teammates. Graduated with a degree in management in may of 2008.
Defensive Safety specific Traits
Recognition Skills/Toughness 3 Reads quarterbacks’ eyes. Generally doesn’t bite on play action but can jump up in short yardage situations. Flashes the ability to deliver the big hit over the middle but won’t be able to push receivers around as much in the NFL. Can be a step slow filling in run support. Doesn’t play with enough of a mean streak when steps up in run support.
Closing Burst 3 Can plant off back foot and explode out of backpedal but notch below ideal closing burst, footwork is a bit inconsistent and can be a step late getting to the ball as a result.
Fluidity 4 Going to have some problems turning and running with explosive slot receivers/tight ends. Turns shoulders too early at times and vulnerable to double moves. Can cover the deep half of the field but doesn’t open hips well enough to play a centerfielder-type role.
Ball Skills 2 Aggressive, times jumps well and can snatch the all out of the air. Flashes the ability to make the big play after the catch. (see 2007 North Carolina State game)
Run Support 3 Fails to wrap up on occasion but doesn’t miss many tackles and takes sound pursuit angles. Good motor and doesn’t give up on plays. (See third quarter Darius Heyward-Bey run in 2008 Maryland game) Has experience lining up in the box. Has adequate-to-good upper body strength and flashes the ability to keep blockers off frame but inconsistent in this area.


NFL Draft 2009 Round 5 #165 – Miami Dolphins – S Chris Clemons

This was the selection Miami got from Indianapolis in return for trading down in the second round.

Miami goes back to picking real people players to bolster their poor pass defense.

ESPN writes-

Clemons is an instinctive quick-twitched safety that displays elite closing burst. However, he needs to improve as a playmaker and take better angles to the ball. writes-

Positives: Lanky build with room for additional growth. … Has at least adequate pure game speed to be the last line of defense. … Takes good angles in pursuit. … Reads the quarterback and gets a jump on the ball. … Flashes a late burst to close. … Good open-field tackler. … Has the lateral quickness and balance to break down in space and wraps up. … Agile enough to slip blocks and make tackles near the line of scrimmage. … Durable. … Has never missed a game due to injury at Clemson.

Negatives: Lacks the bulk many teams prefer at safety. … A reliable open-field tackler, but lacks the explosiveness to be an enforcer in the middle. … Isn’t a natural playmaker. … Loses sight of the ball and doesn’t have natural hands for the interception. … Surrounded by legitimate NFL talent and has been allowed to freelance as a centerfielder.

I wonder what Jason Allen’s future is with the Miami Dolphins. Allen who was picked in the 1st round of the 2006 NFL draft, goes down as a draft bust in my book. Could Clemons make him expendable.

Update- Miami may have gotten value here. Clemons was ranked 121st best player in the draft and the 8th best safety by Scouts Inc.


Are you ready for some bowling?

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this Saturday, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Dec 20
Eaglebank Bowl- Wake Forest vs Navy
New Mexico Bowl- Colorado State vs Fresno St
MAGICJACK ST. PETERSBURG BOWL- Memphis vs. South Florida
PIONEER LAS VEGAS BOWL- Brigham Young vs Arizona
Dec 21
Dec 23
Dec 24
SHERATON HAWAII BOWL- Hawaii vs Notre Dame
Dec 26
MOTOR CITY BOWL- Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
Saturday, December 27
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL- West Virginia vs. North Carolina
Champs Sports Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Florida State
Emerald Bowl- Miami (FL) vs. California
December 28
Independence Bowl- Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL- North Carolina State vs. Rutgers
Valero Alamo Bowl- Missouri vs. No. 23 Northwestern
Tuesday, December 30
PACIFIC LIFE HOLIDAY BOWL- Oklahoma State vs. No. 17 Oregon
Texas Bowl- Western Michigan vs. Rice
Wednesday, December 31
Sun Bowl- Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
GAYLORD HOTELS MUSIC CITY BOWL- Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
Insight Bowl- Kansas vs. Minnesota
CHICK-FIL-A BOWL- LSU vs. Georgia Tech
Thursday, January 1
OUTBACK BOWL- South Carolina vs. Iowa
CAPITAL ONE BOWL- Georgia vs. Michigan State
Gator Bowl- Nebraska vs. Clemson
Rose Bowl- Penn State vs. USC
Fedex Orange Bowl- Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Friday, January 2
Cotton Bowl- Mississippi vs. Texas Tech
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL- Kentucky vs. East Carolina
January 3
INTERNATIONAL BOWL- Buffalo vs. Connecticut
January 5
TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL- Ohio State vs. Texas
January 6
GMAC Bowl- Ball State vs. Tulsa*
January 8

That’s 34 games, 68 schools spread over a period of 20 days for those of you keeping score at home. An ample supply of college football for any fanatics out there.

A few notes

*- There are a few bowl games remaining without corporate names in their title. Gator, Sun, Texas, Independence. Were these games unable to find sponsors?
*- Will Oklahoma St. and Oregon combine for 70 pts or more in the Holiday Bowl? This annually has been of the most high scoring affairs.
*- Oh how has the Orange Bowl dropped. A game that featured early triumphs of Joe Paterno led Penn State, Nebraska and Oklahoma in their glory days, the first major bowl appearance of Florida State, and the all time classic 84 battle between Nebraska and Miami, has Cincinnati and Virginia Tech playing this year. I’m sure they are talented football teams, but how many people are drooling to see them play in a prime-time network slot?
*- Arizona and BYU meet in a bowl 30 years after the former left the WAC conference for the higher profile Pac Eight(Now Ten, Arizona State joined also)
*- Vanderbilt makes a rare bowl appearance. Congratulations to Commodore fans, but this is a sign of how bowls are grown way out of proportion. 6-6 college teams get bids. When I was growing up I could remember Florida State going without a bowl in 1978 even though they finished the season 8-3.

It is my humble opinion that bowl season has gotten out of hand. Someone may say what’s the big deal? If someone wants to start a bowl game and there are two schools willing to play in it, does their records matter. A good football isn’t only a contest between stars at big name schools.

All true, but how much public money is spent on these affairs? Many of the teams are state universities who get funded by taxpayers. Then there is the game itself where police have to be taken from other tasks to work the day or night of the game or paid over-time.

With the economic downturn right now, you have to wonder if there will be less bowls in the near future. That would depend on how long a deal a corporate sponsor signed on for. I wonder how many fans of some schools plan to make a bowl trip. Are there 1,000 or more FAU Owls willing to journey from Florida to Michigan in December to watch the team play? Even if I were a Owl fan and had money, I’d stay home.

Enjoy the games.


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