Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #10 Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert

Jacksonville makes a deal with the Washington. The 3rd Quarterback goes in the first 10 selections. says-

Gabbert has it all physically, but has a long way to go before he’s ready to lead an NFL offense. He played in a spread offense and will have to learn to take snaps under center and make progressions in the pocket. However, he is a smart football player that seems to understand coverages and he has the arm strength to fit the ball into tight windows. He is also very mobile and elusive in the pocket and shows the ability to make plays with his feet. Overall, Gabbert’s tools will be too alluring for a team without a quarterback, and he seems assured to be a top-10 pick, maybe even the first QB off the board.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #7 San Francisco DE Aldon Smith says-

Smith has a chance to turn into a disruptive starting NFL 4-3 end if he can improve his strength and tenacity and become more stout against the run. He’s got so much potential. He’s a fluid, natural pass rusher who overcomes lack of excellent get-off with terrific hand usage, elite lateral-mobility, very good closing speed, and a strong desire to get to the quarterback. Provides some value maintaining outside contain, pursuing from the backside, and making plays outside of the box, but could struggle a bit against the downhill running game. Smith has steadily climbed his way into the first round.


Report: Big Ten Makes Expansion Offers To Four Colleges

If this report from a Kansas City sports radio station is to believed, the Big Ten Conference is thinking big when it comes to expansion:

big_ten_mini_pennant_set_23109bigThe Big Ten Conference has extended initial offers to join the league to four universities including Missouri and Nebraska from the Big 12, according to multiple sources close to the negotiations.

While nothing can be approved until the Big Ten presidents and chancellors meet the first week of June in Chicago, the league has informed the two Big 12 schools, Notre Dame and Rutgers that it would like to have them join. It is not yet clear whether the Big Ten will expand to 14 or 16 teams but sources indicated Missouri and Nebraska are invited in either scenario.  Notre Dame has repeatedly declined the opportunity to join the Big Ten.  If Notre Dame remains independent, Rutgers would be the 14th team.  The Big Ten would then decide whether to stop at 14 or extend offers to two other schools.  If Notre Dame joins, sources say an offer will be extended to one other school making it a 16-team league.

All four are interesting choices, for different reasons.

Notre Dame, of course, is a prize that the Big Ten has been pursuing for years, but it’s always been the one that got away. Given their lucrative television contract and national fan base, remaining independent has always seemed to be to Notre Dame’s advantage. Times are changing, though, and the Fighting Irish aren’t what they used to be. Putting them at the center of a conference where they would be instantly competitive might just be what’s needed to reinvigorate a program still hurting from the Charlie Weis years.

Rutgers seems like a odd choice at first because of it’s geographic distance from the rest of the Conference, but there are two reasons why it makes sense. Under Greg Schiano, the Rutgers football program (and make no mistake, this expansion is mostly geared toward football) has become credible in a way that it never was before. When I attended there in the late 80s and the Scarlet Knights played a rare game against Michigan State, it was an occasion for laughter in Lansing, Michigan. Not anymore. Second, bringing in Rutgers gives the Big Ten access to two of the biggest media markets in the country, which would be a big deal for both football and basketball.

As for Missouri and Nebraska, it’s interesting that the Big Ten would be so brazen about poaching from the Big 12, but both schools would be excellent additions on the football side to a conference that has come to be dominated in recent years by Ohio State and Penn State. Bringing the Tigers and Cornhuskers into the conference, along with Rutgers and Notre Dame, would instantly make football season much more competitive.

All in all, this seems like a smart move for the Big Ten.


NFL Draft 2010 – Round 1 #19- Atlanta – LB Sean Weatherspoon writes- Weatherspoon is an excellent combination of size, strength and athleticism for the position. He is a tough hard-nosed linebacker that plays with a great motor. Weatherspoon is a solid tackler but not a thumper in this area. He runs well and shows good range in pursuit as well as in coverage. Weatherspoon leverages the ball well with good angles and proper body positioning. He uses his hands well to ward off blockers and maintain gap responsibility. Weatherspoon is an intelligent linebacker that possesses great intangibles that along with physical attributes which should make him a productive player as a rookie.


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 2nd round- March 21st

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.

Syracuse beats Gonzaga 87-65
West Virginia beats Missouri 68-59
Ohio State beats Georgia Tech 75-66
Cornell beats Wisconsin 87-69
Michigan State beats Maryland 85-83
Duke beats Cal 68-53
Xavier beats Pitt 71-68
Purdue beats Texas A&M 63-61


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.


Kansas State Coach Frank Martin sorry for hitting player on arm

Is another college coach in the state of Kansas about to lose his job for striking or abusing his players. From AP-

Kansas State’s Frank Martin is a fiery old-school screamer who expects his players to play with the same kind of passion he coaches with.Frank Martin

That passion got the better of Martin on Saturday — and he feels bad about it.

Caught up in the heat of a tight road game, Martin hit senior Chris Merriewether on the arm with the back of his hand late in a 74-68 loss to Missouri for Kansas State (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP). Martin wasted little time in apologizing, telling reporters he was wrong before taking questions during his postgame news conference.

“That’s a mistake on my part,” Martin said. “I’m an old-school guy, but I understand the times are real sensitive now. I love him. I don’t know what to tell you. It’s wrong on my part and is completely out of line and has no part in the game. I need to apologize for that.”

Martin’s swipe came during a timeout with 1:17 left after a turnover by Merriewether led to a foul at the other end.

Before Marcus Denmon hit one of two free throws to put Missouri up 66-63, Martin called timeout and gathered his team in front of the bench. He immediately started screaming at Merriewether and flicked the back of his hand at the senior, striking him on the arm with his fingers.

The crowd at Kansas State’s end of the floor reacted and Martin, realizing he had made a mistake, flipped his hand again, appearing as if he were trying to high-five Merriewether.

Martin sought out Merriewether in the locker room after the game and apologized for popping him.

The quick and immediate apology by Martin(He’s Cuban-American and was born in Florida) may just end up saving his job. I’m not an advocate of zero tolerance rules because so often they are really no brains rules.

No question, he is intense. Volatile, even. While Martin has proven he can coach, something many doubted, he must now prove he can control his temper. Currie may have accepted Martin’s apology, but the K-State AD surely can’t accept another such outburst.

Kevin Haskin of the Topeka Capital-Journal writes-

No question, he is intense. Volatile, even. While Martin has proven he can coach, something many doubted, he must now prove he can control his temper. Currie may have accepted Martin’s apology, but the K-State AD surely can’t accept another such outburst.

At least Martin was quick to address his sideline indiscretion and appropriately confronted it head on. The matter was handled swiftly, and properly, especially based on Merriewether’s own reaction.

KSU should investigate and if Martin doesn’t have a history of previous incidents, let him off this time with a warning.


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.


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