Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #5 Phoenix Cardinals DB Patrick Peterson says-

Peterson is built like a safety, has the speed of a corner and is an elite playmaker. He has the explosion and range to play on an island and the instincts to be effective in zone heavy schemes. He has elite ball skills and is a shifty runner that is a nightmare to take down in the open field. He is a supremely confident kid that always looks to make plays, but at times can get burned by ball fakes and double moves. Peterson is a freakishly talented football player and might very well be the first corner back in the draft’s history to be taken No. 1 overall.


2010 NCAA Women’s Tournament Bracket

Here it is-

2010 Women's bracket

Like with the Men’s tournament, I’ll take a shot at making some guesses predictions in the women’s also.


2010 NFL Draft to include record tying 53 non-seniors

The 2008 NFL Draft also saw the same amount of under classmen. In 2009 the total was 46. From AP-

The expected heavy influx of non-seniors applying for this year’s NFL draft did not happen despite looming labor unrest in the league.

Although a record-tying 53 players declared for early entry, that number released Tuesday by the NFL was short of most projections.

“I think that the colleges have really done a good job of telling these young men how it is to their advantage to stay in school,” said NFL draft consultant Gil Brandt, who helped build the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. “I thought there would be more and I was surprised.”

Six All-Americans did apply for the draft: defensive backs Eric Berry of Tennessee and Joe Haden of Florida; defensive end Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech; tight end Aaron Hernandez of Florida; linebacker Rolando McClain of Alabama; and wide receiver Golden Tate of Notre Dame.

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, also declared for April’s draft, along with Mississippi quarterback Jevan Snead; Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen; Southern California running back Joe McKnight; Cal running back Jahvid Best; Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap; and Penn State linebacker Navorro Bowman.

Fresno State tailback Ryan Mathews, the nation’s leading rusher, applied. So did tackles Bryan Bulaga of Iowa and Anthony Davis of Rutgers, who are projected to go high in the draft.

I remember when Herschel Walker came out of school(U of Georgia) early and all the controversy it caused. A Herschel Walker today wouldn’t risk a potential big payday in the NFL either.

What I don’t get is how some experts expected the total of non-seniors to be around 100 or a 100% increase from last year. Maybe I’ll find an article that list the college players who stuck it out. A free college education should be valued. One day your sports playing days will end and what will you do for money then? Look at Bernie Kosar who left the University of Miami early for the NFL. Right now he is bankruptcy court.

The entire list of college underclassman declaring for this year’s NFL draft is below the fold.


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.


San Diego Chargers draft WR Demetrius Byrd with the #224 selection

The reason this is interesting has to do with where Byrd is right now.

Former LSU receiver Demetrius Byrd’s condition was upgraded from critical to good on Friday, and he was moved out of the intensive care unit at a Miami hospital following a car accident Sunday.

“Demetrius Byrd is now listed in good condition,” Jackson Memorial Hospital spokesperson Lorraine Nelson told Gannett Louisiana on Friday. She added he was out of the ICU.

Byrd was injured in a one-car accident in his hometown of Miami on Friday. He played in the 2007 and 2008 seasons at LSU. Before the accident, he was expected to be selected between the fifth and seventh rounds on the second day of the NFL draft on Sunday.

The Chargers took a risk but how much is a seventh round pick really worth? It’s a good one to gamble with.

Get well Demetrius Byrd.


NFL Draft 2009 – Round 1 #3 – Kansas City Chiefs – DE Tyson Jackson

ESPN writes- “Jackson can step in and be a starting 5-technique defensive end from Day 1. He has the size and upper-body strength to stack and shed offensive tackles, making him a perfect fit for the 3-4 scheme. Although he’s never going to be a great pass-rusher and it’s highly unusual for this type of player to so high, he can keep blockers off the outside linebackers, which should give KC’s pass rush a boost.”


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.


NFL Draft 2007 – Round 1 #30 – San Diego Chargers – WR Craig Davis

The San Diego Chargers selected LSU WR Craig Davis with the 30th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He joins his backfield mates WR Dwayne Bowe (KC #23) and QB JaMarcus Russell (Raiders #1).

What the Experts Say:

Either the Chargers know something the experts don’t–and that’s a possibility, they’ve drafted well in recent years–this is a heck of a reach.


Davis projected as an early second-round pick so this is a bit of a reach but all-and-all a good pick. Though he is a raw route-runner, Davis made great strides at the collegiate level and there’s no questioning his natural ability. He reaches his top speed quickly and he has the second gear to run best defensive backs. A playmaker with the ball in his hands, he can create after the catch and return punts as well. And oh yeah, he fills the Chargers greatest need. While Davis really isn’t a ready made No. 2 receiver, he could be San Diego’s best receiver by the opening game of the season.


NFL Draft 2007 – Round 1 #23 – Kansas City Chiefs – WR Dwayne Bowe

The Kansas City Chiefs drafted LSU wide receiver Dwayne Bowe with their first pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.

What the Experts Say: Profile:

Player Evaluation: Productive throughout college, Bowe has the physical makeup and dimensions to be a number two receiver at the next level. Has his game on an upswing and offers starting potential as a rookie.

Dwayne Bowe Photo LSU Helmet STRENGTHS: Hands and Concentration, Size, Strength

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Elusiveness with Catch, Route-Running Skills, Speed

Biography: Three-year starter awarded All-Conference honors as a senior after totaling career-best numbers of 65/990/12. Led the team in receiving as a junior, producing 41/710/9, after 39/597/5 as a sophomore.

Pos: Big, possession wide out who significantly improved his consistency as a senior. Sells routes, settles into the open spot of the defense and always works to become an available target. Uses his frame to shield away opponents and protect the pass. Lays out for the difficult reception or gets vertical to pull the ball from the air. Displays good eye/hand coordination, effectively uses the sidelines and makes the reception in stride. Solid downfield blocker.

Neg: Lacks the deep speed and cannot stretch the defense. Occasionally drops a catchable throw.


Wonders never cease. It seems like Kansas City’s top need the past five seasons has been receiver and they haven’t taken one since they drafted Sylvester Morris in 2000. The hope is Bowe pans out and there’s reason to be optimistic. He has outstanding size, he catches the ball well and he makes fluid cuts so he clearly has the potential to develop into a reliable possession receiver. Though he doesn’t have elite speed and he isn’t going to run by defensive backs, he is big and fast enough to make the occasional play downfield so he can stretch defenses vertically. With the Larry Johnson expected back and Bowe taking advantage of TE Tony Gonzalez keeping the safeties occupied, this offense should be even more productive than is was last year despite the likely departure of Trent Green.


NFL Draft 2007 – Round 1 #6 – Washington Redskins – S LaRon Landry

The Washington Redskins have taken LSU safety LaRon Landry, widely considered the best defensive player in this draft class, with the 6th overall pick.

What the Experts Say: Profile:

LaRon Landry Photo Civies Player Evaluation: to be used in a variety of defensive systems. An early choice that should quickly break into a starting lineup at the next level.

STRENGTHS: Body Control, Coverage Awareness, Size

Effective defending the run or covering the pass, Landry possesses the athletic skills and football intelligence

LaRon Landry Photo LSU Uniform Biography: Four-year starter awarded varying degrees of All-American and All-Conference honors since his freshman campaign. Led the team in tackles as a senior, posting 74/3/4 after 69/3/8 as a junior. Freshman and sophomore tackling totals were 80 and 92 respectively.

Pos: Productive safety with a complete game. Instinctive, plays heads-up football and remains disciplined with assignments. Efficient, takes good angles to the action and goes for the knockout blow. Patrols centerfield, displays top sideline-to-sideline range and has a terrific break to the action. Displays speed in a straight-line or laterally. Wraps-up tackling.

Neg: Lacks hands for the pick and drops too many catchable interceptions.

The Minnesota Vikings are on the clock.


It’s impossible to say whether or not this is the perfect move for Washington at this point because the Redskins have so few picks and no one knows exactly what transpired in terms of trade offers leading up to the pick. If they weren’t offered quality value for the pick, then taking Landry is an excellent move. Though the Redskins have more pressing needs than safety, it is a need and there’s nothing Landry can’t do. He is a tough run defender who takes the shortest path to the path and delivers big hits. He times hits well and punishes receivers that go over the middle. He can cover the deep half of the field and can match up with slot receivers.

One area of concern is his ability to play the ball when it’s in the air but he has adequate ball skills and he should benefit from lining up next to Sean Taylor. Taylor’s excellent range and ability to play a centerfielder type role will help protect Landry. Finally, having such talented safeties gives the Redskins more freedom in terms of mixing as well as hiding coverages and helps the pass rush out by forcing quarterbacks to hold on to the ball longer.


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